Older Americans Month and the Role of Older Adults in Our Lives

U.S. culture is often described as youth focused — a description that is certainly true of U.S. popular culture. Driven by Hollywood standards of beauty and fashion, our media outlets inundate us with images and analyses of trends, as well as star gossip. Invariably, these images and analyses focus on the young and beautiful stars of stage, screen and popular music.

Today, however, the U.S. faces a demographic shift that will likely also force a cultural shift.  As the nation’s baby boomers age, we are for the first time in our history becoming an aging society, where older adults outnumber the young. Ever the harbinger of cultural change, the U.S. entertainment industry is already featuring older stars on stage and.... Read More

             

What do Older Adults Need to Thrive?

This blog post originally appeared on Medium.com.

by Maria Eugenia Hernandez-Lane

This is a question that I have consistently asked throughout my time with the National Hispanic Council on Aging. This question has helped guide along our goals as an organization dedicated to improving the lives of Hispanic older adults, their families and caregivers. So, what do older adults need to thrive? The question itself seems very simple, yes. There are a number of things you could argue are essential for seniors to thrive. But, for Hispanic seniors in the U.S., these needs come down to one thing: being seen and treated with the dignity of.... Read More

             

Latinos and Retirement: 6 Things Dallas Taught Me

By Maria F. Mata. This post originally appeared on Medium.com.

Last summer, a group of colleagues and I went to Dallas to coordinate a series of activities for Latino older adults that included an open forum with seniors, local leaders, and representatives from private and government agencies that work on aging issues. Dallas welcomed us with warmness and kindness from residents, ample sunshine, and many stories that touched my soul.

Part of my research work was to collect data and testimonies to be included in a final report on the status of Hispanic older adults in Dallas, focusing on retirement security and other related topics. It is.... Read More

             

Impact of Autonomous Cars

This post originally appeared on the NHCOA blog. Read their accompanying press release here.

cars

Technology is a major part of our lives with new inventions and innovations every day.  One of the newest innovations that may soon be on the market are self-driving or autonomous cars.  What are autonomous cars? As the name suggests, they are cars that are controlled by technology and are not driven or controlled by a person.

Autonomous cars, or AVs as they are called, can be particularly impactful for seniors, who represent a large and rapidly growing segment of our population. Today’s.... Read More

             

One Advocate’s Journey: Fighting Alzheimer’s Through Awareness and Research

As the director of the LatinosAgainstAlzheimer’s Coalition, I’m thrilled when we can work hand-in-hand with our members to raise awareness of dementia and Alzheimer’s among their constituents, staff, and partners. That’s why I’m pleased to share our most recent collaboration with the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), the nation’s oldest civil rights volunteer-based organization.

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LULAC News – the organization’s membership magazine – sat down with LatinosAgainstAlzheimer’s advocate Daisy Duarte to learn more about Alzheimer’s impact on Latinos and about her role as a caregiver advocate and a clinical trial participant.

You’re also one.... Read More

             

Making a Difference One Testimony at a Time

This post originally appeared on the NHCOA blog.

United, we can make a difference! We can pass Universal Paid Leave for Washington, D.C.!

On February 11, 2016, it was my privilege to represent Washington D.C.’s Hispanic community in testifying at the public hearing for the Washington, D.C. Universal Paid Leave Act. I spoke about the critical importance of paid leave to all of the City’s families by providing people who work hard the time off they need to care for their families, whether they need time to care for a sick older adult or disabled family member or a child who needs time to bond or medical care. I mentioned that Hispanic families benefit greatly from paid leave because.... Read More

             

The Time to Act is Now! United for Paid Family Leave

The time has come to make a change and support paid family leave for everyone. As President and CEO of the National Hispanic Council on Aging (NHCOA), the leading national organization working to improve the lives of Hispanics older adults, their families, and caregivers, I will be testifying in a public hearing for the Universal Paid Leave Act of 2015 on Thursday, February 11, 2016.

Hispanic older adults face substantial challenges to aging in economic security and in the best possible health. Limited education and English speaking ability, combined with a lack of financial literacy, means that many Hispanics enter old age with little in the way of savings. In 2014, 80% of Hispanics lacked health.... Read More

             

Memories Worth Fighting For

I remember the day I graduated from college like it was yesterday. My family flew in from our small town in South Texas to watch me become the first person in our family to graduate from college. The look on my mother’s face as I walked across the stage on that sunny DC day will be with me forever…or at least I hope it will.  Memory is more fragile than we think, particularly for Latinos.

While not widely known, Latinos are 1.5 times more likely than non-Hispanic whites to get Alzheimer’s, a progressive brain disease that slowly destroys memory and thinking skills and is ultimately fatal. According to researchers, Alzheimer’s disease contributes to the deaths of.... Read More

             

Bringing Local Perspectives to Washington, DC: The NHCOA Capitol Hill Briefing

nhcoa01On Wednesday, October 28, the National Hispanic Council on Aging (NHCOA) held a Capitol Hill Briefing to launch its new report, “Status of Hispanic Older Adults: Recommendations from the Field.” The report provides a comprehensive overview of the needs, challenges, and resilience of Hispanic older adults, including a literature review and analysis of feedback and input from local communities around the country gathered at NHCOA Regional Forums in California, Texas, Florida, as well as from surveys collected from over 700 Hispanic older adults. The findings were presented in order to align with the four categories used by the recently held.... Read More

             

The Status of Older Adults: Recommendations from the Field

In just a few short years, the U.S. will have more seniors than youth under 18 for the first time in history.  Yet today, our seniors face a host of difficulties that prevent them from aging with dignity, the best possible health and security.  This is especially true of Hispanic older adults and other diverse seniors.  Twenty percent of Hispanic older adults live in poverty and many more live in economic insecurity, often marked by hunger and a lack of quality housing and medical care.  In addition, many Hispanic seniors lack access to long-term services and supports and are victims of financial abuse, neglect and fraud.

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Connecting the Dots Creates New Leadership

Please Note: This Op-Ed first appeared in the Gay City News. You can find the original here.

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After the Supreme Court’s decision for marriage equality in late June, 26 million friends of the LGBTQ community showed their support — at least on that issue —by putting a rainbow filter over their Facebook profile picture. Ultimately, the freedom to marry and #LoveWins became a “sexy” way for new allies to express their solidarity en masse. It was easy — by clicking a button the supporter and supported both could feel good basking in the glow of new equality and community. I won’t critique the value of the effort – I have to admit that when I.... Read More

             

Diverse Elders Coalition to Host Congressional Briefing After White House Conference on Aging

The Diverse Elders Coalition, in collaboration with the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, is hosting a Congressional Briefing on July 14, 2015, the day after the 2015 White House Conference on Aging. Coinciding with the 50th Anniversary of the Older Americans Act, this Briefing will discuss elders of color, indigenous elders, LGBT elders, and elders living with HIV/AIDS in light of the White House conference and will identify needs and challenges moving forward. The Diverse Elders Coalition will present a report documenting their engagement with the White House Conference on Aging and their policy recommendations on how to improve the lives of diverse elders and their families.

Congressmember Mark Takano (D-CA) will join the Briefing and provide comments. Rep. Takano.... Read More

             
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