Problems faced by aging immigrants.
Maniben Patel had a very simple dream. She is a 58-year old yoga teacher who came from India with a dream to live here with her son and experience the happiness seeing her grandkids grow in front of her.
That was two years ago and ever since arriving here she faced hard time in search of work. Just six months ago, she grabbed a gig teaching yoga at the Rexdale Women’s Centre for two days in a week which earned her somewhere around $500 a month. She said that though the money wasn’t much, it was enough to keep her busy.
She said that all that came to an end following the cut in the grants to the centre after which the class was closed indefinitely. She now doubts if there would be work for her again.
It is tough to adjust to life in Canada for new immigrants and the adjustment becomes tougher when it comes to aging immigrants, who come here to reunite with their families. They have to face the barriers of age and language and find it extremely hard to get work. They are caught in dilemma, as they are too old to start studying and learn new skills, but at the same time cannot retire at not so old age.
Things just got worse for them due to the economic slowdown, as they aren’t able to find even part-time jobs with low payments.
Rod Beaujot, a professor of social science at the University of Western Ontario who specializes in issues related to immigration, said that in most cases senior immigrants are sponsored by their children but they do not want to be a burden of their children. As a result of this, the professor added, they like to do something for the family, especially in situation like the present one.
Geri Sadoway of Parkdale Community Legal Services said that most parents are sponsored by their children and laws restrict government benefits for them until their sponsorship expires. Generally sponsorship for parents last for ten years, until which children have to be financially responsible for them.
In most cases, seniors come to Canada to live with their children after selling almost all their possessions and bring the collective money with them. But the money does not last for more than a few months, after which they start looking for work. But that work is not easy to get anymore.