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Housing for Sikh seniors Rajan, Mrunalini 1988

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HOUSING FOR SIKH SENIORS by MRUNALINI RAJAN B. Arch., Anna University, 1985 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ADVANCED STUDIES IN ARCHITECTURE in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (School of Architecture) We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA September 1988 Q Mrunalini Rajan, 1988 In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. Department of ARCHITECTURE The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada D a t e nr.T ?a; iQfta DE-6 (2/88) ii ABSTRACT Housing needs for the elderly are a function of several processes accompanying aging. In the case of visible, immigrant seniors, additional factors such as ethnic origin and their length of stay in Canada come into play. Sikhs are a predominant and one of the fastest growing sectors in the Canadian multicultural mosaic. This visible ethnic group has a long history of immigration to British Columbia. Canadian immigration policies have shaped the character (age-sex distribution, occupation, education, geographic location) of the Sikh community over the period of their immigration history. Immigration trends, acculturation of the Canadian-born generation, changing family patterns and the efforts of the community to maintain its culture, religion and language, all shape the housing needs of Sikh seniors in the Canadian context. At present, the demographic profile of Canadian Sikhs reveals that the majority of them are in the 20-50 age group. This profile combined with the influx of new immigrants including aged parents and other relatives, indicates an imminent increase in the number of Sikh elderly in Canada. This study traces the assimilation of this community in Vancouver, and examines the suitability of housing options available to the mainstream Canadian elderly, for the Sikh elderly. A particular example considered for the purpose of this thesis is the small-scale congregate housing (Abbeyfield) alternative. Information from literature and a clustered survey of elderly Sikhs in Vancouver city suggest the emerging need for an alternative to their traditional housing arrangements. Prospective residents for alternative housing are likely to be elderly, widowed Sikh males. For them, the Abbeyfield option due to its domestic scale and adaptability, has been viewed as a viable solution. Research Supervisor: Richard W. Seaton iii TABLE OF CONTENTS Abstract ii Table of Contents iii List of Tables v List of Figures vi Acknowledgement vii Dedication viii Chapter 1 Introduction 1 1.1 Context 1 1.2 Canadian context 3 1.3 Purpose 4 •1.4 Thesis principles and significance 5 1.5 Methodology 6 1.6 Thesis organization 7 Chapter 2 Concepts of Ethnicity .9 2.1 Defining ethnicity 9' 2.2 Ethnic groups in Canada 11 2.3 South Asian ethnic groups in Canada - 12 2.4 Three models of ethnic assimilation 13 2.5 Host-ethnic group relations 15 Chapter 3 Ethnicity and aging 18 3.1 Definition of "ethnic elderly" 18 3.2 Problems faced by ethnic elders 19 3.3 Aging in Canada 21 3.4 Housing ethnic elders 22 3.5 Sikh seniors 23 Chapter 4 Sikhs : 24 4.1 Sikhism 24 4.2 Sikh immigration to Canada 26 4.3 Demographic profile: Age-sex distribution 30 4.4 Sikhs: Occupational distribution 38 4.5 Sikhs: Incomes 45 4.6 Sikhs: Mortality and fertility rates 47 4.7 Sikhs: Residential distribution 48 4.8 Reasons for current the Sikh demographic profile 55 Chapter 5 Aspects of Sikh aging in Canada 57 5.1 Family structure 57 5.2 Informal support network 61 5.3 Acculturation 62 Chapter 6 Supportive housing options 64 6.1 Features of congregate, sheltered and supportive housing models 64 6.2 Abbeyfield model: Features 66 6.3 Target population for Abbeyfield homes 68 IV Chapter 7 Survey: Methodology and findings 70 7.1 Objectives of the study 70 7.2 Sampling 71 7.3 Justification and description of target group 72 7.4 Questionnaire construction 74 7.5 • Findings 74 7.6 Demographic profile of the target population 76 7.7 Health perceptions 83 7.8 Family structure 86 7.9 Housing 91 7.10 Informal support network 97 7.11 Loneliness 98 7.12 Leisure 98 7.13 Social support 103 7.14 Changes in the future 104 7.15 Accommodation preferences 109 7.16 Push factors 113 7.17 Inferences 116 Chapter 8 Housing options in the Canadian context 118 8.1 Home equity conversion plans 119 8.2 Home sharing 120 8.3 Accessor}' apartments and grannj- flats 121 8.4 Multi-family dwellings 122 8.5 Co-operative housing 122 8.6 An overview 123 Chapter 9 Abbeyfield housing for Sikh seniors 127 9.1 Applicability to the survey group 127 9.2 An Abbeyfield home for elderly Sikh males: Factors to be considered 129 Chapter 10 Conclusion , 132 10.1 Sikh families in India and Canada 132 10.2 Housing needs of Sikh seniors 134 10.3 Housing options for seniors in Canada 135 10.4 The Abbeyfield alternative for Sikh seniors 136 10.5 Changes in the future 138 10.6 Future research 139 References 142 Appendices 152 Appendix 1 Census Policy 152 1.1 Distinguishing Sikhs from South Asians 153 Appendix 2 Questionnaires 156 V LIST OF FIGURES Figure 1 Total East Indian immigration by year 28 Figure 2 East Indian immigration by sex by five year periods 33 Figure 3 Age Structure of Asian Indians in Canada and the Canadian population, 1981 36 Figure 4 Population by Religion & Sex by Age groups, Vancouver-Sikhs, 1981 37 Figure 5 Occupation of East Indian immigrants 41 Figure 6 Vancouver city: Residential districts 51 Figure 7a East Indian Residential Pattern, 1959 52 Figure 7b East Indian Residential Pattern, 1970 52 Figure 8a Vancouver CMA: Indo-Pakistani ethnic origin - 1981 53 Figure 8b Vancouver city: Population by mother-tongue (Punjabi), 1986 54 Figure 9 Distribution by age groups 78 Figure 10 Distribution by sex 78 Figure 11 Marital status 78 Figure 12 Education 78 Figure 13 Annual income 82 Figure 14 Age by annual income 82 Figure 15 Age by employment 82 Figure 16 Health 85 Figure 17 Daily activities and ill-health 85 Figure 18 Age by health 85 Figure 19 Family structure 90 Figure 20 Age by family structure 90 Figure 21 Current accommodation 94 Figure 22 Accommodation by tenure 94 Figure 23 Age by tenure 94 Figure 24 Reasons to stay 96 Figure 25 Informal support network 100 Figure 26 Family structure and support network 100 Figure 27 Leisure activities 102 Figure 28 Age by assistance needed 106 Figure 29 Reasons to move 108 Figure 30 Accommodation preferences 112 Figure 31 Family structure by preferred accommodation 112 Figure 32 Push factors 115 vi LIST OF TABLES Table 1 Total East Indian immigration to Canada by year: 1904- 1983 27 Table 2 East Indian immigration by sex by five year periods 32 Table 3 Age structure of Asian Indians in Canada and the Canadian population, 1981 35 Table 4 Population by religion and sex by age groups 1981, Vancouver CMA-Sikhs 35 Table 5 Occupation of East Indian immigrants: Labourers vs. professionals 40 Table 6 Distribution of questionnaire 72 Table 7 Age brackets studied 75 Table 8 Distribution by age group 77 Table 9 Distribution by sex 77 Table 10 Marital status 77 Table 11 Education 77 Table 12 Annual income 81 Table 13 Age by annual income 81 Table 14 Age by employment 81 Table 15 Health 84 Table 16 Daily activities due to ill health 84 Table 17 Age by health 84 Table 18 Family structure 89 Table 19 Age by family structure 89 Table 20 Current accommodation 93 Table 21 Accommodation by tenure 93 Table 22 Age by tenure 93 Table 23 Reasons to stay 95 Table 24 Informal support network 99 Table 25 Family structure and support network 99 Table 26 Leisure activities 101 Table 27 Age by assistance needed 105 Table 28 Reasons to move 107 Table 29 Accommodation preferences 111 Table 30 Preferred accommodation by family structure 111 Table 31 Push factors 114 V l l ACKNOWLEDGEMENT I remain indebted to the following persons. DR. RICHARD SEATON Mrs. Shelagh Lindsey Dr. Gerald Hodge Dr. Sampath Venimadhavan Mrs. & Mr. Desikachari Giani Shri Jasbir Singh Mrs. Hemi Dhanoa Col. Sahota Mr. Rorri McBlane Mr. Gursharan Bajiva Mrs. Harminder Sanghera Mr. Amritpal Singh Shergill Mr. Inderjit Singh Bhugra viii To My parents and Mohan 1 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION 1.1 Context Housing needs of the elderly are a function of several processes accompanying aging; social customs, changes in physical and sensory abilities, decreasing mobility, fluctuating health conditions, isolation and loneliness due to loss of spouse and mobility of offspring, diminishing informal support networks and decreased income level. The heterogeneous nature of the older population in these respects assures that individual preferences vary enormously. In the case of immigrant, visible ethnic elders, additional factors such as ethnic origin and assimilation come into play. "Sikhs" are bound by a common religion founded in Punjab in India. Their language is "Punjabi" and the "Gurudwara," their temple, is pivotal to the community's social and political networks. South Asians, among whom Sikhs are predominant, are one of the fastest growing ethnic sectors in the Canadian multicultural mosaic (Buchignani, 1980, p. 121). Sikhs have a long history of immigration to Canada and to British Columbia in particular (Ramcharan, 1982, p. 24). Canadian immigration policies have shaped the character (age-sex distribution, occupation, education and geographic location) of the Sikh community over the period of their immigration history (Buchignani and Indra, 1985, p. 1; D'Costa, 1986, p. 113). Their economic profile has changed from one comprising of predominantly unskilled, uneducated males concentrated in Vancouver (Census Metropolitan Area or CMA, including the city of Vancouver and surrounding municipalities) and Victoria, to one encompassing . a wide range of occupations geographically dispersed throughout Canada (D'Costa, 1986, p. 114). Correspondingly, Canadian-Sikh relations have undergone transition from one of hostility to that of cultural 2 pluralism (Ramcharan, 1982, p. 24). The Sikh community in Vancouver maintains a close friend and kin network structured around the Gurudwara. This community is apparently maintaining its religion and language despite acculturation of the Canadian-born generation. The demographic profile of Vancouver CMA Sikhs reveals that a majority of them are in the 20-50 age group (Kanungo, 1984, p. 7). About six percent of their total population is in the "seniors" category (Canada. Statistics Canada, 1981). This profile combined with a continuous inflow of new immigrants, including aged parents and other relatives, indicates an imminent increase in the number of Sikh elderly in Canada in general and Vancouver in particular. Traditionally, Sikh seniors live in an "extended" or a "joint" family structure wherein all brothers live with their spouses, unmarried children, married sons and grandchildren, with the oldest male member as head of the family. The eldest son is duty-bound to take care of his ailing, aged parents. Old women, especially widows, are under the protection of their sons or other male relatives. Families are structured around well defined principles. Statuses and roles are distinct; there is domination of men by women and also gerontocracy within the constraints of one's sex. In Canada however, the extended familj' may be smaller in size and may only include an elderly couple living with a married son, daughter-in-law and grandchildren. It is interesting to study the extent to which this extended family tradition of housing the elderfy is maintained in the Canadian context. Also relevant is information on whether the extended family system is a viable solution for the Sikh seniors over the next few decades. 3 1.2 Canadian context In 1986, more than two and a half million, i.e., ten percent of the Canadian population was aged 65 and over. Projections indicate that this population will continue to increase dramatically to more than six million (twenty-five percent) by the year 2031 (Canada. Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation [CMHC], 1988, p. v). This aging population faces growing need for a greater number and variety of affordable housing alternatives. Housing alternatives provided to the Canadian elderly can be classified according to the level of services provided, such as independent living, supported-independent living, semi-institutional living and institutional living (Brink, 1984; Martin, 1987). Another classification is based on the character of the target population, such as those wishing to "stay put" or opting to move (Canada. CMHC, 1988, p. v). The nature of the population addressed under each category depends on age, sex, level of health, income and assets and marital status. The cited CMHC document poses a range of alternative housing, catering to a diverse needs, spectrum. In the Canadian context, an arrangement that may be particularly appropriate to the emerging needs of Sikh elderly may be the Abbeyfield small-scale supportive housing alternative (Canada. CMHC, 1988, p. 13). Abbeyfield homes are characterized by their small size- typical]y there are eight residents in an Abbeyfield home— and a resident housekeeper. Residents are drawn from the same neighbourhood and the purpose of an Abbeyfield home is to provide these residents with security and companionship in a family-type setting. In the United Kingdom (where the concept originated) and in Australia, residents of Abbeyfield homes have been primarily women, single or widowed, lonely and whose health did not justify their entering an old folks home or an extended care institution. 4 This study examines the nature of those Sikh seniors in Vancouver city who apparently need an alternative to living in extended families or alone and questions whether the Abbeyfield option is a viable alternative for them. 1.3 Purpose This study ... i. explores the assimilation process of the Sikh ethnic group into the Canadian environment, ii. examines the demand for housing alternatives faced by Sikh elderly as a parallel to the demand pattern of the mainstream Canadian elderly, iii. contrasts the demographic profile of the Sikh ethnic group with that of the Canadian population to clarify the influences of culture and tradition of the former group on housing practices for their elderly, iv. tests the goodness of fit of the Abbeyfield type congregate housing model for the Sikh elderry and v. speculates on trends for future housing needs of Sikh elderly. Throughout this study, the terms "seniors," "elderly" and "older persons" have been used interchangeably. In the Canadian context, these may refer to persons aged 65 and over. 5 However, in the ethnic context, the terms refer to persons aged 60 and over, or to "ethnic elders." 1.4 Thesis principles and significance Sikhs in Vancouver CMA provide an opportunity to examine host- immigrant relationships for several reasons (Campbell, 1977, p. 3). Their distinctive physical appearance and religion make them easily identifiable. Until the early 1960s, Vancouver was the centre of the Sikh community in Canada with over ninety percent of all Sikhs in Canada (Mayer, 1959, p. 45). Since then, Ontario has been the destination of more than half of the new Sikh immigrants. About fifty percent of the Canadian Sikh population which numbers 200,000, lives in British Columbia (Bolan, 1988). Vancouver CMA is the home of about 22,500 Sikhs (Canada. Statistics Canada, 1981). While many population projections are subject to the vagaries of changing immigration and fertility patterns, those for the elderly are unaffected by fertility in the short run, since the people who reach the age of 65 between now and the middle of the next century have already been born (Stone and Fletcher, 1980, p. 8). Projections indicate that the current small percentage (six percent according to Statistics Canada, 1981) of elderly among the Vancouver Sikhs is on the increase. Both natural increase and continuous immigration to Canada of aged parents and relatives in the "sponsored" and "assisted relatives" categories would contribute to this imminent increase over the next few decades. There was an increase in the number of Sikh professional immigrants during the 1960s and '70s. These professionals have been more adaptable to Canadian culture than the pioneer immigrants (who came to Canada before 1948 and who were mostty labourers). The increase in the numbers of Sikh elderlj' will therefore be accompanied by changes in 6 the educational qualifications, economic status and available support network. Over the next few decades, housing needs of Sikh seniors can be expected to shift closer to the Canadian preferences. However, those seniors who are sponsored b}' their children or relatives will still undergo stresses of aging in an unfamiliar environment with inaccessibility of services and inhibitions of cultural expression. Changes in the socio-economic characteristics of future cohorts of older persons will mean changed expectations in housing standards and lifestyles (Rapelje, 1981). In spite of this increasing numbers of Sikh elderly, there seems to be little awareness of the varying characteristics, needs and preferences of this group. Currentty, there are no alternatives available exclusively to the Sikh seniors. Since this community is partial to the extended family structure, shared housing options have been examined in the context of Sikh elderly housing. Of the different categories of shared housing, an option that is small and domestic in scale and perhaps adaptable to their special needs is the Abbeyfield alternative. 1.5 Methodology To identify prospective Sikh residents of Abbeyfield homes, the methodology was adapted from an ongoing project for CMHC (Murray, 1988). A comparison of demographic profiles of the Canadian and the, Sikh elderly, derived from census data, helped in the identification of the factors that influenced the nature of the demand for housing. To determine the need for housing of Sikh elderly and to identify problems, it is essential to present a picture of the current housing status of the elderty in the community. The census of 1981 was the most recent and complete set of data available at the time of the study. Available census data was not adequate to provide this information for Sikhs. To 7 obtain first-hand information from Sikh seniors regarding their housing situation and preferences, a survey was conducted among senior members of the Sikh community. It was not possible to get a truly representative sample from among Sikh seniors in Vancouver. Gurudwaras in the city maintain a registry of their members. These registries could not be used since in the absence of detailed Census data, it was not clear as to what proportion of Sikhs in Vancouver were members. Under the circumstances, a questionnaire, written in Punjabi, was distributed to fifty elderly Sikhs. The questionnaire queried background demographic information, household composition, satisfaction of the respondent with regard to his/her current housing circumstances, accessibility to services and the informal support network available to the respondent. The questionnaires were distributed in the Gurudwara on Skeena Avenue and in Sikh seniors' groups at Sunset Community Centre and Killarney Community Centre. The respondent group which is primarily male, is not a representative sample of Sikhs in Vancouver since it has been clustered for convenience. In addition to the questionnaire, a series of discussions were carried out with Sikh social workers and service providers to document experiences of Sikh elderly in Vancouver and identify sources of problems encountered, with regard to satisfaction of their present housing condition. Insights from these discussions will be included to supplement questionnaire evidence and information from literature. 1.6 Thesis organization Following this introduction, Chapter 2 briefly describes models of assimilation into Canadian society in the context of Sikhs. Chapter 3 is a brief description of the aspects of ethnicity and aging in Canada, with special reference to the Sikh elderly. 8 Chapter 4 includes information from literature on the Sikh religion, Sikh immigration to Canada and a profile of the community in Vancouver. The impact of the demographic profile on the socio-economic characteristics of Sikh elderly is also discussed. Chapter 5 analyzes the assimilation process of the Sikhs in Vancouver and the resulting impact on housing for their elderly. Chapter 6 outlines the features of the Abbeyfield model in the Canadian context. Chapter 7 reviews the methodology used for collection of primary data. Also in this chapter are surve}' findings, and inferences drawn from them. Chapter 8 is a discussion of options provided for the elderly in Canada and their suitability to Sikh seniors. In Chapter 9, feasibilitj' of an Abbeyfield home for the Sikh elderly is analyzed on the basis of survey findings and information presented in the earlier chapters. The thesis is concluded in Chapter 10, with a review of the objectives of the thesis and of future trends for housing of the Sikh elderly. Census data and maps pertinent to the Sikhs in Canada and Vancouver supplement the text. Tables and relevant graphs are included in the main body of the thesis. A discussion of the census policy as affecting the studj' of Sikhs is presented in Appendix 1. Samples of questionnaires used for the surve}' are included in Appendix 2. 9 CHAPTER 2 CONCEPTS OF ETHNICITY Immigration involves a complex set of interaction effects, both with respect to the newcomers and the host society. In the Canadian context, the term "hosts" refers to residents in Canada before 1900; those who arrived after 1900 are termed "immigrants" (Beck, 1980, p. 2). "Immigration is particularly challenging for those who, like South Asians, come from substantially different cultural contexts" (Buchignani and Indra, 1985, p. 148). Encounter between an immigrant ethnic group and the host society necessitates constant adjustment and adaptation on either side, especially on the part of the ethnic group. Sociologists have formulated several models of assimilation and adaptation to explain the range of possible outcomes. Of these, the models proposed by Robert Park (1950), John Porter (1963) and Milton Gordon (1964) have been discussed in the context of the Canadian Sikh ethnic community. Sikh immigration to Canada began around the turn of this century. Since Sikh culture, religion and traditions are very different from those of their Canadian counterparts, it is of interest to study the process of adaptation and assimilation that ethnic groups in general have undergone, to gain insight into the situation regarding Sikhs in Canada. The extent to which Sikhs have assimilated into the Canadian society has an implication on housing for Sikh elderly. 2.1 Defining ethnicity North America, and in particular Canada, has been populated mostly by immigrants over the past few centuries. During this period of time, an increase in the number of persons belonging to different ethnic groups has changed the character of the Canadian society 10 (Kanungo, 1984, p. 1). Different ethnic groups tend to exhibit varying preferences in living arrangements. They also demand different ranges of consumer goods and social services to define their own cultural needs and institutions (Bourne et. al., 1986, pp. 2-3). "Ethnicity" has been defined to designate a variety of groups that have a distinctive sense of peoplehood (Driedger and Chappell, 1987, p. 2; Gelfand, 1982, p. 14). This sense may be based on national identity or a common religion (Gordon, 1964). To this basic definition of ethnicity, an important element of perception is added: ... an ethnic group consists of those who conceive of themselves as being alike by virtue of their common ancestry, real or fictitious, or are so regarded by others (Shibutani and Kwan, 1965, p. 47). While ethnic groups may sometimes be deemed as "minority groups" (Gelfand, 1982, pp. 14-15), and "visible minorities" (Buchignani and Indra, 1985; Ramcharan, 1982), the term "minority" has also been used broadly to include non-ethnic populations such as the poor, ex-convicts and special populations: Minority groups are subunits of the society with distinct physical and cultural characteristics and strong ties exist between the members because of these characteristics (Wageley and Haris, 1958). The terms "ethnic" and "minority" are sometimes used interchangeably, but Kolm (1977) points out the difference between them: . . . the main focus of ethnic groups is on cultural continuity, while the focus of minority groups is mainly on equality regarding economic benefits, civil rights, political rights, etc. (Kolm, 1977, p. 25). While minority groups may fight for change, ethnic groups usually give priority to stability of their cultural sub-systems (Gelfand, 1982, p. 15). 