The Conceptualization and Experience of Aging in the United States
This chapter interviews aging Hmong Americans who express concern over their dependency upon others in their old age, social isolation, sedentary living, and the lack of financial autonomy, all challenges extant in American life but virtually nonexistent in Laos, where small agrarian villages provide a practical, collective means of caring for the elderly. The chapter reports on a portion of qualitative findings from a larger ethnographic study whose overall purpose was to explore the conceptualization and experience of aging, identify primary health concerns of elder Hmong Americans, identify informal and formal care structures, and explore major issues of concern identified by caregivers. The findings reported here thus focus on the conceptualization and experience of aging.
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