In my pursuit of a career in healthcare to understand and help the aging Cambodian refugee population, this is a question that I dread, but must answer for myself.
‘Why does this matter?’
- Cambodians Americans have poor health status (RAND Corporation)
- There is a lack of physicians/healthcare providers that speak the language (UCSF)
- Cambodian Americans are aggregated into the large Asian categories which distort the realities of diverse ethnic groups (Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health)
- Second and third generation Cambodian Americans are losing the ability to speak Khmer (Wayne Wright, my Kindergarten teacher!!)
- Expectations aging parents differ greatly than they do in the United States. (New York Times)
- PTSD Symptoms present as people age. (Boston Globe)
- As decedents of survivors come to adulthood, it’s up to us to address how to carry on our family’s legacy.