This article focuses on the role of religion and spirituality in dementia caregiving among Vietnamese refugee families. In-depth qualitative interviews were conducted with nine Vietnamese caregivers of persons with dementia, then tape-recorded, transcribed, and analyzed for emergent themes. Caregivers related their spirituality/religion to three aspects of caregiving: 1) their own suffering; 2) their motivations for providing care; and 3) their understanding of the nature of the illness. Key terms or idioms were used to articulate spiritual/religious dimensions of the caregivers' experience, which included sacrifice, compassion, karma, blessings, grace, and peace of mind. In their narratives, the caregivers often combined multiple strands of different religions and/or spiritualities: Animism, Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, and Catholicism. Case studies are presented to illustrate the relationship between religion/spirituality and the domains of caregiving. These findings have relevance for psychotherapeutic interventions with ethnically diverse populations.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geriatrics and Gerontology