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Working with Hmong American families

TitleWorking with Hmong American families
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication2006
AuthorsGerdner, LA, Xiong, XXavier, Yang, D
Book TitleEthnicity and the dementias
PublisherRoutledge/Taylor & Francis Group; US
CityNew York, NY
ISBN Number0-415-95405-3 (Paperback), 978-0-415-95405-1 (Paperback), 0-415-95404-5 (Hardcover), 978-0-415-95404-4 (Hardcover)
Accession NumberBook: 2006-22747-014
Keywords*Aging, *Cross Cultural Differences, *Dementia, *Elder Care, *Sociocultural Factors, Culture & Ethnology [2930], Family, Gerontology [2860], Health Behavior, Health Care Delivery, Hmong American families, elder care, dementia, memory impairment, cultural factors, health behavior, aging, cultural factors, traditional Hmong methods, spiritual healers, herbalists, health services, Human, Traditions, us
Abstract(create) When compared to other refugee or immigrant groups in U.S. history, the federal Office of Refugee Resettlement has identified the Hmong as having the greatest difficulty adjusting to life in America. This is particularly true for the Hmong elders. By the time of their arrival in the United States, elder Hmong had endured numerous losses (lifestyle, key relationships, role identity) and threats to their cultural heritage. For many, this is compounded by language barriers, low socioeconomic status, lack of formal education, insufficient means of transportation, and social isolation. These are factors that have been linked to individuals who are at high risk for health disparities, yet health issues of elder Hmong (such as dementia) remain a neglected area of research. There are no statistics on the estimated prevalence of dementia in the Hmong American population. Gerdner and Tripp-Reimer (2001) are completing qualitative data analysis from a focused ethnographic study to explore the prevalence, perception, and care of elder Hmong Americans with chronic confusion (i.e., dementia). Researchers have found that the majority of Hmong Americans do not see the value of seeking Western medicine for the treatment of elders with chronic confusion and memory impairment. Overall, elder Hmong Americans usually limit their use of medical care to emergency situations. This chapter discusses many of the cultural factors that influence health behavior among Hmong in relation to aging in general and dementia in particular. Traditional Hmong methods of dealing with memory loss in elders such as the use of spiritual healers, herbalists, as well as other traditional treatment modalities are covered. The chapter then moves into a discussion of how to provide culturally appropriate services for Hmong elders and families. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved).
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