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.
May is Asian American and Pacific Islander American (AAPI) Heritage Month! Back in 2014, we profiled Quyen Dinh, Executive Director of Diverse Elders Coalition member organization Southeast Asia Resource Action Center (SEARAC). This year, the DEC is excited to introduce Dr. Wes Lum, CEO of the National Asian Pacific Center on Aging (NAPCA). After an extensive nationwide search, Dr. Lum was appointed to the CEO position at NAPCA in March 2015 and has been leading the charge for AAPI elders ever since. Read on for more about Dr. Lum NAPCA:
Those who work with older adults may generally know that the population is growing in size very quickly. In fact, Los Angeles County’s entire 50-plus population grew 28% between 2000 and 2010. What most people don’t know is that the Asian American 50-plus population grew 56% during the same time. In contrast, the entire population of Los Angeles County saw 3% growth during this time while the general Asian American population saw 20% growth.
In other words, the Asian American 50-plus population grew twice as.... Read More
APAHM Spotlight on Southeast Asia Resource Action Center
As we enter into Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, we are just closing a season of celebration and remembrance for Southeast Asian American communities. Lao and Cambodian families celebrated the New Year in April, but all of our communities also paused to remember our shared history of trauma and resilience as a refugee community.
Forty-one years ago on April 17th, 1975, the genocidal Khmer Rouge rolled their tanks into Phnom Penh and evacuated the city into the countryside,.... Read More
May is an exciting month at the Diverse Elders Coalition. Our communities, which are so often left out of mainstream conversations, are highlighted nationally in two different ways during the month of May: not only is it Asian American/Pacific Islander Heritage Month, which allows our AAPI elders take the spotlight, it is also Older Americans Month, which celebrates the legacies and supports the future of all of our diverse elders. We love seeing the many ways in which our communities are working together to honor each other during May and all throughout the year.
The theme for this year’s Asian American/Pacific Islander Heritage Month is “Walk Together, Embrace Differences, Build Legacies.” I love this theme, not only because it celebrates.... Read More