11 Brenda Beck (1980, pp. 7-10) outlines the ambiguity that surrounds the study of ethnicity. Researchers face the choice of concentrating on a specific Asian group or comparatively surveying immigrants from a variety of countries and origins. There is further choice between the study of cultural adjustment process of individuals in a group and the study of the group as a whole. In the latter case, the problem of demarcating the group boundary arises (first generation immigrants versus the Canadian-born generation versus new immigrants). However, the most important issues are the host group's perception of ethnic qualities and the assessment that an ethnic group has of its own needs and abilities to cope. These together shape the new life the two groups will have in relation to one another. Research needs to be directed in terms of these relationships rather than to reason about each ethnic group individually. 2.2 Ethnic groups in Canada In the Canadian population, those of Anglo-Saxon (British) origin form the largest ethnic group, followed by the French. In 1981, those of British origin formed forty-four percent, while those of French descent contributed to twenty-eight percent of the Canadian population (Chandrasekhar, 1986, p. 11). Others with European antecedents1 formed twenty-one percent and Native Indians, Inuits and non-white immigrants formed seven percent. Thus, Caucasians are a dominant majority and English is the most commonly used language (Driedger and Chappell, 1987, p. 3). A factor that has much influenced the character of immigrant ethnic groups in Canada is the Canadian immigration policy. Since the late 1800s, periodic changes in immigration policies have been reflected in changes in ethnic origin, age-sex distribution, geographic 1. This is a reference to people of German, Ukranian, Scandinavian, Dutch, Polish origin, and smaller numbers of immigrants from other European countries. 12 distribution and occupation of immigrants to Canada (McDaniel, 1986, p. 101). For example, in recent years, Latin America and the Caribbean have taken precedence over Europe and United States as dominant sources of new immigrants (Bourne et al, 1986, p. 1). 2.3 South Asian ethnic groups in Canada South Asia, in particular, has been the origin of a large number of ethnic immigrants (Kanungo, 1984, p. 6). South Asians are one of the fastest growing segments in the Canadian multicultural mosaic (Buchignani, 1980, p. 121). The census of 1981 indicates that there are more than 300,000 South Asians in Canada. Sikhs are a predominant community among South Asians in Canada. A majority of South Asians in Canada live in urban centres. This group includes both the first set of immigrants and the Canadian-born generations. Most South Asians share unique problems of integration and identity because of their visible minority status (Kanungo, 1984, pp. 6-7). The visibility of South Asians in general and the Sikh group in particular, coupled with their increased numbers in recent years has contributed to social tension in the form of racial conflict, housing and job-discrimination in urban centres like Toronto, Vancouver and Calgary. These social stresses have led some social scientists, policy makers and community leaders to explore and provide better understanding of the problems and potentials of this group in Canada (Kanungo, 1984, p. 7). 13 2.4 Three models of ethnic assimilation Any form of contact between an immigrant ethnic group and a host society gives rise to a range of possible outcomes. Sociologists use terms like assimilation, melting-pot, mosaic, cultural pluralism and adjustment or integration, to explain them (Ramcharan, 1982, p. 7). 2.4.1 Park's race relations cycle One of the earliest theories of change among ethnic groups was formulated by Park (1950). He proposed a race relations cycle to describe the assimilation process. The process was either direct (contact -- accommodation -- assimilation) or circuitous (contact -- conflict -- competition -- accommodation — assimilation). Park's theory is evolutionary in nature and was applied to all ethnic groups. He expected them to change over a period of time, replacing their original language, culture and values with the structures of the host society (Driedger and Chappell, 1987, p. 27). The direction of change was fixed and the only unknown factor was the time the individual groups would take to assimilate. Park's theory when applied to Canada, would predict that all ethnic groups, including the French, will assimilate to a British legal, linguistic, political, economic and structural system (Driedger and Chappell, 1987, p. 27). It is evident that many ethnic groups do not confirm to the cycle of assimilation as described by Park and other theories have replaced it (Gelfand, 1982, p. 15). 14 2.4.2 Porter's model Porter (1963) hypothesized that urbanization and the influence of technology would cause erosion of ethnic differences in society. He argued that ethnicity was an impediment to upward social mobility. However, studies of groups like the Jews, Chinese, and Mennonites in America (Reitz, 1982) indicate otherwise. Further, French Canadians and certain visible minorities like the blacks, Indians and East and West Asians have not assimilated (in the sense that Park or Porter intended), but have either voluntarily or involuntarily retained their identity (Driedger, 1975). 2.4.3 Gordon's cultural pluralism model In Canada, the cultural pluralism model is more popular than the theory of assimilation according to Driedger and Chappell (1987, p. 28). The concept of pluralism was first propounded in 1924 by a Jewish philosopher named Kallen (Driedger and Chappell, 1987, pp. 28-29): . . . many groups retain a separate identity and do not assimilate; they live side by side, many of them in relatively harmonious existence . In contrast to assimilation, which emphasizes technology and urbanization as major forces of influence, cultural pluralism focuses on countervailing forces of ideology, such as democracy and human justice, which teach that all people are of equal worth and should have the freedom to choose their quality and style of life. Pluralism holds that there is greater resistance to assimilate than had previously been thought. Assimilation and pluralism represent two ends of a spectrum illustrating the process of integration of ethnic groups. Canada's policy of cultural pluralism (or multiculturalism), while giving minority groups the right to maintain their own culture, does not prevent 15 individual members from assimilating culturally to one or the other dominant cultures, if they so wish (Ramcharan, 1984, pp. 7-8). Gordon's (1964) model takes into account the complexity of change and adjustments that take place within the range from assimilation to pluralism. He suggests that assimilation is not just one continuous process, but seven independent cultural and structural processes; cultural, structural, marital, identificational (on the part of the minority group), civic (on the part of the host society), attitudinal and behaviour receptional forms of assimilation. Cultural assimilation takes place when members of the ethnic group adopt the dress, language, attitudes and other cultural characteristics of the host society. Structural assimilation is the degree to which the immigrants participate in, and are accepted by the economic, religious, political, educational, welfare and social institutions of the majority society. Following intermarriage within societies, minority groups are likely to develop a sense of identity with the dominant group (Gelfand, 1982, p. 17). This would be reflected in their abandoning self-identification as "Jews", "Japanese" or "Sikhs" and identifying themselves with their host society, as "Canadians", for example. At some stage along the assimilation process, groups come to be accepted and valued by the dominant society and no longer experience discrimination or prejudice. Their belief systems may undergo change, to become closer to those of the majority group. These later stages are called attitude receptional, behaviour receptional and civic assimilational (Gordon, 1964). 2.5 Host-ethnic group relations Ethnic groups with high rates of exogamous marriages are closer to the assimilationist position. At the other end of the spectrum are those groups that maintain high levels of endogamy and a continued emphasis on important elements of the traditional culture. Another stage is reached when the group abandons some distinctive attitudes and 16 behaviours, but maintains those elements that members believe are critical to their survival as a distinct entity (Gelfand, 1982, pp. 17-18). Formal legal restrictions, or informal social ones, imposed by the dominant society can result in the isolation of an ethnic group. An ethnic group might also voluntarily seek isolation to preserve its culture and religion (Seigel, 1969), if the members "feel threatened". The reaction of the host community has its effects on the desire for the immigrant group to isolate or integrate. Greater concentration of an ethnic group in a particular area can cause tension. Also, the greater the physical distinction between members of the host society and minority group, the greater is the possibility of conflicts (Berton, 1974, p. 9). In Great Britain, for example, visible cultural differences between East Indians and the mainstream population have been the major sources of conflict (Desai, 1963). Contact with the host society (interaction of a political, social, economic and cultural nature) is an important factor in the assimilation process. As the immigrant ethnic group increases in number, the likelihood of contact with the host society increases. The greater the degree of contact with the host society, the greater will be the degree of assimilation of the minority community (Campbell, 1977, p. 13). The relationship between the Sikh ethnic group and the mainstream population followed the same pattern as described above. Each ethnic group develops a network of organization and informal social connections which binds the members for their primary and most of their secondary relationships. The more complete this network, the less exposure the members have to the host culture. The church is the most important institution for the solidarity of an ethnic group. For Sikhs, the Gurudwara is the centre of much of the community's social and political life. All East Indians and especially the Sikhs, continue to maintain close kin networks and religious and 17 ethnic affiliations. Interaction between the Sikhs and Canadians, over the period of Sikh immigration to Canada, is discussed in chapter 4. The Sikh ethnic group participates and thrives on the concept of cultural pluralism (Ramcharan, 1982, p. 24). The impact of ethnicity on aging, with reference to Sikh elderly is discussed in a following chapter. 18 CHAPTER 3 ETHNICITY AND AGING This chapter is a discussion of the impact of ethnicity on aging, both theoretical aspects and particular information with regard to South Asian Canadians and Sikh immigrants. Ethnic elderly are considered to be at a disadvantage due to the change of environment, in addition to the negative attributes of aging thrust on them. 3.1 Definition of "ethnic elderly" The term "ethnic" refers to those who are culturally different from the majority people, that is, different in dietary habits, religion, language, dress and organization of family life. The terms "elders" and "senior citizens" refer to elderly people; in the ethnic context, the reference population is different from the standard definition of elderly people as "over retirement age" (sixty-five years). The social definition regarding retirement age has been adopted to facilitate retirement norms and legislation accompanying old age security payments. Moreover, it is convenient to use a chronological definition to refer to the elderly (Driedger and Chappell, 1987, p. 3). Seniors are further classified into three categories depending on their age; young- old (65-74 age group), middle-old (75-84 age group) and old- old (85- plus age group). Due to different life styles, circumstances and because of discrimination and economic disadvantages, it is argued that people in some cultures age earlier (Housing for ethnic elders, 1984, pp. 9-10). "Old age" should be defined to start whenever health and 19 functioning deteriorates, resulting in a loss of mobility and independence (Driedger and Chappell, 1987, p. 3). 3.2 Problems faced by ethnic elders Immigrant ethnic elders are at a disadvantage because they are culturally different. Their attitude to old age is based on the experience of growing old in their homelands and not in Canada. Understanding attitudes and behaviours requires placing them in a framework that includes both the individual's personal history and the history of the ethnic group. . . Life experiences are screened through norms, beliefs and values of a culture (Gelfand, 1982, p. 38). Ethnic elders, especially those who are recent immigrants or those with low assimilational levels, experience the same problems faced by other senior citizens - isolation or loneliness and poor health, in addition to problems resulting from cultural and language differences. Further, visible ethnic groups like the Sikh group face discrimination and racial prejudice to a certain extent. The economic and social structure in this country, the smaller houses and different lifestyles make it difficult for married children to shoulder their traditional responsibilities toward their aged parents (Norman, 1985, pp. 1-3). Also, since in a majority of cases, the elderly are not maintainers, their authorit}' tends to be undermined and thej' do not have a role to play in the houses of their married children. Societies often legitimize a strongly hierarchical ascriptive societ5r with religious doctrine. This is true of the caste system in India, which remains influential in spite of its official abolition in the 1940s. With the onset of urbanization, many of the firmly embedded norms of traditional, societies become shaky (Gelfand, 1982, p. 86). 20 The growing economic mobility . . . increased modernization . . . has reduced the status of the elderly in many societies (Cowgill and Homes, 1972). This breakdown of the extended family itself, can create tensions in shared housing and necessitate provision of separate housing at a later stage in life (Norman, 1985, pp. 1-3). There is need for better understanding of the problems faced by the various ethnic groups. This concern is expressed by social scientists, members of ethnic communities and policy makers in the municipal, provincial and federal government levels (Kanungo, 1984, p. 6). Research on different ethnic groups would contribute toward successful integration of the ethnic group in the Canadian multicultural mosaic. In the context of aging in Canada, the multiple jeopardy theory is most applicable to ethnic elders. Jeopardy studies focus on the effect of two or more negative^ perceived traits; age and ethnicity, age, sex and ethnicity or sex, ethnicity and social class. Seniors in ethnic groups are in triple jeopardy because (i) they are old, (ii) they often live in poor physical conditions and face hostility and (iii) services are not accessible to them given their lack of records and language skills (Norman, 1985, pp. 1-3). According to Gelfand (1982, p. 42), "double or multiple jeopardy among ethnic aged people may result from society's demands that older individuals be removed from positions of authority." But: It is too simplistic to portray ethnic aged people as suffering from triple jeopardy because they are old, poor and from an ethnic background. ... Social scientists should be able to delineate the place of ethnic aged people . . . and the importance of ethnicity for future generations (Gelfand, 1982, p. 85). 21 3.3 Aging in Canada The impact of ethnicity on aging is a relatively unexplored area of study in Canadian gerontology, but one to which greater significance is being attached. There are several social structural factors to be considered when examining inter-generational relationships between immigrants or first generation Canadians and their offspring, the subsequent generations. The elderly today are living longer than in previous generations causing an increase in the number of multi-generational families. The traditional view in some ethnic groups, of maintaining filial obligations to parents, tends to become untenable from an economic perspective. There may also be less need for the elderly to rely upon their children for economic support, given the well-developed social welfare system in Canada (Ujimoto, 1986, pp. 111-137). Both longevity and greater economic independence have a greater impact on inter-generational relations than traditional factors associated with ethnicity and aging. Two aspects of ethnicity should be taken into account when considering ethnicity and aging. The first is the view of an ethnic group in its environmental context. This includes the macro-structure of the majority culture (Canadian culture in this case), trends of change in the majority society and the forces of assimilation. The second is the internal aspect, the ethnic identity as seen from inside, both at the cultural level of symbolic expression and the personality level of adaptation (Boyer, 1987, pp. 107-113). The second part of ethnicity' in aging is enacted on the basis of the first, that is, the changing majority culture. The length of stay in Canada is also an important factor. Among earlier immigrant groups, the elderly are second or third generation who have assimilated to a greater extent than the post-war immigrants, who are foreign born. Attitudes toward elderly family members may vary among ethnic groups commensurate to economic adequacy, work patterns of women, number of children and traditions. 22 3.4 Housing ethnic elders In a multicultural society such as Canada, the aged population is not homogeneous and ethnic differences must be taken into account when considering solutions designed to alleviate housing problems faced by the elderly. From current literature, it is clear that the elderly in ethnic groups, the Chinese, Ukranians and Jews for example, are being institutionalized in facilities exclusively operating for their culture. For ethnic elders, successful adjustment to aging is compounded by their minority statuses (Norman, 1985, p. 46). Particular needs in terms of easy access to places of worship, food shops and language difficulties make it essential that elderly people from a particular ethnic group are re-housed in the same neighbourhood. Also generated are the need for sheltered housing with community support and administrators from the same ethnic background as the residents (Norman, 1985, pp. 1-3). 3.4.1 Physiological aspects of aging The underlying cause of many of the problems of the aged lies in the steadily progressive impairment of their physical and mental abilities. This process of deterioration has an influence on all aspects of life, upon the day-to-day activities and as a consequence, on the requirements of the immediate physical environment. The requirements of healthy older persons are similar to those of the general population. At the other extreme, frail and ailing elderly persons require nothing short of extensive medical care. Generally, the health of most senior persons falls between these two extremes and is variable over a period of time. 23 The aged are not a homogeneous group. The "aged period" extends over thirty years and each person passes through a continuum of housing and health-care needs. Accordingly, the housing requirements of the "aged" extend over a wide range (Kira, 1958). Also, a careful balance of health-care and service provision has to be achieved in any housing programme for the elderly. 3.5 Sikh seniors In the Canadian context, Sikhs may be classified as a visible "ethnic" group. Details of the characteristics that set them apart from other ethnic groups and from the Canadians are presented in the following chapter. Definitions of "Sikh elderly" and the causes for this definition follow the description of Sikhs in general. Akin to other visible ethnic elders like the Ukranians or the Chinese, Sikh seniors in Canada face triple jeopardy. They experience problems associated with aging (e.g. decreased health and mobility, loss of spouse); in extended family households they often lack economic independence and status; and difficulty in communication in English reduces their use of services in the Canadian context. As detailed in section 3.3, several factors hinder the formation and operation of an extended family structure in the Canadian environment. The extent to which this problem is faced by Sikhs and the resulting impact on housing for their elderly are dealt with in the next chapters. 24 CHAPTER 4 SIKHS This chapter is an introduction to the Sikh religion and characteristics of Sikhs in the Canadian context. A description of Sikh elderly in the Canadian context follows the introduction. It is necessary to have some knowledge of the Sikh religion and what makes Sikhs so different from their Canadian neighbours, before tackling the situation of housing for Sikh seniors. The differences between Sikh seniors and the Canadian seniors, in terms of their age-sex ratios, proportions to the total Sikh population, income levels, current housing situations and special housing needs, will help identify modifications needed to make housing options in the Canadian context viable to these seniors. 4.1 Sikhism Sikhism1 was founded by Guru Nanak in the fifteenth century, in the midst of political turmoil (Campbell, 1977, p. 30). Amritsar, the holy city of the Sikhs, houses the Golden Temple. A feeling of unity within the community is an integral part of the religion itself. This unity is expressed outwardly through their easily identifiable appearance. Baptism, an initiation into the Sikh faith calls for faithful adherence to the five outward symbols of the faith or Kakkas2. A baptized Sikh has uncut beard and hair (hence the turban), wears 1. For detailed information on Sikhs refer to: Singh, Kushwant. A history of the Sikhs, Two volumes, Princeton, 1963-66. 2. The five symbols of the faith are referred to as the Kakkas. An orthodox Sikh gentleman is obligated by his religion to: 25 an iron bangle on his left wrist, keeps a small ceremonial dagger and comb on his person at all times and wears a special type of underpants. Another significant feature among Sikhs is the adoption of a common second name-- "Singh" (meaning lion; a common second name indicates equality and the absence of a caste system, unlike the Hindu religion) in the case of men and "Kaur" (meaning princess) in the case of women (Chadney, 1984, p. 85; Buchignani and Indra, 1985, p. 10). Sikhs are set off from other minority groups and the dominant Canadian majority by their distinctive cultural customs, darker skin colour, their language (Punjabi) and religion. In addition, there are many other factors that tend to set the Sikhs apart from the majority population (i.e., Canadians). Food preferences, dress habits, leisure-time activities, occupational preferences and many other categories all tend to form a conglomerate of initially distinguishing factors. Race, language and religion are the most obvious criteria which may be employed to distinguish the Sikhs of Vancouver from others in the area, but they must be viewed as only a part of a larger complex of significant variables. The totality of distinguishing variables (or ethnic traits) not only determine the Sikhs to be a minority but a community as well (Chadney, 1984, p. 4). In spite of the several distinguishing characteristics that set Sikhs apart, it has taken the Canadian census and immigration several decades to recognize the Sikh community as a separate entity in the Canadian multi-cultural mosaic. Throughout the history of their immigration to Canada, Sikhs have been classified as "Hindus", "East Indians", "Indo-Pakistanis" or "South Asians". Due to these different census terms, it is difficult to obtain census data on Sikhs in Canada. This aspect has been dealt with in Appendix 1. i. keep his hair (Kesh) from birth, a sign of dedication and commitment, ii. wear a comb (Kanga) in his hair needed for grooming iii. wear breeches or battledress (Kaccha), showing readiness to go into battle at any time to protect the honour of the community iv. wear an iron bangle (Kara) representing valour and heroism v. keep a slightly curved sword for fighting (Kirpaan) at all times. These five symbols of faith set the Sikh apart from all other religious communities in India. The turban, although not mandatory, in the same sense, has come to be included. 