Interview with a Senior Green Card Holder Essay
Interview with a Senior Green Card Holder
Mrs. A (2007) is a 69 year old Pakistani lady settled with her son’s family in the United States. She has been a green card holder for the past six years. During an interview, she reported having had “no problem whatsoever” with the American health care system. After all, both her son and daughter-in-law are doctors. Mrs. A suffers severe depression from time to time. In her opinion, it is “genetic. ” From the time she entered the United States, her family has helped her cope with the illness by ensuring that she had access to the doctors whenever required, in addition to medication.
According to the senior immigrant, the attitude that her family has shown toward her illness in “a foreign land” is, indeed, praiseworthy. “This is how families from my part of the world are meant to behave,” she adds. She further believes that it is her family alone that she can rely on in the foreign land. In the Indo-Pak culture, an individual must be protected and provided for by his or her family. Women must be cared for by their husbands and sons. “Single women have no place in our culture,” Mrs. A reported. Individualism is replaced by collectivism, as Mrs.
A would like her family to look after her interests at all times. In exchange for the time and energy that she has invested in her family thus far, Mrs. A expects help from her family in times of need. She worries, however, that her family would not be able to meet her needs all of the time. As a matter of fact, the possibility that her family might one day find itself impotent in terms of helping her out is a cause of anxiety for the lady. The intense level of anxiety felt by Mrs. A often translates into severe depression. Even though Mrs.
A has a large number of friends across the United States, she believes that it is shameful to depend upon friends in stead of family. This belief is also culture-ingrained, Interview with a Senior Green Card Holder 2 seeing that the Americans do not believe that it is embarrassing to ask friends for help. Mrs. A visits her friends quite often, and they visit her too. All the same, they cannot root out the anxiety that lurks in the back of her mind – that, in fact, it is possible for her to be left without family to take care of her needs, whether they are financial or health care needs.
The anxiety is intensified by Mrs. A’s concern that the American value system might abruptly change the Muslim-ingrained values of her son and daughter-in-law. Also according to her, it is widely believed in her own part of the world that the American children have no respect for their elders. “Parents are sent over to nursing homes; and we would never do that” – she stated. Fortunately for Mrs. A, her son and daughter-in-law have so far been “extremely kind” to her. Mrs. A shares certain household responsibilities with her son’s family, even if the responsibilities that are assigned to her are “limited to kitchen work.
” Mrs. A is not well-educated. However, she believes that she excels at “social relations. ” She has been spending time in nursing homes, chatting with the elderly while serving the community with great pleasure. She trusts that the best thing about America is “community service” that especially targets the elderly. The rest of the benefits of her green card appear to fade into the background as her perceptions are typically accompanied by anxious feelings about loss of family in a new country. Mrs. A identifies with the vulnerable senior citizens in the nursing homes that she visits, “especially on holidays.
” She bakes cookies for the aged with the help of a group of immigrant lady friends. As she meets the elderly folk in nursing homes, she recounts her blessings. The fact that she still has family to take care of her needs relieves her depression for some time. Mrs. Interview with a Senior Green Card Holder 3 A is left feeling sorry for the people in the nursing homes. “I wish with all my heart that I was educated and rich enough to take care of them all in my own home in Pakistan,” she generously proposed during the interview.
The lady immigrant does not feel that she is discriminated against in terms of health care access. The U. S. has been a wonderful experience for her in this regard, but only because she has a son and daughter-in-law who both practice medicine in the country. Mrs. A feels that she has been pampered by her son as far as health care is concerned, so much so that she does not even need to know the names of the “health care plans, etc. ” She is definitely not aware of the health care insurance that she can presently access. “I only sign the health documents that my son gives me to sign,” she said.
She knows that her son was previously considering purchasing a Global Citizen Health Insurance plan for her. She used to travel a lot between U. S. and Pakistan at the time. At this point, however, her health care insurance plan is not Global Citizen Health Insurance. Mrs. A has no idea what the current plan might be. When asked whether she is required to carry an identification card on behalf of the health insurance plan, Mrs. A reported that she has been given “countless cards” by her son, most of which she does not understand.
Apparently, her son goes through her “wallet of cards” and selects the appropriate ones whenever she is required to use any of them. Her level of health literacy remains limited to some facts about anxiety and depression that she has been explained by doctors in America. Seeing that Mrs. A belongs to a culture that is vastly dissimilar from that of the interviewer, the communication techniques used by the latter were focused on body language that would reveal an empathetic attitude. It was especially important for the interviewer not to express
Interview with a Senior Green Card Holder 4 disbelief in matters that sounded ludicrous to culturally untrained ears. Therefore, Mrs. A’s references to the Indo-Pak culture, the importance of family over friends, and the Pakistani perceptions about American families were especially received by the interviewer with a straight face. Effective listening skills were also employed. Even so, the emphasis remained throughout the interview on the maintenance of a relaxed and open frame of mind – expressed by means of relaxed and friendly body language – on the part of the interviewer.
As a consequence, Mrs. A reported that she felt “no discomfort opening up to a foreigner. ” For the interviewer, this was certainly a relief. Indeed, culturally sensitive interviews could go very well when the interviewer is especially concerned about maintaining a professional appearance despite all odds. Mrs. A’s interview was successful especially because the interviewer did not make her feel like an alien. Interview with a Senior Green Card Holder
References Mrs. A. (2007). Personal Interview.
University/College: University of Arkansas System
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 19 April 2017
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