Invisible Immigrants, Old and Left With ‘Nobody to Talk to’

Patricia Leigh Brown, New York Times, August 31, 2009

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{snip} Since 1990, the number of foreign-born people over 65 has grown from 2.7 million to 4.3 million–or about 11 percent of the country’s recently arrived immigrants. Their ranks are expected to swell to 16 million by 2050. In California, one in nearly three seniors is now foreign born, according to a 2007 census survey.

Many are aging parents of naturalized American citizens, reuniting with their families. Yet experts say that America’s ethnic elderly are among the most isolated people in America. Seventy percent of recent older immigrants speak little or no English. {snip}

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Many who have followed their grown children here have fulfilling lives, but life in this country does not always go according to plan for seniors navigating the new, at times jagged, emotional terrain, which often means living under a child’s roof.

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