26 4.2 Sikh immigration to Canada The history of South Asian immigration to Canada is divided into three distinct periods, reflecting major changes in immigration policies (Buchignani and Indra, 1985, p. 1; D'Costa, 1986). They are: (i) the Early Years (1904-19), (ii) the Quiet Years (1920-47) and (iii) the Post-War era (1948-present) (Buchignani, 1980) (Table 1, Fig. 1.). 4.2.1 Early Years (1904-1919) The first wave of pioneer Sikh immigrants to British Columbia in 1904-1907 was followed by a long period of discrimination against Asians and "Hindus" (as the Sikhs were then referred to), in particular. These immigrants to Canada (1908-1918) met with discrimination and hostility. They were classified with the unwanted Chinese and Japanese immigrants. They were geographically concentrated in British Columbia. Also, at that time, British Columbia's economy was such that it could not accommodate more immigrants. The Asian immigrants were willing to work for far less wages than the Canadians, which led to constant conflict between the two groups. This rejection and hostility on the part of the host society further reinforced the need for the Sikh immigrants to group together, avoiding contact with their Canadian neighbours (Campbell, 1977, pp. 35-38). 4.2.2 Quiet Years (1920-1947) Canadian authorities banned immigration from India up to the 1920s, when spouses and children of Sikhs resident in Canada were allowed to enter Canada. This trickle of women 27 TABLE 1. TOTAL EAST INDIAN IMMIGRATION TO CANADA BY YEAR; 1904-1983 YEAR NO. YEAR NO. YEAR NO. YEAR NO. 1904 1905 1906 1907 1908 45 387 2124 2623 6 1924 1925 1926 1927 1928 46 62 62 56 52 1944 1945 1946 1947 1948 0 1 7 130 63 1964 1965 1966 1967 1968 1154 2241 2233 3966 3229 1909 1910 1911 1912 1913 10 5 3 5 88 1929 1930 1931 1932 1933 58 80 47 62 33 1949 1950 1951 1952 1953 52 93 81 173 170 1969 1970 1971 1972 1973 5395 5670 5313 5049 9203 1914 1915 1916 1917 1918 0 1 0 0 0 1934 1935 1936 1937 1938 33 20 13 14 14 1954 1955 1956 1957 1958 175 24 330 324 451 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 12868 10144 6733 5555 5110 1919 1920 1921 1922 1923 0 10 13 21 40 1939 1940 1941 1942 1943 11 6 3 0 0 1959 1960 1961 1962 1963 716 673 744 529 737 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 4517 8483 8256 7776 7041 Source: Chadney, 1986, Table 1, p. 60. TOTAL EAST INDIAN IMMIGRATION BY YEAR 11000 r YEARS Source. Chadney 1986. p. 60 29 and children increased in the 1950s, when the post-war economy in Canada was able to support a greater number of immigrants and their families. 4.2.3 Post-War Era (1948-present) The situation was different for the the second wave of Sikh immigrants to Canada (those who came after 1947). The greatest flow of immigrants from India occurred in the period 1969-75. Unlike their predecessors, these immigrants were dispersed throughout Canada. The occupational structure of the immigrants changed - from one of unskilled labourers, mill workers, lumberjacks, and farmers to that of professionals - reflecting the growing need of a modern Canada (D'Costa, 1986). The post-war economy was booming and they were easily absorbed into the labour market. Rates of immigration remained high throughout the 1970s and early 1980s. South Asians formed one of the largest immigrant groups during the period 1971 to 1982. In 1982, South Asian Canadians numbered 310,000 and they are currently one of Canada's largest and fastest growing ethnocultural populations (Buchignani and Indra, 1985, p. 116). It is estimated that by the year 2000, there will be 600,000 - 750,000 South Asian Canadians (Buchignani, 1982, p. 162). 4.2.4 Sikh immigrants: Place of origin and destination Although Sikhs form only a meagre two percent of the 761.1 million strong mid- 1986 Indian population (Asia Pacific Foundation, 1987, p. 5), it is interesting to note that they are a predominant South Asian ethnic group in Canada. Two-thirds of the 1981 Canadian South Asian population are Sikhs. Over ninety percent of British Columbia's East Indian 30 population are Sikhs (Ramcharan, 1982, p. 24) with a majority of, them tracing their roots to Punjab, India. A majority of Sikhs come from India and a smaller proportion of them come from as far as England and Africa (Wood, 1978). Currently, three quarters of South Asian immigrants from Britain are Sikhs. Sikhs also form five to ten percent of South Asian immigrants from Fiji and East Africa (Buchignani and Indra, 1985, pp. 128-129. These estimates of South Asian ethnic and regional populations are derived from the 1981 census and are approximate). Until the early 1960s, Vancouver CMA was the centre for the Canadian Sikhs, since over ninety percent of the Sikhs in Canada lived in British Columbia (Campbell, 1977, p. 4). Since then, Ontario has replaced British Columbia as the popular destination of Sikh immigrants to Canada. 4.3 Demographic profile: Age-sex distribution The demographic profile of Sikhs in Canada, which includes age-sex distribution, intended occupation and income, illustrates distinct patterns (Chadney, 1984, p. 32). These patterns and their implications are discussed in the following sections. An examination of the age-sex profile of Sikhs in Canada is essential to determine the current size and gender of the Sikh seniors and also the ratio of elderly to the care- giving population or informal support network. The size of the future senior population above sixtj' years of age can be assessed. Projections help determine the need/demand for senior housing and also the nature of the prospective residents (elderly males, elderly females or both). The age-sex distribution of Sikhs in Canada followed a cyclic pattern. Men arrived first to find a job. Once they were well established, they sent for their families in India (Chadney, 1984, p. 35). During the first fifteen years. (1904-1918), ninety-seven percent of the 31 immigrants from India to Canada were males (Ramcharan, 1982). Of these, ninety percent were Sikhs (Chadney, 1984, p.. 33) (Table 2, Fig. 2). In 1918, Canadian immigration policies permitted spouses and children of all resident South Asians to immigrate. In the next two decades (1923-1943), the percentage of adult male immigrants dropped; women and children formed more than fifty percent of all immigrants. Between 1944-1948, following an increase in employment opportunities in British Columbia, adult males once again formed a majority among the immigrants from India. An increase in the proportion of immigrant women and children followed. A quota system1 was established in 1951 and the overall number of Sikh immigrating to Canada increased dramatically. In 1971, women formed forty-one percent of the total Canadian Sikh population. The corresponding 1981 census figure reads forty-eight percent. Over forty-nine percent of the total Sikh population in Vancouver are women. Given the historical facts surrounding East Indian immigration to Canada, it is not surprising that the demographic picture of this group is skewed. Because of the low level of migration between the years 1920 and 1960 and a high level of migration between the j'ears 1961 and 1977, one finds that the majority of the East Indian population are in the twenty to sixty-four age group. Sixty-four percent of the population fall into this category with almost thirty-three percent being under the age of nineteen years. The remaining population is made up of those over sixty-five, many members of this group being older males who came to Canada during the pre-1940 migration period (Ramcharan, 1982, p. 28). 1. A fixed number of immigrants from India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka (over and above the sponsored category, i.e., spouses, aged parents and children below 21 years of age) were allowed to enter Canada each year. These numbers were set at 150, 100 and 50 for the three countries respectively. 32 TABLE 2. EAST INDIAN IMMIGRATION BY SEX BY FIVE YEAR PERIODS 1904-08 # % 1929-33 # % 1954-58 # % M 5158 99.5 M 24 8.6 M 495 32.5 F 15 .3 F 75 26.8 F 272 17.8 C 12 .2 C 181 64.6 C 338 22.2 1909-13 # % 1934-38 # % 1959-63 # % M 93 83.8 M 2 2.1 M 1634 48.3 F 6 5.4 F 32 34 F 852 25.1 C 12 10 C 60 63.8 C 904 26.6 1914-18 # % 1939-43 # % 1964-68 # % M 1 100 M 2 10 M 4725 36.8 F 0 - F 8 40 F 4155 32.4 C 0 C 10 50 C 3380 30.3 1919-23 # % 1944-48 # % 1969-71 # % M 49 58.3 M 129 64.2 M 7034 42.9 F 22 26.2 F 41 20.4 F 4934 30.2 C 13 15.5 C 31 15.4 C 4401 26.9 1924-28 # % 1949-53 # % M 38 13.7 M 304 53.4 F 101 36.3 F 150 26.4 C 139 50 C 115 20.2 Source: Chadney, 1982, p. 33 EAST INDIAN IMMIGRATION BY SEX BY FIVE YEAR PERIODS 34 4.3.1 Sikh seniors As discussed in section 3.1, the standard Canadian definition of "seniors" as those aged 65 and above is not applicable to ethnic elders, as they age faster due to stress. Sikhs have their origin in India, where the average life-expectancy for males is 57 and that for females is 54. Retirement age is fixed by the Indian government at 58. In the Canadian context, the term "Sikh elderly" refers to Sikhs aged 60 and above. Like the mainstream elderly, Sikh seniors may further be classified into young-old (60-69), middle-old (70-79) and old-old (80-plus). However, the age categories have been lowered to compensate for the stresses of aging in Canada and lower life-expectancy in the country of their origin. The Sikh population is younger than its mainstream Canadian counterpart (Table 3, Fig. 3). Census estimates of 1981 indicate that over four percent of the Sikh population in Vancouver CMA is aged 65 and over (Table 4). The corresponding figure for Vancouver CMA Canadians is about eleven percent (Gutman, 1986). Over six percent of the Sikh population in Vancouver is aged 60-plus (Fig. 4). The ratio of Sikh women to men in the 65-plus age group is 0.96. This ratio increases to 1.08 in the 60-plus age group. Census estimates of this ethnic group are low (as discussed in Appendix 1) due to suppression factors. The number of seniors is expected to increase over the next few years due to two reasons. First, the percentage of age distribution shows a bulge in the 2.5-40 age group, indicating a consequent increase in the number of seniors. Secondly, resident Canadian Sikhs are sponsoring their elderly relatives, especially parents and grandparents, under the "sponsored" and "relatives" category. In 1981, among the immigrants from India, sixteen percent were over 60 years of age (Sharma, 1986, p. 148). Favourable immigration policies indicate a continued over-representation of the elderly among all immigrants in general and Sikhs in particular. 35 T A B L E 3. AGE STRUCTURE OF ASIAN INDIANS IN CANADA  AND THE CANADIAN POPULATION, 1981 Percent of Population Age group Canadian Indian origin 0-4 7.7 0.7 5-9 7.7 2.5 10-14 8.3 5.8 15-19 5.4 7.2 20-24 10.1 9.8 25-29 9.4 12.6 30-34 8.8 15.6 35-39 7.0 13.1 40-44 5.8 9.7 45-49 5.4 6.8 50-54 5.4 4.6 55-59 5.1 3.5 60-64 4.2 3.0 65-plus 9.8 5.3 Source: Sharma, Table 1, 1986, p. 151. TABLE 4. POPULATION BY RELIGION AND SEX BY AGE GROUPS  1981, VANCOUVER CMA . SIKHS Age Males Females Total 0-14 3600 3550 7150 15-19 975 935 1910 20-24 1230 1220 2450 25-29 1150 1320 2470 30-34 1220 1060 2280 35-44 1450 1125 2575 45-54 790 855 1645 55-59 245 275 520 60-64 ... 175 245 420 65 + . 490 '475 965 Source: Canada. Statistics Canada, 1981 Census of Canada, Population catalogue No. 93-934, Vol. 2, Provincial Series, Table 6, page 5-9 1981. 36 A G E STRUCTURE O F ASIAN INDIANS IN C A N A D A & THE C A N A D I A N POPULATION. 1981 20 -I* -14 -So»rc». Skorao. 1986. f. ISI B Indian Origin H Canadian FIG 3 POPULATION BY RELIGION & SEX BY A G E G R O U P S VANCOUVER - SIKHS 1981 8000 7000 6000 9000 LU m ^ 4000 z 3000 2000 -1000 7150 2450 2470 2575 1645 m 965 520 420 a S * >»•' AGE GROUPS ^ Females • Males Source: Canada. Stotlttlci Canada. 1981. p.5-9. FIO 4 38 4.4 Sikhs: Occupational distribution Changes in the occupational composition of immigrants are consequential to varying economic conditions in Canada and changing immigration policies. The occupational composition of Sikh immigrants is more or less similar to that of immigrants from other countries (D'Costa, 1986, p. 119). 4.4.1 Economic profile of ethnic groups In general, Asian-Canadian economic relations followed three phases in Canadian immigration policy. The first phase starting early this century, was characterized by subjugation of non-white ethnic groups in low-status occupational positions. Legalized discrimination and social, political and economic inferiority continued to be enforced during the second phase that lasted until 1945. The final phase, continuing to date, introduced highly qualified, first-generation ethnic immigrants. This phase also saw the rise of second- and third- or fourth- generation Canadians of Asian descent to higher economic positions commensurate with their educational qualifications (Ramcharan, 1982, pp. 64-65; Porter, 1963, pp. 63-91). social, economic, and cultural ghettoization occurred, in part related to their minority and low-entry status and is mostly a phenomenon of the first-generation immigrants. For second-, third-, or fourth- generation Chinese, Japanese and East Indian immigrants, there has been a marked degree of geographic dispersion from areas of residential concentration . . ... The evidence suggests a high correlation between geographic dispersion, low in-group associational ties and occupational mobilit}' (Ramcharan, 1982, p. 112). 39 4.4.2 Pioneer Sikh immigrants: 1904-1920 In the beginning of the century, pioneer Sikh immigrants were easily absorbed into British Columbia's economy in lumber mills, mines, farms and the construction industry (Ramcharan, 1982, p. 31; Shergill, 1978; Raj, 1980). They filled the void created by reduced Chinese and Japanese immigration (Buchignani and Indra, 1984, p. 17). They were in the lowest paying jobs and Canadian laws prevented them from taking up government and most other jobs (Johnston, 1984, p. 31). Between 1904 and 1944, about ninety-eight percent of the total immigrants from India entered the labour force in Canada. During this period, there was only a very small percentage of dependents and those designated to "other occupations" (Table 5, Fig. 5). The other ninety-six percent of the work force were classified as "labourers." 4.4.3 Post-war immigrants: 1947-present A system of selective immigration was set up to recruit persons for professional and highly skilled jobs; through the 1950s the proportion of managerial, professional and technical personnel among East Indian immigrants rose steadily (Buchignani and Indra, 1985, p. 110). Between 1945 and 1983, the percentage of dependents increased to sixty-three. Of 40 TABLE 5. OCCUPATION OF EAST INDIAN IMMIGRANTS LABOURERS VS. PROFESSIONALS 1904-1944 Total immigrants to Canada from India 6,053 Dependents 124 Total Work Force 5,929 Indians classified as labourers 5,709 Labourers as Percent of Work Force 96.29 1945- 1983 Total immigrants to Canada from India 125,630 Dependents 78,847 Total Work Force 46,783 Indians classified as Professionals 21,995 Professionals as Percent of Work Force 46.93 Source: Canada Employment and Immigration in Chadney, Table 2, p. 62. OCCUPATION OF EAST INDIAN IMMIGRANTS Sourc* i C h o d n » y . 1966. p. 62. FIG 5 42 those in the work force, forty-seven percent were "professionals." The two broad occupational categories of "labourers" and "professionals" symbolize the most salient aspects of intra-ethnic diversity among Vancouver Sikhs and thus they can be used to account for differential patterns of ethnic adaptation (Chadney, 1986, p. 61). I 4 . 4 . 4 Current occupational profile As regards recent East Indian immigration to Canada, a notable aspect is the steady decline in the proportion of immigrants destined to the labour force (Chadney, 1984, p. 39). The proportion dropped from forty-six percent in 1968-72 to about twenty-nine percent in 1978-82. Also, during the period 1966-77, the percentage of incoming dependent children (twenty-five percent) was higher among the Sikhs than any other immigrant group (Ramcharan, 1982, p. 31). This change is a reflection of the new immigration policies which emphasize family reunification and refugee resettlement (D'Costa, 1986, p. 119). 4 . 4 . 5 NACOI survey results The B.C. Chapter of the National Association of Canadians with origin in India (NACOI) conducted a survey of Indo-Canadians in Greater Vancouver in 1980 (Singh, 1981). Their -1. The terms "other occupations," "professionals" and "labourers" have been used in a very general sense to convey the differences between "white collar" and "blue collar" workers. The three major occupational categories for immigrants from India are: i. Professional and Technical Occupations ii. • Clerical, Sales and Service Occupations iii. Processing, Machining and Fabricating occupations. For immigrants from India, the farming sector is of considerable importance; it still represents a high proportion in relation to other occupational groups. 43 sample consisted primarily of Punjabi speaking members of the Gurudwara. The information on income and occupation of the sample population corresponds to the statistics of Chadney (1984 and 1986) and D'Costa (1986). Singh (1986, pp. 10-12) reports that unskilled factory work has been an important occupation for manj' Indo-Canadians; however, in the past two decades, its relative importance has shown some decline. Of those who came to Canada before 1961, fifty-six percent of household heads were unskilled factory workers. The corresponding figures for those who immigrated between 1961-1974 and after 1975,were sixty percent and forty-four percent respectively (Singh, 1981, p. 10). How this shift in the occupational categon' of immigrants is reflected in the varying levels of adaptation of the Sikhs in Vancouver is discussed in the next section. 4.4.6 Occupation and association with the Gurudwara The present Sikh community in Vancouver has its origins in the working classes. Pioneer Sikh immigrants could not communicate in English and were not familiar with Canadian culture. A majority of them were adult men who had left their families behind. They needed to organize themselves as a "community" against the hostile Canadian environment and to fight for their rights, for franchise, against discrimination, and to improve their social and economic status in Canada (Ramcharan, 1982, p. 23). The Gurudwara, as the centre of their community, served to knit them together (Johnston, 1984). Recent immigrants with little or no knowledge of English, or those in need of a job, are still greatly supported by the Gurudwara and its agencies. This identification with the 44 Gurudwara is reflected in the "proletarian profile of the Sikh concentration near the temple" (Chadney, 1986, p. 63). Sikh immigrants who are professionals do not have impediments to economic success; their resources are such that they are able to fit easily into the Canadian society. They have the advantage of not having to compete in the the Canadian economic structure and face very little discrimination or restrictions (Chadney, 1984, p. 66). These individuals do not need to depend on the Gurudwara and other community supports for their economic or social needs. 4.4.7 Occupation and residential distribution Housing options also reflect the degree of occupational specialization. The labourers are concentrated in the South Vancouver district, near the mills and the Gurudwara. The professionals, on the other hand, are scattered throughout the Vancouver CMA. Sikh labourers are residentially and occupationally concentrated, whereas Sikh professionals are residential^ and occupationally dispersed. This aspect of assimilation level and residential concentration is discussed in a later chapter. 4.4.8 Occupation and adaptation The patterns of residential distribution have influenced, ethnic adaptations to a great extent (Chadney, 1986, pp. 63-64). According to Chadney, ethnic identity is central to those Sikhs who live near the Gurudwara and do not interact with the Canadian society on a day-to-day basis. Traditional Punjabi values are an important part of the daily lives of. 45 these mainly working-class people. To them, ethnic identity based on their religion is more important than occupational or class identity. In contrast, professionals, in their attempt to, attain equal status with professional Canadians, do not seek to maintain close affiliations with the community (Chadney, 1984, p. 64). They tend to retain their ethnic identity to the extent that it does not interfere with their career or professional image; occupational mobility being considered more important than the community itself (Ramcharan, 1982, p. 112). Most of them have abandoned the traditional symbols of Sikhism and appear clean-shaven and without their turban (Chadney, 1986, p. 63). 4.5 Sikhs: Incomes 4.5.1 Categories of Immigrants During the past two decades, immigrants to Canada have been recruited "on the basis of education, vocational training and occupation. Consequently, it is assumed that they will achieve a good economic status in Canada" (Verma, 1986, p. 125). Currently, in addition to the category mentioned above, Sikh immigrants are admitted under the following categories; "family class" and "retirees." Verma (1986, p. 134) indicates that the "family class immigrants and. retirees are admitted on a good health basis only." Assisted relatives are not judged on the basis of their designated occupation and knowledge of English or French (Canada. Employment and Immigration Canada, 1978). Other categories under which a small percentage of immigrants are admitted to Canada, are the refugee status and the amnesty programme to provide legal status to illegal entrants (Verma, 1986). A small number of Sikhs from 46 Punjab (India) have been admitted to Canada under both these categories. The boat load of more than one hundred Sikhs that landed in Nova Scotia in 1987 made headlines across the country. Almost all of them have been given permission to settle in Toronto and Vancouver. The above-mentioned immigration policy considerations have increased differences in income between immigrant groups and the native-born populations (Verma, 1986). 4.5.2 Annual income levels As regards incomes of Sikh families in Vancouver, Ames and Inglis (1967) found that rent was a major source of family income. Also, women play a smaller part in contributing to family income as compared to men (Chadney, 1984, p. 91). According to Mohinder Singh's survey of Punjabi-speaking population in Greater Vancouver (1981, pp. 18-20), sixty-three percent of families that had arrived in Canada before 1960 had annual incomes over $25,000. The corresponding percentages for those who arrived between 1961-1974 and after 1975 are sixty-two and forty-two respectively. These findings are supported by the conclusion drawn by Verma (1986, p. 134). Verma states that Indian-born immigrants who landed during the period 1975-1979 were found to have a lower average income, compared to the Canadian- born population. However, Singh's survey (1981, p. 19) indicates that on an average, about fifty-nine percent of the Indo- Canadian families surveyed had annual incomes higher than the average for the province (according to Statistics Canada, $20,700 was the average 1979 income per family in B.C.). Another eighteen percent were found to have incomes equal to or greater than the general average. 47 Pertinent information regarding Punjabi elderly (Singh, 1981, p. 20) in the survey sample is that among the work force of Indo-Canadians, about one percent receive old age pension. 