New Study Reveals Strong Support for Elder Care in Asian America

Filial piety, or “respect for one’s elders,” is often an assumed common value among Asian Americans. But it’s much more than a cultural stereotype, according to a new national study by AARP.

The study found Asian Americans as a group are almost twice as likely than the general population to care for their elders.

More than any racial or ethnic group, the vast majority of Asian Americans (73%) believe that caring for parents is expected of them. Just 49% of the total population see it as an obligation.

The study also found that 42 percent of Asian Americans, ages 45-55, were already helping to care for elders, nearly twice the number of the total population (22%)

“For us, we take it for granted that it’s part of our duties, the caregiving, that we don’t even know what (the issue) means in mainstream America,” Daphne Kwok, AARP vice president in charge of the Asian American community told NBC News.

The report found that Asian Americans were more likely to talk to doctors on behalf of seniors, do paperwork and bills, and provide financial support for their elders. The report also revealed that Asian Americans 45-55, expect the same from their children.

Kwok said the importance of the data is to help policy makers understand the needs of Asian Americans, both as recipients of care and as caregivers. The study is the first in a series of three over the next two months that will also cover economic security and health.