Are Tamils Indian
Swiss Red Cross
New SRK study
Living situation of Tamils in Switzerland
The living situation of the first generation of the Tamil population is shaped by the consequences of the health problems of working in the low-wage sector and the threat of old-age poverty, but also by a great deal of support from the networks in the diaspora and in the family.
As a rule, the first generation of the Tamil diaspora in Switzerland no longer has any plans to return. Both the Tamil community itself and the Swiss elderly institutions are therefore confronted with the challenge of finding suitable forms of elderly care and care for Tamils. Information on the existing offers and on social and pension institutions should be more easily accessible. Those involved in old-age provision have to adapt to a new group of stakeholders.
The aging process of Tamils in Switzerland is associated with fears. At the suggestion of experts, the National Forum Age & Migration and the SRK decided to commission a survey to assess the health, social and economic living conditions of the first generation. The study was presented on December 11, 2018 in the Käfigturm in Bern.
Conclusion: The living situation of the first generation is shaped by the consequences of the health problems of working in the low-wage sector and the threat of old-age poverty, but also by great support from the networks in the diaspora and in the family. And: The basic features of the Swiss health and pension system are known, but there are gaps in information on social security issues, old-age provision and health promotion and prevention. The first generation expresses the desire for their professional achievements to be recognized in Switzerland.
No prospects for a return
The first generation of Tamils no longer sees any prospects for a return to Sri Lanka. Even in old age, if possible until death, she would like to live in her own apartment or house close to the children, with external, outpatient support for care and domestic help. Some also have dreams and plans for commuter migration - or are already realizing them, for which a social security agreement between Switzerland and Sri Lanka would be beneficial. Many people find it difficult to imagine life in an old age institution, also because it would damage the family's reputation.
Retirement and nursing home as the last option
The second generation worries that the first generation will feel uprooted and lonely in a retirement and nursing home due to communication problems with the caregivers and with the other residents. A retirement and nursing home is accepted as the last option by both generations, but it should either be transcultural or have a Tamil department. First and foremost, it is important that the needs of older Tamils for understanding, cultivating the Tamil food culture, religiosity, gender-segregated care as well as dignified dying and an abdication in the sense of their traditions are carefully addressed.
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