Authors: Seong-gee Um, Naomi Lightman
The growing ethnic and linguistic diversity amongst senior populations has been well documented within Canada overall, and specifically within the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). Healthy aging is what we all desire, but how we age in the GTA is not the same for everyone. Some face greater health challenges than others as they age, and this in turn impacts how they perceive health. What’s more is that senior’s self-reported health varies widely when accounting for selected diversity variables including immigration, the length of time since immigration, mother tongue, and racialized identity.
This work investigates the impact of immigration, language, and racialized identity on social determinants of health (SDOH) outcomes like income, education, employment, sense of belonging to the local community, and health care access as well as self-reported health and mental health across ethnically and linguistically diverse senior populations in the GTA. Our analyses of the Canadian Community Health Survey data revealed significant disparities in seniors’ health across a number of factors. In addition, we identify groups that experience the greatest health disadvantages – recent immigrant seniors, those whose mother tongue is not English, and racialized seniors.
About the Authors
Naomi Lightman is Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Calgary. From 2015-2017 she was a SSHRC-funded postdoctoral fellow at the University of Toronto. Her research interests include immigration, gender, social policy, social inequality and quantitative research methodology. She recently co-authored the 2nd edition of the textbook Social Policy in Canada (Oxford University Press).