Exploring experience and perspectives of foreign-born direct care workers in dementia care: Accounts of Korean American personal care aides caring for older Korean Americans with dementia symptoms

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Abstract

This focus group study explored experience of Korean American personal care aides caring for older Korean Americans with dementia symptoms. Personal care aides described dementia caregiving as challenging, demanding and stressful, yet they cared for their clients with love and affection, particularly with jeong (i.e., a Korean cultural concept of love, affection, sympathy, and bondage). They learned about dementia mostly through their caregiving experience and expressed their need and strong desire to learn more about dementia. They felt for family struggle and observed family conflict and filial obligation. They advocated the value of personal care aides’ involvement in dementia care. This study revealed a pressing need for dementia training for personal care aides and called for an outreach effort to recruit and train direct care workers with potential of providing culturally competent care for traditionally underserved ethnic minorities.

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