Pains, Trains, and no Automobiles: Abu Sayeed’s Commute Highlights Transportation Difficulties for Elders in NYC

This article originally appeared on the India Home blog.

Three mornings a week, Abu Sayeed, 64, wakes up in his home in Cyprus Hills in Brooklyn, NY, worrying about the subway. He wonders if he’ll manage get the right train. How long will he have to wait? As he gets ready for his long walk to the station – putting on a cap, a thick sweater, sports shoes – he worries if he’ll make it in time to catch the exercise class he loves so much at the Desi Senior Center in faraway Jamaica, Queens.

His journey begins at the Cypress Hills subway station in Brooklyn where he catches the J train to the.... Read More

             

Health Needs of Older Rural Immigrants Often Overlooked

by Beth Baker. This article originally appeared on Next Avenue.

Micaela Rios, 64, who immigrated to rural western Kansas from Mexico 20 years ago, has a difficult job in a meatpacking plant. After years of packing beef in cold, wet conditions, she developed arthritis and high blood pressure. When she was 60, she had a heart attack.

Many immigrants and refugees work alongside her, some of them older than she, Rios said. Despite the arduous work, she feels lucky that the job comes with health insurance. She hopes to retire once Medicare kicks in.

“One reason she hasn’t retired is because of her health insurance,” said her daughter, Karla Davila, who acted as her mother’s interpreter for this interview..... Read More

             

Medicare Advantage Plans Cleared To Go Beyond Medical Coverage — Even Groceries

by Susan Jaffe. This article originally appeared on Kaiser Health News.

Air conditioners for people with asthma, healthy groceries, rides to medical appointments and home-delivered meals may be among the new benefits offered to Medicare beneficiaries who choose private sector health plans, when new federal rules take effect next year.

On April 3, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) expanded how it defines the “primarily health-related” benefits that private insurers are allowed to include in their Medicare Advantage policies. And insurers would include these extras on top of providing the benefits traditional Medicare provides.

“Medicare Advantage beneficiaries will have more supplemental benefits, making it easier for them to lead healthier, more independent lives,” said CMS.... Read More

             

Chinese Seniors in New York: Where to Live

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.

.... Read More
             

Needed: More Community Support for People With Dementia

By Sandy Markwood, CEO of the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging. This post originally appeared on Next Avenue.

Our country has reached a critical moment. The aging of the baby boom generation and the fact that people are living longer is driving tremendous growth in the numbers of older adults. By 2030, one in five Americans will be age 65 or older. And statistics show that 90 percent of this population will want to age at home and in their communities.

To achieve this goal, older adults will likely need access to local services and supports — and their caregivers will need assistance, too. Providing those services is what members of the National Association.... Read More

             

Poor Public Transportation Can Be a Roadblock to the Everyday Needs of Arab-American Seniors

By Julia Kassem, Detroit Journalism Cooperative

Conversations around Detroit-area public transit in recent months have focused on new routes on Woodward, Gratiot and Michigan Avenue – as well as the Detroit Connector, a new service operating from Ann Arbor to Detroit offered by the University of Michigan that launched October 30.

Yet these discussions around transit development tend to omit those most in need of affordable, reliable and convenient transportation options.

Nationwide, the Pew Foundation reports that while only 18 percent of urban dwellers born in the United States regularly use public transportation, almost 38 percent of foreign-born city residents rely on public transit.

No. 1 Obstacle to Self-Sufficiency

In Metro Detroit, a city without the mass-transit system.... Read More

             

Aging New York Immigrants Confront Shortage of Culturally Appropriate Services

by Ramón Cuauhtémoc Taylor. This article was originally published by Voice Of America News.

On a fluorescent-lit stage at Desi Senior Center, an instructor leads a group of mostly Muslim Bangladeshi immigrants, ages 60 and older, in a session of balance and core exercises.

Aided by PowerPoint slides, he instructs them to squat in Bengali, then proceeds to count to ten in English. The women, dressed in colorful dupattas and hijabs, stand on the right; men, wearing Tupi prayer caps, on the left. They place their hands on their hips. Some close their eyes.

For five hours a day, three days a week in the basement of Queens, New York’s Jamaica Muslim Center, more than 150 aging.... Read More

             

What do South Asian Elders in NYC Want?

As one of the only non-profits in New York city serving Indian, Pakistani, Indo-Caribbean, and Bangladeshi older adults, India Home recently undertook a survey of Bangladeshi elders the organization serves at its Desi Senior Center in Jamaica in order to gain an objective understanding of their needs. In the past the organization has commissioned reports such as the Attitudes to American Health Care among Elderly South Asians, a 2010 study, where doctors from Brown University conducted research with participants from India Home’s centers to understand the reliance of elderly South Asians on non-Western or alternative forms of medicine such as ayurveda or homeopathy as their preferred first line of defense against illness.

In this tradition of.... Read More

             

The Painful Struggles of America’s Older Immigrants

by Chris Farrell. This article originally appeared on Next Avenue.

America’s immigrant community is aging along with the rest of the population, and in many cases, with great financial difficulty.

Some 15 percent of adults 60 and over were foreign-born in 2015, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Older immigrants represent a larger proportion of the elderly in major gateway cities and states. For example, in New York City, they comprise 46 percent of older adults; in California, one in nearly three older residents is foreign-born. Late-life immigrants are contributing to rising ethnic populations in rural areas and small towns in the Midwest and South, such as in Minnesota and Georgia, according to.... Read More

             

Fighting the Good Fight Against Isolation

As we advance in life it becomes more and more difficult, but in fighting the difficulties the inmost strength of the heart is developed. Vincent van Gogh

W., 66, a former journalist and man about town, entered the meeting on LGBT issues a little late and his gait was slower than usual. When the meeting ended, he asked for a ride to the subway. As we rode, he talked about why he was late: not knowing the bus routes for this part of the city, the bus being late and the neighborhood being less than desirable. He hadn’t been feeling well and almost didn’t come to the meeting. It occurred to me that this African American elder continues to “fight.... Read More

             
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