Journal of Cross-Cultural Gerontology

, Volume 16, Issue 2, pp 111–125 | Cite as

Culture and dementia: Accounts by family caregivers and health professionals for dementia-affected elders in South Korea

  • Yeon Kyung Chee
  • Sue E. Levkoff


With rapidly growing concerns about the highrates of dementing illness in Korea, this studypresents findings from in-depth qualitativeinterviews with fifteen family caregivers andhealth professionals on: (1) perceptions ofdementia among Korean family caregivers, (2) cultural influences on caregiving, and (3)status of the development and utilization offormal services for the older population withdementia in Korea. Practices of thetraditional familism are demonstrated in themultigenerational family where both materialsupport and respect for the aged are the socialnorm. Thus, providing informal care for ademented parent is expected in the context offulfilling filial responsibilities. Inassessing the current situation in Korea, thereis a lack of social services established by theKorean government for the older individuals,which can be attributed to the norm of parentalcaregiving. This cultural influence posessignificant challenges to Korean caregivers ofdementia-impaired elders.

Dementia Family caregiving Formal support Help-seeking Korean culture 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yeon Kyung Chee
    • 1
  • Sue E. Levkoff
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Social MedicineHarvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychiatryBrigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA

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