4.5.3 Incomes of Sikh seniors Immigrants, especially ethnic elderly, are usually at the lower end of income scales. They occupy lowest- pa3'ing jobs because of their inadequate education, inability to communicate effectively in English and general unfamiliarity. with the culture of the host country. Another reason for their low income status is discrimination and lack of opportunity to attain the education necessarj' for advancement and social mobility (Gelfand, 1982, pp. 35-36). Canadian immigration rules permit elderly parents of permanent residents to enter Canada under the "sponsored relative" category. However, they are not eligible for any form of government assistance during the first ten years of their stay in Canada. A majoritj' of elderly Sikhs who are sponsored by their children are not in a position to work because of the unfamiliar environment; nor are they eligible for Welfare. They are thus financially dependent on their sponsor. The impact of this on their housing conditions is discussed in detail in the following chapter. 4.6 Sikhs: Mortality and fertility rates 4.6.1 Mortality No data is available regarding life expectancy of Sikh immigrants in Canada. 1981 Census information from India indicates that the average life expectancy for males is 57, 48 while for females, it is 54. According to Sharma (1986), stringent medical examination of immigrants ensures that only the healthy are admitted. The ratio of Sikh women to men is close to one. The corresponding ratio for Canadians is slightly more than one (Sharma, 1986, p. 150). The proportion of children and elderly among Sikhs is much lower than that of the Canadians. This profile of Sikhs, which is so much different compared to the Canadian profile, is conducive to lower mortality than the Canadian population. 4.6.2 Fertility A study by Basavarajappa and Halli (1986) investigates the relevance of ethnicity to fertility and age at marriage. In the Canadian context, there is a difference in family size among Asian ethnic groups. Asian Indian women have the lowest fertilitj' rate, even lower than their Canadian counterparts, with the exception of Japanese Canadians. This is probably due to the comparatively younger age-structure of the population and higher socio-economic position. Further, foreign birthplace is usually linked to a decrease in childbearing; Asian Indian women born outside Canada tend to have a lower fertility than Asian Indian women born in Canada. The reasons attributed to this factor are "characteristic differences, migration selectivity and/or cultural norms" (Basavarajappa and Halli, 1986, p.. 146). Also, this pattern may be a reflection of social psychological insecurities. As couples experience upward mobility, they make sacrifices in family size in order to achieve and maintain expected levels of socio-economic status. 4.7 Residential distribution The connection between occupation and residential distribution of Sikhs has already been discussed. Chadney (1984) traces the changes in settlement pattern over the period of 49 Sikh immigration history. Throughout this period, there has never been an equivalent of "Chinatown" or an area of exclusive Sikh segregation. Sikhs however have ". . . a tendency to cluster near their place of work" (Mayer, 1959, p. 4). The area along the southern shore of False Creek housed several lumber mills and this became an area of concentration of Sikh residences. A Gurudwara was built on East 2d Avenue. When the mills were relocated to South Vancouver, on the banks of the Fraser river, the residential concentration also shifted gradually. By 1959, thirteen and fourteen percent respectively of the East Indian residents lived in these two areas: in the Fairview-Mount Pleasant area North of Broadway and between Main Street and Arbutus Street; and the new area of concentration in the area bounded by Ontario and Argyle Streets, 62d Avenue and the southern shores of Mitchell Island (Figs 6 and 7a). This concentration of Sikhs in Southern Vancouver has increased in size and importance. Two reasons have been attributed to this change in settlement pattern. First, the relocation of the mills resulted in the subsequent relocation of several mill workers. The second and more important reason was the construction of a new Gurudwara on Ross Street and Marine Drive in 1969, to meet the needs of the growing Sikh community in Vancouver. Land was inexpensive and readily. available in this area, in contrast to that near the Gurudwara on East 2d Avenue. By the year 1972, more than sixty percent of the Sikhs resided in the area bounded by Cambie, Victoria and Marine Drive (Fig. 7b). The area consists of primarily middle-class Sikhs (Chadney, 1986, pp. 104-112), with the wealthy and the professional Sikhs living elsewhere (Buchignani and Indra, 1985, p. 180): It is not Sikhtown in the sense of the clearly delineated and highly concentrated Vancouver Chinatown, but there is an Indian-ness that pervades the area . . . . One will find the Punjabi language "on the street" more often near the Ross Street temple than in any part of the city (Chadney, 1984, pp. 111-112). 50 The concentration of Sikhs in this area seems to be increasing, corresponding to the rise in immigration from Punjab (Figs. 8a and 8b). Newly arrived immigrants are housed with or near their relatives. Chadney (1984) also indicates that at thetime of his study (1971), forty percent of Sikh residences were rental property and of these, over sixty-two percent had been rented from other Sikhs. 51 Figure 6 Vancouver city: Residential districts 52 Figure 7b East Indian Residential Pattern, 1970 Sourc«t Chadney 1982. pp|06-!09 Figure 8a Vancouver CMA: Indo- Pakistani ethnic origin- 1981 bourne eteui., !9Sfo, 400 to 450 300 to 400 250 to 300 200 to 250 150 to 200 100 to 150 75 to 100 40 to 75 0 to 40 Figure 8b Vancouver city: Population by mother- tongue (Punjabi), 1986 55 4.8 Reasons for the current Sikh demographic profile Chadney (1984, pp. 40-43) highlights several factors that have been collectively responsible for the current demographic profile of Sikhs in Canada. The preference of pioneer immigrants to settle in British Columbia in general and. Vancouver in particular, led to.their becoming a visible and unwanted minority and the attempts to ban further East Indian immigration followed. The. common place of origin (Punjab) of a great majority of Sikhs has influenced the perpetuation of traditional Punjabi identifications in terms of marriage and leadership patterns. , Changes in immigration policies that allowed residents to bring in parents from India helped retain the traditional nature of the community. Sikhs have made full .use of immigration policies that allow them to sponsor relatives. Over a period of time, a network of relatives has been established, often within the same city. Marriages with spouses from India and village-based relations, help maintain the community identity (Buchignani and Indra, 1984, p. 129). The occupational character of the immigrants also greatlj' influenced the development of the community. British Columbia's lumber', industay absorbed a great majority of the pioneer immigrants and this field remains pivotal to the community to this day. As the immigrants changed from "labourers" to "professionals", from 1960 onwards., Ontario replaced British Columbia as the most popular province of destination. Vancouver, however, still retains its labour class profile. . ...this economic profile is still apparent and continues to dominate the configuration of resource competition within the Vancouver Sikh .' community . . . (Chadney, 1984, p. 43). 56 The current age-sex profile of Vancouver Sikhs indicates a dominance in the proportion of those in the labour force (25-40 age group), with smaller proportions of children and seniors. Thus, the current seniors' cohort appears to have a good support network in terms of financial security, besides having an extensive kin and friends network. However, the seniors' personal income levels are expected to be on the lower side, as is common with all immigrant ethnic elders. They are not eligible for any financial assistance from the Canadian government during the first ten years of their stay. Thus a. majority of them (other than those who have access to resources in their home country) are financially dependent on their sponsors (usually their married children). Low mortality and fertility rates among Asian Indians in Vancouver CMA (a majority of whom are Sikhs) indicate an imminent increase in the number of seniors living longer; a simultaneous decrease in the proportion of Sikhs in the labour force would result in a poorer care-giver to care-receiver ratio, compared to its present proportions. These factors would be reflected by a shift in the demographic profile of Sikhs closer to the overall Canadian profile. 57 CHAPTER 5 ASPECTS OF SIKH AGING IN CANADA 5.1 Family structure 5.1.1 Traditional model Traditional families are structured around certain principles; patriarchal domination of women by men; gerontocracy, within the constraints of one's sex; and well defined statuses and roles in the family (Buchignani, 1984, p. 169). In a country like India, statuses and roles are well defined as compared to Canada, socio-economic mobilhy is less prevalent, though it is on the rise in recent years and people are not familiar with changing or ambiguous role-playing. Families stay together since individuals do not have sufficient resources to do otherwise. In no other aspect of daily life have the South Asians changed more as a result of immigration, than in family relations (Buchignani, 1984, pp. 167- 169). 5.1.2 Pioneer Sikh immigrants In the beginning of this century, the entire Sikh population in Vancouver consisted of adult males. Pioneer. Sikh immigrants were always in contact with other men from their own community and remained isolated from the host culture by their pattern of life as well as by language and culture. The absence of family life and children reduced considerably social interaction with their Canadian neighbours (Johnston, 1984, p. 8). The Sikh temple built in Vancouver in 1908 was a meeting place for all immigrants from the Indian subcontinent regardless of their religion and it played a key role in knitting the community together. 58 These men from Punjab were slow to establish families in Canada. Two reasons have been attributed to this. First, the immigration rules did not allow them to bring their spouses; and second, their intention was to earn money for their families in India and return home eventually. It was only after 1918 that Indian men resident in Canada were allowed to bring in their wives and minor children. Canadian immigration laws were such that a resident Indian could return to his country and come back to Canada even after three to six years. This meant that a man could work for a few years in Canada and then spend an extended period of time with his family in India. An unmarried man had time to find a wife. Always these men returned leaving their wives behind. A few would bring a son aged 18 or less to Canada. This system worked so well that there were almost no marriages between Sikh men and Canadian women outside the Sikh community (Johnston, 1984, pp. 9-10). Comparing this with the situation in the United States at that time, it is found that there was considerable loss of Sikh culture there. The American law on lost domicile ruled that an immigrant lost his right to return if he spent more than six months outside the host country. Consequently there were several marriages between Sikhs and American-Mexican women (Brack, 1988). In Canada, by 1941, there were only 165.Indian women and 750 men. A majority of these men were the pioneer immigrants, now in the 50-plus age-group. There were hardly any children in this group of immigrants and the Canadian-born population was very young. At this stage, the Sikhs were geographically dispersed throughout British Columbia, but mostty in the Vancouver and Victoria areas. Their primary occupation was in the lumber industry, working for wages in sawmills; few were farmers and some went 59 into business. The first generation of Canadian-born Sikhs reached marriageable age in the 1950s. There were more males than females in this community. Marriages were arranged by parents and partners were chosen from India. I 5.1.3 Post- war Sikh immigrants In contrast to the pioneer immigrants, Indian immigrants who came to Canada during the 1960s were more adaptable to life in Canada, due to their familiarity with the British culture. Urban, educated, professional South Asians have adapted with little difficulty (Buchignani, 1984, p. 166-167). Non-working adults, retired parents, unemployed immigrants and those who have little or no meaningful contact with people of their particular ethnic communitj' are less integrated culturallj'. Also in this categorj' are those that work within their community (in farms, lumber mills) and immigrants who do not interact with others in their jobs (janitors). As mentioned earlier, current immigration rules are favourable to family reunification. Consequently, there is an influx of aged parents and other relatives from India. The study of Sikhs in British Columbia conducted by Ames and Inglis (1967) is a major source of information as far as Sikh family structure is concerned. Eighty percent of the families studied in this investigation were found to be nuclear in structure. The remaining twenty percent of the families surveyed lived in some form of joint family system.' The smaller size of dwellings in Vancouver may have been one of the causes for this predominance of nuclear families (Chadney, 1984, p. 100); so also the difficulty of regrouping an extended family network in Canada (Ramcharan, 1982, p. 46). Another contributing factor is the economic independence achieved by the younger generation in Canada. They no longer require the financial security that the extended family system offers (Buchignani and Indra, 1984, p. 154). ' 60 The joint family system favours patrilocal residence (residence in the home of a husband's family). An important feature that emerged with the increase in the Sikh population is the decrease in both agnatic (relatives by birth) and affinal (relatives by marriage) relations. These were replaced by non-kin based interaction. Neolocal residence (independent residence of a couple) is the most frequently occurring pattern of post-marital residence. Though residential patterns tend to be close to the Canadian model, Sikh ethnic identity is maintained to a great extent by bringing in "traditional" spouses frOm India for a large portion of the Canadian-born generation. Arranged marriages are very common and endogamy is strictfy practised. The community attempts to maintain the Sikh identity primarily through marriage within the community (Chadney, 1986, pp. 85-86). Among South Asian ethnic groups, long-term extended families (extended families that reside together on a permanent basis) can be found only among the Sikhs (Srivastava, 1974). Extended families on a temporary basis, when newcomers stayed with relatives until they found a place for themselves, are common (Buchignani, 1984, p. 169). The extended family system is kept alive by sponsoring and helping newly arrived.relatives in Canada. Also, close links are maintained with family members in India (Ramcharan, 1982, p. 46) by frequent visits, phone calls and letters. In sum, Severe strains were imposed on the traditional nature of the extended family as a result of migrating. While at first, the male numerical majority created few problems, when they were joined by their wives and children they had to establish new single-family households, similar to the nuclear family of the majority society. In these households, there would also be a few male relatives waiting for their relatives to arrive. . . . While parents sometimes joined their sons in Canada, this was a rare occurrence since it meant abandoning their family home as well as adjusting to difficult cultural and climatic change. While cultural ties of loyalty, obedience and respect for elders are still in norm for most second- and third- generation East Indians in Canada, the impact of cultural conflict has not escaped this group and conflicting parent/child value systems can lead to severe tensions in the home (Ramcharan,. 1982, pp. 45- 46). 61 Clearly, the Canadian cultural values have influenced the East Indian family unit. Urbanization makes the extended or joint family difficult to maintain effectively and the nuclear family is becoming ... the norm for the group. . . . For the Canadian-born-and-educated East Indian, while endogamy can be expected to be the norm, it can be suggested that the pressures for wider group socialization and out-group membership will grow. As with the other minority groups in the society, traditional family patterns will gradually weaken, but not to the extent that the major distinctive features of the unit will be blurred entirely (Ramcharan, 1982, p. 47). 5.2 Informal support network Gelfand (1982, p. 75) describes the common family pattern among ethnic populations of the United States; it is one of mutual assistance among two or three generations. Patterns of assistance from children to older adults were found in Bengston's (1979) study of whites, blacks and Hispanics in California and in Cantor's research (1979a and 1979b) in New York city. These studies indicate that there was an extensive support network for the aged among the black and Hispanic population and that a large number of the elderly in these communities lived with their adult children. . . However, Mindel (1979) shows that the number of elderly people living in inter-generational households has been consistently declining (Gelfand, 1982, p. 77). The family also remains a major component in assistance patterns of Asian-Americans. . . . As is true in many of the ethnic groups, assistance for maintaining the elderly in their own homes is vital, since . many ethnic families have a strong belief that older relatives should remain in their own homes. . . . Filial piety also implies that children are obliged to provide a variety of supportive services for parents. ... The result of this emphasis is the adoption of a pattern of closety knit relationships that extends even into leisure-time activities (Gelfand, 1982, pp. 78-79). Studies indicate that this is true of the Sikh community in Vancouver (Chadney, 1982, 1986; Buchignani and Indra, 1985; Ramcharan, 1984). As mentioned in the previous 62 chapter, Sikhs in Vancouver maintain a close kin network. Ties are maintained with family and friends in the home country as well. The Gurudwara also plays a pivotal role in maintaining these networks.: 5.3 Acculturation Unlike in the worlds of work and housing, where there is a degree of compulsory association with the dominant culture, accommodation in the cultural sphere is voluntary (Ramcharan, 1982, p. 73). . . . This process (acculturation) is slower for the first-generation immigrants, but intensifies with second- and third- generation Canadian-born East Indians. The growth of inter-generational conflict within the . group is a reflection of the pressure to adopt Canadian values and participate in the Canadian cultural activities of their peers, particularly among teenage East Indian children. . . . even though the parents may disapprove of their children's marital or sexual arrangements, improved educational and occupational opportunities for the second- generation has meant that the patterns of behaviour of the host society and their influences have to be acknowledged and accepted (Ramcharan, 1982, p. 79). The acculturation process operates effectively through the educational system. The language barrier is removed; there is high motivation to succeed economically and socially. The East Indian young adult has to compromise in his cultural traditions and values and adapt to his new reality (Ramcharan, 1982, p. 79). Most of these young adults have never been exposed to the value system prescribed bj' their parents. If skin colour continues to act as an artificial barrier to acceptance into the host society, the ethnic community will retain greater cohesiveness and compromise between old values and the new social and cultural order (Ramcharan, 1982, p. 80). Summarizing the last two chapters, Sikhs are a visible ethnic group in the Canadian context. They have a history of immigration to Canada spanning the last eight decades. 63 Pioneer Sikh immigrants were mostly labourers, from a rural background and with low assimilation levels. Favourable Canadian immigration policies from the 1960s onward have resulted in an escalation in the proportion of seniors among Sikh immigrants (this proportion was sixteen percent in 1981). Literature on South Asian and Sikh immigrant groups is replete with details of assimilation of the Canadian-born generation (Buchignani, 1984; Buchignani and Indra, 1985; Ramcharan, 1982; Chadney, 1984). This raises the question of housing for the elderly, since assimilation is accompanied by an increase in nuclear households. Housing options available to the Canadian elderly are a response to their diverse needs. Of these options, the "supportive housing" option is introduced in the next chapter. Focus is on the Abbeyfield model and the chapter outlines some of its features in the Canadian context. 64 CHAPTER 6 SUPPORTIVE HOUSING OPTIONS: THE ABBEYFIELD ALTERNATIVE A definition of shared housing states that "it is a solution in which at least two unrelated persons live together in a single dwelling unit and each has a private space while sharing common areas such as bathroom, kitchen, living and dining rooms" (Blackie, 1984, p. 133). Shared housing falls into two categories; naturally occurring (see section 8.2) and agency-sponsored. This section discusses some of the agency-sponsored types-congregate, sheltered and supportive-Sis housing alternatives for Sikh elderly. Focus is on the features of the Abbeyfield model which is classified under the "sheltered" category, but which has certain characteristics that set it apart from other models1. 6.1 Features of congregate, sheltered and supportive housing models The concept of shared housing, focusing on pooling existing community and personal resources in family-style households, is a response to the need for. affordable housing alternatives for the elderty. It utilizes existing single family residences and apartments and is a self-help, self-reliant model that fosters sharing and independence through interdependence. The purpose of shared , housing is to maintain older persons in the community and to delay institutionalization (Day-Lower, 1983). The term "congregate" has its origin in the United States. As defined by CMHC (1988, p. 13), ". . .also known as shared housing, . .congregate housing provides older people with 1. A primary source of information on this subject has been the CMHC report on "Supportive housing for seniors: The elements and issues for a Canadian model" by Murray, 1988. 65 the opportunity to share daily activities with others on a regular basis, while at the same time preserving their independence." Building types for congregate housing include detached dwelling units or apartments in groups of fifty units or more (Seaton, 1987, p. 1-2; Martin, 1987). This type of accommodation may be specially designed or provided in remodeled large existing houses. Residents have their own private living, sleeping areas and a kitchen for light meals (Canada. CMHC, 1988, p. 13). Tenure may be rental or modified to. maintain equity. Services provided include meals and emergency call systems. This type of housing is often owned and operated by a non- profit agency, a church, for example, or a public agency. Residents are encouraged to participate in the day-to-day running and management of the housing (Canada. CMHC, 1988, p. 13). The concept of "sheltered housing" was developed in the United Kingdom. It sometimes refers to small groups (20 - 30) of independent units (cottages or bungalows), supervised by a warden. Services include an emergency call button (Martin, 1987), daity checks, and supervision (Murraj', 1988, p. 8). . Tenure is either rental, ownership or long- term lease, depending on whether the housing is developed by local housing authorities or private developers (Martin, 1987). The term "sheltered" is classified by four key points (Murray, 1988, p. 8). 