Care home restrictions put extra strain on immigrant elderly

Sarah Suleman - CFUV - VictoriaBC | 15-10-2020
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest
Share on email
Share on print

Hoda Shojaieenia, a companion to the elderly and healthcare student, speaks to how the loneliness of the elderly in care facilities during Covid-19 lockdown protocols is compounded by challenges faced by middle eastern immigrants.


“Yes, it’s totally different. For example, in the Middle East, especially Iranian people, because this is the same culture, same language, they want to speak more, and just remember all the history from the back of Iran and from the Shah, or any things that very, very long time ago. They sought to explain to me what was happening at that moment. And because we are the same culture, we have lots of things to share.” said Shojaieenia.


Since lockdown began in March, BC care home facilities have been following strict protocols with little to no access for visitation. As a result, many seniors have suffered from the isolation. Recently, on Sep 30, families whose loved ones live in long term care facilities gathered on the B.C legislature lawn to garner the attention of politicians to reexamine these protocols.


Shojaieenia explains that language is a barrier that many of the Iranian elderly she works with face. “Because I know the culture, I'm coming from the culture, I'm coming from this country I know. And sometimes they still asking me what is happening in Iran now? We can speak Persian, and for the senior people, because it's hard to remember English. and it's easy for them ask me Farsi.” She said.


Shojaieenia credits her cultural upbringing as the reason she pursued care taking. “because this is always my passion. And I remember all this, my grandma, she lives with us. when we lived in Iran. Then I came here and started companionship job and I'm thinking okay, I go to school and continue my education in this field. That's why I go to college and take healthcare assistant course.” said Shojaieenia.