“There’s a group of people who have a need, but they are not accessing the services. So, where is the disconnect?”
This is a question asked by Ashnoor Rahim, vice-president of community care at Toronto’s WoodGreen Community Services. Rahim is quoted in a Toronto Star report on the availability of seniors care titled Ensuring Healthy Aging for All, produced by the Wellesley Institute.
The study shows that immigrant seniors are less likely than their Canadian counterparts to receive government-funded home care and must count on family, friends and neighbours for help.
The report attributed the discrepancies among immigrant groups to the length of time immigrant seniors have spent in Canada. The longer they have been here, the more knowledgeable they are about how to maneuver through the system.
Immigrant groups also reported having more unmet needs for home-care services than their Canadian counterparts: 6.4 per cent, versus 4.1 per cent for those born here.
Almost nine per cent of Canadian-born seniors, and about the same percentage of seniors from the United Kingdom, said they had received government home care, compared with just 6.8 per cent among immigrant elderly. A little more than 10 per cent of seniors who had immigrated from Italy used public home care. Those from India were much lower, at 4.9 per cent; from Jamaica at 4.1 per cent; and from China at 2.8 per cent.