Faculty Publications

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

May 2012

Abstract

This study is an examination of the present status of healthy aging programs and services provided to older Asian Indian (AI) immigrants in Santa Clara County. The primary goals of the study were to develop a profile of programs being offered to AI seniors at various ethnic community organizations; and to determine the met and unmet needs for programs and services that promote healthy aging in the AI senior population. A key informant survey was conducted with leaders of seven different organizations in Santa Clara County known to currently provide some services to AI seniors. These seven organizations are estimated to collectively serve about 750 to 1000 seniors from the Asian Indian community who congregate regularly at these sites. A majority of these organizations estimate serving a much larger pool of seniors who attend general cultural and religious events at these centers. The collectively available pool of seniors is estimated to range from 2500 to 3000 seniors (defined as persons aged 55 years or more). All of these organizations (with one exception) are staffed by volunteers. Although these seven organizations are known to represent the bulk of organized community services provided to AI seniors in Santa Clara County, there may be one or two religious organizations, also working in this sphere, that were not included in this survey. Additionally, to obtain a historical context to the current situation, we interviewed the executive director of the defunct Indo-American Community Services Center which was the premier community service agency for Asian Indian seniors in Silicon Valley from 1987 to 2002. The findings of this key informant survey document the resources currently available to promote healthy aging among AI immigrants. They also point to some significant unmet needs for health promotion programs and services in the AI senior population. The seven organizations participating in this survey constitute a significant resource in the AI community and can be instrumental in addressing these unmet needs to promote healthy aging. Recommendations for future steps to promote healthy aging among AI immigrants include: 1) Convening the leadership of various organizations to determine ways to address seniors’ unmet needs; 2) Directly assessing the need for health promotion by surveying AI seniors and obtaining objective measures of health, mental health, and healthy behaviors; and 3) Developing capacity within the community centers to provide healthy aging programs and services.

Comments

A report resulting from a partnership between the Center on Healthy Aging in Multicultural Populations and the Indian Diaspora Project published on May 3, 2012. The report is also available at this link.

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