This past week, I flipped my calendar from August to September, and I started thinking about pumpkins and sweet potatoes, hot chocolate, leaves changing color – and open enrollment for health insurance! This time of year is vitally important to diverse elders, because both Medicare and the Affordable Care Act have had a profound impact on our ability to age with health and dignity. Read on for more information and key dates around healthcare open enrollment, and make sure you’re ready to #GetCovered!
Medicare Open Enrollment October 15 – December 7, 2017
Medicare has a huge impact on diverse elders’ ability to get care. Various studies have found that
46% of Latino older adults 43% of Asian.... Read More
People across our country are enjoying longer lives. In fact, 10,000 people are turning 65 every day. This is great news for all of us, as we have longer to enjoy the intergenerational relationships that make our families stronger. However, it provides a challenge for our caregiving infrastructure.
These demographic shifts are putting an increased demand on our families, our finances, and on our care system in ways we didn’t anticipate. With some forethought, investment and planning, we can prepare for them. Instead of preparing for the future, though, we’re facing unprecedented attacks on the care we already have. Republicans in Congress are trying to take us back decades right when we need to provide more care, not less.
Last week, the Diverse Elders Coalition traveled to Alexandria, VA for the Oral Health America Medicare Symposium. Advocates, policymakers, and providers convened for this Symposium to discuss how to get a dental benefit included in Medicare. A recent study found that 52% of older adults are unaware that Medicare doesn’t cover routine dental care – maybe you didn’t know that, either!
Given how important oral health is to overall health – if you can’t chew or swallow food, or if you are living with chronic pain from infection or gum disease, your overall health is certainly impacted! – it is shocking that once an elder turns 65, they are their own for.... Read More
“We need the young folks to remember that we’re still here, and we’re still fighting.”
On Thursday, May 18th — a scorcher of a day here in New York City — I hopped on my bike and rode across the University Heights bridge from Manhattan to the Bronx to join in on the lunchtime SAGE Table at SAGE’s Bronx Center, one of hundreds of SAGE Table events happening across the country. I arrived, sweaty and hungry, to find the center’s lunchroom decked out in SAGE Table décor and buzzing with excitement. About a dozen attendees were sitting at tables covered in blue and silver cloth, and a table packed with food waited for the clock to strike 11am. I was greeted and welcomed by Marie, a regular SAGE participant, who was designated as the table.... Read More
TAKE ACTION: Tell the Office of Budget and Management that Diverse Elders Need Disaggregated Data!
Did you know? Federal agencies (like those that administer education, housing, and employment programs, just to name a few) are NOT required to count detailed data for diverse communities. Instead of asking whether an elder identifies as “Cambodian,” “Vietnamese,” or “Marshallese,” they simply ask whether a person is “Asian.” People who are Puerto Rican, Mexican, or Brazilian are all lumped together as “Latino.” And agencies are not required to ask ANY questions about sexual orientation or gender identity — and efforts are even underway to remove those questions from federal surveys that do ask for that information. This means our communities remain misrepresented, left out of policy and program decisions, and under-funded.
April is designated as National Minority Health Month by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and we join HHS in working to raise awareness about the health challenges, disparities, and resiliencies faced by communities of color, LGBT communities, and American Indian/Alaska Native communities around the country — especially as they relate to aging. All this month, we’ll be highlighting new research, reports, and stories from our communities around health and healthcare.
The theme for this year’s National Minority Health Month is “Bridging Health Equality Across Communities,” which could not be more perfect for the Diverse Elders Coalition, an organization founded to identify the.... Read More
Convening in Chicago to Bring Diverse Voices to the Table
Last week, all five members of the Diverse Elders Coalition were represented at the American Society on Aging’s 2017 Aging in America Conference in Chicago, IL. In addition to robust programming presented by each member organization, such as the 2017 Diversity Summit featuring Randella Bluehouse of NICOA and the National Forum on LGBT Aging featuring Michael Adams of SAGE, the coalition hosted two panels of its own, bringing advocates, policymakers, and community members together to talk about the issues impacting communities of color, LGBT communities, and American Indian/Alaska Native communities.
Two weeks from today, the Diverse Elders Coalition will be headed to Chicago, IL for the annual Aging in America conference. Each year, the coalition and our five member organizations attend this conference — organized by the American Society on Aging — to talk about issues of aging in communities of color, American Indian/Alaska Native communities, and LGBT communities. We really value the opportunity to present our work and represent diverse elders at this week-long event, the largest multidisciplinary conference covering issues of aging and quality of life for older adults. All too often, our communities are.... Read More
Acknowledging, Affirming, and Meeting the Needs of Diverse Older Adults
The future of the United States is diverse. By 2050, nearly one in five Americans will be an immigrant, and the non-Hispanic white population will increase more slowly than other racial and ethnic groups.
The future of the United States is also one of an aging population. In that same time frame, the number of adults 65+ will double to 84 million. By 2056, the number of older adults in this country will actually be greater than the number of people 18 and younger.
The changing face of our nation is one of the reasons why the Diverse Elders Coalition was formed, and the stories of diverse older adults is what brought us to Washington, DC last Thursday for the.... Read More
African American Elders are Black History and Black Future
At the Diverse Elders Coalition, we strive to lift up the stories and experiences of the communities we serve not just during their designated History or Heritage Months, but all year long. That said, Black History Month is a time when the stories of our Black elders are at the forefront of the nation’s consciousness, and we are thrilled to highlight the needs, the challenges, and the resiliencies of those communities.
Many of today’s Black elders risked their lives and courageously led the movement to fight racial inequality and bestow upon us the many freedoms we enjoy today. The 1950s and 1960s were turbulent moments in U.S. history—a time when racial segregation and discrimination were at the epicenter.... Read More
Join us in DC to Speak Up About Aging in Our Communities
The need for the voices of diverse elders is more apparent than ever before. With the introduction of each new piece of legislation that threatens older adults in this country — such as the repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), cuts to Medicare and Medicaid, and immigration policies that will separate families and caregivers — it becomes even more important for us to speak up, tell our stories, and push back against policies that will devastate our communities.
Join us! On Thursday, February 23rd at 10am EST, the Diverse Elders Coalition will be hosting a Congressional Briefing in Washington, DC to release our new report, “Aging with Health and Dignity: Diverse Elders Speak Up.” This report is based on the nearly 5,000 comments.... Read More
I had the honor of attending a White House Initiative on Asian and Pacific Islander Americans listening session earlier this week, hosted by India Home‘s Desi Senior Center in Queens, NY. New York City is home to the largest Bangladeshi population in the United States, a community that increased in size by nearly 500% from 1990 to 2000. The 2012 US Census found that nearly 50,000 Bangladeshi people call New York City home, 74% of whom were born outside of the United States, and 53% of whom are limited English proficient. This population, like many of the populations represented and supported by the Diverse Elders Coalition, has unique needs as they age, and I was glad to.... Read More