Chinese Family Caregivers of Older Adults: A Mismatch of Their Needs and Services in the Community


Aging in place, an option of staying in one’s home as one ages, is assumed to meet the preferences of older persons; however, few studies report on the assessment of older persons’ quality of life and involvement of family caregivers that enables it. This raises questions about the agency of family caregivers, and more specifically of those who are immigrants or identify as ethnic minorities.

Our study explored how Chinese family caregivers’ (CFCs) access health and social services in their community.

This qualitative study used a critical realism lens to analyze the data generated from the individual interviews conducted with a sample of 28 CFCs between August 2020 to June 2021 in the Greater Toronto Area, Canada.

A mismatch for available resources meeting CFCs and older adults’ needs exist, which was most prominent when CFCs were responsible for the care of their older loved ones who resided in the same households. Further, access to health and social services were dependent on policies that matched their financial circumstances, and to availability of culturally acceptable care.

We posited that a mismatch of culturally appropriate services situated CFCs to tolerate increasing caregiving burdens as their older loved ones transitioned in their illness trajectories. To extend the agency of CFCs, we recommend training interprofessional teams to ideas of cultural reflexivity.

We advocate for better interprofessional care, which extend CFCs’ agency beyond their households to levels encompassing the community, policy, and society.

Author Information
Charlotte Lee, Ryerson University, Canada
Doris Leung, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong
Jason Wong, Southlake Regional Health Centre, Canada
Lisa Seto Nielsen, York University, Canada
Daphne S.K. Cheung, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong
Sepali Guruge, Ryerson University, canada
Sammy Y.J. Chu, Ryerson University, Canada
Paige Wen, Ryerson University, Canada

Paper Information
Conference: AGen2022
Stream: Transport

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Posted by James Alexander Gordon