Social integration of Chinese senior immigrants: How health-care symposium can help Chinese grandpas and grandmas lead a more fulfilled life

by Francois Pan on April 15, 2015 - 3:09pm

Social integration of Chinese senior immigrants: How health-care symposium can help Chinese grandpas and grandmas lead a more fulfilled life


News summary: Some residential care seniors could be living independently, says B.C. Seniors Advocate Isobel Mackenzie written by CBC News on April 8th 2015


In the news article Some residential care seniors could be living independently, says B.C. Seniors Advocate Isobel Mackenzie, a report led by the renown B.C. seniors’ advocate Isobel Mackenzie was brought up to the public attention. The research report conducted by B.C.’s Seniors Advocate Placement, Drug and Therapy… We Can Do Better suggests that a considerable proportion of elderly seniors receiving residential care could live better independently. The research shows that the restricted environment and unduly applied safety measures in residential care facilities can worsen seniors’ living experience. This report based on the health assessment records of 55,000 B.C. residents who receive either home care or residential care reveals that only 4 per cent of patients receiving residential care are diagnosed with psychotic disorder but an astonishing 33 per cent of the patients are taking prescribed antipsychotic medication. Similarly, 50 per cent of these patients are being prescribed antidepressant drugs when only half of them are actually depression patients. In reaction to the results of this report, B.C.’s Minister of Health Terry Lake replied that the government is not surprised by the findings of this research, and the authorities are working hard to address these issues.

This research report conducted by Mackenzie revealed two major issues buried under the misplacement of elders in Canada and their overuse of prescribed medications. In my opinion, the seniors who are capable of a decent degree of self-care but who still chose to live in a residential care facility are people deprived of social interactions in their old communities. In order to decrease the number of misplaced seniors living in residential care, actions have to be taken to improve their involvement in community activities. Also, the misuse and the overuse of medications are potentially consequences of either the lack of basic self-care knowledge or poor mental condition due to the lack of communications and social interactions. That is why there is an essential need in improving the community involvement of elderly people in Canada and their knowledge of basic self-care methods.


Answers to volunteer guiding questions:

I will be organizing the health-care symposium with a Chinese medical school student. The people attending the symposium will be majorly senior Chinese immigrants in the South Shore region. This symposium will be organized as an independent project from other organizations. However, we will be receiving help from Sino-Québec de la Rive-Sud to obtain necessary information of Chinese immigrants living in the South Shore region and of the possible convenient sites for the symposium.

I think there is a need to volunteer with the senior Chinese immigrants in Québec because they often live in social isolation with limited information on the welfare that they are entitled to and on the proper methods of self-care. The cultural barrier that most Chinese grandpas and grandmas encounter due to the change in language and customs render the local social and cultural activities inaccessible to them. Just as explained in the news article, the lack of social interactions often pushes elderly people into residential care facilities and/or into an overuse of medications. In order to prevent these situations from happening, the social involvement of elderly Chinese in South Shore has to be improved by engaging but also beneficial means.

I will be organizing with my partner a small scale symposium dedicated in improving the senior Chinese immigrants’ knowledge on self-care. More specifically, this symposium will help them to learn more about the proper methods to prevent diseases frequently encountered by elderly people such as diabetes, osteoarthritis, Parkinson’s disease, dementia, high blood pressure etc. The symposium will be organized in a very interactive form with many entertaining elements. At the end of the activity there will be also many contact information on how they can participate in similar activities of their interest. The goal of this activity is to leave the aged grandparents more informed on their health conditions and more involved with the big community they live in.


Firstly, the detailed list of the core contents that will be presented during the symposium will be determined before May 8th. Along with that, the location, the date and the programs of the meeting will all be included in a finished welcome document. The contacts of the senior Chinese residents living in South Shore will be obtained with the help of Sino-Québec de la Rive-Sud. The meeting itself will take place after May 8th during the summer vocation with possible modification on the date and the location according to the convenience of the guests.

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A boy who recently discovered that kindness is more important than anything~