Ethnic Variations in Care of Older Adults in Canada

  • Author / Creator
    Yoshino, Satomi
  • With population aging, the ethnic diversity among older adults in Canada is of great significance as the main source of immigrants to Canada has shifted from Europe to Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. Researchers have pointed out the need to use an ethnno-cultural lens in order to address social and health inequalities. Ethnic diversity and multiculturalism in Canadian society highlight the importance of understanding needs of ethnically diverse older adults and their caregivers to prevent marginalzation of certain groups of older adults. While prior research confirms that there are ethnic differences in beliefs about and attitudes toward family caregiving for older adults, there appeared to be a lack of evidence about ethnic variations in actual caregiving behaviors. The objective of this research is to increase understanding about ethnicity and care in Canada through an examination of ethnic variations in the family and friend care context and in access to health services. The data used for this study were from Statistics Canada’s 2002 General Social Survey on Aging and Social Support linked with selected modules of the 2001 Canadian Community Health Survey. The statistical analyses included multinomial logistic regression, logistic regression, and Tobit models. Overall, findings from this research pointed out that regardless of ethnicity, family and friend caregivers manage care responsibilities among a small number of care network members. Ethnicity was not a strong predictor of care network types, but it influenced the interface between family and friend care and formal care as well as the use of health services. Findings indicated that there may be ethnic-specific social capital that cannot be explained by care network structure, which influenced older adults’ use of health services. These findings point to the need for futrther research to better understand ethnicity and social capital for caregiving. As well, the findings of this research highlight the need for enhancing support for family and friend caregivers. As the Canadian population continues to age, public programs to help sustain their care networks are crucial, particularly as many older adults have only a few people who provide care to them.

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  • Graduation date
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Doctor of Philosophy
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    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
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  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
  • Department
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Dosman, Donna (Human Ecology)
    • Keating, Norah (Human Ecology)
    • Northcott, Herbert (Sociology)
    • Willimas, Allison (McMaster University)
    • Lai, Daniel (Social Work, University of Calgary)