1. Protection against mishap, 2. Ease, convenience and comfort (by heated corridors, small multiple dwellings, or absence of stairs), 3. Sociability through sharing of facilities and 4. Caring (house-cleaning, meals-on-wheels or other occasional assistance). The Canadian equivalent to congregate and sheltered is "supported-independent" housing (Brink, 1984, p. 15) or supportive housing. It is a new concept in Canada. This model employs existing or custom designed dwellings to "prolong the independence of the 66 residents by providing interpersonal and social (but not medical) support services within the housing unit" (Murray, 1988, p. 1). This model fosters companionship and mutual support among residents and is flexible enough to be modified according to their changing needs. Though individual units can be adapted to suit the location, nature of residents and services available, generally they conform to a basic set of features: 1. Supportive housing units are small-scale and not complex or cumbersome to manage. 2. Supportive housing residents are actively involved in their neighbourhood community so that a sense of belonging is maintained. 3. Such housing units have a support organization that provides continuity, usually through ownership, has legal responsibility for that housing, gives administrative support and supplies volunteer help as needed. 4. Supportive housing provides a home context for a family lifestyle, with mutual and interdependent support, care and enjoyment amongst the residents. 5. There is a resident "house person" to oversee the preparation of meals and general operation of the home. 6. Supportive housing provides space for exclusive use of each resident and shared space for all to use as desired with consideration for others. 7. Supportive housing units are financially self- sustaining and non-profit (Murray, 1988, p. 1). 6.2 Abbeyfield model: Features In the United Kingdom, supportive housing has taken the form of Abbeyfield housing, where it has been in existence for about thirty years (Murray, 1988, p. 7). In Canada, the concept of the Abbeyfield home has just gained foothold and several projects are being developed. The Abbeyfield Society is a federation of voluntary local charitable societies. The Abbeyfield Houses Society of Canada and local societies in British Columbia (Kelowna, 67 Victoria, Sidney and Vancouver) were formed in the mid- 1980s; two Abbeyfield houses (in Sidney and Kelowna) have commenced functioning as pilot projects (Murray, 1988). The purpose of the Abbeyfield society is to "provide the elderly with their own home within the security and companionship of small household, which can become focal points for goodwill and friendly contact within the community" (Murray, 1988, p. 7; Ontario Ministry of Housing, 1985, p. 25). A distinguishing feature of the Abbeyfield model is the small size of the individual units; with seven to ten residents in each (Canada. CMHC, 1988, p. 14). Each resident pays a full share toward the operating and maintenance charges (with or without government , subsidies), to make each unit financially self- supporting. Typically, Abbej^field homes are remodeled existing large, detached dwellings; sometimes homes are specially designed for the seniors. Residents are usually drawn from within the same communitj'. The house is acquired and operated oxi a non-profit basis by a local Abbeyfield Society (Murray, 1988, p. 10).'. Another feature of the Abbeyfield model is the role of the live-in housekeeper. "A housekeeper residing in each house cares for the residents, runs the house and provides and prepares the main meals." The housekeeper is typically in the 50-65 age group and may be married with grown children. The residents, Volunteers' Committee and the resident housekeeper are the three decision centres regarding household affairs (Abbeyfield, 1983: Murray, 1988, p. 11). < . Residents share the main meals of the day, served in a communal dining room (Murray, 1988, p. 10). Excepting for their own private bed- sitter spaces, residents share the other facilities including the kitchen, dining room and lounge. An essential difference between 68 the British and Canadian models is provision of toilet and washing facilities; the British share these. The residents' space may be characterized by the resident's initials on the door and his/ her own furniture inside (Murray, 1988, p. 11). Friends, relatives, health professionals and especially volunteers from the community are invited to interact with the Abbeyfield residents on a regular basis. Other community services that may frequent the house to assist the housekeeper include social workers, visiting nurses and meals-on-wheels (Murray, 1988, p. 11). Residents are encouraged to participate actively in the daily activities and operation of the home and to volunteer their services as mutual "buddies" to the other residents. 6.3 Target population for Abbeyfield homes Supportive housing is targeted to seniors in the old-old category, who do not need the level of health care offered at extended- care units, but are in need of social support from their peers and from the community (Murray, 1988, p. 1). Loneliness and secondly frailty, are the criteria for the selection of residents to Abbeyfield homes. The society operates on the premises that "elderly people have an important role to play amongst their families, friends and community; that many elderly people suffer from loneliness; that within the community the individual has an essential part to play in helping elderly people in special need" (Murray, 1988, p. 10). A profile of residents in the Abbeyfield homes in the United Kingdom and Australia indicates that a majority of them are over 75 years old, mostly women, either single, divorced or widowed, who live alone and have relocated to the home due to a recent traumatic experience (e.g. death of a spouse or health crisis). "Most potential clients are strongly protective of their independence and autonomy and do not want to be dependent 69 on family and friends. The3' want to remain where they are; in their own neighbourhood and among their possessions. Any suggestion of alternative housing appears to be an immediate threat to their independence " (Murray, 1988, pp. 80-81). Surveys and follow-ups of Abbeyfield housing by Morton-Williams (1979 and 1986), have documented the success of the projects. Residents were found to be happy, more independent and less lonety than if they had entered any other home for the elderly, or tried to live on their own. According to Shimizu (1988), . The surve}' (in 1979) indicated that Abbeyfield was largely succeeding in its objectives in that it provided a viable way of life for elderly people who would otherwise be lonely, and have difficulty managing their own lives in the community, or should have to enter a home for the aged of a large personal care residence. Most of them were happy, felt that they were maintaining a certain amount of independence and were neither lonely nor bored. A majority (sixtj'-one percent) thought that they received very good value for their money. In light of the information on supportive housing and the features of an Abbeyfield home, the next step was to examine the suitability of this option for Sikh seniors. A surve}' with an informal sample group was conducted to obtain first-hand evidence of current Sikh senior housing patterns and the possibility of changes in future. Details of the survey methodology and findings are presented in the following chapter. . 70 CHAPTER 7 SURVEY: METHODOLOGY AND FINDINGS 7.1 Objectives of the study The major objective of this study has been to identif}' the current living arrangements of Sikh seniors in the citj' of Vancouver. Focus has been on their accommodation, health and social circumstances, to reflect the strong relation between housing and overall well-being of seniors. More specifically, the study raised the following questions with regard to Sikh seniors: What are their basic demographic characteristics . . . e.g. age-sex distribution, marital status and income levels? What is their health condition? What are their current housing and household characteristics? To what extent do they receive social support from family, friends and relatives? To what extent do they need assistance for day-to-day activities? Do they foresee the need to move from their current residence? If so, what type of accommodation would they prefer to move to? , In subsequent chapters these questions are related to the Abbeyfield senior housing context. 71 7.2 Sampling 7.2.1 Unit of analysis and Sampling tool The survey concentrated on obtaining information from Sikh seniors resident in the city of Vancouver. A self-administered questionnaire was designed for individual Sikhs over fifty years of age. 7.2.2 Population frame and sampling method A complete list of Sikhs in Vancouver city was not available. Nor are Sikh population figures and cross-breaks available at tract or evaluation area levels of the 1981 Canada census. The Gurudwaras at Ross Street and Skeena Street in Vancouver city maintain a directory of their members. However it is not clear as to what proportion of the Sikh population in Vancouver city is included in either of these lists. Further, access to these directories is restricted. In the absence of accurate and detailed census data (see discussion in Appendix 1), it was not possible to frame the population and draw a statistically sound sample: ... drawing a truly representative sample may be possible only when the population is extremely homogeneous and some type of accurate and current list or registry can be used as a sampling framework (Lonner and Berry, 1986, p.86). Since it was not possible to choose a representative sample from among the Sikh seniors in Vancouver, in this exploratory project a sample of convenience has been used. Sikh seniors were contacted through community service centres and a Gurudwara. The group size was 72 restricted to fifty; forty-seven responses were obtained among which forty were completed by males. Seventeen responses were obtained from the Sikh seniors' group at Killarney Community center. Of the fifteen questionnaires distributed through the High Priest at the Akali Dal Singh Gurudwara at Skeena, there were ten responses. Eighteen respondents belonged to the Seniors' group at Sunset Community Center. Two responses were from persons referred to by other seniors, bringing the total number of respondents to forty-seven. At the two community centres, the questionnaire was administered to the group of respondents with the help of a translator. The questionnaires distributed through the Gurudwara were self-administered. TABLE 6. DISTRIBUTION OF QUESTIONNAIRE Distributed at Administration No. of responses Gurudwara Self-applied 10 Killarney Community Centre With a translator 17 Sunset Community Centre With a translator 18 Contact persons Self-applied 2 Total 47 7.3 Justification and description of target group Non-random samples are more common in cross-cultural, study than true random samples (Lonner and Berry, 1986, p. 86). As detailed in Appendix 1, census data on Sikhs is scanty and its values may be underestimates. Census information is collected through self-enumerated questionnaires in English. These may well be inaccurately filled by those Sikhs who have problems with the language. .A sample based on census data might thus 73 be non-representative of the actual Sikh population. For these reasons and for reasons of accessibility, time and convenience, a non-random, clustered sample was used for this survey. In this sample group, the subjects omitted would be those who were sick, socially isolated, unable to read or write either Punjabi and English, have poor eyesight or were temporarily in a hospital. The responses obtained were more likely to be from subjects who were articulate, capable of answering questions objectively and were willing to be interviewed. The sample is biased toward males who are in reasonably good health and who participate in seniors groups or have ties with the Gurudwara. There are comparatively fewer seniors' groups for women. Whereas men's groups have been in existence in Vancouver city since 1972, there are only a few women's groups. Traditionally, Sikh women have played a submissive role. Generally, senior Sikh women are socially inactive outside the circle of their friends and family. Their ties with the family are likely to be much stronger than those of the senior men. It is less probable that senior Sikh women will form potential clients for alternative housing. The male dominated survey group reflects the prospect group of those seniors among Sikhs who face possible need for housing alternatives. The findings of this survey give a male-biased indication of the nature of a small section of the Vancouver city Sikh population. An}' generalizations about Sikh seniors in Vancouver based on these findings must be tempered by the above reservations. The reactions of the Sikh seniors to the questionnaire were mixed. There.were a few who were unwilling to answer or were wary of questionnaires. Some gave comments like "I am quite happy where I am" or, "I will never allow my parents to enter a seniors' home". Most of them were friendly, willing to cooperate and interested in the study and its outcome. These acknowledge that housing is one of the problems faced by Sikh immigrants, especially the seniors. 74 7.4 Questionnaire construction The questionnaire was developed from a number of other studies. As far as possible, only pre-tested questions were used. The sources of the questions were (i) the NewHome Game Background information Questionnaire (Murray, 1988) and (ii) Health and social support, 1985 (Canada. Statistics Canada, 1987). The questionnaire consists of thirty questions (see Appendix 2 for a copy of the questionnaire). Since the questionnaire was intended to be self-administered, open-ended questions were replaced by multiple choice questions as far as possible for the convenience of respondents. The questionnaire underwent a number of revisions in pre-testing stages. The questionnaire was translated into Punjabi, as a majority of elderly Sikhs reportedly have difficulty communicating in English. Of the forty-seven completed response forms, all but five were in Punjabi. Of those who answered in English, one respondent had the answers written by her son. 7.5 Findings Seniors do not form a homogeneous group. Even within the category of "Sikh elderl}'", characteristics vary over a range of health and social conditions. The survey results reflect this variety and change across the different age groups., All respondents were over fifty years of age. Those in their fifties have been included in the study for two reasons; they form members of an age group that traditionally in Sikh culture may be on the verge of retirement and hence give an indication of the nature of the next cohort of seniors. 75 The information collected was first categorized in four age brackets (see section 4.3.1 for TABLE 7. AGE BRACKETS STUDIED Since the number of respondents in this surve3' is small, it was more appropriate to use two age brackets, "less than 70 years" and "more than 70 years", except when the four-way breakdown demonstrates clear progression. Descriptive findings have been presented under the following headings: Demographic profile Health perceptions Family structure Housing Informal support network Leisure Social support required Changes in the future Accommodation preferences Push factors an explanation of the age categories): Potential "senior citizen Young- old Middle- old Old- old it 50 - 59 yrs. 60 - 69 yrs. 70 - 79 yrs. and 80 - plus Information about these attributes is represented in tables and charts for simplicity. 76 7.6 Demographic profile of the target population 7.6.1 Age and Sex Due to the nature of the sampling, the sample group consisted predominantly of males in the 70-79 age-group. Three-fifths of those surveyed were in the 70-plus age group (Table 8, Fig. 9). Forty of the forty-seven respondents were males (Table 9, Fig. 10). 7.6.2 Marital status It was interesting to note that all the respondents were either married or widowed (Table 10, Fig. 11). There were no cases in the "divorced/ separated" or "never married" categories. This is a reflection of the cultural background, values and traditions of the respondents' country of origin and illustrates the extent to which they adhere to these values. More men in the 70-plus age group than in the under 70 age-group were widowed. Of the seven female respondents,, two were, widows. This corresponds to data on Vancouver Sikhs in the 1981 census which shows a slight decrease in the female population in the higher age groups. 7.6.3 Education The sample group had a somewhat low educational level (Table 11, Fig. 12). Two-fifths of the respondents had no formal education at all; an equal proportion had only high school education. Only five of the forty seven respondents had some college education. 77 TABLE 8. DISTRIBUTION BY AGE GROUP Age No. 50-59 5 60-69 13 70-79 23 80 + 6 Total 47 TABLE 9. DISTRIBUTION BY SEX No. Males 40 Females 7 Total 47 TABLE 10. MARITAL STATUS No. Married 36 Widowed 11 Total 47 TABLE 11. EDUCATION No. None 20 High School 20 Vocational training 2 College 5 Total 47 78 DISTRIBUTION BY AGE GROUP Z FIG 9 DISTRIBUTION BY SEX 42 S* -10 -24 -3 Z n-47 FIG 10 MARITAL STATUS 42 Z 18 -12 -C D n n-47 HO It EDUCATION o o C M C M ••47 FIO 12 79 7.6.4 Employment, Pension and Income It was difficult to determine the income of this group of persons accurately. Some respondents were hesitant to disclose information pertaining to their financial status. One feature characterizing Vancouver Sikhs is the high proportion of persons living in extended families. Responses to questions relating to household income would merely repeat the income of the person(s) the respondent is staying with. This household income does not shed light on the income of the seniors. In this study, the personal annual income of the respondent was recorded. Consequently, the income of an elderly couple cannot be inferred directly from this information. Discussions with service providers1 who are members of the Sikh community indicate that immigrant seniors are not eligible for pension in Canada for the first ten years of their stay. A majority of them, though eligible to claim Welfare, are either ignorant, ashamed, or unable to go through the formal processes of application. Another undocumented fact regarding employment of Sikh seniors is that in summer, a large work force of elderly Sikh men and women earn minimum wages as casual labourers in farms or by picking berries in suburban areas. Favourable weather conditions and farm work provide the Sikh seniors with an environment akin to that in Punjab. In the summer of 1988, at least one seniors' group-South Vancouver Neighbourhood Housing-was closed, as most of the members were employed as mentioned. Their womens' group reported poor attendance during the summer months for the same reason. These field workers who are 1. Multilingual multicultural non-profit society (MOSAIC) is located at Grant street and South Vancouver Neighbourhood House on Victoria Drive. 80 below 65 years of age become eligible for some Unemployment Insurance for the rest of the year. Like immigrant elders in general, Sikh elderly in the sample group tended to be at the lower end of the economic scale (see section 4.8, Tables 12 and 13, Figs. 13 and 14). As might be expected, the proportion of those not employed rose sharply with age (Table 14, Fig. 15). All respondents were from outside Canada and only a small portion of them (one-third) immigrated to Canada more than ten years ago. The remaining respondents have been in Canada for less than ten years. About one-half of the respondents were in the $5,000-$ 15,000 bracket (Fig. 13). A greater proportion of those aged 70-plus reported zero income. Half of the respondents who were married reported a personal annual income of $5,000-$15,000. Slightly less than half of them reported an annual income of less than $5,000. The three respondents who reported an annual income over $15,000 were married and in the 50-59 age-group. On the basis of self-reports, most members of the study group can be characterized as low income. 81 TABLE 12. ANNUAL INCOME Annual income No. None 12 < $5,000 11 $5,001-15,000 21 $15,001-30,000 1 > $30,001 2 Total 47 T A B L E 13. AGE BY ANNUAL INCOME Age Annual income Proportion 50-59 None .08 < $15,000 .03 > $15,001 1 60-69 None .25 < $15,000 .31 > $15,001 0 70-79 None .42 < $15,000 .56 > $15,001 0 80-plus None .25 < $15,000 .09 > $15,001 0 TABLE 14. AGE BY EMPLOYMENT Age Employment Proportion 50-59 Yes .8 No .2 60-69 Yes .23 No .77 70-79 Yes 0 No 1 80-plus Yes 0 No 1 A N N U A L INCOME 24 18 CO 6 -n-46 FIG 13 82 AGE BY ANNUAL INCOME n-46 FIG 14 CZ1 80-plus 1=1 70-79 60-69 • I 50-59 AGE BY EMPLOYMENT 1 r 0.8 ex. o Q. O 0.4 a. 0.2 -50-59 60-69 70-79 80 plus n-47 FIG 15 VZA Employed • I Not employed 83 7.7 Health perceptions Aging is generally accompanied by increasing physical, psychological and social infirmities (Housing in North Toronto for Seniors [HINTS], 1981, p. 38). In this survey, respondents were asked to rate their health on a four-point comparative scale ranging from "good health" to "occasional hospitalization" (Table 15, Fig. 16). More than half the respondents reported good health or that they required just occasional medical attention. Respondents in the younger age-groups rated themselves healthier than those in the older age-groups. However, of those in the 80-plus age-group, there was no response indicating the need for frequent hospitalization (Table 17, Fig. 18). This is probably due to the small number of respondents in this category. Since a majority of respondents were contacted at seniors' centres, the survey group would not include those who were il l and unable to attend the meetings. In the general population, persons in the 80-plus age group are more likely to be hospitalized for longer periods or otherwise incapacitated, than those in younger age-groups. As a proportion, seven out of ten respondents reported that their daily activities were not at all affected or only slightly affected by ill-health. Three out of ten respondents reported that their daily activities were greatly affected by ill-health (Table 16, Fig. 17). 84 J T A B L E 15. H E A L T H No. Good health 9 Occasional medical attention 18 Frequent medical attention 7 Occasional hospitalization 12 Total 46 T A B L E 16. DAILY ACTIVITIES DUE TO ILL H E A L T H No. Not affected 18 Affected slightly 16 Affected 12 Total 46 T A B L E 17. A G E BY H E A L T H Age Health status Proportion 50-59 Freq. medical attention 0 Occasional hospitalization 0 60-69 Freq. medical attention .15 Occasional hospitalization .15 70-79 Freq. medical attention .13 Occasional hospitalization .44 80 + Freq. medical attention .5 Occasional hospitalization 0 85 DAILY ACTIVITIES AND ILL HEALTH Z 00 n-46 FIO 17 0.6 AGE BY HEALTH o I D 0.4 O a. O 0.2 0.0 o o 6 o o 5 0 - 5 9 6 0 - 6 9 o o 70 -79 80 -p lu t n-20 FIO It Freq. medical attn. • H Occ. hospitalization 86 7.8 Family structure 7.8.1 Extended family structures Leroy Stone (1987) has developed a classification of Canadian senior individuals in terms of their residential household structure. One striking difference between the Sikh ethnic group and the mainstream Canadians is the relative frequency of extended families among the former. In the Canadian context, the "extended" family refers to a multi-generational family where couples live with their married children who in turn may have children (Type A). A study by Ames and Inglis (1967) indicates that twenty percent of the Sikhs live in extended families. More than half the survey group lived in an extended family (Table 18, Fig. 19). Another variation of the extended family type (Type B) in the survey group is the case wherein a widowed respondent lives with his married child (all respondents in this category lived with their married son) and grandchildren. A quarter (all male) of respondents living in an extended family belonged to this category. Extended family structures Type A Respondent and spouse including at least one married child and possibly grandchildren. 