Social Support System for Aging Adults

Social Support System for Aging Adults

The culture of a person is instrumental in his/her perception of health, illness and the social support during old age. Such is the case as evidenced in the Asian-Americans whose cultural values are of the essence for their perception of health, illness and social support during old age. In essence, this discussion aims at looking into the Asian-American culture to determine its impact on their health, illness and developmental changes like aging.

To begin with, individuals of the Asian-American culture have a distinct perception of health and disease. A case in point is the tendency of Asian-Americans to express their displeasure with the health care professionals’ attempts to involve them in the plan of care despite their lack of fluency in speaking. Such a doctor-patient relationship is unpopular among the Asian-Americans who prefer doctors being in authority and not in partnership with them (Lim, Baik, & Ashing-Giwa, 2012). The ramification of this cultural value is that the Asian-Americans are less likely to visit hospitals with the partnership model of care and thus their health deteriorates very fast as compared to the White-Americans.

Lastly, identification of the social support system of the Asian-American aged persons is also worthwhile in the study of this cultural group. According to Poulin and colleagues (2012), the primary source of social support for the aging persons of the Asian-American culture is family members. The family plays a central role to the well-being of an Asian elderly individual. Such is the case given that filial piety, which holds the children responsible for maintaining family harmony, regulates the attitudes towards family-based support. As such, adult children (oldest sons and daughters-in-law) have the obligation of supporting their older parents.

In closure, indeed, the Asian-American culture plays a significant role in their perception of health, illness and social support during old age. As such, medical professionals must consider this as they attend to these persons so that they adhere to a culturally sensitive type of care.


Lim, J., Baik, O. M., & Ashing-Giwa, K. T. (2012). Cultural Health Beliefs and Health Behaviors in Asian American Breast Cancer Survivors: A Mixed-Methods Approach. Oncology Nursing Forum39(4), 388-397.

Poulin, J., Deng, R., Ingersoll, T., Witt, H., & Swain, M. (2012). Perceived Family and Friend Support and the Psychological Well-Being of American and Chinese Elderly Persons. Journal Of Cross-Cultural Gerontology27(4), 305-317. doi:10.1007/s10823-012-9177-y