Publications

Public Health

2022

Title: A Scoping Review of Ageing Experiences
among Culturally and Linguistically Diverse People in Australia: Towards Better Ageing Policy and Cultural Well-Being for Migrant and Refugee Adults.

Authors: Georgeou, N., Schismenos, S., Wali, N., Mackay, K., and Moraitakis, E.

Publisher: Oxford Academic

DOI: 10.1093/geront/gnab191

Pages: 182-199

Abstract

Background and Objectives

Australia’s population is growing, aging, and becoming more ethnically diverse, resulting in barriers and challenges around social inclusion for non-English-speaking migrants and refugees. This scoping review investigates the experiences of aging within Australia among older adults from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) migrant and refugee backgrounds to identify barriers to social integration.

Research Design and Methods

A scoping review of English language literature and gray literature on the experiences of aging among CALD migrants and refugees living in Australia was conducted from January 2000 to January 2021, according to Arksey and O’Malley’s review process. A total of 34 studies were identified for analysis.

Results

Three primary themes were identified: (a) sociocultural similarities in settlement experiences, (b) engagement with technology for social connection, and (c) engagement with family and community networks.

Discussion and Implications

Aging, language, sociocultural, and technology contexts shape attitudes to belonging, as well as access to sociomedical services. We argue a cultural well-being framework may assist in developing policy for improved social integration of older CALD adults. As the focus is on social and cultural experiences, all studies with a primary focus on medical and other chronic conditions were excluded. Future studies could include health-related articles to present a more comprehensive approach regarding older CALD adult needs. Follow-up research could focus on the impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic on the experiences of older adults in Australia, in particular those of CALD backgrounds.

Title: COVID-19 and “ageing well” for the older migrants and refugees in rural Australia: the case of Bhutanese elders in Albury, New South Wales

Authors: Georgeou, N., Schismenos, S., Wali, N., Mackay, K., and Moraitakis, E.

Publisher: Emerald 

DOI: 10.1108/QAOA-09-2021-0068

Abstract

Purpose
The purpose of this study is to highlight the challenges and opportunities for the well-being of older migrants and refugees in rural Australia by learning from the example of the Bhutanese community in Albury, New South Wales.

Design/methodology/approach
This viewpoint focusses on health and aged care barriers that affect the well-being of older migrants and refugees in Australia. It also demonstrates how these can be intensified due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Findings
Engagement though agriculture, and a sense of “belonging” strengthen the cultural well-being of the Bhutanese older adults in Albury. However, major issues remain as health-related resources and information are lacking in rural Australia. How this group’s meaningful activities in Albury enabled collaborations to be built is shown in this working example and can provide lessons for other communities that experience similar problems of disconnection as they get older.

Research limitations/implications
The information regarding the Bhutanese older adults in Albury is primarily based on the authors’ personal communication with the General Secretary of the Bhutanese Australian Community Support Group in Albury Wodonga Inc.

Originality/value
Australia’s older population is growing rapidly, and older adults from culturally and linguistically diverse migrant and refugee backgrounds face numerous barriers such as limited linguistic, health and digital literacy. The authors describe common health and aged care issues that affect the well-being of older adults in rural Australia. They particularly emphasize those that occurred or intensified due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This novel information is now especially relevant to the health and aged care sectors in changing and diverse communities not only in Australia but also overseas.