Background With the increasing reliance on family care giving at the end of life, we need to know more about views, experiences and understandings among different cultural and ethnic groups that make up the UK population.
Aim This paper examines the perspectives of older South Asians living in East London on family care giving at the end of life.
Methods Five focus groups and 29 indepth, semistructured interviews were conducted with 55 older adults aged between 52 and 78 years. Participants from six South Asian ethnic groups were recruited from 11 local community organisations. Constructive grounded theory was used to analyse the data.
Findings Perspectives on family care giving at end of life among older South Asians living in East London are complex and seem to relate to inherited socio-cultural values. Value was placed on ‘honour’ within the family and upon the extended family and social network. Honour within the family was related to experiences of providing end of life care within marriage and the expectations of ‘filial responsibility’ in the provision of care. The extended family and the wider community were considered key in supporting the dying person and his or her immediate family.
Conclusion This study sheds light on family care practices and understandings of ‘family’ within South Asian minority groups that may help service providers and practitioners who have responsibility for health and social care in the community. Future research is needed to observe family care giving in ‘action’ among these ethnic minorities.
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