CHICAGO, Dec. 30 (UPI) -- Older Chinese adults living in the United States may be at risk of maltreatment, researchers say.
Study leader Dr. XinQi Dong of Rush University Medical Center in Chicago collaborated with a community group called the Chinese American Service League to determine whether elderly Chinese would be willing -- despite cultural sensitivities concerning family harmony, honor and privacy -- to discuss neglect and abuse.
"Instead of shying away in our focus group interviews, older adults were vocal about their interests in these topics and their desire to find out proven ways to improve the situation, including how to report cases of elder mistreatment," Dong says in a statement.
The study participants said they would only go to the local community service center for assistance -- not a medical doctor or the police -- unless it was a criminal matter. Even then, many were reluctant to report a case out of shame or fear of retaliation.
The study, published in the Journal of Aging and Health, noted a variety of disturbing accounts, including cases of neglect and verbal abuse. There were also cases of adult children who deceived parents out of financial holdings, food stamps or property.
Dong said 39 Chinese seniors participated in the focus groups.