Comparative study of carers of older people with dementia in Scotland and Korea
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This study aims to explore Scottish and Korean carers‘ attitudes towards the diagnosis of dementia in their relative, family care, community care and to residential care in Scotland and Korea respectively, also under examination was the origin of different carers‘ attitudes between Scotland and Korea. The dominant argument between previous Western and Eastern comparative studies on attitudes, has been that culture made the difference. In other words, the cultural factor was recognised as a main determinant of attitudes towards a diagnosis of dementia, towards social services at home and residential care in Asian societies, including Korea. This thesis starts with the question: Does culture really explain the phenomenon of Asian people‘s attitudes towards dementia? Indeed the tradition of filial piety has been changing and now seems to be rather weak in modern Asian society. In particular, contemporary Korea is modernised and westernised, as a result, many older people live apart from their adult children and their nuclear families. This study asserts that Confucianism is a much less significant factor than differences in social policy. In other words, this thesis focuses not on Confucianism, but on the impact of institutions on carers‘ attitudes towards dementia. Finally, this thesis explores this argument through the following research question: What are the origins of different carers‘ attitudes between Scotland and Korea? In order to develop this argument, this thesis has carried out interviews with 14 Scottish carers and 28 Korean carers; and adopted a qualitative approach that would yield a rich exploration and deeper understanding of the different attitudes between carers in Scotland and Korea. Based on this data, this thesis examines carers‘ attitudes towards the diagnosis of dementia (chapter 3), family care (chapter 4), community care (chapter 5), and residential care (chapter 6). Each chapter analyses similarities and differences in attitudes in Scotland and Korea from the point of view of culture or the social welfare system. To conclude, these findings explain that the origin of carers‘ attitudes in this study is based on social policy rather than culture. In other words, the Korean carers‘ attitudes and behaviours towards diagnosis and long-term care services are rooted in the residual welfare system rather than Confucianism. Likewise, this study found that Confucianism has a less significant influence than social policy on carers‘ attitudes towards the utilisation of health care, community care and residential care. Unlike previous studies on East Asia, that argue for a cultural explanation, this study of Korean carers demonstrates that the residual welfare system is more persuasive than the cultural approach derived from Confucianism . This study contributes to the comparative study of Scotland and Korea as well as being a qualitative study in Korea. In addition, it will provide a new perspective on attitudes towards studies on East Asia. Moreover, the study will suggest political implications through the exploration of the carers‘ attitudes towards dementia diagnosis, social services at home and residential care. It also can provide lessons on dementia and dementia care from different experiences in Scotland and Korea.