Culturally Appropriate Care Planning for Vietnamese Culture
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Originally a tribe living in "Giao Chi,” Vietnam was divided into Cochin China (South Vietnam), Tonkin (North Vietnam), and Annam (Central Vietnam). Vietnam's history is characterized by several dynasties and the geographic movement of imperial power throughout the North and South.
The ability to sustain the traditional culture of care has changed immensely, as Vietnamese families adapt and assimilate into Canadian society. For example, expectations to acquire an education, the need for both spouses to work to provide the necessities of life, combined with the desire by younger or Canadian‐born children to have greater autonomy, have reduced the willingness and availability of families to provide care, as is still expected in Vietnam. Older FCGs may not experience the loss of tradition to the same extent as younger generations who may be under more pressure to seek outside help to manage their responsibilities. Such circumstances put adult‐children caregivers in conflict with the expectations of aged and ill parents and with what is possible within Canadian society.
In the United States, Vietnamese may use a combination of traditional and Western health care practices. Some Vietnamese, especially new arrivals, may treat illness with self-care, self-medication, and herbal medicines. Some may choose traditional and natural remedies because of affordability and seek Western health care services only if traditional methods fail (Healy, 1997; LaBorde, 1996; Nowak, 1998, 2005). Other research has shown that the use of traditional methods could also be associated with living in rural areas prior to immigration rather than length of time in the United States.
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