Issues in Dementia and Caregiving

Paid caregivers are frequently from different cultural background than the care recipient, which raises the possibility of problems in: communication, diet, and cultural gender taboos concerning body touching.

Providers who work with family caregivers from populations other than non-Hispanic white need to be aware of the following issues (Gallagher-Thompson, in Yeo & Gallagher-Thompson, 2006):

  1. Dementia may be defined as part of the normal aging process.
  2. Cultural expectations that care for elders be provided by family members (e.g., filial piety) rather than formal services are common in many cultures.
  3. There may be many family members who are involved in decision making for elders with dementia; they may be extended family members and/or live in another country; there may be differences between those who are less and more acculturated, so patience is needed with the process.
  4. Family members may be reluctant to admit distress related to caregiving.