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December 7, 2011

Access to caregiving can have barriers for immigrants

Welcome guest blogger Hanah Cho, a business reporter at The Sun. She attended the Gerontological Society of America conference as a 2011-2012 Metlife Foundation Journalists in Aging Fellows Program, a project of GSA and New America Media.

As the country grows older, caregiving will become an even bigger issue for families. In Maryland alone, the 65-and-over population grew by more than 18 percent in the past decade, according to the U.S. Census.

While all families face difficult and a wide range of choices when it comes to caregiving options, the state’s growing immigrant and ethnic populations could encounter additional barriers in accessing available services.

To find such evidence, Banghwa Lee Casado, an assistant professor at the University of Maryland School of Social Work, conducted a study of 146 Korean American caregivers in Maryland and northern Virginia to examine access barriers to using home- and community-based programs, such as respite care, adult day care, home health and transportation services.

Casado’s research found a good majority of her subjects had never used these services. A lack of awareness was the most cited reason for not accessing these services. For instance, more than eight out of 10 reported having no knowledge of respite care and caregiving support group.

 “We know anecdotally they have limited resources,” said Casado, who presented her findings at The Gerontological Society of America conference last month in Boston. “But without the data, we can’t show evidence there is unmeet need.”

Casado said her findings – which also could be broadly applied to other limited English populations – could help social agencies improve their education outreach and work with community groups focused on ethnic populations. In fact, Casado recently presented her findings to the Howard County Office of Aging and the Fairfax Area Agency on Aging.

Posted by Andrea Walker at 7:00 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: General Health

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About Picture of Health
Meredith CohnMeredith Cohn has been a reporter since 1991, covering everything from politics and airlines to the environment and medicine. A runner since junior high and a particular eater for almost as long, she tries to keep up on health and fitness trends. Her aim is to bring you the latest news and information from the local and national medical and wellness communities.

Andrea K. WalkerAndrea K. Walker knows it’s weird to some people, but she has a fascination with fitness, diseases, medicine and other health-related topics. She subscribes to a variety of health and fitness magazines and becomes easily engrossed in the latest research in health and science. An exercise fanatic, she’s probably tried just about every fitness activity there is. Her favorites are running, yoga and kickboxing. So it is probably fitting that she has been assigned to cover the business of healthcare and to become a regular contributor to this blog. Andrea has been at The Sun for nearly 10 years, covering manufacturing, retail , airlines and small and minority business. She looks forward to telling readers about the latest health news.

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