Dealing with the challenges of ageing migrants in Switzerland: present and future of culture-sensitive care


Theoretical background. In Switzerland in 2017 37% of the population had a immigrant background, the percentage of persons among older people (65+) is 22% (own calculation based on data from BfS) and their number will increase. Immigrants in Switzerland show a large cultural diversity, however, most come from European countries (BfS, 2018). Switzerland is a country with a well-developed old care system. Access to home care for a variety of care levels (ranging from household help to therapeutic care) is easy and often financed by health insurance. Dependent on the canton, places in nursing home for 50 to 115 of 1000 persons 65+ are provided. However, although the health situation of older migrants is worse compared to Swiss, migrants are still underrepresented in home and inpatient care (Bolzman, 2012). Therefore, the Federal Office of Public Health had promoted a national program Migration and Health 2002-2007 which is now replaced by the national strategy Health and Equity. Aims of this strategy are to improve the access of the migrant population to social services and to facilitate intercultural competence among care personnel. Objectives. Which are the challenges old age care providers are currently faced with due to cultural diversity among old persons and what are the challenges they foresee in this respect? What are examples of best practice of culture-sensitive care? What do care providers need in the future for an optimal care supply for a culturally diverse population of old people? Methods. Semi-structured interviews with N = 10 experts in the field of home and inpatient care of elderly migrants. The experts represent different main providers of long-term elderly care such as Spitex and Swiss Red Cross. Results/Discussion. Interview data will be analyzed and discussed according to the research questions with a specific emphasize on differences between home and inpatient care. Best practice examples will be presented.

In International Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics European Region Congress
Pirmin Pfammatter
Pirmin Pfammatter
Psychologist, PhD Student

My research focus on family relations in minority families.