Obesity is a foothold for chronic diseases, such as diabetes, posing a particularly serious health challenge for all diverse communities, including Hispanic older adults. Sadly, the number of Latino diabetics increases with age: one out of three Hispanic older adults suffer from the disease, which is often accompanied by related complications such as kidney disease, amputations, heart disease, high blood pressure, and nerve damage. While factors such as obesity predispose Latinos to diabetes, there are also myriad cultural, educational, linguistic, financial, and institutional barriers that keep Hispanics from being diagnosed in the first place. In fact, two of out every seven diabetics in the United States are undiagnosed. This is poses a significant health threat and challenge not only among.... Read More
Medicare and Medicaid at 49: Keeping the Generations-Old Promise Alive
While the concept of national health insurance was developed in the early 20th century, President Harry S. Truman elevated the issue during his Administration:
“Millions of our citizens do not now have a full measure of opportunity to achieve and to enjoy good health. Millions do not now have protection or security against the economic effects of sickness. And the time has now arrived for action to help them attain that opportunity and to help them get that protection.”
Twenty years later, his vision was brought to life under President Lyndon B. Johnson with the Social Security Amendments of 1965, which provided millions of older Americans and low-income families with access to healthcare through the Medicare and Medicaid programs. At.... Read More
Hepatitis, HIV and Older Americans: Get the Facts and Take Action
World Hepatitis Day is one of four official disease-specific world health days
While viral hepatitis is the 8th leading cause of death in the world, it is a largely silent killer. Each year, the disease kills approximately 1.5 million people worldwide. In the United States, the CDC estimates 4.4 million people live with chronic hepatitis. However, most are unaware they are infected. Four years ago the World Health Organization designated July 28 as World Hepatitis Day to raise awareness and encourage action, especially among vulnerable and high-risk populations, including older Americans. Viral hepatitis is a life-threatening disease on.... Read More
NHCOA Regional Meetings: Leveraging the Power of Stories and Grassroots Leadership
Access to health care, Medicare fraud, poverty, and hunger were the most pressing issues discussed at the Miami and Dallas Open Forums, which are part of the National Hispanic Council on Aging’s 2014 Promoting Communities of Success Regional Meeting series.
The data speaks for itself:
Over one-quarter of the Hispanic population is in poverty. There are about 750,000 older adults nationwide experiencing hunger and 5 million facing food insecurity. Of these, Hispanic older adults are 20% more likely to be hungry. Latino seniors and diverse elders are more likely to suffer specific chronic diseases, including diabetes, heart disease, and.... Read More
The Growing, Neglected Challenges of LGBT Latino Elders
Latino elders who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) face additional challenges as they age, compounded by barriers rooted in their racial and ethnic identities, as well as LGBT stigma and discrimination. Yet the attention and infrastructure to ameliorate these conditions is generally lacking. That’s the overarching conclusion reached by the National Hispanic Council on Aging (NHCOA) in a first-ever national needs assessment examining the social, economic and political realities of a growing, though multiply marginalized, population.
NCHOA’s report speaks to a timely moment. Demographics project a significant increase in Latino people and older people over the next few decades, trends rooted largely in immigration and the aging of the Baby Boom generation, respectively. For example, the.... Read More
Health Benefits of Pet Ownership for Older Adults (National Minority Health Month)
In recognition of National Minority Health Month, the Diverse Elders Coalition is featuring stories relevant to the health disparities and health issues affecting diverse older adults during April. A new story will be shared every Wednesday with additional posts shared throughout the month. Be sure to visit diverseelders.org regularly during the month of April.
April is National Minority Health Month, and the theme for this year is “Prevention is Power: Taking Action for Health Equity.” There are a lot of things diverse older adults can do to prevent serious health problems. Eating a healthy diet, exercising, and having regular checkups from a health care provider can all help prevent serious health issues..... Read More
Aging in America 2014: Health Reform Advocacy and Engagement in Communities of Color and LGBT Communities
Will you be joining the 3,000 engaged aging professionals and experts March 11-15, 2014 in Sunny San Diego for the ASA Aging in America 2014 conference?
Interested in exploring best practices and learning about successful advocacy and engagement tactics to better engage older adults of color and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) elders around the Affordable Care Act and their health?
Yes? Join us Friday March 14, 2014 from 1-2:30pm for a presentation entitled Health Reform Advocacy and Engagement in Communities of Color and LGBT Communities. Leading experts from our nation’s diverse aging organizations will be on hand to share lessons learned, opportunities and challenges within their communities in accessing the benefits of the Affordable Care Act.... Read More
In Their Own Words: a Needs Assessment of Hispanic LGBT Older Adults
The National Hispanic Council on Aging (NHCOA) – the leading national organization working to improve the lives of Hispanic older adults, their families, and caregivers, in partnership with Services & Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE) – today released the report of its national study on the status of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Hispanic older adults during a press conference on at The SAGE Center in New York, NY. The study, entitled In Their Own Words: a Needs Assessment of Hispanic LGBT Older Adults, was conducted by NHCOA, with financial support from the.... Read More
As Parents Age, Asian-Americans Struggle to Obey a Cultural Code
This article by Tanzina Vega originally appeared in the New York Times
SOUDERTON, Pa. — Two thick blankets wrapped in a cloth tie lay near a pillow on the red leather sofa in Phuong Lu’s living room. Doanh Nguyen, Ms. Lu’s 81-year-old mother, had prepared the blankets for a trip she wanted to take. “She’s ready to go to Vietnam,” Ms. Lu said.
But Ms. Nguyen would not be leaving. The doors were locked from the inside to prevent her from going anywhere — not into the snow that had coated the ground that day outside Ms. Lu’s suburban Philadelphia home, and certainly not to her home country,.... Read More
ACA: Vital to Diverse Older Adults – Don’t Be Left Out
With the start of the New Year, people across the country started coverage on insurance plans selected through the Health Insurance Marketplace. For racially and ethnically diverse and LGBT older adults, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and the Marketplace pose both the opportunity for better health and the challenge of possibly being left behind by a new program. The Diverse Elders Coalition (DEC) is now working to improve the health of the populations that it serves and to empower them to fully participate in the ACA.
A recent article by Kaiser Health News identifies some of the opportunities and challenges California’s Hispanic population face. The article highlights the tremendous help the Health Insurance Marketplace has been.... Read More
Get To Know the Diverse Elders Coalition Through Pictures: Blog Highlights of 2013
At the start of October, the National Hispanic Council on Aging (NHCOA) held a Capitol Hill advocacy day as part of its 2013 NHCOA National Summit. During the advocacy day, groups of seniors met with members of Congressional staff and told them about the lives of Hispanic older adults and the issues they faced in their communities. The staff members and Congressional offices were happy to meet with the older adults and gave them a warm welcome. Overall, everyone that took part in the event agreed that it is important to all people to have access to their elected officials.
As the advocacy day continued, walking from office to office in Capitol Hill became difficult for the seniors. While the.... Read More