The current project that I am working on currently at the UEF Law School addresses the Legal Rights of Older Immigrants and Immigrants with Dementia in Finland.
The legal rights of older immigrants and immigrants with dementia have not been researched extensively globally. In Finland, the research in this area is scarce. It is important to study these groups of people as the numbers of older immigrants and immigrants with dementia is increasing in the country. The study aims at investigating their lived experiences and the obstacles they might face regarding their legal rights and access to justice, and whether they feel stigmatized in society because of their vulnerable situation. It is also necessary to find solutions and strategies that aim at improving their lives and welfare in the Finnish society. The study will primarily employ an empirical approach to investigate the firsthand experiences of these groups through conducting semi-structured qualitative interviews with them. The inputs and experiences of people dealing with these groups will be considered as well in the data collection process. From a legal perspective, the research will analyze the policies regarding access to justice for these two groups, such as the Elderly Care Act, the Non-Discrimination Act, and the Social Welfare Act. From a social perspective, the problem will be looked at from a social stigmatization standpoint. This is in the sense that belonging to one of the categories of being ‘immigrant’, ‘old’, and ‘ill’ can lead to stigmatization. This research addresses groups of immigrants who belong to at least two of these categories, hence what can be identified as ‘intersecting stigmas’, and potentially a reinforced experience of hindrances to access to justice.