Thursday, May 31, 2018

Older and Younger Adult Immigrants Adjusting to American Life (Research, Video 2:21)

Much has been said about immigrants in America. This post addresses older and younger adult immigrants who have settled here in recent years. Many older adults followed their adult children here, not knowing if they would ever find a sense of home that they left behind in a foreign country.

This older adult Chinese immigration study based on 21intensive interviews and 107 surveys reveals that they find a sense of home through comfortable living conditions and being around family members. Unfortunately, they struggle with not knowing the English language. This inability to communicate well with those outside the family can be unsettling for them as they try to maintain more independence from relying on their adult children. Social policies toward older adults, such as Medicare, Medicaid, low-income housing, and social services play important roles in easing their transition and quality of life a foreign land.

As this video demonstrates, young adult immigrants can build service bonds with older adults who are not immigrants. This kind of interaction could lead to jobs in the senior care field. For the past three years, adult immigrant students from the Crystal Learning Center have been visiting Covenant Retirement Village in Golden Valley, Michigan. In the usual win-win spirit of good service, students improve, not only their language skills, but also their knowledge about life in America from experts born and raised here.

The memory quilt in the photo above captures students' unique memories about a place or a person they want to memorialize on their small square on the quilt. Guess what immigrant students find most incredible about the older residents born in America? This video below has that answer.

Frances Shani Parker, Author
Becoming Dead Right: A Hospice Volunteer in Urban Nursing Homes is available in paperback and e-book editions in America and other countries at online and offline booksellers.
Hospice and Nursing Homes Blog

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