Seniors are the most powerless, least influential, and most “forgotten,” segment of the ethnic population (Disman, 1984). Studies among Indians and Pakistanis reveal that the extended family that unilaterally supports their elders is a myth and that these elders expect to return to their homelands(Baker, 1984). Why do older immigrants so often describe themselves as lonely, isolated, and bored while they appear to be so closely integrated into their kin network?
Health promotion services and activities intended to alleviate social isolation and loneliness among older people have long been considered important in providing support to develop, improve, and maintain social contacts and mental well being. It is, therefore, important both in practice and in policy terms to understand the context of these factors and to identify older adults’ own perspective on social isolation and loneliness. Since social isolation has been perceived as a problem of old age, a wide range of services and activities have evolved to combat these negative experiences which includes home visits, adhoc one-to-one support, social activities, education, training, and transportation. Research indicates that participating in culturally meaningful activity is beneficial for immigrants’ health and well-being.
HWF feels that by providing culturally meaningful activities for older South Asians immigrants, we will help to improve psychological well-being, enhance positive emotions and feelings, and help develop social connections.
We are currently seeking volunteers to assist us in setting up regular activities and outings for the South Asian seniors residing in Fresno, Ca. Please contact us if you’d like to join our team.