One aspect of healthy aging that may be overlooked is social health. Although the importance of friends and family to our health is well understood by American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/ANs), in today’s culture many Elders are separated from their communities and therefore from some of this tradition. These connections with our families and friends are incredibly important to our health and wellbeing as Elders.
As the Center for Advancing Health states, “Staying connected to other people through a wide variety of social activities can yield important health consequences as you age… a new study that found that older adults who maintain high levels of.... Read More
Celebrating NICOA American Indian and Alaska Native Elders’ Day
The National Indian Council on Aging (NICOA) is closed today, September 21st, in observance and celebration of NICOA American Indian and Alaska Native Elders’ Day. This day is important to Indian Country because September 21, 1976 is recognized as the day that NICOA was founded by Tribal Leaders, community advocates, and American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) Elders.
How It All Started
The first National Indian Conference on Aging was sponsored by the National Tribal Chairman’s Association (NTCA) in Phoenix, Arizona on June 15-17, 1976. Close to 1,500 AI/AN.... Read More
Your Money, Your Goals – Overcoming Barriers Through Financial Empowerment
Finances can be overwhelming for many people, and a variety of factors can increase financial challenges, especially for Elders.
Economic barriers are a significant challenge for many who already feel that finances are overwhelming, and these barriers in turn can create additional challenges, often related to health.
Low-income households, especially people that live and work in areas where there is a lack of employment or educational resources (which disproportionately include racial and ethnic minorities), often experience a lack of access to healthy lifestyle options. Read More
Serving Diverse Populations: Strengthening the Aging Network’s Cultural Competency
The National Indian Council on Aging (NICOA) is a member of both the Diverse Elders Coalition (DEC) and the Elder Equity Consortium. Both entities work to provide education and outreach to the Aging Network and other stakeholders. As a result of discussions initiated by Heather Chun of the National Asian Pacific Center on Aging (NAPCA) with Amy Gotwals and Rebecca Levine from the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4a), our Consortium partners were invited to participate in a webinar series titled Serving Diverse Populations: Strengthening the Aging Network’s Cultural Competency. Not only did we.... Read More
ACA Repeal Would Send Native American Uninsured Rate Soaring
The number of Native Americans without health insurance would increase sharply if Republicans in Congress succeed in repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act, according to a new report.
The report, from the left-leaning Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, says that proposed cuts to Medicaid and to the subsidies that reduce out-of-pockets costs for low-income individuals purchasing private insurance in the ACA marketplace would jeopardize the coverage of more than 300,000 Native Americans and Alaska Natives.
The uninsured rate among Native Americans would climb by 27.4 percent in Kansas and 36.2 percent in Missouri, according to the report. Kansas is home to approximately 60,000 people who self-identify as either.... Read More
It is officially summer time, and with summer comes hot weather. Unfortunately, sometimes the weather gets too hot and becomes extreme heat, which can cause heat-related illnesses. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) note that “around 618 people in the United States are killed by extreme heat every year” even though heat-related deaths and illness are preventable.
I don’t let cold weather stand between me and exercise. I enjoy pulling on my cleated hiking boots, grabbing my walking sticks and taking a brisk walk on an icy sand beach on Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula. It does something for my spirit. I can enjoy it now at age 73 because I have the muscle mass and tone to extend myself. I can actually work up a sweat! I credit my positive attitude and agility to a variety of reasons. I.... Read More
How does the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) impact elders in Indian Country?
The Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) is the only federal community service and job training program focused exclusively on serving low-income older adults 55 and older, in nearly all 3,000 U.S. counties and territories through state and national grantees. Seventy-five percent of the money spent for this program goes directly to wages for 65,170 older Americans.
Participants in the program work and receive on the job training at 20,000 local nonprofit and government programs. These host agencies include libraries, senior centers, schools, and tribal government offices. Last year, SCSEP participants provided nearly 35 million staffing hours to these local programs, including more than 7 million hours serving older.... Read More
NICOA Points to American Indian/Alaska Health Disparities during National Minority Health Month
American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) Elders have long experienced disparities in health and healthcare. A health disparity is a difference in health outcomes from different groups within the population.
Historically, AI/AN communities have had limited access to quality healthcare. One outcome of treaties between AI/AN communities and the federal government is that all federal recognized tribes have a right to healthcare services. The Indian Health Service (IHS)* was created to meet this federal commitment.
Although there are 567 federally recognized tribes to date, there are many more tribes still seeking federal.... Read More
NICOA Advocating for American Indian/Alaska Native Elders at the 2017 Aging in America Conference
The conference, taking place in Chicago from March 20th to the 24th, features hundreds of educational sessions, networking, keynote speakers, and an exhibit hall featuring the latest products and services for older adults. It is a great opportunity to cultivate leadership, advance knowledge, and strengthen the skills of those who work with, and on behalf of, older adults. NICOA will also be presenting with our partners, the Diverse.... Read More
Diverse Elders Speak Up About Aging Needs in Our Communities
CONTACT: Jenna McDavid, Diverse Elders Coalition firstname.lastname@example.org 646-653-5015
Diverse Elders Speak Up About Aging Needs in Our Communities Washington, DC – February 24, 2017
On Thursday, February 23, the Diverse Elders Coalition released their new report, “Aging with Health and Dignity: Diverse Elders Speak Up,” in a standing room only congressional briefing in Washington, D.C. The report synthesizes the nearly 5,000 comments from older adults and their allies that were submitted to the Diverse Elders Coalition in 2016. These comments and the new report detail the challenges and resiliencies of American Indian/Alaska Native elders; Asian American, Pacific Islander, and Native Hawaiian elders; Black and African American elders; Hispanic and Latino.... Read More
Senior Day at the Roundhouse Provides an Opportunity for Dialogue
The New Mexico Legislature meets every year in January. During that time, the legislators hold an open house where they invite elders and those who work with elders to visit them for a one-day event. This community event is a great place to learn about NM resources available for elders. It is also a chance for elders to educate policymakers about the impact their decisions can have.