This chapter focuses on potential new lines of inquiry that emerge from the synthesis of research in ethnic geography, urban studies, race/ethnicity, and age/life course. It emphasizes the importance of integrating work from ethnic geography into studies of minority older adults and their neighborhoods. There has been a long tradition of work on the role of neighborhoods for minority older adults, ranging from their health-protective elements to their challenges for older adults. Research on neighborhood context for minority older adults could benefit from an expanded view of age in studies of place. Research on minority older adults and neighborhoods could also benefit from an expanded focus on place in studies of age, namely integrating research from ethnic geography. Integrating research from multiple levels of context, ranging from cross-national migration to attachment to place, opens a new vista of inquiry on minority aging and neighborhoods.
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- Go to chapter: Age in Place and Place in Age: Advancing the Inquiry on Neighborhoods and Minority Older AdultsSource:
This chapter considers aging in place both within larger community and societal contexts as well as through description of the unique experiences of older Latinos or Hispanics, African Americans, Asian Americans, Native Americans, and Pacific Islanders. In addition to racial and ethnic status, aging in place may also be influenced by changes in longevity, family demographics, caregiving, and household structures. Most considerations of aging in place emphasize the importance of the fit between the physical environment and the individual to successfully age. The recent addition to the model of the individual life course and historical change now offers a means to recognize three particularly influential components of aging in place relevant for African Americans, Latinos, Asian Americans, Native Americans, and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islanders: social capital, the impact of the social environment, and acculturation. The characteristics of assisted-living residences or assisted-living facilities vary across the United States.
This chapter focuses on informal caregiving among minority groups. It also focuses on context of caregiving and discuss the various specific challenges caregivers of minority older adults face. The chapter examines some of the specific caregiving interventions tailored for families of color and discuss the implications for practice, policy, and research. Medical advances and greater longevity point to healthier and longer lives for many, but both formal and informal caregiving remain a concern as individuals age and develop conditions that require care. Caregivers are often able to realize the positive aspects of caregiving when they are not struggling with financial or social support challenges. Despite the vast literature on caregiving in general, research pertaining to the needs and experiences of racial/ethnic minority older adults and their caregivers is limited, particularly for American Indians, Pacific Islanders, specific Asian American and Latino subgroups, and religious minorities groups such as Muslim Americans.
This chapter discusses various factors that influence cognitive aging in racial/ethnic minority groups. It presents evidence regarding the relationships between cognition and self-rated health, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, and mortality. The chapter explains the role of language and bilingualism as it relates to minority cognitive aging. To advance the current knowledge regarding cognitive aging in minorities, appropriate research designs are vitally important. Cross-group research has generated literature on cognitive aging in racial/ethnic minority groups. The cognitive aging advantages of improved educational quality associated with desegregation appear to have been diminished by negative aspects of the school environment, such as racism experienced by African American students. The inclusion of racial/ethnic minorities in cognitive aging research challenges scientists to use appropriate research designs and broaden research questions by examining within-group variability to better describe the diverse aging population.
This chapter provides an overview of recent population estimates, trends, and projections of older adults, with a specific focus on minority populations. It explains aging trends among several specific minority groups and discusses their different profiles in general demographic terms. The chapter focuses on older immigrants from Latin America and Asia, although there are significant streams of immigration from Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and other regions of the world. Minority elders represent the fastest growing segment of the older population in the United States, and as a result, the older adult population is becoming racially and ethnically more diverse. In addition to race and ethnic minority classifications, persons immigrating to the United States may be considered a minority group. The sex ratio among minority elders differs substantially from that of the total population, due to gender imbalances in immigration patterns and variability in the female survivorship advantage across groups.
