At a time when Latinx citizens and immigrants are targeted because of their language and culture, the Diverse Elders Coalition rejects harmful, discriminatory policies and practices. Instead, we join our member organization the National Hispanic Council on Aging (NHCOA) in celebrating National Hispanic Heritage Month and the many contributions that Hispanic older adults bring to our communities and our country. Read on for Hispanic Heritage Month highlights from the coalition and beyond.
Heng Kem (whom we affectionately refer to as “Ta Heng” which means “Grandpa Heng” in Khmer) has always been one of The Cambodian Family’s most active residents. He and his wife came to the United States back in 2008, when his son (who arrived here in the late 90s) was finally able to sponsor them both. Ta found about our agency through his daughter-in-law, who used to be a client of ours, and has been an active participant and responsible community member ever since.
One of our proudest moments with Ta was when he finally passed his citizenship test and became U.S. citizen! The Cambodian Family.... Read More
Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with NHCOA in D.C. and Maryland
by Christine S. Perez, Program and Resource Development Associate, NHCOA
Next week, the National Hispanic Council on Aging (NHCOA) will be hosting two events in Washington, D.C. and Silver Spring, M.D. to celebrate Hispanic Heritage and support Hispanic older adults nationwide. We hope you will join us at one or both of these important events!
The National Hispanic Council on Aging (NHCOA) invites you to join us at the Rayburn House Office Building on Tuesday, September 17th at 9:30am EDT to release our “2019 Status of Hispanic Older Adults: Recommendations from the Field”.... Read More
New Data Show ACA Is Reducing Racial Disparities in Health Coverage
Since the passage of the ACA over 20 million people have gained access to health insurance coverage through the Marketplace. A recent issue brief from the Commonwealth Fund reaffirms that substantially lowering uninsurance rates nationwide has also led to reductions in racial and ethnic disparities in health coverage. The health coverage gains have been most pronounced for minority groups and individuals with incomes below 139 percent of the federal poverty level.
Before the passage of the ACA, Latinx people had the highest initial uninsurance rate. Black people also had higher initial uninsurance rates than whites. Therefore, a reduction of.... Read More
I am proud and honored to announce that I have been invited by Governor Newsom and former California First Lady Maria Shriver to join the Governor’s Alzheimer’s Prevention and Preparedness Task Force. The Task Force consists of 29 members. It is a diverse group of formal and informal experts— caregivers, health service providers, researchers, policy experts, advocates, affected families and media professionals. The Task Force is charged with developing a plan that will work for all Californians living with Alzheimer’s and for the people who care for them.
For the last seven years, I have had the opportunity to advocate for, and.... Read More
Fighting loneliness and isolation with The Harmony Exchange
Older adults suffering from social isolation and loneliness are at a higher risk of developing physical and mental health conditions, including high blood pressure, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s disease. According to a 2016 study published in Gerontology, up to 29 percent of American adults aged over 70 years report being lonely. Although often overlooked, loneliness is a real and growing epidemic that affects the overall health of older individuals. This is an especially prominent issue for older adults that are either homebound or have decreased mobility, as the only people they may see on a regular basis are home aides or family.
The Harmony Exchange was created to combat exactly this.
Nearly one in four older adults dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid has Alzheimer’s disease or related dementia, and dually eligible older adults have higher rates of chronic conditions than Medicare-only beneficiaries. Caring for individuals with dementia and other chronic conditions often involves significant physical, emotional, and financial support from family members. To meet the needs of family caregivers, providers and health plans may benefit from strategies for supporting caregivers through services such as respite services, counseling, and training and education.
Family caregivers come from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds, and health plans report.... Read More
Charles “Valentino” Harris, known to friends and family simply as Val, was 17 years old the first night of the Stonewall uprising. “On that night in ’69, I was at a disco called the Sanctuary near Times Square with my friend Nelson,” says the native New Yorker. “Someone called the bar, and suddenly word spread that the drag queens were rioting at the Stonewall.” He and.... Read More
The National Asian Pacific Center on Aging (NAPCA) was founded 40 years ago on November 1, 1979 to address the divide between AAPI elderly and the services they were entitled to. In 40 years, NAPCA has directly served tens of thousands of AAPI elders and indirectly provided assistance to approximately 100,000 more.
To celebrate this milestone, NAPCA is releasing 40 stories of their staff, constituents, and partners to celebrate the impact that NAPCA has had on AAPI older adults across the country. This week, we highlight Sannalung Souratha, a participant of NAPCA’s Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP). For more stories, visit https://www.napca.org/40-for-40/.
Sannalung shares his story of coming from Laos in a.... Read More
Aging Southern Musical Artists Celebrate 25 Years Of Music Maker
by Leoneda Inge, WUNC North Carolina Public Radio (Aug. 6, 2019). Leoneda Inge reports on the Music Maker Relief Foundation, which has helped improve the lives of more than 400 artists for the past 25 years. Listen to the audio report.
The life of an aging blues or folk musician is not always pretty. Many of these old soulsters have not been able to retire with dignity. For the past 25 years, the Music Maker Relief Foundation has worked to improve the lives of these musicians. It has literally saved the lives and the music of more than 400 artists.
Many of these artists are African American and well over regular retirement age. One of them.... Read More
Five Wishes: Advance Care Planning for Diverse Communities
This article was written for the Diverse Elders Coalition by Five Wishes.
Rosa was age 85, a widow, and doing great. She enjoyed good health, many friends and was involved in social activities at her church and in her community. Her children and grandchildren would say, only half-jokingly, that Rosa was healthier and more active than any of them and would likely outlive them all. Even her own doctor was impressed that a woman of her age was as alert and physically able as any patient half her age.
It really never occurred to Rosa or Rosa’s family that it might be smart to plan ahead in case she had an accident or suffered a severe.... Read More
Artist Wen-ti Tsen reflects on immigration and aging
Between art shows and exhibitions, you would never know Wen-ti Tsen is 83 years old.
“Being an artist means not following a set pattern of retiring at 65; nobody ever stops working,” Tsen said. “The older you get, you think better. You have fewer distractions.”
Tsen’s portfolio includes a Chinatown mural of Chinese garment workers, with a model displayed at 38 Ash Street, the Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center lobby. His “Home Town” project featured 12 figures of everyday Chinese people from the Chinese Historical Society of New England’s archives, which.... Read More