Last year, we celebrated the 50th Anniversary of the Older Americans Act (OAA), signed into law in July 1965 by President Lyndon B. Johnson. Over the past 50 years, the OAA has provided a national network of aging services and funding that helps older adults to live and thrive!
While the OAA is just one act, there are many services authorized to maintain the health and well-being of millions of seniors age 60 and older. Some of those vital services are home-delivered and congregate meals, caregiver support, preventive health services, transportation, job training and elder abuse prevention.
Title V of the OAA authorizes community service employment and training opportunities. The Community Service Employment Program, also known as the Senior.... Read More
Reimagine the social contract in America: caring for our loved ones
This past Thursday, I had the great pleasure of attending the Family Values @ Work annual convening at the Ford Foundation in New York City. It is always great to hear the voices of those who share the goal of protecting the rights of working families. The auditorium was bursting with supporters and advocates for #paidleave and #paidsickleave—two issues that the National Hispanic Council on Aging (NHCOA) has supported and will continue to work towards for families across our nation.
For many of these hard-working employees, paid leave and paid.... Read More
Advocating for AAPI Older Workers in the Reauthorization of the Older Americans Act
The Senior Community Service and Employment Program (SCSEP) is a federal program that helps low-income jobseekers who are 55 and older, and assigns them to subsidized community service employment opportunities where they update their skills through on-the-job training.
The National Asian Pacific Center on Aging (NAPCA) is the recipient of the national SCSEP grant targeted to Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) older workers. NAPCA partners with project sites in nine cities nationwide to administer the program.
Most NAPCA SCSEP participants are foreign-born with limited English proficiency, and therefore, they have limited work experience in the U.S. and encounter additional barriers to find employment. Our participants gain marketable job skills through community service. As a result,.... Read More
Social Security at 80: Behind the Policy and Beyond the Politics
One of the things I’ve found as I tell people that I work on aging policy, is that even though the issues are complex and the policies are never clear-cut, people connect to them in a very personal way. There’s almost always a reflection about someone’s own aging process, or a caregiving story about a loved one, but it invariably hits home in a particular way. My own family has not often understood the advocacy work I do, but when a family member approached me and, in her mix of English and Tagalog, thanked me for her Social Security, I knew it was personal for her on a number of levels: both as someone who came to the U.S. to.... Read More
Social Security is important to the financial security of our diverse elder communities. This blog post comes to us from Kirk Larson, the Public Affairs Specialist for Social Security Western Washington. We hope it will be helpful and informative to our readers!
Question: What is the maximum Social Security retirement benefit?
Answer: The maximum benefit depends on the age you retire. For example, if you retire at full retirement age in 2015, your maximum monthly benefit would be $2,663. However, if you retire at age 62 in 2015, your maximum monthly benefit would be only $2,025. If you retire at age 70 in 2015, your maximum.... Read More
These workers probably also hope their children, parents, and dependents don’t get sick as well. That is the daily reality of American workers who do not have access to paid sick or family leave.
For many parents, having a job and having a family are mutually exclusive. If they need to take care of a family member or themselves, they could lose wages, face disciplinary action, or even worse, get fired. All Americans, including diverse Americans, want to have strong families— be there for their children and parents when they need.... Read More
As we round the corner on Black History Month, I am encouraged to take the heritage and history we’ve all been reminded of over these past few weeks and use it to create a better world today for our Black elders. You may have seen the hashtag #BlackFutureMonth being used on social media as a reclamation of Black History Month and an affirmation of our commitment to equality, equity, and an end to injustice. In that spirit, I am such a fan of the SAGEWorks program. This national employment support program for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people age 40 and older expands participants’ job hunting skills and career options, and connects employers to diverse high-caliber candidates..... Read More
Why Getting Online Matters for Diverse Older Adults
Who doesn’t have a smart phone these days? Mobile technology is one of the fastest growing of the new technologies out there. And for many young and middle aged adults, it seems like the laptop is the technology of “yesteryear.” Yet many older adults, especially those over 65, may not own or know how to operate a computer. There’s a large divide between who is “plugged” in and who is not.
Across racial and ethnic groups, young people are more likely to use new technologies than older adults. For example, even though Hispanic households with middle- and high incomes have high rates of internet usages, older Hispanics are far less likely to use the internet. Overall, Read More
BY DOUA THOR, FORMER EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, SOUTHEAST ASIA RESOURCE ACTION CENTER (SEARAC)
Everywhere you turn these days, it seems that you can’t get away from talk of the “fiscal cliff.” As advocates for elders, we too, are concerned with the impending austerity measures and how, if triggered, they will impact funding for programs for our elder generations.
There’s no getting around the fact that if sequestration is allowed to go into effect in January, the resulting non-defense discretionary cuts in FY 2013 will put programs at risk that currently maintain older adults’ independence, health, and well-being. The Leadership Council of Aging Organizations (LCAO), of which SEARAC is a member, has put together a very helpful issue brief on.... Read More
As policy makers gather to discuss the impending fiscal cliff, they will consider many ways to reduce budget deficits and the national debt. This discussion includes the future of health care. Rather than cutting benefits, one of the best ways to lower health care costs is to invest in workers’ health through policies that allow them to take paid time off in event of an illness or to look after a loved one who is sick.
That is why NHCOA has been working across states to raise awareness and empower Latino workers and older adults to advocate for leaves that pay laws at the local and state level. Leaves that pay policies are the best way to ensure.... Read More
Reflections on Social Security from a Young Person
Earlier this summer, I participated in the National Academy of Social Insurance’s seminar for young people, “Demystfying Social Security.” It was a great experience to engage with summer interns and learn from other young people on the Social Security program, and it’s reaffirmed my deep appreciation for Social Security as a key tenet of the our social safety net.
Social Security is so often thought of as a program for the elderly and those who are retired. But as a young person who hopes to be able to retire one day, I am struck by the broad impact of the program to reach nearly every American at every age, every income level, able-bodied as well as differently-abled. More than.... Read More
The Diverse Elders Coalition Launches a Policy Report and Blog