Why do research on immigrant seniors?
Immigrant seniors are one of the most vulnerable groups in the process of immigration and settlement. Immigrant seniors face a variety of challenges including social isolation, language barriers, stigma, inter-generational conflicts, and health issues.
The literature highlights the lack of research on services to immigrant seniors and the need to better understand the gaps in the services that they receive. The IWYS seniors’ research team is committed to advancing useful research that can help us better respond to immigrant seniors needs.
We need to address the large age range spanning two generations from 60 to 100-plus years, seniors with widely varying degrees of mental and physical disabilities, ageist stereotypes and ethnic, cultural, and linguistic barriers (Kadawaki et al. 2016. Our future, seniors, socialization and health).
Ontario has a significantly higher percentage of seniors who do not speak English or French (6.4%) compared with Canada as a whole (4.4%) (Bernhard et al. 2010, Meeting the Needs of Immigrants Throughout the Life Cycle, Region of Peel Immigration Discussion Paper).
Lack of Autonomy
Service providers need to offer flexible programming in terms of hours and location so that seniors can get transportation to the programs from their families. (McDonald et al. 2001, A Study on the Settlement Related Needs of Newly Arrived Immigrant Seniors in Ontario).
The Seniors' Research Team
Dr. Nancy Mandell is a Professor of Sociology and Women’s Studies at York University. Her research and teaching interests include gender, aging, intergenerational relations, and migrant settlement.
Recently she has published articles and book chapters on rising income inequality in Canada, economic insecurity among senior immigrant families, intergenerational transnational exchanges in later life families, and critiques of aging.
Janice is a PHD candidate in Sociology at York University. Her research interests include ethnicity, symbolic belonging, race and racism, identity formation, ethnic student organizations, and post-secondary institutions. Janice looks at strategies of group identity formation, cultural or ethnic retention, and inclusion within these organizations. Janice completed her undergraduate degree in Sociology and English with Honours at McMaster University.
Jana Borras is currently a PHD candidate in the Faculty of Graduate Studies: Sociology at York University. She graduated with High Distinction from the University of Toronto with an honours BA, with a double major in sociology and women and gender studies. Her research interests centre on precarious status, commodification of labour, transnationalism, and immigration.
The seniors’ research team is currently finalizing a three-month literature review and is preparing for the analysis of the literature.