The specific cultural background of older migrants does not appear to determine their care wishes and needs. The mutual diversity is great, which means that wishes and needs are very personal and partially depend on where and how someone has lived.
Nina Conkova (Leyden Academy on Vitality and Ageing) and Marina Jonkers (Knowledge Center for Healthcare Innovation, Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences) were interviewed on this matter by Movisie, a knowledge institute for a coherent approach to social issues.
Every person is different
The one-sided stereotypical image of older migrants – on which policy is still being made – is incorrect, according to the above mentioned researchers. This also applies to care for older people, where it is still often assumed that culture-specific facilities are much better for older people with a migration background, because this would take more into account their specific wishes and needs. Nina: “We saw, on the other hand, that too much is being based on uniformity and stereotypical assumptions, while the group of elderly people is very diverse. This in turn leads to unrealistic expectations about specific care for father or mother, which is not there. It simply remains a Dutch setting with a few culture-specific adjustments, such as halal food or a room that is decorated differently. And that doesn’t work. It is about personal attention and customisation. Every person is different.”
Sushi in the nursing home
The article is illustrated by striking examples and striking statements, such as the Moroccan Muslim who indicated that he would later like to be able to continue practicing his religious habits in a nursing home, but would also like to eat sushi. Or the Turkish gentleman with dementia who visited a culture-specific daytime activity where people were divided into groups according to nationality. The man was assigned to the Turkish group, but always went for a walk to the elderly who were born in the Netherlands. He turned out to have been the owner of a nightclub and had always lived among the people of Rotterdam. A wise lesson for the coordinator of the daytime activities, who from now on asks further during the intake about how someone’s life was and what someone likes are.
ILC the Netherlands/Leyden Academy on Vitality and Ageing
Living a Fulfilling Life at 90: Interview with Keiko Higuchi, Japan’s Leading Social Commentator
Ms. Masako Osako, Executive Director of ILC Global Alliance Secretariat, recently sat down with Ms. Keiko Higuchi, President (rijicho) of a Japan-based NPO, Women's Association for the Better Aging Society (WABAS) and a leading social commentator and popular author in Japan. At 90 years old, Higuchi has recently published a new book titled, “Hold on! I am still alive and thriving at age 90,” which is a sequel to her enormously popular book published in 2019, “Ready, set, go! You are now becoming an “old-old person.”
15 March 2023
ILC-India organises Online Essay Competition to celebrate World Women’s Day 2023
To celebrate World Women’s Day on 8th March, ILC-I organized an online Essay competition exclusively for older adults where they expressed their thoughts on the topic titled “An inspiring lady who has influenced my life!”
A real picture of a society where almost 30% of people are aged 65+: The current state of older adults in Japan
This report shows the real life of older adults in Japan. Their labour participation rate, financial assets, relationships with neighbours are described first, and then systems such as pension, medical and long-term care are being explained with numbers and figures.