Incorporating a Life-Course Perspective in the Development of Research and Public Policy Impacting Older Refugees
Keywords:Older refugees, public policy, life course, social integration
Older refugees are widely recognized as one of the most at-risk populations living with multiple intersecting barriers of political insecurity, financial insolvency, and poor health. Drawing upon secondary literature, this review essay builds upon a critique of multiculturalism to argue that the successful integration of older refugees is a two-way process. This process includes: 1) refugees making active attempts to embed themselves into Canadian society, and; 2) government facilitating conditions to help refugees integrate. The social integration of refugee elders is not a personal issue. It is a public problem that requires active government intervention via generous universal benefits. I use the life-course theoretical perspective to undertake an analysis of public policies and existing research to identify structural determinants of older refugees’ integration.