My memories from childhood are extremely hazy. Most of what I can recall are fleeting feelings: the bliss in skipping around my Kindergarten classroom as I sang about the days of the week, the joy in jumping up and down on my parents’ bed as I watched “David the Gnome,” the curiosity in having accidentally swallowed a piece of gum, the preceding anxiety and subsequent relief in remembering my steps for a dance recital. Practically all my childhood firsts are long forgotten; I cannot recollect the first book I ever read by myself, or the first tooth I lost, or the.... Read More
For Aging Immigrants, Food from Their Homelands Is Key to Happiness
“Do you have drumsticks?” my 85-year-old mother asks the cashier at the checkout counter at Madras Groceries in Sunnyvale, California. The woman points to a pile of long, narrow, cylindrical vegetables near the counter. A half-hour later, a quick inventory of my mother’s cart reveals drumsticks, taro roots, squash, long beans, okra, winter melons, pointed gourd, snake gourd, spices, snack packets of murukkus and a bag of brown basmati rice.
Food bought, cooked, served and eaten is collectively the barometer of my mother’s moods, which are intricately entangled with her health. When she’s bustling around the kitchen, cooking sambar, kootuor olan with squash and winter melon,.... Read More
Highlights of Older Americans Month and Asian Pacific American Heritage Month!
As the only national organization working at the intersection of aging issues and representing the voices of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) older adults and families, the month of May provided NAPCA the opportunity to honor both: Asian Pacific Americans over 55 by sharing weekly program success stories, news about local activities and events, but more importantly, resources that are culturally competent and linguistically appropriate for our AAPI community.
Why is the month of May such an exciting month for us at the National Asian Pacific Center on Aging (NAPCA)? Not only is May designated by the Administration on Aging (AoA), part of the Administration for Community Living (ACL) as Older Americans Month (OAM), but Congress also designated May as Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month (APAHM).
NAPCA is the only national organization with a sole focus on Asian American and Pacific Islander American (AAPI) older adults, working at the intersection of the AAPI and aging fields to ensure that the challenges confronting AAPI older adults are heard and addressed.
The theme for Older Americans Month 2018 is Engage at Every Age, emphasizing that you are never too.... Read More
Aging New York Immigrants Confront Shortage of Culturally Appropriate Services
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
Challenges Loom for Growing Elderly Filipino American Population
The gracefully dressed, pixie-haired 78-year-old has been a breast-cancer survivor the past 16 years. “When I got diagnosed, I said so be it,” she said. “But I’m thankful to God for saving my life.”
She has also been battling diabetes. “I control my food and take my medicine,” she said while hanging out with friends at the Pilipino Senior Resource Center in San Francisco. “I eat a small amount of rice and more protein, vegetables and fruits.”
Health and other concerns pertaining to older Filipino Americans, such as de Guzman, are expected only to heighten as this.... Read More
Ships, Bridges, and Barriers: My Family in California
My grandfather passed through the Golden Gate — where the Golden Gate Bridge would later be constructed — in October 1903. He was on a ship from Japan that had stopped in Honolulu. The ship’s manifest notes that he was none of the following: an anarchist, a polygamist or a cripple.
My grandfather arrived in the time between the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 and the Immigration Act of 1924 (which included the Asian Exclusion Act and the National Origins Act). By 1924 the U.S. government had completely blocked the immigration of people it deemed undesirable including Asians, Arabs, people with disabilities, formerly incarcerated people, people with a history of physical or mental health issues, and the poor — along.... Read More
How does the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) impact Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) elders?
The Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) is the only job training program focused exclusively on helping older Americans return to the workforce. The program assists low-income unemployed adults aged 55 years and older by providing job training through temporary paid work experiences that can lead to unsubsidized employment. Older workers are critical to the American economy, making up 35 percent of the U.S. labor force by 2020. While employers view older workers favorably for their experience, knowledge, professionalism, work ethic, and loyalty, older Americans struggle to return to the workplace once they’ve.... Read More
Last month, India Home participated in the 2017 South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT) Summit in Washington, DC. India Home Deputy Director Lakshman Kalasapudi and Case Manager Afroditi Shah Panna joined over 300 activists, organizations, students, and community members from across the country who had come together to raise their voices on a range of issues important to South Asian communities.
Suman Raghunathan, Executive Director of SAALT, explained the thinking behind the Summit: “Our communities continue to live in various states of shock as a panorama of hate violence, civil rights violations, and anti-immigrant policies continue to impact South.... Read More
Eun Jeong Lee and NAPCA are Providing Job Training, Community Service, and Support for AAPI Elders
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.