3 Audio and activity
In these audio clips, you will hear about the Chinese Welfare Association. At the time of recording, Anna Manway-Watson was its Director, and Lily Sau Han Braid, the Community Development Worker for older people. Both women talk about the role of the Association from the perspective of workers and offer insights into the needs of the Chinese community at that time.
You will also hear from Al, a local business man. Along with his wife, Al cares for his elderly parents. He talks about his parents' adjustment to a culture, different from their own, his experiences as a husband, father and son, and his hopes for the future. He acknowledges the stresses and the pleasures involved in caring, and the complex mix of love and duty. Although the context and the culture differ, in many respects Al's account seems to resonate with the accounts given by family carers from West Sussex in K202_1 The Adur carers project.
Listen to the audio clips and, as you listen, make notes on:
- what you think are the main problems facing older Chinese people in Northern Ireland;
- whether, from what Al says, he and his family are different to any other family where there are older people in need of care and support.
Transcript: Clip 1: The Chinese community in Northern Ireland
Transcript: Clip 2: Minority support needs - A case study: Al
Transcript: Clip 3: Meeting needs in the future
Anna and Lily talk about difficulties caused by the isolation of the Chinese community in Northern Ireland and of the isolation of individual families. This has meant that there has not been a development of services to meet the needs of people whose culture and language is not that of the majority. Families are providing much of the care and support because there are no care workers who speak the language. This can give a false impression of self-sufficiency.
They also mention delays in legislation, for example the Race Relations Act was only effective from 1997 in Northern Ireland. Without this law there was no way to put pressure on local authorities to improve services. However, there is hope for the future through the creation of the Equality Commission.
Al talks very much in the same way as the West Sussex carers in K202_1 The Adur carers project. He's concerned about his parents' need for support now that his mother is blind and his father has difficulties with mobility. However, he's obviously not happy with the label ‘carer’. For him, a carer is someone who is not a relative. What he and his wife do for his parents he regards as something done from respect, and perhaps duty. However, he says he doesn't expect his son to be his insurance. In his commitment to the idea of independence for himself, Al is no different to people of his generation in minority communities as well as in the majority population.