Family and Community Assessment

Older adults could be living in a group setting with unrelated adults, in an extended family, with a spouse, or alone. The Filipino community monitors this subgroup through organizations. Highly acculturated older adults (who age in place) may be isolated from the Filipino community. An extended Filipino family may include non-biological members. Integration into the family system occurs slowly as individuals become known and trusted.

Within the Filipino community, children are taught filial responsibility and respect for older adults. A lack of support may be perceived when adult children have two or more jobs. A sense of social isolation may be interpreted by older adults as rejection by the family, lack of respect, lack of love and being unwanted. These assumptions evoke feelings of psychological neglect. Depending on resources, older adults may take periodic trips to the Philippines or visit adult children in various parts of the US. Older adults also make telephone calls and exchange videotapes in order to communicate with relatives and friends living outside the US.

Important Characteristics of Neighborhoods

Characteristics of urban or suburban neighborhoods that might be important to Filipino American older adults include:

  • • availability of public transportation
  • • presence of Asian businesses
  • • Asian or Filipino food products in the grocery stores
  • • proximity to a senior center
  • • nearby church and recreational facilities
  • • degree of integration of the neighborhood
  • • size of the Filipino American population
  • • crime rate
  • • air quality
  • • recreational facilities that offer activities and services popular with Filipino seniors such as dancing, picnics/barbeques, popularity contests followed by award and dinner/dances
  • • support from the neighborhood and community in the form of programs such as neighborhood watch.

Suburban living without these features, or living in an inter-racial household, may produce a sense of social and cultural isolation.