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Handbook of Social Work in Health and Aging$
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Barbara Berkman and Sarah D'Ambruoso

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780195173727

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195173727.001.0001

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Immigrant and Refugee Elders

Immigrant and Refugee Elders

(p.205) 17 Immigrant and Refugee Elders
Handbook of Social Work in Health and Aging

Ailee Moon

Siyon Rhee

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses social work practice with immigrant and refugee elders. The elderly immigrant population in the United States is becoming increasingly diverse based on racial and ethnic background, reasons for immigration, age at time of immigration, length of residence in the United States, and English proficiency. The well-being and process of adjustment of immigrant elders is affected by their immigration histories, cultural norms and values, and socioeconomic backgrounds. The chapter discusses the role of family and caregiving with immigrant elders, emphasizing both the importance of traditional family values and the impact on family issues of living in a different culture. It also considers mental health issues and psychological distress, service utilization and barriers to service use, and implications for social work practice with immigrant and refugee elders. It emphasizes the need for social workers to be culturally competent and to recognize both intragroup and intergroup differences within this population.

Keywords:   aging, elderly immigrants, immigrant elders, refugee elders, social work practice

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