87 Respondent (widowed, male) including at least one married child and possibly grandchildren 7.8.2 Non-extended family structures Family structures other than the two types of extended family have been classified under the category of "non-extended." Less than half the survey group belonged to this category. Non-extended family structures include the following types: Non-extended family structures Type C Respondent and spouse including one or more unmarried child(ren) Type D Respondent and spouse only Type E Respondent (widowed, male or female) including one or more unmarried child(ren) 88 TypeF Respondent only (widowed, male) The first two non-extended categories (Types C and D) conform to the classical definition of the "nuclear family". In the sample group, the most common type was an elderly couple living alone, followed by that of the elderly couple living with one or more unmarried children. Only three (all males) out of the 46 respondents reported that they lived alone. 7.8.3 Age and family structure There is an equal distribution of Sikh seniors aged 70+ in extended and non-extended families. In contrast, the extended family structures (Types A and B) are more popular with seniors aged less than seventy years (Table 19, Fig. 20). 89 T A B L E 18. FAMILY STRUCTURE No. Age Extended 25 Non- extended 21 Total 46 TABLE 19. A G E BY FAMILY STRUCTURE Family structure Proportion Extended .65 Non-extended .35 Extended .48 Non-extended .52 FAMILY STRUCTURE 30 24 SJ 16 C D ZD 12 -6 -25 21 n--46 FIO 19 z O h— o o O L AGE BY FAMILY STRUCTURE 1.00 1.00 1 r 0.8 0.6 0.4 0.2 -<70 yrt >70 yrt CD Non-extended n " A 6 M Extended FIG 20 91 7.9 Housing A key issue in this study of housing for Sikh seniors is their current accommodation pattern. Pertinent factors are the dwelling type, tenure and the reasons for staying in their current home. These factors are examined for any changes with age. The survey provided some insight into the current living arrangements of a small group of Sikh seniors. 7.9.1 Current accommodation The survey indicates that Sikh seniors live in a variety of accommodation types. More than one half of the survey group lives in single family dwellings, one quarter of them in "other" accommodations (e.g. basement suites) and a small proportion of them in town houses and condominiums and duplexes (Table 20, Fig. 21). With regard to tenure, more than a third of the seniors in the survey group stay with their married sons; a third are in rental accommodation and less than a third are homeowners. An interesting find is that senior homeowners tend to have larger families compared to seniors renting. An examination of the relation between accommodation type and tenure revealed that ownership and staying with married children were common among seniors in single family dwellings, condominiums and duplexes. However, of those living in basement suites, four-fifths live in rental tenure and the remaining live with their married children (Table 21, Fig. 22). 92 Accommodation type and tenure were also found to be associated with age. Findings indicate that with increasing age, ownership declined, there was a slight increase in the proportion staying with their married children and an appreciable increase in the proportion in rental tenure (Table 22, Fig. 23). All three respondents who lived alone, were aged 70 and above, were tenants and lived in basement suites. 7.9.2 Reasons for staying in current home. It was important to find out the reasons for these housing patterns. One hypothesis is that the extended family is an expression of Sikh tradition and culture carried over from the home country, India. Also, family ties are stronger among Sikhs when compared to other cultures in the mainstream Canadian context (see section 5.1.1 for a discussion of traditional Sikh family structure). Respondents in the survey group did cite tradition and ties as the main causes for staying in their current home (Table 23, Fig. 24). Other reasons included "no motivation (wish) to move", "limited finances", "neighbourhood ties", "high cost of alternatives", "health reasons" and "few housing alternatives." A few of the respondents gave more than one reason. The first two reasons (tradition and culture; family ties) were given by four-fifths of the respondents. Responses for other reasons were distributed. Significantly, none of the respondents cited past experiences with moves as a reason, probablj' indicating a great degree of stabilit3' regarding their housing situation. 93 TABLE 20. CURRENT ACCOMMODATION Accommodation No. Single family residence 26 Condominium 2 Duplex 5 Basement suite 12 Total 45 TABLE 21. ACCOMMODATION BY TENURE Type Tenure Proportion Single family residence Staying with son .42 Tenant .19 Owner .39 Condominium Staying with son 0 Tenant 0 Owner 1 Duplex Staying with son .4 Tenant .2 Owner .4 Basement suite Staying with son .18 Tenant .82 Owner 0 T A B L E 22. AGE BY TENURE Age Tenure Proportion < 70 ' Ownership .64 Tenant .13 Staying with son .35 > 70 Ownership .36 Tenant .87 Staying with son .65 94 ACCOMMODATION BY TENURE V/. & ^ f ZZ3 STAYING WITH SON n>44 •=! TENANT FIG 22 OWNER 0.8 (-o °* g 0.2 A G E BY TENURE O > 70 yrs. B <70 yrt. 95 TABLE 23. REASONS TO STAY Reason No. Sikh tradition and culture 11 Family ties 9 Neighbourhood ties 4 Limited finances 5 Ill-health 3 No motivation 5 Few alternatives 1 High cost of alternatives 3 Other (insecurity of tenure) 2 96 REASONS TO STAY ^ ^ « / V * ^ «** v* A° v6> ^ FIG 24 97 7.10 Informal support network Assistance from family and friends reduces the seniors' dependence on social services. To determine the informal support network of the Sikh seniors, the following classification was used: A "full" pattern of family and close friend ties include the senior, his/her spouse, one other relative or close friend living with them plus at least one child, at least one friend and at least one relative, with whom the senior maintains active contact (Stone, 1987). This definition encompasses the extended family structure, Type A and three outside active contacts. A tie between two persons is considered inactive if they have contacted each other (by phone/by mail) less often than weekly and have seen each other less often than monthly. More than half of the seniors in the survey group had a "full" pattern of close friend ties — i.e., they live with spouse and others and maintain active outside contact with at least one child, one friend and one other relative. One quarter of the respondents maintained at least one active tie. Only one in ten respondents reported that they maintained no active links at all (Table 24, Fig. 25). By a combination of family structures, extended and non- extended, with levels of support (number of external active ties ranging from zero to three), the following pattern of support emerged among the target group: Respondents in both extended and non-extended families show a similar pattern of informal support network (Table 25, Fig. 26). More than half the respondents in either family type have reported a "full" support network. In each family type, more than one quarter have 98 reported having at least one active tie. There is only a small proportion in each category who have reported "no active link" (poor support network). This information on informal support network lends credibility to a supposition that currently, Sikh seniors have a strong support network within the community. 7.11 Loneliness Less than a third of the respondents considered themselves lonely. None of them were homeowners; they were either living in basement suites or living with their married sons. The low proportion of Sikh seniors reporting loneliness may be due to their strong informal support network. This aspect is dealt with in a later section on prospective residents of Abbeyfield homes. 7.12 Leisure The question on leisure activities of Sikh seniors provides information on whether their links with other Sikhs extends into leisure-time activities (see section 5.2). Findings indicate that a majority of respondents maintain active links with the Gurudwara (Table 26, Fig. 27). Due to the nature of the sample group, there was also a significant number that reported spending time at seniors' centres. More than one leisure activity was reported by all the respondents. However, a sizable proportion also reported that they spend leisure time at home with their families. These reports on leisure time activity have a bearing on the location of any housing for Sikh seniors. 99 TABLE 24. INFORMAL SUPPORT NETWORK No. of links No. Three 25 Two 2 One 12 None 5 Total 44~ T A B L E 25. FAMILY STRUCTURE AND SUPPORT NETWORK Family structure No. of links F'roportion Extended Three links .52 (Types A,B) Two links 1 One link .5 None .4 Non-extended Three links .48 (Types C,D,E,F) Two links 0 One link .5 None .6 INFORMAL SUPPORT NETWORK 30 24 -or ia -111 CO a: 3 Z n r 6 -«n C4 n-44 FIG 25 FAMILY STRUCTURE & SUPPORT NETWORK z g & o a. O 0.8 0.6 0.4 0.2 -YZ& NON- EXTENDED IBS EXTENDED FIG 26 101 TABLE 26. LEISURE ACTIVITIES Activity No. At home with family 21 With relatives 11 With friends 16 At the Gurudwara 26 At seniors' groups 18 102 103 7.13 Social support Housing for seniors should be closely linked with a range of support services, either from the community volunteers or from private or government-funded agencies. Information on the existing informal support network and links with others in the community indicates the degree to which seniors may require support services from other sources such as professional services and other government and voluntary agencies. Given the informal support network of the survey group, the next step is to identify the areas where the seniors report need for assistance. More than a third of the respondents indicated that they require assistance for communicating in English (Table 27, Fig. 28). An equal proportion reported need for assistance for using public transportation. Assistance for transportation may be linked to two factors; poor English communication and poor health (e.g. a disability) or both. More respondents complained of a communication problem in English than ill-health. On the other hand, very few of the 46 respondents indicated a need for assistance in housekeeping, or personal care, probably because they live in family households in which these assistances are provided. One-third of the respondents reported the need for assistance in meal preparation. One reason why this proportion is high could be because the survey group had a large proportion of men. One service that a majority of seniors did not require assistance for was shopping. There is an obvious reason. There are several Punjabi shops in Vancouver between Main Street and Fraser and 41st and 52d Avenues. Language barriers do not exist here, since all transactions are conducted in Punjabi. The familiar environment, availability of things needed by the seniors and minimal to no contact with the mainstream population are well suited to Sikh seniors. There is a concentration of Sikh residences in this neighbourhood. 104 Since the shops are within walking distance from their homes, the need for using public transportation for shopping is not envisaged. 7.14 Changes in the future The preceding sections described the current situation of the Sikh elderly. This section is an examination of whether this situation is likely to change with respect to their current housing patterns and if so, the possible reasons for such a change. Respondents were queried as to whether they foresee the possibility or need to move from their current home in the next year or so. Those who gave a positive response were asked to identify possible reasons for the move and also state their preferences for alternative accommodation. More than half of the respondents indicated that they did not foresee the need to move from their present accommodation. More than one quarter of them indicated they may move. Only a small proportion indicated that they had definite plans of moving. Of those who indicated that they might or would move, a proportion of six out of ten gave ill-health as the reason (Table 28, Fig. 29). Other reasons, in the order they were cited, included "insecurity of tenure", "unsuitable size of home", "to be closer to family", "financial reasons" and "lack of services in current home." 105 TABLE 27. AGE BY ASSISTANCE NEEDED Age Assistance for.. Proportion < 70 years Housekeeping -02 Cooking -07 Transportation -05 Personal care -14 Shopping -07 English -11 > 70 years Housekeeping -16 Cooking -25 Transportation -14 Personal care -25 Shopping • 11 English -25 o 02 107 T A B L E 28. REASONS TO MOVE Reason No. Ill- health 15 Size of home 3 To be close to family 2 Insecurity of tenure. 3 Financial reasons 1 Level of services 1 108 109 7.15 Accommodation preferences Accommodation preferences of potential movers were clustered around single family detached dwelling (by almost half of the respondents) and senior citizens' home (by slightly less than half of the respondents). Few respondents preferred a duplex or a low-rise apartment (Table 29, Fig. 30). Ill-health, family ties and financial problems were reasons given by those respondents who indicated a preference for a single family dwelling unit, given a move. Ill-health, insecurity of tenure, unsuitable size of their current home and lack of services were reasons given by those respondents preferring a senior citizens' home, given a move. Of those respondents who indicated a preference for single family residence, a proportion of three out of ten said they did feel lonely. The corresponding proportion for those who preferred a senior citizens' home was four out of ten. No relationship between age and accommodation preferred was evident. Comparing future accommodation preferences of those reporting no income with those reporting some income revealed that almost equal preference is given to single family dwelling and senior citizens' home. 7.15.1 Preferred accommodation and current accommodation Potential movers preferring single family dwellings currently live in a variety of accommodation; on the other hand, the seven respondents opting for senior citizens' homes almost all live currently in single family dwellings. 110 7.15.2 Preferred accommodation and health and marital status Respondents rating their health as fair to good were more likely to prefer single family dwellings and those rating their health as poor or bad tended to opt for senior citizens' homes. The same proportion of those married and widowed preferred single family dwellings and senior homes. 7.15.3 Preferred accommodation and family structure Among potential movers, seven out of the ten respondents who live in an extended family preferred to move to a seniors citizens' home. Conversely, seven respondents (out of ten) in non-extended families preferred single family dwellings to senior citizens' homes (Table 30, Fig. 31). I l l TABLE 29. ACCOMMODATION PREFERENCES Accommodation type No. Single family residence 11 Seniors' home 10 Other 3 Total 24 TABLE 30. PREFERRED ACCOMMODATION BY FAMILY STRUCTURE Family structure Accommodation type Proportion Extended Single family residence .3 Seniors' home .7 Non-extended Single family residence .7 Seniors' home .3 112 FAMILY STRUCTURE BY PREFERRED ACCOMMODATION z O t -o Q-o oc a. n-20 FIG 31 Non-extended ^ Extended 113 7.16 Push factors This survey of Sikh elderly indicates that respondents did not generally consider themselves potential residents of alternative housing arrangements. However, they did know of others whose circumstances were such that they might be potential residents. The forty-seven respondents in the survey group knew of 136 other Sikh seniors who experienced some problem in their current home. These responses indicate that Sikh seniors face a variety of personal problems, including (in order of frequency) deteriorating health or a possible sudden emergency; living alone with few outside contacts; family break-up through death; divorce or separation; unhappiness; worry about being a burden to others; and not eating regular nutritional meals. Problems regarding current accommodation (in order of frequency) included high rent and housing costs; inability to maintain their current home; possibility of eviction or displacement; and dissatisfaction with their current neighbourhood. A small number of seniors faced the possibility of being moved to a care facility by their families; a still smaller number of seniors had the additional responsibility of caring for a frail or handicapped person (Table 31, Fig. 32). Summarizing, it appears that Sikh seniors face a range of problems that are experienced by the mainstream elderly (deteriorating health, for example), in addition to those caused by their immigrant status. Examples of the latter include the necessity of living with the persons who sponsored them, usually their married son or daughter; unfamiliar language food and customs; and low or zero income for the first ten years of their stay. 114 T A B L E 31. PUSH FACTORS Push factor Proportion Faces recent family break- up .09 Can't clean or care for their home .09 Lives alone with few outside contacts .1 Needs lower rent or dwelling cost .13 Has difficulty caring for a frail person .02 Lives unhappily with family .08 Is not eating proper meals regularly .08 Worries about being a burden to others .08 Faces possible eviction or displacement .07 Faces deteriorating health .15 Is dissatisfied with the neighbourhood .07 Family wants him/her to move to a care facility .04 115 PUSH FACTORS n=136 FIG 32 116 7.17 Inferences The bulk of the survey group consisted of males in the 70-plus age group. All respondents were either widowed or married; more men in the 70-plus age group, than in the 70 and under age group were widowed. Overall, these Sikh seniors had a educational background. Half of them had a personal annual income of about $5,000 - $15,000; one quarter of them reported zero income. Generally, most respondents reported fair to good health and that their health did not affect their day-to-day activities greatly. As expected, the extended family structure (where the respondents lived with their married children) was more common than non-extended structures. Almost all respondents lived either in single family dwellings or in basement suites. With increasing age, there was a decrease in ownership and an increase in the number of those aged 70 and over in basement suites, in rental tenure and staying with their married children. Traditionally, Sikhs have a strong support network. This was reflected in the survey; a majority of seniors reported maintaining active ties with family and friends. As mentioned in earlier chapters, immigrant ethnic elders from a different cultural background face problems of assimilating in a foreign country. Most Sikh seniors reported having problems with communication in English; as an offshoot, most of the services available in the Canadian context are not accessible to these seniors unless the language barrier is overcome. Other support services required by the survey group include transportation and meal preparation (a reflection of the fact that the sample group is male dominated). Sikh seniors reported that they did not foresee the possibility or need for any change in their current housing situation. Those who reported the possibility of a move gave ill-117 health as the possible reason. Locational preferences were strongly emphasized and most seniors reported strong ties with friends, family, seniors' groups and the Gurudwara. A set of implications for housing may be drawn pertaining to housing for these senior Sikh respondents. People who deal with the Sikh residents in elderly housing should be able to communicate to them in Punjabi. A support system of transportation is required for the seniors' outside activities. Also, Sikh seniors will benefit from English classes and other orientation classes to familiarize them with existing services, especially public transportation. The limited evidence at hand suggests that potential candidates for supportive elderly housing can be expected to be male. Meals must be provided where the housing caters exclusively to men and couples would not require this service to the extent that an all-male resident group would. As Sikh seniors reported, they would be more comfortable in a neighbourhood where other members of the community are present. A Gurudwara in the vicinity, or easy transportation facilities to one, is another requirement. The following chapters analyze the applicability of the options available to Canadian elderly to the senior Sikhs. 118 CHAPTER 8 HOUSING OPTIONS IN THE CANADIAN CONTEXT Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (1988) presents a variety of housing solutions reflecting the spectrum of needs of the Canadian population. These solutions are categorized into two broad categories; options for "staying put" and options for those wishing to move. Increased life expectancy and improved medical attention has proved concomitant with senior Canadians remaining healthy for a longer period. For them, the option of continuing to live in their own homes is a step in delaying institutionalization. 'Staying put' is a term that has been recently coined in the United Kingdom to describe a social policy which has arisen from a concern with helping elderly people remain in their own homes more satisfactorily. At one level, it reflects a belief in the value of independence; that is, that older people should be encouraged to remain in their own homes for as long as possible. At another level, it is concerned with specific and tangible ways of helping them to do so (Blackie, 1985, p. 1). On the other hand, there is an increase in the proportion of those in the frail-old category, who are unable to maintain their homes, face unstable health and decreasing mobility, experience traumatic experiences (like the loss of spouse) and who are lonely. For these seniors, the option to "stay put" is not viable; a desirable alternative is to enter an environment that is non-institutional and yet enables them to function independently for as long as possible. Among those choosing to "stay put", most homeowners have already paid off their mortgage (Canada. Department of Health and Welfare, 1983; Priest, 1985) and their home is their biggest asset. Seniors wishing to stay in their home usually have occupied 119 their home for many years and prefer to stay in the same neighbourhood. The option of staying put avoids the stresses of relocation. These "staying put" options and options to relocate are examined as alternatives to Sikh seniors. In each case, characteristics of the individual model are presented and its applicability to Sikh seniors discussed.1 8.1 Home equity conversion plans This model has been developed over the past few years and involves a fair amount of legal procedures and financial documentation. The objective is to convert some of the equity, which is in the form of an own home, into supplementary income for the occupant. This option is most suited for senior couples living alone in their own home. Among Sikh respondents in the survey group, the number of homeowners living alone is very small. Studies on Sikhs in Vancouver (Chadney, 1982, p. 50) indicate that sixty percent of all Sikh families in Vancouver own some form of residential property, although they may or may not live on their own property. However, low educational level of seniors coupled with language as a barrier, would make it difficult for them to complete the legal processes for this option. 1. One factor should be mentioned at the beginning of this discussion. Regarding their visa status, Sikh seniors are either "landed immigrants" (permanent residents) or citizens of Canada. While citizens of Canada have equal rights as other Canadians, landed immigrants are not eligible for government assistance, grants and subsidies to the same extent. 