alexa Abstract | The implications of occupational deprivation experienced by elderly female immigrants

Diversity & Equality in Health and Care
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Canada’s immigration policy favours family reunification, and many elderly parents follow their adult children into new lives in Canada. In particular, the population of elderly immigrant women living with adult children is growing rapidly. Todate there are few theoretical models to guide research in this area although this subgroup ofimmigrants has been identified as having unique characteristics that warrant urgent research attention.The limited research that exists links immigration, acculturation and communication problems with negative physical and psychological health for immigrant women. One paradigm that holds promise for understanding and responding to the health needs of older immigrant women is that of occupational science. Occupational science proposes that ‘humanengagement is integral to everyday living as people of all ages plan, structure and use their time doingthe things they need and want to do’. Occupational deprivation is a subconstruct of occupational scienceand refers to situations in which people’s needs for meaningful and health-promoting occupations go unmet or are institutionally denied. Currently we do not understand the impact of occupational deprivation on the health of older immigrant women and how this influences their healthcare utilisation. It is probable that the needs of this unique, and growing, group of elderly women have important implications for health planning and resource utilisationthat are only just beginning to be recognised.

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Author(s): Cary A Brown

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