- Go to chapter: Does Health Care Quality Contribute to Disparities? An Examination of Aging and Minority Status Issues in America
Does Health Care Quality Contribute to Disparities? An Examination of Aging and Minority Status Issues in America
This chapter focuses on the changing health care policy climate. These changes can either reduce current barriers or create new challenges to health care. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) has reformed the Medicare payment system and incorporated the voice of older minority adults in shaping the performance of their local health care delivery system. Health care access inequity and policy-based remedies have historic roots in U.S. civil rights legislation. The civil rights of older adults and their access to health care were resolved through Medicare. ACA policy creates an opportunity to reframe health disparities research as a consumer issue. However, the terms health disparities, older minorities, and barriers to care are not usually viewed as consumer issues. Standardization of health care practice creates research opportunities for social gerontologists to evaluate policy and its impact on health care access disparities.
This chapter provides definitions and scope of the problem of eliminating disparities in end-of-life (EOL) care. It provides a translation of the theories and research that can be used to guide social work practice with minority older adults. The chapter suggests that when working with minority elderly, the psychosocial needs of the patient and family become even more critical in decisions that may affect the timing of death. The term end-of-life care traditionally refers to the last phases of an illness before death; however, experiences across the earlier course of the illness are critical to shaping the anticipation, expectations, and preparedness for care during the terminal phases of illness. In terms of EOL care decision making and the disparity in hospice utilization across racial groups, Critical Race Theory (CRT) offers insight for looking at race relations in a broader context than the traditional perspective.
Scholarship on ethnic minority families and aging has wrestled implicitly or explicitly with the understanding of a theoretical dichotomy not uncommon in the field of sociology as a whole: the role that culture plays as either an epiphenomenon and/or as an integral element of the social structure. Interpretations of that basic structural versus cultural duality may derive from broader ideological perspectives, but they may also reflect a superficial framing of the concept of culture in scholarly analyses of ethnic minority families. This chapter presents a review of ethnographic literature on minority families and aging that is grounded in both racial/ethnic and feminist perspectives. It discusses three major topics that emerged as most salient in recent ethnographic studies: the concepts of familism, family obligations, and filial piety; the role of living arrangements, urban/rural space, and the neighborhood context on family experiences; and intergenerational relations, health, and caregiving.
This book provides a multidisciplinary compendium of research pertaining to aging among diverse racial and ethnic populations in the United States. It focuses on paramount public health, social, behavioral, and biological concerns as they relate to the needs of older minorities. The book is divided into four parts covering psychology, public health/biology, social work, and sociology of minority gang. The book focuses on the needs of four major race and ethnic groups: Asian/Pacific Islander, Hispanic/Latino, black/African American, and Native American. It also includes both inter- and intra-race and ethnic group research for insights regarding minority aging. The chapters focus on an array of subject areas that are recognized as being critical to understanding the well-being of minority elders. These include psychology (cognition, stress, mental health, personality, sexuality, religion, neuroscience, discrimination); medicine/nursing/public health (mortality and morbidity, disability, health disparities, long-term care, genetics, nutritional status, health interventions, physical functioning); social work (aging, caregiving, housing, social services, end-of-life care); and sociology (Medicare, socioeconomic status (SES), work and retirement, social networks, context/neighborhood, ethnography, gender, demographics).
- Go to chapter: Informal Social Support Networks of African American, Latino, Asian American, and Native American Older Adults
Informal Social Support Networks of African American, Latino, Asian American, and Native American Older Adults
This chapter provides a selective review of research on social support among older African American, Hispanic, Asian American, and Native American adults. It focuses on social support as a dependent variable in relation to different sources and types of aid provided to older African American, Hispanic, Asian American, and Native American adults. The chapter highlights the findings in three specific areas: marriage and romantic relationships, extended family and non-kin as sources of informal social support, and black-white differences in informal social support. Informal social support networks are critical for individuals of all ages but especially for older adults who are dealing with difficult life circumstances. Older African Americans depend on informal social support networks of family and friends for assistance in emergency situations, as well as for help with various tasks of daily life. Elderly Asians often utilize kin and social support networks for a variety of reasons.