701 N. Post Oak Rd., Ste. 330, Houston, TX 77024 | email@example.com|www.interfaithcarepartners.org
two families living in one house. A person suffering from a chronic illness willeither be moved to the house of the caregiver or the caregiver will move into thehome of the patient.A Care Team
member ought not be surprised if s/he finds three generationsliving in the same house. Living, sharing space in close quarters is culturallyquite acceptable. Issues of personal privacy are set aside for the sake of helpingthe family member who is in need.
Caring for an aged parent,
who is chronically ill, has dementia, Alzheimer’s, or
impairment will be perceived and described by many family caregivers as ablessing, something they are happy to give. Caregivers may deny their ownneeds and suffer from depression, experience guilt, shame, and feelings offailure if s/he fails to provide care.
Reliance on people or services outside of the family is viewed as shirking one’s
familial responsibility and putting undue burden on outsiders. Not only is itperceived as a burden on others, but the cultural norm is to avoid sharing familysecrets or embarrassing information with strangers. The cultural norm of notsharing family matters will be more ingrained as it pertains to mainstreamAmerican culture which is perceived as being too individualistic and uncaring,particularly towards the elderly.
Suggestions to overcome barriers
These cultural norms create barriers that may seem insurmountable to care teammembers, but as more and more Hispanic women are working outside the homerequests for assistance have risen. Any ministry or educational program that aims toassist a Hispanic caregiver to improve his or her quality of life and that of his/her lovedone must have three key components.
The first one is to identify a well-known, respected and
person in thechurch, i.e., priest, deacon, long time member, etc. This person may have a keyrole in communicating and disseminating the information about support services.This person will also be the one to introduce the Team member to the family.Before the Hispanic family accepts care from a stranger, an element of trust andunderstanding must be established.