120 8.2 Home sharing Home sharing is classified in two categories; naturally-occurring and agency-sponsored (where public and non-profit organizations offer match up services). Of the agency-sponsored type, shared ' housing is again classified as "congregate", "sheltered" or "supportive" housing, based on its location in the United States, United Kingdom or Canada. The Abbeyfield model is classified under the "sheltered" housing category. The features of sheltered, congregate and supportive housing and of Abbeyfield housing are discussed as to their applicability for Sikhs in the following chapter. Home sharing provides a means of additional income, companionship and security. A senior person may share his/her home with other seniors or with students or single parents. If the home owner is in need of services, rent is subsidized, in exchange for services such as cooking, help with maintenance, gardening and housekeeping. Seniors enter a home sharing arrangement primarily for companionship (for both owners and sharers), assistance with home maintenance, financial reasons, desire to stay in the same neighbourhood (for owners) and for reasons of ill-health (for sharers) (Rapelje, 1984). Both home owners and sharers derive benefits from home sharing; an improved feeling of well-being; less financial strain; and having an opportunity to continue living in the community while receiving assistance needed. Despite this list of benefits, home sharing has not been a great success among Canadians. Experiences in Ontario show that the average duration of a home sharing arrangement is about one year (Rapelje, 1984). Possible reasons may include uneven rights to the facilities in the house between owner and sharer; reduced privacy for both parties; and a change in the health or financial status of the sharer. 121 In the case of Sikh seniors, a majority of the survey group respondents are in a home sharing arrangement with their married children and reported that they did not foresee the need for moving. Seniors in such an arrangement usually are financially dependent on their sponsor (with whom they share a home) in return for services like baby sitting, cooking and housesitting. Deteriorating health of the seniors would be a possible reason for the break up of such an arrangement. Assimilation of the Canadian-born Sikh generations and a subsequent increase in non-extended families may be causes for the break-up of an extended family structure or a home sharing arrangement. 8.3 Accessory apartments and granny flats This option implies modification of the home and/or its site to include a self-contained accessory apartment or a granny flat. A granny flat or a "garden suite" consists of a small, portable dwelling unit installed in the same plot as the main house. This option is currently being operated on a trial basis in Ontario (Spence, 1985). The concept has its origin in Australia and has been successfully adopted in other countries (Spence, 1985). In addition to proprietary income, seniors' security and companionship, this option affords greater privacy than homesharing. Elderly relatives may be successfully accommodated in accessory apartments or granny flats. Some negative aspects of accessory apartments include a change in the character of the neighbourhood, increase in density and the possibility of problems of parking. Due to these factors, zoning laws in most cities in Canada do not permit construction of accessory apartments. Spence (1985) points out some restraining factors with respect to granny flats in Canada- high costs of construction and relocation and zoning approvals to name a few. Also, not all urban plots are big enough to house garden suites. 122 Legalized basement suites are possibly most attractive to Sikh seniors, especially elderly couples, since it is an option they are familiar with. As options to "stay put", these models may not come to be popular among Sikh seniors, because they entail a modification of current extended family residence. However, these alternatives would ideally suit those seniors wishing to live not with, but near married kin, grandchildren, friends or other relatives. They would attract those Sikh seniors currently living in illegal basement suites with no security of tenure. 8.4 Multi-family dwellings Duplexes and triplex units are multi-family dwelling units and can be clearly identified from the street as such, unlike accessory apartments. The concept of bi-farnily units, which consist of one main family unit and another small self-contained apartment, is new; to date no such units have been built in Canada. Duplex and triplex units are similar to this model. Duplexes are popular among Sikhs and often the units are occupied by brothers or close relatives (Chadney, 1982, p.50). Multi-family units with accessory or garden suites might be highly successful in maintaining the seniors independently and in close proximity to family and friends. Affordability by seniors and zoning laws in Vancouver have to be tackled to make these alternatives popular and practical. 8.5. Co-operative housing Co-operative. housing gained popularity in Canada in the 1970s and early part of this decade. This option offers the advantages of ownership i.e., security of tenure, joint ownership with other residents and also the advantages of rental tenure i.e., low commitment to stay, lower down payment and monthly payments. Co-operatives promote 123 voluntary participation of residents in co-op. maintenance and management activities. All members collectively own their homes and have an indefinite lease. Co-operatives with a mix of generations and incomes can be designed to provide subsidies to those with lower incomes. While those in the labour force pay the regular market rates, seniors with low incomes, may be allotted subsidies. However, the concept of co-op. housing is not traditional in Indian culture; extended families in part are substitutes for co-operatives. Very few seniors co-operatives are in existence in Vancouver. The extremely slow and difficult process of starting a co-operative, more so a seniors or ethnic co-operative in British Columbia, has been detrimental to their growth and popularity. 8.6 An overview 8.6.1 Options to move For Sikh seniors, accessory apartments, home sharing and granny flats are ideal as options to move. These options would cater to independent Sikh elders who are mobile, who are currently in non-extended families and to those seniors desiring to move out of their extended family arrangements. Potential residents are likely to be elderly men or couples. Widowed women do not constitute a group that would make use of any housing alternative (for traditional reasons). Sikhs generally have a strong network of friends and relatives. Accessory apartments, home sharing and granny flats would satisfy the locational needs of Sikh seniors, near family, friends and relatives. Relocation would be to the home of another Sikh (in the case of seniors who are currently in non- extended families) and into a familiar "home" atmosphere. These options would continue to foster the strong links within the 124 community, without transferring the seniors to an age-segregated environment. These arrangements would encourage mutual help between the owner and the seniors sharing the home. In return for security, companionship and lower rent, seniors could offer their services for baby sitting, for example. 8.6.2 Options for staying put Among Sikhs, the concept of "homesharing" is already in existence as "extended families." Besides senior homeowners who are "sharing" with their married children, there is another group of married younger Sikh couples "sharing" with their aged parents. More than half the homesharers in the survey group indicated their desire to stay in their current homes for reasons of family and neighbourhood ties and traditional views. Since this feeling may be generally prevalent among a majority of Sikh seniors, options that are designed to enable them maintain their independence in their homes need to be examined. Federal and provincial governments offer programmes to assist seniors with low incomes to repair or modify their homes. Financial assistance is available to seniors (who are homeowners) to make changes to the home to overcome physical disabilities (Goldblatt, 1985). Assistance is in the form of a loan (RRAP; Residential Rehabilitation Assistance Program). "The most likely features that an elderly person may want to have changed will be in the kitchen and in the bathroom" (Champagne, 1985, p. 17); for example, installing grab bars in the bathrooms, altering the kitchen cupboard and counter height or provisions for wheelchair accessibility. Studies by Cluff and Cluff (1983) indicate the type of adaptations that seniors may require to function independently in their current home. A substantial share of the Sikh study group could be classified as having low individual income. For those elderly Sikhs living alone or with their spouse in rental tenure, 125 particularly for those in basement suites, rent subsidy programmes would assist in upgrading their current situation. A range of support services are available to seniors who live alone and do not wish to move from their current home. These services include: 1. Emergency response systems which are specially designed to link seniors to a central monitoring agency or to their friends and relatives who can respond to an emergency. The system is either user activated (by pressing a button) or the system could be made to sense lack of or changes in the activity of the occupant. 2. Cooked meals which are brought to the homes of seniors (meals on wheels). Alternatively, seniors are provided transportation to visit local associations where meals are provided (wheels to meals). Sikh seniors have special needs in terms of a Punjabi menu and volunteers from within the Sikh community. Gurudwaras provide free meals (this is referred to as "langer") at all times, as part of their daily operation. Almost all seniors in the survey group indicated that they visit the Gurudwara daily or at least weekly. The Gurudwaras on Ross Street and Skeena Street could be incorporated into the seniors' support network for both purposes; meal provision and as a means to maintain their primary leisure time activity (visiting the Gurudwara). 3. Special transportation, for example, to and from the Gurudwara. Access to Sikh seniors' groups and for other activities was mentioned as a requirement by a significant share of the survey group; poor knowledge of English and occasional ill-health were problems faced by these Sikh seniors in coping with public transportation. Assistance may be provided by family members, community volunteers or by public agencies. 126 4. Homecare services and visiting homemakers as when visiting homemakers assist residents in personal care, housework, shopping, food preparation and general maintenance of the home. These programmes are tailored to suit the needs of people with special requirements and handicaps. Here again, Sikh seniors require the assistance of those familiar with their language and customs. For health care needs, visiting nurses (who can communicate in Punjabi) provide counselling to seniors. While there is no dearth of volunteer and informal support in the Sikh community, a missing factor is awareness of the existence of the above mentioned support services for seniors. Providing information and educating the seniors and their families about these services is a prerequisite to provision of the services. In the following chapter, the features of Abbeyfield housing are examined for suitability to Sikh seniors. The chapter also explores the possibility of exploiting the adaptability of individual Abbeyfield homes to suit the special needs of Sikh seniors. 127 CHAPTER 9 ABBEYFIELD HOUSING FOR SIKH SENIORS 9.1 Applicability to the survey group This, section examines the suitability of the Abbeyfield model (as described in chapter 6) to Vancouver Sikh seniors in light of the survey findings (chapter7) and of inferences drawn from the general characteristics of Sikhs (chapters 4 and 5). The first step in this process is to see how the Sikh target population compares with the typical Abbeyfield residents. The influences of ethnicity (Sikh culture, religion, language) and other special needs of the Sikh seniors may necessitate adaptation of some of the features of the Abbeyfield model. Significantly, the Abbeyfield model has lent itself to such adaptation in the case of other ethnic groups. In England, the Polish and the Jewish groups have adapted the Abbeyfield model for their seniors. Shimizu (1988; in Murray, 1988, p. 11) reports that Various ethnic communities have affiliated with either local societies or the national (Abbeyfield) society to provide small scale homes for the very old in their communities. For example, there is a London Polish House located in a newly built housing project in an area with a Polish Catholic Church and Community Centre. Two Servite Sisters from Poland live-in as staff and Polish is the language used daily. . . In another area of London the Abbeyfield/Harrow Society manages a house in which the residents are second generation Polish and Russian Jews. English, rather than Yiddish or Hebrew is the language in daily use, with a liberal sprinkling of Yiddish expressions. Jewish traditions are observed in preparation of meals. The general profile of respondents in the survey group of Sikhs is very much different from that of the "typical" Abbeyfield resident profile as outlined in chapter 6. Overall, the sample group comprised predominantly of males, in the 70-79 age group and either married or widowed. Just as typical Abbeyfield residents are reportedly strongly protective of their independence and autonomy and desirous of remaining in their own 128 neighbourhood and among their possessions, a majority of Sikhs in the survey group indicated that they did not foresee any reason to move from their present accommodation. Firstly, because it was against their (Sikh) culture and secondly, they maintained strong ties with their families with whom they were staying. Any suggestion of alternative housing was seen as a threat to their extended family system. Though a majority of Sikh respondents did not conform to the characteristics of typical Abbeyfield residents, there was a share of the survey group that could be viewed as potential clients for an Abbeyfield home. This section consisted primarily of males in the 70-plus age group, widowed and reportedly lonely. Sikh seniors live in extended families for reasons including "tradition", neighbourhood ties, family ties, limited finances and ill-health. Most respondents did not foresee the possibility or need to move in the next year or so. Ill-health was cited as the main factor that could cause change in the current accommodation pattern of these seniors. With regard to the accommodation preferred given a move, opinions were about equally divided between "single family dwelling" and "seniors' home." A major difference between the Abbeyfield residents and potential Sikh clients is that the former are females typically widowed and alone, while the latter are males living with married children in extended family arrangements. Although they accept that they are lonely, the desire to maintain ties with family, friends and the familiar neighbourhood is expressed strongly by both groups. 129 9.2 An Abbeyfield home for elderly Sikh males: Factors to be considered Almost all the Sikh respondents indicated their preference for a single family dwelling or a "seniors' home", as alternatives to their current accommodation, given a move. The small, domestic scale of an Abbeyfield home in a single family detached dwelling is seemingly responsive to their preferences. The eight residents in a typical Abbeyfield home is similar to the Sikh extended family size of about six. With respect to the design of the dwelling, the existence of a full support network for a majority of Sikh seniors suggests a need for a spare bedroom for visitors in their Abbeyfield home. Informal discussions with Sikhs in a seniors' group revealed their preference for quasi-independent units, with particular reference to a full bathroom. Trends in the Canadian context show that this preference for more self contained suites exists also among the North Americans. Neighbourhood selection is an important criterion with respect to Sikh elderly. Factors to be considered with regard to this are availability and location of community resources, in addition to the locational preferences of the residents. Leisure-time activities of Sikh seniors, as indicated in the survey, comprises chiefly of visits to the Gurudwara, seniors' centre, friends and relatives. The frequency of these visits ranged from "almost daily" to "almost weekly" in the case of the Gurudwara and seniors' groups; "almost weekly" in the case of friends; "almost fortnightly" in the case of relatives. Clearly, a basic list of community resources needed by this group of seniors includes family, relatives, friends, the Gurudwara and a seniors' community centre. Sikh seniors also frequent the Punjabi market for their shopping needs. 130 Location or accessibility of these resources "is measured by the average walking distance to basic resources" (Hodge, 1984, p. 57, 61). As shown in Figs. 7 and 8, there is concentration of Sikh residences in the neighbourhoods around Fraser and Main Streets, and 41st and 52d Streets and Marine Drive. The Punjabi market is located along Main Street. Another area of concentration of Sikh households is around the Ross Street Gurudwara (located at Ross Street and Marine Drive). Seniors' groups meet at community centres in both these areas. Ideally, an Abbeyfield home for Sikh seniors in Vancouver would be located in one of these locations. In an Abbeyfield-type seniors' residence the resident housekeeper should preferably belong to the Sikh community and be fluent in Punjabi. In addition, the importance of preparing Punjabi food for the residents cannot be overstressed. Given that traditionally senior Sikh women are not independent and not socially very active outside their circle of friends and relatives and the complementary roles of men and women within a household, it may be expected that the job of the residential housekeeper should be assumed by an elderly Sikh couple. A bilingual Sikh couple would be in a position to adequately cater to the communication needs of the residents. Support services needed by these potential residents range from transportation assistance, help with communicating in English and recreational facilities; the seniors are familiar with Punjabi programmes on the multicultural channel. A few respondents indicated the need for assistance for personal care. The varying health levels of the residents necessitates regular visits from community health professionals. Access is also needed to English classes and orientation programmes to help the seniors be more comfortable in the Canadian environment. Seniors' groups and Immigrants' societies provide information and counselling on immigration laws, pension and other problems immigrant elderly are likely to encounter. Though there are seniors' groups in the two neighbourhoods, transportation 131 assistance may be needed for seniors wishing to visit the Immigrant Services Society and similar organizations. This chapter discussed the Abbeyfield housing model in the context of housing for the seniors in the male-dominated survey group. The following chapter is an overview of the objectives of the present study (as delineated in the introduction) and the Abbeyfield option in the context of alternative housing for Sikh seniors. 132 CHAPTER 10 CONCLUSION The objectives of this study, as discussed in the introductory chapter, are reviewed in light of the survey results and information presented in the preceding chapters. 10.1 Sikh families in India and Canada The traditional family structure of Sikhs in the Indian context is an extended family. Pioneer Sikh immigrants were not permitted to bring their family to Canada and few families could be regrouped. However, from the 1970s onward, Sikhs have taken full advantage of favourable immigration laws, as indicated by the increasing proportion of Sikh immigrants in the "assisted relatives" and "sponsored" category. Consequently, the extended family structure is prevalent among Canadian Sikhs (see chapter 5). By tradition, elderly Sikh men share residence with their brothers, their male offspring, daughters-in-law, unmarried children and grandchildren. In such an arrangement, the social security of elderly individuals lie with their families. Reciprocally, seniors have a strong financial and moral obligation to their younger kin. However, some Sikh traditions in India are not readily translated into the fabric of Canadian life. A striking example of the incompatibility between Sikh tradition and Canadian convention is the Sikh extended family extending to in-laws and to over three generations and the local zoning laws against multiple-family dwellings. More serious perhaps, is the continuing conflict between socialization pressures on Canadian-born Sikh offspring and their traditional obligations to house and support their aged parents. The extended family can hinder the occupational 133 mobility of the highly qualified Canadian-born Sikhs. Also, the role of seniors., especially males, undergoes change. In the Canadian context, seniors are dependent on their married offspring who have sponsored them, both financially and for access to services. 10.1.1 The role of gender Traditional Sikh obligations impact perhaps more on the female than the male elderly. The female is central in the care of pre-school children and in the kitchen. The obligatory role of males is associated with generation of finance and with the productivity outside the home, rather than with the maintenance and work within the home. Hence in Canada, elderly Sikh males find their roles decreasing, whereas the elderly females still retain their role in the kitchen and with pre-school grandchildren. This split between gender-based obligations of Sikhs means that elderly males are better equipped in terms of language, acculturation and duties, to split away from the strains of the traditional extended family life. If widowed, they may be pressured by their sons and daughters-in-law to seek an independent residence. Especially, elderly males face such risk, since their roles within the home are minor when compared to elderly females. At the same time, their sociability needs can be provided for by frequent visits to the Gurudwara and community associations. However, males are less domestically adapted than their female counterparts to maintain independent residence. Given the pressures of Canadian convention that elderly live independently, in households separate from those of their offspring, Sikh males are perhaps more ready in terms of social skills and social support to seek alternatives to living in extended families. On the other hand, widows under pressure of residential separation are much less socially equipped for quasi- independent living, but better skilled at domestic maintenance than males. 134 Regarding elderly couples, push and pull factors, especially failing health, increase the likelihood of residential independence between married generations; elderly parents may reside in a quasi-independent suite, in close proximity to other kin. However, when widowed, the elderly survivor becomes more dependent on younger kin and in-laws. Increasingly, younger generations in the Canadian context are likely to find this responsibility difficult to bear. In these circumstances, pressures towards "distancing" of inter-generational residences increase. What is missing though, are housing forms which can address such pressures. 