NCC18 Presenter: Randa Abdelrahim

Denise

NCC18 Presenter: Randa Abdelrahim

Denise
Randa will present her session, "The experiences of immigrant caregivers of color in the United States: A review of the literature on the impact of race, culture, and religion" on Friday, November 9, at 5 p.m. Randa's session is part of our Culture and Diversity Track.

Research has shown that family members are doing much of the caregiving for a loved one with disabilities across the life course. Understanding caregiving requires a comprehensive investigation of multiple social constructs including race/ethnicity, culture, and religion. In general, research examining the experiences of caregivers of color is scarce. More specifically, the experiences of caregivers who are immigrant in the United States is sporadic and often inconsistent.

Existing research focuses on immigrant caregivers of one ethnic or one linguistic background, which limits our understanding of positive or negative impact of caregiving across diverse families. In addition, trends of services utilization by immigrant caregivers of color requires further investigation. Therefore, this presentation provides a comprehensive perspective of the experiences of immigrant caregivers in the United States who identify as Hispanic, Asian, or Arab using results from a systematic literature review. The literature review consists of articles identified through a search of electronic databases, such as PubMed and EBSCO, using different combinations of terms related to immigration, race, culture, disability, and caregiving. Articles included are those published in English, in the United States, and in peer-reviewed journals between the years 2000 and 2017.

Results consist of six themes emerged from a content analysis of the articles. The themes cover the following topics: 1) communication with healthcare providers, such as the use of medical jargons and lack of interpreters, 2) cultural understanding of disability, such as the difference between defining disability in the United States and in caregivers' country of origin, 3) "Advocacy" as a foreign term, 4) positive and negative impacts of caring for a person with disability, 5) gender roles in the family, and 6) the impact of spirituality and religion. These themes provide a comprehensive understanding of the universal experiences of immigrant caregivers. It also provides means to understand how caregivers may remain their best and cope with the demands of their role.
"Attendees will learn during the presentation about some of the barriers immigrant caregivers usually encounter while accessing formal services. Often, these barriers are overlooked by the system and may increase the burden faced by these caregivers. Attendees will also learn about why caregiving is important for immigrant families of color and how culture and religion often play roles in defining the meaning of caregiving and coping strategies during difficult times."

Randa is PhD candidate in disability studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She is an immigrant moved to the United States in 2013. She has a bachelor's degree in occupational therapy and a master's degree in vision rehabilitation. Randa has an experience working with caregivers of children with disabilities. Currently, she works as a research assistant and as a teaching assistant at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her research focus on family support across minority groups and the intersectionality of race, culture, gender, immigration, and caregiving. Randa's research and work is inspired by her mother and grandmother. In 2013, Randa supported her grandmother during doctors' visits and therapy sessions and in running some errands. Recently her role changed as she provides respite for her mother who is now the primary caregiver for her grandmother. Randa considers caregiving as a continuous story entrenched in the lives of women in her family and culture. From caring for children with disabilities to caring for an aging parent or spouse, women are the ones who mostly shape the meaning of caregiving. As such, Randa considers herself as an advocate for women who are caregivers across the life course.

To learn more about Randa, watch our video discussion about finding our best, which aired as part for our Virtual Caregiving Summit in May.

https://youtu.be/UDOREYYgBRc