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Problem faced by Minority elderly in US

December 19, 2011  by: Inderpreet Kaur  Points: 12   Category: Others  Earning $0.25   Views: 778

Articles touches upon some sensitive problems faced by elderly people migrated to US from other parts of the world


As per the latest US census report, US total population is near about 308 million excluding the armed forces deployed overseas, and it is almost equally distributed between both the genders, in which 152 millions are males and rest of 156 are females. 76 millions are more than 55 years of age which is almost one fourth of the total population, and it has increased by 25 percent from last time. One of the interesting statistics that has come out of this is that 15% of elderly people belong to minority, which is much bigger number than expected.

Minority elderly is expected to grow in population by 500% in next 55%. Minority elderly are generally members of four groups: African-American, Hispanic, Native American, and Asian/Pacific Islander. Even though US law has resolution for focused attention to the needs, economic and social growth of the minority groups but minority aging has double disadvantages. They suffer a double disadvantage to health due to the interactive effects of age and race. They are discriminated against because they belong to minority group and by being identified as aged in an ageist society. As per the Negative binomial regression analysis, number of unhealthy days increases more steeply for aging minority as compared to whites. Studies related to testing of double jeopardy are considered to be one of the quantifiable factor of health related quality of life.

However, some experts doesn't find the above analysis satisfactory, since it doesn't take into consideration the effect of experience and effect of cultural factors. All factors related to aging process, like diversity, individual and social differences, needs to be taken into consideration for any analysis on the problems related to minority aging.

Also, the incidence of poverty among minority elders remains high, despite the fact that there has been substantial decreases in the poverty rate of America's senior citizens over the last twenty years. Many factors that contribute to the higher poverty rates among minority elders includes inadequate education, discrimination in hiring and rates of pay due to their origin, low wage jobs through out their lives, high unemployment, and intermittent employment. Many minority elders have not worked on decent salaries in decent jobs, but have only got opportunities in manual labor, domestic service, and/or temporary or part-time jobs which doesn't offered pensions and social security benefits. Absence of secure jobs results in financial hardships and which means what they don't get much pension benefits.

Higher rates of smoking, malnutrition and inadequate housing, and inadequate use of health care services, increases the health risk factors, resulting in greater morbidity and mortality among minority elders. Religion and peer support are also an important support systems for many minority elders. Minority groups have developed strong communal support systems, which are helpful for those elderly people who are not very well-versed with English, and they help in opposing discrimination and facilitating support, interaction and functioning among group members.

Demographic forces challenges the cultural values which affect the entire society, with respect to provision of care to older family members. Declining birth rates, increasing female labor force participation, decreasing rates of marriage, increasing rates of divorce, wide-spread unemployment, and abuse of drugs and alcohol, etc limits how many number of persons are available to provide care and assistance to increasing numbers of older family members

So, we need to make sure that needs of minority elderly are met, who has persevered a lot during through the face of racism and prejudice.


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