Imagine this: You live where you were born and raised for almost 30 years. You have a comfortable life with your wife, your child and your parents in your own house. You heard your neighbor hopped on the boat to America to start a business there. You hear about the American Dream: A place that you could make more money and where you could give your family a better life. You want to go, but people say how it is risky to give up your properties for a place far from home. You don’t.... Read More
The National Asian Pacific Center on Aging (NAPCA) was founded 40 years ago on November 1, 1979 to address the divide between AAPI elderly and the services they were entitled to. In 40 years, NAPCA has directly served tens of thousands of AAPI elders and indirectly provided assistance to approximately 100,000 more.
To celebrate this milestone, NAPCA is releasing 40 stories of their staff, constituents, and partners to celebrate the impact that NAPCA has had on AAPI older adults across the country. This week, we highlight Li Yi Li, a participant of NAPCA’s Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP). For more stories, visit https://www.napca.org/40-for-40/.
Li Yi, coming from China, shares her transition to.... Read More
Helping Older Immigrants Understand the Public Charge Rule
Right now, there are more than 1.1 million immigrants aged 62 and older who are living at or below 250% of the Federal Poverty Level. While there are thousands of public benefits programs designed to help them pay for daily needs — such as food, medicine, and health care — recent changes to the “public charge” rule have added a layer of complexity for these individuals in need.
“Public charge” or the “public charge test” is used by immigration officials to determine whether a.... Read More
Immigrant elders seek housing options to age in community
Hong Lok House means “healthy and happy” house in Cantonese, where elders can live in Chinatown for less than $500 a month on average. A full range of culturally and linguistically sensitive programs provided by management and providers make it a safe and welcoming home for elderly to age in place. Services include home care, health care and a hot meal delivered to the homes.
“There is seldom a vacancy at Hong Lok House,” said Ruth Moy, executive director of the Greater Boston Chinese Golden Age Center, which runs Hong Lok House. “The only time a vacancy opens up is when the elderly can no longer.... Read More
Artist Wen-ti Tsen reflects on immigration and aging
Between art shows and exhibitions, you would never know Wen-ti Tsen is 83 years old.
“Being an artist means not following a set pattern of retiring at 65; nobody ever stops working,” Tsen said. “The older you get, you think better. You have fewer distractions.”
Tsen’s portfolio includes a Chinatown mural of Chinese garment workers, with a model displayed at 38 Ash Street, the Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center lobby. His “Home Town” project featured 12 figures of everyday Chinese people from the Chinese Historical Society of New England’s archives, which.... Read More
War, Trauma, and the Mental Health of Vietnam War-Era Older Adults
After the fall of Saigon and the end of the Vietnam War in 1975, many Vietnamese people fled their war-torn country for the United States in search for a better life. Thousands of Vietnamese adults, children, and families crammed onto boats and traveled to the United States leaving their belongings, loved ones, and former lives behind. These people lost everything except for their memories of the fall of Saigon, the horrors of communist re-education camps, and the atrocities of the Vietnam War. For many Vietnamese individuals, these memories may transpire psychological trauma similar to the many Vietnam War-era U.S. veterans who suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
PTSD is a psychiatric disorder that can occur after a person experiences or observes.... Read More
Hatefas’ Story: Public Assistance Allowed My Refugee Family to Dream for a Better Future
Born in Santa Ana, CA, to two Muslim refugee survivors of the Cambodian genocide, Hatefas Yop wasn’t aware of her family’s use of public services when she was a young girl. After all, her peers in her elementary school all hailed from the local neighborhood, where many immigrant and refugee families had to live in one-bedroom apartments subsidized by Section 8 housing. She didn’t understand the melancholy in an elder whom Hatefas referred to as “Grandma,” when she said her food stamps (paper at the time) weren’t ‘real money.’ “But you could use it to.... Read More
For Aging Immigrants, Food from Their Homelands Is Key to Happiness
“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
When elder refugees arrive in America they leave behind violence or religious persecution, as well as family, culture and their native language. A program in Louisville, Kentucky helps refugees who are 60 and older transition to American life and avoid isolation.
This is a protection against isolation – a social hall alive with music that inspires clapping and dancing among refugees in their 60s, 70s, 80s and early 90s. It’s part of the Louisville Refugee Elder Program that serves arrivals.... Read More
Elder Refugees in the Bluegrass State Face Challenge of Language Barriers
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