Chinese older people in Haringey: meeting the needs of an ‘invisible’ community.

D'Angelo, Alessio and Lam, Tom and Sales, Rosemary A. (2010) Chinese older people in Haringey: meeting the needs of an ‘invisible’ community. Project Report. Middlesex University, London.

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Abstract

Haringey has a long established population of Chinese people, some of whom have been living in the borough for many decades. They represent a significant proportion of Haringey’s total population: 1.5% overall but over 2.5% in some wards. Many have become well settled and have been highly successful in business, professions or in other fields but others have experienced exclusion, poverty and isolation. As more of these people are reaching retirement age and beyond, and thus experiencing health and mobility issues connected with ageing, these problems are increasing and are likely to worsen still further in the future. Many of this group also have limited English language skills and thus find it difficult to access appropriate services. In addition, many have low incomes because the nature of their working lives did not allow them to make provision for adequate pensions. In spite of their numbers and the urgency of their needs, Chinese people have had a low profile in relation to the public policy agenda, both in Haringey and in Britain as a whole and have tended to be largely invisible in relation to the planning of services. This research project was conducted by researchers based at Middlesex University in partnership with the Haringey Chinese Centre and we are grateful for the funding received from the Business and Community Interaction programme at Middlesex University which enabled us to carry out this work. The aims were to provide evidence of current and future needs for health and social care services by Chinese older people and to identify issues which policy makers need to be aware of in planning services. This was an exploratory study and limited in scale and thus we cannot claim that it provides a comprehensive picture of the situation of Chinese older people in the borough. Nevertheless, it identified some important issues which deserve more detailed examination from researchers and policy makers. The project took place during a major process of restructuring of services for older people, arising from both national and local policy developments. We hope that our findings will help to inform the development of these services. This report begins by describing the study methods used. We then briefly discuss some of the characteristics of Haringey’s population before focusing more particularly on the Chinese population in Haringey and in London as a whole. We discuss first the different waves of migration which have brought a diverse Chinese population and then focus on the problems of social exclusion and isolation. The next section focuses on the elderly Chinese people, their needs, experience and aspirations and use of services. We then discuss the policy agenda in relation to the care of the elderly and its implications for this group. Finally we draw some general conclusions about the need to plan for this group and suggest some recommendations to policy makers, Chinese organisations and other concerned with the welfare of the elderly.

Item Type:Monograph (Project Report)
Research Areas:School of Law > Social Policy Research Centre
ID Code:5544
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Deposited On:13 May 2010 12:13
Last Modified:20 Jul 2014 11:08

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