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July 18, 2012 202-347-9733
NHCOA ANNOUNCES RELEASE OF DIVERSE ELDERS COALITION REPORT AND NEWS BLOG ON CHALLENGES AND ISSUES HISPANICS AND DIVERSE SENIORS FACE
The report, Securing Our Future: Advancing Economic Security for Diverse Elders, is available to download at www.DiverseElders.org
Washington, DC- Today the National Hispanic Council on Aging (NHCOA)- the leading national organization working to improve the lives of Hispanic older adults, their families, and caregivers- jointly announced the release of a policy report by the Diverse Elders Coalition on the economic issues diverse seniors face, notably Hispanic elders; Black elders; Asian and Pacific Islander elders; American Indian and Alaska Native elders; and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) elders. NHCOA is a proud member of the Diverse Elders Coalition, a group of seven leading national aging organizations founded in 2010 with the purpose of promoting federal policy solutions that enhance the quality of life for our country's diverse aging communities.
The report, Securing Our Future: Advancing Economic Security for Diverse Elders, describes the issues faced by diverse elders, who collectively will represent a majority of older adults in the United States by 2050. The report also offers policy recommendations in several areas key to the well-being of seniors, including Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, and health care reform.
"Our diverse populations, including Latinos, are growing in numbers, but not necessarily seeing themselves reflected in the public policy decisions being made or gaining more access to much-needed services and programs," said Dr. Yanira Cruz, NHCOA President and CEO. "As come upon this important demographic shift, we must prepare for this reality, which is why NHCOA and the other members of the Diverse Elders Coalition are highlighting the current state of diverse seniors through this report, while providing recommendations to ensure a better future for all older Americans."
Despite their growing presence in the U.S., diverse elders, including Hispanic older adults, face significant disparities in health and health care access, economic security, housing, employment and more. Many encounter aging providers who lack the cultural and linguistic competence to address their unique needs, and many others face outright discrimination and neglect from our aging and health care system. More broadly, programs aimed at older people rarely explicitly serve diverse elders. To address these issues, some key recommendations from the report include:
- Preserve and reform essential safety net programs for older adults, such as Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, to cover a broader range of vulnerable elders;
- Build the capacity of diverse-, Hispanic/Latino-, American Indian/Alaska Native-, and LGBT-led organizations to deliver more programs to their communities, which serve a critical role in helping diverse elders enroll in a wide variety of programs and services for which they are eligible but would otherwise not receive.
- Provide a caregiver's Social Security credit for those caring for dependent relatives. For
example, caregivers could receive the amount of Social Security benefit equivalent to what they would have been allocated if they were actually compensated during their years of caregiving.
The report, authored by the Insight Center for Community Economic Development, is available at www.DiverseElders.org, the newly launched news blog of the Diverse Elders Coalition. This blog features original commentary and news about diverse older people in the U.S., an online library of publications related to diverse older people, and policy analysis and recommendations from the Diverse Elders Coalition. Over time, the blog will feature original commentary from leading experts in these fields, as well as a digital collection of personal stories of older people from around the country.
Next week, on July 25, members from the Diverse Elders Coalition will host a Congressional briefing from 10 am - 12 pm ET to discuss the implications noted in the report and what policy makers can do to better support a growing yet vulnerable demographic of elders who are Hispanic/Latino, Black, Asian/Pacific Islander, American Indian/Alaska Native, and LGBT.
The Diverse Elders Coalition was founded in 2010 by Asociación Nacional Pro Personas Mayores; National Asian Pacific Center on Aging; National Caucus & Center on Black Aged; National Hispanic Council on Aging; National Indian Council on Aging; Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders; and Southeast Asia Resource Action Center.To learn more about the Diverse Elders Coalition, including its history and achievements, please visit www.DiverseElders.org.