As a second-year student in Interdisciplinary Studies at York University, I will further study the three disciplines of health systems and equity, diaspora, and sociology to understand the issues of 'refugee aging' among resettled Tamil elders in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). The aging South Asian population is one of the largest visible minority groups in Canada (Statistics Canada, 2015) among which Tamil elders are a growing sub-population, yet little information on the health and social impacts on this community is available. In addition, the study of immigrants often aggregates data on both immigrants and refugees together and neglects to acknowledge the differences within both groups: immigrants (family, economic, other) and refugees (assisted, sponsored, asylum) (Durst, 2005). The challenges faced by this group may be unique and thus, there is a need to study refugee aging from the perspective of Tamil elders. My intersectional analysis explores the possibility of victimization due to forced migration, cultural alienation, the feminization of aging, interrupted access to appropriate care post-migration, inadequate access to culturally sensitive care in later life, and its impact on health outcomes and quality of life on this population. I am eager to work with my supervisors, Farah Ahmad, Deborah Davidson and Guida Man, in their respective fields of health systems and equity, sociology, and Asian diaspora studies.
Keywords: Aging refugees; refugee status; access and utilization of health and social care; Tamil Diaspora