Growing Old as an Immigrant in NYC

A May 2017 report from the Center for an Urban Future found that for the first time, there are more New Yorkers over the age of 65 than there are children aged 10 and younger. And with almost half of the city’s senior population born outside of the U.S., it is immigrants who are driving the growth of this age group.

The senior researcher behind the study, Christian González-Rivera, speaks to BRIC TV about the findings and the challenges immigrant seniors face when seeking services. He is joined by Bobby Sackman, associate executive director of public policy at LiveOn NY.

In addition to the difficulties facing seniors in general – such as limited mobility and living on a fixed income – older immigrants also live with higher levels of poverty and language barriers thereby limiting their access to services.

González-Rivera also emphasizes the importance of immigrants “aging in place”:

“When you think about it, New York could potentially be one of the best places in the United States for immigrants to grow older because of the ethnic neighborhoods. But if you can’t afford to stay in those neighborhoods you lose the support of people who speak your language, the food that you’re used to, the doctors who speak your language and are culturally competent – all those crucial services that keep you alive are in these neighborhoods and if you’re not able to stay in those neighborhoods you have very few other options.”

Watch the full conversation in the BRIC TV video above.

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