10.2 Housing needs of Sikh seniors Within this context of Sikhs aging in Canada, the survey for this study focused its attention on a small group of Sikh seniors, mostly male, to record first-hand information on their housing situation, and to identify whether the Abbeyfield option is viable as an alternative to their current housing situation. In the survey group, the seniors apparently in need of alternative housing are either widowed males or couples: i) living in extended families, but facing unstable health conditions, or living unhappily with their families, ii) living in basement suites, who are lonely and facing insecurity of tenure. The survey also gave an indication of the services needed by Sikh seniors. Generally, Sikh seniors tend to have a strong informal support network. Language support topped their list of needs, followed by health and transportation requirements. Neighbourhood selection was another key issue. Sikh seniors expressed a strong desire to be close to their family, 135 friends, the Gurudwara and seniors' community centres. Administrative staff and all those who come into contact with the residents should be members of the community, fluent in Punjabi. Punjabi meals and recreational facilities for the residents are critical to their feeling of comfort and willingness to stay in the home. 10.3 Housing options for seniors in Canada A majority of elderly Canadians live as families in private households (Canada. Department of Health and Welfare, 1983). Since women have a longer life expectancy, more widowed or single women tend to live alone in private households or as residents of collective dwellings.1 The percentage of seniors living alone was as high as twenty-three in 1981 (Canada. Department of Health and Welfare, 1983; Priest, 1985). Two-thirds of older Canadians are homeowners (Brink, 1984, p. 3). This proportion decreases among older age groups, corresponding to an increase in the proportion of renters. The most popular dwelling type among senior Canadians is the single family detached dwelling and a majority of elderly home owners may be classified as "over-housed", or living in a house with more than one bedroom per member (Brink, 1984, p. 5). Only homeowners have a major asset in the form of their own home; renters do not have this advantage. Individual annual incomes of seniors tend to be below $7,000, especially if the individual is single and female. CMHC (1988) identifies a range of housing options for seniors. For those seniors preferring to "stay put", several programmes such as home equity conversion plans and 1. Collective dwelling refers to a dwelling of commercial, institutional or communal nature. They include hotels, motels, nursing homes, hospitals, jails and rooming houses. Collective dwellings may be occupied by usual residents or solely by temporary residents (Canada. Department of Health and Welfare, 1983, p. 68). 136 support services have been designed to help them stay independently for extended periods of time. Seniors who are unable to remain in their homes for reasons of ill-health, loneliness and poor finances, have a range of housing alternatives to move into such as granny flats, accessory apartments and home sharing. Of all these options, the multi-family dwelling units including duplexes and granny flats and home sharing may be considered as alternatives for Sikh seniors, especially for couples. The extended family structure or home sharing between seniors and their married offspring, is common among Sikh seniors. For Sikh seniors (both couples and widowed men) preferring to "stay put", community services i.e., meals on wheels, visiting medical staff and special transportation would decrease their dependence on younger kin and other family members. Those Sikh seniors who are forced to move, either due to ill-health, financial reasons or unhappiness in their current situation, may find the alternatives of home sharing and multi-family dwellings viable alternatives. Supportive housing and the Abbeyfield alternative, in particular, lends itself to the special needs of Sikh seniors, especially males. Sikh seniors must first be made aware of these services, to promote their effective utilization. 10.4 The Abbeyfield alternative for Sikh seniors Originally developed in the United Kingdom, the concept of Abbeyfield has recently been adopted in Canada. Abbeyfield Societies have been formed at the national and at local levels in B.C. The key features of an Abbeyfield home are its small size (typically eight residents), domestic scale and its availability in an existing large remodeled single family detached dwelling unit in the same neighbourhood as its residents. 137 10.4.1 Prospective Abbeyfield residents Abbeyfield homes are appropriate for seniors who do not require the degree of health support offered in extended-care units, but who would benefit from support from peers and the community. Loneliness and frailty are the criteria by which residents are recruited. Currently Abbeyfield homes are operated for single or widowed residents only; couples do not come under the "lonely-isolated" category since they have the support of each other. Prospective Abbeyfield residents in the United Kingdom, Australia and the USA seek to maintain their independence, preferring to stay in their current homes until some traumatic experience like ill-health or loss of spouse induced their move. Regarding Sikh seniors, the survey indicated the presence of a small group of widowed males, who reported that they were lonely. This group is different from the group of typical Abbeyfield residents in the Canadian context. Most of them lived in extended families with traditional values and strong family ties which serve to keep generations together. They did not foresee the possibility or need to move from their current home, until health conditions precipitated their move. The Abbeyfield alternative has been successfully adopted by other ethnic groups, including the Jewish and Polish groups, in the United Kingdom. The individual homes lend themselves to the special needs of its residents. An Abbeyfield home for Sikhs should be located in neighbourhoods with a high concentration of Sikh residences, with a Gurudwara and a community centre. Special needs for Sikhs, as discussed earlier, are a bilingual, elderly couple as resident housekeepers, Punjabi menu for all meals and visiting health officials and volunteers from the Sikh community. 138 10.5 Changes in the future 10.5.1 Demographic profile of Sikhs and Canadians Statistics Canada (1981) reports that in- 1981, about six percent of the Vancouver Sikh population were seniors. The corresponding percentage in Canada as a whole was close to ten. Two distinctive factors are perceived in the overall Canadian demographic profile; a sharp increase in the number of those in the 85-plus age group and the increasing proportion of women, especially in the older age groups (Canada. Department, of Health and Welfare, 1983, pp. 18-20). Among Sikhs however, an examination of the census data does not reveal similar trends. Census information on the proportion of Sikhs in the young-old and old-old age groups is not available for comparison with the Canadian population, partly due to their small numbers. The age-sex ratio of women to men among Sikh seniors, contrary to that of the overall Canadian ratio, shows a slight decrease with increasing age. Another significant difference between the two profiles is the smaller proportion of children among Sikhs. The proportion of those in the labour force is much higher among them, than in the Canadian population as a whole. The current age-sex profile of Sikhs is conducive to a lower mortality rate than the average Canadian rate. Reasons attributed to the lower fertility rates of Asian Indian women in Canada include "feelings of social insecurities" and upward socio-economic mobility necessitating smaller families (see section 4.6). Mortality and fertility rates among Sikhs have an influence on the numbers and nature of seniors' cohort in the next few decades. Trends in immigration indicate an imminent increase in the proportion of elderly. In addition to this increase in the numbers of elderly, aging of those Sikhs already in Canada 139 and currently in the labour force would further increase the numbers of seniors in Canada (see section 4.3.1). A greater proportion among them can be expected to live longer. No changes can be perceived with respect to the proportion of women to men. Over the next few decades, Sikh seniors may be classified broadly in two categories, depending on their period of immigration to Canada, financial situation, access to services in the Canadian context, available informal support and extent of adaptation to the Canadian environment. One category includes those who immigrated to Canada during the 1960s and 70s and who have lived in Canada for a few decades. They are likely to be financially secure than new immigrants and have better access to services. The other category would consist of new immigrants, mostly parents and relatives of residents in Canada. Most of them can be expected to have little or no knowledge of English and Canadian customs, or of the services available to them in Canada. Moreover, since they are not eligible for any form of assistance from the federal or the provincial government in Canada for the first ten years of their stay, they are financially dependent on their sponsors. This group would bear the brunt of inter-generational differences and face a loss of role as head of an extended family. 10.6 Future research The concept of housing for the elderly is new to the Sikh community and it follows that effective communication and awareness of its existence are critical to the success of Abbeyfield homes among Sikh seniors. "The acceptance of a new technique or change . . . is a process which occurs over a period of time for each individual and for a . . . community" (Wilkening, 1962, p. 44). Wilkening outlines the stages in the adoption of new practices by a community. These include awareness (where individuals are first 140 exposed to a new idea), interest (when the individual is sufficiently interested in the new idea to compare it with other ideas), decision making (when the individual studies the feasibility of the idea for himself, the adjustments required and decides whether to try it or not), trial (when the individual proceeds to actually try the new idea) and finally adoption of the idea (when the new idea has been successfully accepted for continued use). This process is a very slow one and Wilkening suggests methods whereby the process of acceptance of a new idea by an individual and a group can be speeded up; "the problem is one of determining what influences operate at various stages in the process of acceptance, by what individuals, i.e., innovators, leaders or followers, educated or uneducated, members or nonmembers of organizations, etc." The agents that communicate information within the community should be identified and developed. Reflecting Wilkening's strategy, future research needs to explore the process by which to make the Abbeyfield alternative available and accessible to Sikh seniors. As was done in this study, Sikh seniors are most likely to be contacted through Sikh community workers and in seniors' centres. To introduce the Abbeyfield as an institution of small- scale, age-segregated housing for Sikh elderly, it would be easier to capture the interest and support of the educated and professional Sikhs who have had sufficient exposure to the Canadian environment, before approaching the new immigrants who are more likely to need this housing alternative. The other aspect of the Abbeyfield option, namely its organization and structure may require changes to suit the attitudes and smaller numbers of prospective Sikh residents. Chief among these changes is catering to an almost all male ethnic population with special needs of adjustment to the Canadian context. The emphasis on future research would be upon how to convince elderly Sikh males that the Abbeyfield option can be consistent with their cultural values. To promote its acceptability as a housing alternative for the population of elderly Sikh males, the local 141 Abbeyfield society needs legitimization from an institution such as the Gurudwara. The Gurudwara could be developed as a resource for services, volunteers and organizers. The management committee of the Gurudwaras are influential members of the Sikh community and play a key role in communicating information to their members. Regarding services provided by the Gurudwaras, Punjabi meals are available at all times and it serves as a meeting place for a majority of Sikhs and by the elderly males in particular. Sources of funds, affordability among seniors, zoning laws and the availability of existing large detached dwellings in areas of Sikh concentration, would form secondary emphasis of future research. This exploratory study has identified that a proportion of Sikh seniors are in need of housing alternatives. 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"East Indians and Canada's new immigration policy", in Canadian Public Policy, Vol. 4, No. 4, 1978, pp. 547-67. 152 APPENDIX 1 CENSUS POLICY With regard to Sikhs in Canada and Vancouver CMA in particular, detailed census information is scarce. Census estimates of Sikhs are low; in the 1981 census for example, some East Indians mistakenly listed themselves as Native Indians (Bourne et. al., 1986). A second reason for the underestimation of Sikh numbers is that some census respondents may have withheld information, due to language barriers. Further, to preserve personal confidentiality at the census tract, enumeration area and neighbourhood levels, some ethnicity data may be suppressed. Periodical changes in terminology used by census and immigration staff has resulted in an inconsistent record of census information, making the study of Sikh immigration to Canada difficult. This difficulty is due to the fact that the religious preferences of immigrants were not recorded, thereby aggregating the Sikhs with Hindus, Muslims, Christians, and perhaps even Jains, Parsis and Jews as well. Even when one concentrates on the larger category of Asian Indian,1 the patterns remain imprecise. The Canadian government periodically changed the categories under which their own collected data were grouped. Such alterations in time (fiscal year versus calendar year), types of immigrants (e.g. East Indian Ethnic Origin, India as Country of Last Permanent Residence, or Immigrants having Indian Citizenship) and the categories of occupations and dependency, almost guarantee that any two investigators will reach different - yet reasonably accurate conclusions concerning Asian Indian immigration to Canada. (Chadney, 1986, pp. 59-60) 1. The term "Asian Indians" has been adopted by the United States Bureau of the Census to refer to people of India in the United States. For details see Chandrasekhar, 1986, Author's note. 153 1. Distinguishing Sikhs from South Asians Over the long period of immigration history, Canadian census and immigration staff have coined several terms — Hindus (Hindoos), East Indians, South Asians, Sikhs, Indo-Pakistanis-- to refer to the various groups of South Asians in Canada. Before attempting to discuss any particular South Asian ethnic group, these different terms used in Canada, both out of ignorance and perhaps for the sake of convenience, must be presented. 1.1 Hindus and other nomenclatures In the early part of this century, there were only a handful of immigrants, mostly Sikhs from the Indian sub-continent in Canada. They were all referred to as Hindus irrespective of their religious or ethnic background (Johnston, 1984, p. 1). The census of 1871 used the term "Hindoos"- the spelling was changed to "Hindus" in the census of 1911 and 1921. It was only in the 1930s and 40s that religious differences were perceived. The Sikhs were then the dominant South Asian culture and a great majority of them lived in British Columbia. Subsequently there was a sharp increase in South Asian immigration during the 1960s and 70s. As a consequence, the range of cultural, ethnic, religious, linguistic and national backgrounds increased. The term "East Indians" was coined in the census year 1951 (Buchignani and Indra, 1985, pp. 121-23; Chandrasekhar, 1986; Bourne et. al., 1986, p. 170), to distinguish them from the Native Indians (Johnston, 1984, p. 1). This term was used rather loosely to include everyone whose origin was in the South Asian countries. Sikhs were the most prominent among them (Buchignani and Indra, 1985, p. 121). In the 1971 Census, the term "Indo-Pakistani" was introduced to include people whose language or ethnic origin belonged to either India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka or Bangladesh. Recently, the 154 term "Indo-Canadian" (Bolan, 1988) is being widely used to include Canadians with origin in India. ETHNIC CLASSIFICATION SCHEMES IN T H E CANADIAN CENSUS 1871 - 1981 (Source: Bourne, et. al. 1986, pp. 170- 174.) For the purpose of this thesis, census information on Sikhs has been provided, whenever available. Since a majority of South Asians in Canada are Sikhs, most information on "South Asians", "Indo-Pakistanis" or "East Indians" is pertinent to Sikhs as well. The following section highlights the differences between the various South Asian ethnic groups and emphasizes the need for specific terms, based on religion, language and country of origin. 1.2 South Asians Revisions to the Census definition have been both frequent and substantial, reflecting not only the changing images of the Census staff but the evolving ethnocultural mosaic of the nation. (Bourne et. al., 1986, p. 5) Census year Term used Hindoo Hindu Hindu East Indian East Indian/Indo-Pakistani/Other Indo-Pakistani Indo-Canadian 1871 1911 1921 1951 1971 1981 1988 "South Asians" are those perceived by Canadians as being able to trace their origin to South Asian nations. This includes the predominantly Hindu country of India, Muslim 155 countries of Pakistan and Bangladesh, and Buddhist Sri Lanka. Within each of these countries there is diversity of language and culture. India alone has fourteen official languages including Hindi, Punjabi and Tamil, for example. The extensive caste system further dictates social interaction, marriage, friendship, status and identity within each of the regional, linguistic and religious variations. ... In overview, the term "South Asian" is full of paradoxes. To many Canadians, it is a covering term for a culturally homogeneous ethnic group. However, most people thereby identified as South Asian see themselves primarily as Sikh, Fijian, or Sinhalese. General commonalities of culture and experience nevertheless exist. These shared values and beliefs create a unity in diversity of a very complicated sort (Buchignani and Indra, 1985, p. 125). To complicate matters further, Canadians of South Asian origin have migrated from different parts of the world including Asia, Africa, West Indies and Europe (Chandrasekhar, 1986, p. 27; Buchignani and Indra, 1985, p. 124). A majority of them live in urban centres (Ramcharan, 1984, p. 36). Though these peoples follow different religions including Hinduism, Sikkhism, Islam, Christianity, they have an identifiable common ethnic background i.e., common cultural practices, dress, food habits and common skin colour (Kanungo, 1984, p. 6). HOUSING FOR SIKH ELDERLY: QUESTIONNAIRE Number: Date: / Sex: QMale D Female 2 Age yrs 2 Country of birth: 4 Length of stay in Canada 5. Education J/rs 0 None DHigh School . D Vocational training D University degree • Grad uate or Profess io na I degree £ Are you currently employed? DYes DNo 7 Do you receive pension or OAS? • Yes D No D Not Applicable & Your own approximate annual Income: D None D Less than $5000 D $5,001 - $15 000 D $15 001 - $30 000 C$30 001 -$50 000 D $50 001 and above D Dont know S Marital status: 0 Married D Never married D Separated / divorced • Widowed 1Q How would rate your health? D Good heatth D Occasional medical attention D Frequent medical attention 0 Occasional, IKJSP |a lizatto n // Does sickness or jit-health cause you to cut down on your dairy activities? D No, not at all D To a certain extent only D Yes, most of the time 12 Do you feel you are lonely? 0 Yes D No DSornetrnes 13 Your current home is a : D S ingle family dwelling (detached) 0 Apartment • Town house 0 Condominium • Duplex D Other (specify) (eg. Basement suite) 14 Your tenure in current home; D Ownership • Rental D Share in a co-op D Staying w*h daughter, son relative or friend 15. Number of years in your current home: 1£ anguages spoken in your home: D Mostly Punjabi D Mostly English D English and Punjabi D Other <cr*<ry) 17 Reasons for stayiriq.jn your current home-(CHECK ONE OR MORE) • Tradition and culture •Family ties D Past experiences with moves • Neighbourhood ties D III- he aIth • Limited finances 0 No motivation to move • Few alternatives D High cost of alternatives • Others (Specify) 16 Do you forsee the possibility or need to move from this home in the next year or so? • Yes • No D Maybe IS I f. yes, possible reasons for moving: (CHECK ONE OP MORE) • Ill-health D Financial reasons • Lack of services • Family ties D S ize of home • Other (specify) 20 Dwelling types you would prefer. if you had to move: (CHECK ONE OR MORE) D Single family house D Low-rise apartment • Town house 0 Senior citcen home • Other • High-rise apartment D Duplex • Condominium • Co-op .(specify) 21. Your household consists of: (start with yourself) No. First name Age (yrs) Sex m/f Relationship to y.ou: 1 self 2 3 4 5 6 7 e 9 ~"10 22 Do you have at least one child in Vancouver, not living in your household: D Yes D No D Not applicable How often do you jge_ him / tier? • Almost dairy 0 Almost weekly D Almost fortnightly D Almost monthly D A most never' How often do you contact them through letter or phone? • Almost daily D Almost weekly • Almost fortnightly • Almost monthly D Almost never 23 Do you have at least one parent in Vancouver, not living in your household? DYes D No D Not applicable How often do you see hrn / tier? • Almost daity D Akriost weekly • Atnost fortnightly D Arnost monthly D Almost never How often do you contact them through letter or phone? • Almost daily D Almost weekly D Atnost fortnightly D Almost monthly 0 A most never page 2 24 Do you have at least one brother or sister in  Vancouver, not living in your household: • Yes 0 No 0 Not applicable How often do you see hrn / her? D Almost daily 0 Almost weekly • Almost fortnightly • Arnost monthly 0 Almost never Howoften do you contact him/her through letter or phone? 0 Almost daily D Almost weekly D Almost fortnightly • A Imost mo nth ly OA Imost never 25. Do you have at least one other relative in  Vancouver, not living in this household: D Yes • No D Not applicable How often do you see him/her? D Almost daily., • Almost weekly D Almost fortnightly 0 Almost monthly D Almost never Howoften do you contact hrn / her through letter or phone? D Almost daily D Arnost weekly • Almost fortnightly • A Imost mo nth ly DA Imost never 2S Do you have at least one friend in Vancouver. not living in this household: 0 Yes D No 0 Not applicable How often do you see him / her? 0 Almost daily • Almost weekly • Almost fortnightly • Almost monthly • Almost never Howoften do you contact him / her through letter or phone? • Almost daily D Almost weekly • Almost fortnightly • Almost monthly • Almost never 27. Do you have at least one grandchild in  Vancouver, not living in you' household? OYes D No 0 Not applicable 28 Howoften do you spend your leisure time . . . Almost dairy Almost weekly Almost fortnightly Arnost monthly Arnost never At homewfth family With relatives With friends At the Gurudwara At seniors" groups (community centres) 23 Do you require assistance for any of trie following? yes no To a certain extent Housekeeping Cooking Personal care (Bathing, owing) Transportation (Bus. skytram, car) Shopping Communication in English Other (specify) 3d DO YOU KNOW ANY SENIOR (aged 60 or more) IN THE COMMUNITY WHO . . . Yes No a. Faces recent family break-up through death, divorce, or separation? b Cant clean and care for their home? c. Lives alone with few outside contacts? d. Needs lower rent or dwelling cost? e. Has difficulty in caring for a frail or handicapped person? f. Is living unhappily with their family? g Is not eating nutritional meats regularly? h. Worries about being a burden to others? i. Faces possible eviction or displacement? J Faces deteriorating heath or a sudden emergency? k. te dissatisfied with their nekjhbourhood? 1. Whose family wants him or her to move a care facility? THANK YOU FOR YOUR CO-OPERATION 158 *CI.lf| .Jf\ • ^  fttV*T?T71 TP firry ^ £ 1 ? ^ U<3 ••^  TTTO ^ I 5T3^ # ^3?. V^o ? fc'c? TT^t "STS i "ftro 9^ >>f "3f$rf/ TOrS^ 159 ® T O THJPTMS?; © 4 ? o r S 'iTjy i 1 w x | w (Wa^J? v a ¥33) 4 ^ ^ 3 ?3^ > ^ ^ f i p r n -160 © V » fe * 7 • 9 i f * • - ' • --•• • a o o ^ Vf\ ^\rv 7««3i* C O T . $1^8 ^ iV^' Q 5^ wA) (yam) D fcX*uHi — tJ D D Q D D a D 3^%T "nfft n Twites |) 3$. fed w i * Trftstfen Ifcfl 3T*1 " * ^ 1^ Pk 162 !*.•» TtfK ^ j j ? J f » $ 7 ^_ ^ D "Mama •2*1 - * f * * a 3 I Wa? 2*)' fed \T&*fah W-fl 9 irfl ft? * * ^ * \ « 1 1 • 163 


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