This past week, all five members of the Diverse Elders Coalition attended the American Society on Aging’s annual Aging in America Conference in San Francisco, California. Staff from our member organizations were featured on dozens of panel discussions, workshops, and at events throughout the week, including our Thursday morning Symposium, “Fighting For Our Lives: Advocacy and Diverse Elders.” This powerful session highlighted the advocacy efforts of each of the Diverse Elders Coalition members, many of which were inspired by the DEC’s groundbreaking 2016 #TellACL civic engagement campaign. From that template, our member organizations developed nuanced and successful advocacy campaigns that centered the voices of their constituencies, including:
Salma Abdul* was born and grew up in Bangladesh. Her children left for the US to study, then settled in the country as permanent residents. When her husband died, she found herself alone. Her children, unable to leave their lives in the US, but worried about her aging alone, asked her to come and join them in America. When Abdul arrived in the USA at 69 years of age, she had to find her feet in a brand new country and culture. Her adopted country was technologically more advanced and spoke a language she didn’t understand. Its culture was completely different from hers. Its systems were complex and, because she couldn’t speak fluent English, harder to navigate.
For many Southeast Asian Americans, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) repeal fight last year felt personal.
When the ACA was first passed, uninsured rates in Cambodian, Hmong, Lao, and Vietnamese American communities were high. Compared to the 15% of Americans overall who did not have health insurance in 2011, 20% of Cambodian, 20% of Vietnamese, 19% of Laotian, and 16% of Hmong Americans were uninsured. Too many families used emergency rooms as last-resort healthcare providers or went for years without regular check-ups.
Only four years later in 2015, the uninsured rate was cut in half. Thousands of families were finally accessing the preventative and life-saving care that they needed. Some accessed care through the healthcare exchange, supported by subsidies to.... Read More
Increasing the Capacity of Family Caregiver Interventions
Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) are the fastest growing minority group in America, according to the U.S. Census. Between 2010 and 2030, the AAPI older adult population is projected to increase by 145%. A rapidly increasing aging population demands resilient, capable, and enduring systems of care. Familial systems of care are more prevalent in AAPI communities than other racial groups, with 42% of AAPIs providing care to an older adult, compared to 22% of the general population.
The Tailored Caregiver Assessment and Referral® (TCARE®) program is an evidence-based, care management software platform designed to enable care managers to more effectively support family caregivers by efficiently targeting services to their needs and strengths. The TCARE® program includes.... Read More
It’s February, And I’m STILL Not Exercising Every Week
It’s almost the end February. Would you look at that.
The end of February, and already I’m not exercising every week (or ever). I haven’t finished my crochet project. To be sure, I did register for the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament (priorities, people!), but I haven’t been printing and solving crossword puzzles on paper in preparation.
February is a curious month. It sits there, between January’s New Year and March’s springtime, pretending to be innocuous.
Don’t be fooled: February is not innocuous. It bears the weight of all of our shattered dreams. It is the month of reckoning.
In most years, late December through January has a predictable arc. It’s cold, dark, and snowy. BUT, the days are getting longer..... Read More
By Zhihong Li. To read the original article in Chinese, click here.
Over 20 years ago, Aunt Lee was ahead of her time among New York City’s Chinese elders when she decided to apply for an affordable housing unit in Flushing, out in the borough of Queens.
“I lived in Manhattan’s Chinatown at that time,” she said. “I knew the news from the newspaper that an affordable apartment building for seniors was open for application. I applied successfully. It has been 21 years.”
New York City’s aging Chinese population is increasing rapidly as affordable housing has become more rare. To solve this problem, some local elected officials ask the city to approve the building of more affordable housing.
As a long-term care advocate, the most common question I get from friends is about access. A friend needs home care for his father with dementia, but he doesn’t know where to start or whether he can afford it. Another friend who has begun applying for Medicaid for her mother soon discovers that the application process is arduous and deeply invasive. Worse, she learns that paying for a nursing home will quickly deplete her mother’s savings—as designed by Medicaid—just to qualify for government support. The safety net for people who need long-term care is fractured, unfair and complicated—a painful realization at the worst possible time.
I think of these scenarios when I’m caught in policy debates about.... Read More
By Alice Daniel. This article originally appeared on txhaub.com.
When Yong Yang Xiong arrived in Fresno, California fourteen years ago at the age of 53, he really wanted to find a job. But he couldn’t speak English–and employers told him he was too old. On top of that, he was suffering from chronic physical pain.
“As a petite man, I was given very heavy loads to carry for days and nights,” he said, referring to the six long years he had spent helping the CIA fight its secret war in Laos.
When the war ended, he fled on foot to a refugee camp in Thailand where he spent the next 26 years. He and his family didn’t.... Read More
We have so much to learn from Black Elders — and so many reasons to support them
February marks the start of Black History Month, a celebration of Black and African American stories, experiences, and impact on American culture. At the Diverse Elders Coalition, we’re proud to celebrate Black Elders every month of the year, but February offers us a bonus opportunity to lift these stories up into the national spotlight. Black Elders have so much wisdom to share about our history and the ways they have challenged white supremacy and other forms of oppression. It is imperative that those stories are not lost or forgotten.
I recently attended a Capitol Hill Briefing about the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP), during which we heard testimonials from community-based organizations that employ older.... Read More
A Gift From My Grandmother: An Embrace of Life — and Aging
My family packed into the black stretch limousine leaving Cal State University in the East Bay. We were heading to a restaurant after attending my mother’s college graduation. We turned on the music and popped the bottle of complimentary cheap champagne. My grandmother took two sips, then pumped her hands in the air like she was “raising the roof.”
“Someone is trying to get my grandma drunk!” I joked. “Give her the sparkling cider.”
In her sassy Southern drawl, my grandmother responded, “Now look, I’m a grown woman.” She resumed enjoying the music, then diluted her champagne with cider. We all laughed. My grandmother, Angie.... Read More