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A Resource Guide for Service Providers Working with Calgary's Culturally Diverse Seniors

This resource guide, produced by Community and Neighbourhood Services, should be viewed as a practical guide for service providers to help them better understand the cultural beliefs and customs of six groups of Calgary's immigrant seniors.

It is designed to be a quick reference for social workers, physicians, nurses, police, educators and those who work in government and non-profit agencies that deliver services to immigrant seniors in the city.

The development of the Guide involved the input of seniors from six selected ethnocultural groups in the city (Chinese, Filipino, Hispanic, Korean, Sikh and Vietnamese). The objective was to make the information collected specific to Calgary.

In drafting the Guide, every attempt was made to avoid stereotyping. The Guide is intended to be used only as an aid to learning more about the cultural characteristics of seniors from these groups.

Purpose of the Project

The City of Calgary embarked upon this Ethnogerontology Project with the assistance of funding by Family and Community Support Services (FCSS), to increase the cultural competency of people who provide services to immigrant seniors in the city.

The project fits within the mandate of the Seniors Services Division, Community and Neighbourhood Services, which is to provide an integrated and proactive approach to the development and implementation of Senior Citizens' programs and services in Calgary with the intent to:

  • ensure that The City of Calgary is responsive to the needs of a growing seniors population;
  • ensure that all seniors in Calgary enjoy a high quality of life;
  • provide a "one window" citizen access to seniors' services through The City of Calgary;
  • foster awareness of issues or trends which may impact Calgary seniors now and in the future.

This mandate is important because demographic trends predict a dramatic increase in the number of seniors over the next few decades. Not only will the number of seniors in general increase, there is expected to be a sizeable increase in the number of immigrant seniors.

Download and explore Cultural Cues (2005).