Keeping it in the family: When Mexican American older adults choose not to use home healthcare services

Janice D. Crist, Patricia Speaks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Mexican American elders are more functionally impaired and chronically ill than Anglo elders, yet use home care services less. The purpose of this study was to describe the cultural norms that influence Mexican American elders and their caregivers not to use home care services. A secondary analysis using descriptive ethnography was conducted. Thematic analysis was used to analyze Mexican American elders' (N = 4) and family caregivers' (N = 3) individual interviews. The overall finding was the category, "We Take Care of our Own!" This finding represented how Mexican American families faced increasing needs of elders at home in the context of their cultural norm of familism. The cultural findings, "Taking Care of Our Own!" were similar to those by elders who had chosen to use home care services in a previous study. Recognizing the importance of this norm, which is central to the culture, may shape interdisciplinary interventions that support traditional Mexican American family values, yet bring skilled or supportive help into the home. Interventions to increase the use of home care services by Latino families can contribute solutions to the national agenda to reduce healthcare disparities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)282-290
Number of pages9
JournalHome Healthcare Nurse
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Community and Home Care
  • Advanced and Specialized Nursing


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