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J Gerontol Soc Work. 2007;48(3-4):439-55.

Filipinas as residential long-term care providers: influence of cultural values, structural inequity, and immigrant status on choosing this work.


This exploratory study investigated reasons why Filipinas in Hawai'i have become the primary caregivers of elders in residential care homes and if they thought their children would follow them in this profession. A random sample of 173 Filipina care home operators (CHO), of which 95% were first-generation immigrants, was interviewed using telephone survey methods. Data were collected: to profile caregivers; to identify motivations for becoming a care home operator; and to gauge if they or their children would continue in this line of work. The sample was composed of middle-aged Filipina CHO with training and experience in elder care who concurred that the job fit their cultural values. About a third also felt that this job was open to immigrants and helped them buy a house. Twenty percent or less felt discriminated against because of this work. Although half the sample felt that women were better caregivers than men, only 38% felt that caregiving was primarily the responsibility of women. Almost 90% planned to continue with this work, but only 12% said it was likely that their children or grandchildren would become CHO, supporting the notion that choosing this profession had less to do with cultural values and gender expectations than with economic opportunities available to the current cohort of CHO. Given these findings, Hawai'i's capacity to meet future residential long-term care needs is discussed.

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