Health Care Alternatives for Aging Chinese in New York By Zibin GMO; 2000; Ithaca: Cornell University Press; 173 pages; soft cover
Ginseng and Aspirin follows elderly Chinese immigrants as they navigate their life and health in a New York community. It is a wellwritten ethnography by a medical anthropologist who shows the challenges immigrants face when using the complex U.S, health care system.
Using case studies, interviews, surveys, and participant observation, the author provides details about this community. Included are the differences between immigrants from mainland China and Taiwan, how and why the Chinese chose to immigrate to the U.S., and their use of traditional Chinese and Western medicine to manage their health.
Part 3 is a powerful section of the book, in which the author illustrates how older Chinese adults conceptualize aging and their health care problems, decision-making processes, and experiences accessing health care resources. This section demonstrates how much work is needed to reduce the health disparities faced by minority older adults.
This book is useful for all health care professionals working with older adults. It shows how the management of health care issues with older immigrants must include an understanding of culture, language, health beliefs, values, and resources.