“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
Cultural competence: a challenge facing health care providers
Hispanics are one of the country’s largest ethnic groups and one of the fastest growing demographics, making up 17 percent of the U.S. population. As a group with higher rates of chronic disease, they face barriers navigating the health care system. These barriers include language and cultural differences, lack of education, health literacy, and a dearth of information.
Dr. Yanira Cruz, President/CEO of the National Hispanic Council on Aging (NHCOA), stresses that cultural factors may reduce equality in health care assistance for the Hispanic community and the opportunity to receive appropriate information from health care providers, in.... Read More
by Jacqueline García. This article was originally published on La Opinión. To read the original article in Spanish, click here. || por Jacqueline García. Este artículo fue publicado originalmente en La Opinión. Para leer el artículo original en español, haga clic aquí.
Manuel Ramirez tried to endure the pain and discomfort while he was cleaning an open wound on his left knee on a Sunday afternoon in December. He said about two months prior he had surgery but hasn’t healed.
Quite the opposite, his knee was swollen and seemed to need medical care. However, Ramirez, 52, couldn’t ask for immediate care because he lives in a tent in a park in Tijuana,.... Read More
An impact that transcends generations: Older adults also suffer the consequences of immigration policies
Lucia Hernandez Soto gets the tortillas ready for the traditional “pozole” soup for Saturday with the meticulous attention to detail and gentle touch that she learned back in her small hometown. As she heats the shredded chicken to add to the soup, she takes the hominy to pour in the pot. An avocado that will garnish the day’s lunch peeks over the corner of the kitchen counter.
For this Mexican woman who arrived from Guerrero some 20 years ago, “pozole” is one of the dishes that fill her most with pride. Her greatest concern.... Read More
National Hispanic Council on Aging to Host Tele Town Hall on Caregiving
Providing assistance for older generations is a source of great cultural pride within Hispanic communities, and what motivates Hispanics to become caregivers to their older adults is familiarismo, their cultural values that are passed on from generation to generation. However, more than 40% of these caregivers reported feeling stressed and even overwhelmed by the caregiving responsibility.
More than 9 million Latinos, 21% of the estimated 40 million family caregivers in the U.S., are caring for a family member without receiving any type of compensation.
Their average income is $39,000 per year, well below the national average of $54,700. This represents a challenge when.... Read More
Major Steps toward Affordable Housing in Austin, Texas
by Pramod Sukumaran. This article originally appeared on Salud America.
Access to safe, affordable housing is a priority for good health.
Access to housing protects families and promotes feelings of security that can reduce stress. Affordable housing located near safe parks, full-service grocery stores, and living-wage employment helps to build community and encourages healthy eating and exercise.
Two new initiatives will try to help solve the lack of affordable housing in Austin, Texas (34.5% Latino).
Flu season is upon us! It is so important for people 65 years and older to get vaccinated because they are at greater risk of serious complications from the flu. While flu seasons can vary in severity, during most seasons, people 65 years and older have the greatest weight of severe flu disease. In recent years, it’s estimated that roughly 70 to 85 percent of seasonal flu-related deaths have occurred in people 65 years and older. It is particularly important for Hispanic older adults, as historically, Hispanic adults were 30 percent less likely to have received the flu shot compared to non-Hispanic whites.
Elders are among those most vulnerable to dehydration, and African American and Hispanic adults are more likely to become dehydrated than whites, researchers have found.
In a review of health issues after the Gulf Coast’s hurricanes in 2005, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) pointed to the dangers of dehydration for older adults. People suffered from heat and a lack of potable water. After Katrina struck that August, dehydration took the lives of many local seniors in nursing homes, hospitals, shelters and their houses. Rita, Wilma and Dennis were other deadly Gulf hurricanes in 2005.
Beyond access to water, older people are vulnerable to dehydration for.... Read More
Thought Leaders Reframe the Discussion Around Aging at NYC Roundtable
This reflection was just one of the many ideas that came out of the 3rd edition of the Reframing Aging Thought Leaders Roundtable, organized by the National Hispanic Council on Aging (NHCOA) held in New York City on October 19, 2018. A group of 27 experts in the field of aging gathered once again to address the misconceptions around getting “older”. This meeting was a continuation of conversations that began at roundtables in Washington, DC and Albuquerque, NM.
Anna Maria Chavez, Executive Vice President of.... Read More
Conquering Health Disparities Facing Older Hispanics
For far too many years, Hispanics across the country have been sidelined in critical medical research. As a result, our community is not taken into consideration in the creation of medical treatment programs that, for some, would be their best chance for survival. For a community that already faces a lower life expectancy, higher rates of diabetes and other critical health disparities when compared to their white peers, this reality is simply unacceptable.
Even worse is the lack of precise medical treatments for older Hispanic populations. As some of the most vulnerable members of our society, these individuals deserve equal access to treatment.... Read More
NHCOA is transforming the negative perceptions of Hispanic older adults in the U.S.
Each year, from September 15th to October 15th, the United States recognizes Hispanic Heritage Month as a time to celebrate the incredible contributions of Latinx communities to the nation’s history. More than ever, our country requires a reminder of the many ways that Hispanic heritage is woven into the fabric of our nation. From the highest seats of power in the United States, vitriol toward Hispanic communities has created a sense of fear and isolation among people who may have already faced linguistic, cultural and geographic barriers to aging with health and dignity. This month — and every month — we denounce hate, we honor the stories of our communities’ elders, and we support immigrants, especially those.... Read More