FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 16, 2017
Jenna McDavid, Diverse Elders Coalition
Diverse Elders to Educate Congress About Aging Needs in Our Communities
Washington, DC – February 23, 2017
On Thursday, February 23, the Diverse Elders Coalition will release their new report, “Aging with Health and Dignity: Diverse Elders Speak Up,” at a congressional briefing in Washington, D.C. The report details the challenges and resiliencies of American Indian/Alaska Native elders; Asian American, Pacific Islander, and Native Hawaiian elders; Black and African American elders; Hispanic and Latino elders; and LGBTQ elders, communities with unique needs that are often ignored in mainstream policy discussions around aging.
In 2016, the Diverse Elders Coalition collected nearly 5,000 comments from older adults, their families, and advocates, urging the federal Administration for Community Living (ACL) to consider the unique needs of our communities. At a moment when key safety net programs are under attack, the Diverse Elders Coalition calls on legislators to strengthen and protect programs like the Affordable Care Act and Medicare, as well as funding for Older Americans Act programs and services, which are essential to the health and dignity of diverse older adults.
“The strengths and challenges of the older adults in our communities were illustrated clearly by the comments we received,” said Dr. Wesley Lum, President and CEO of the National Asian Pacific Center on Aging (NAPCA). “We are excited to share these stories and experiences with members of Congress, advocates, and the public, so that the needs of diverse older Americans can be acknowledged and met.”
WHEN: Thursday, February 23, 2017 from 10am to 11am EST
WHERE: 122 Cannon House Office Building, Washington, DC
Briefing will also be livestreamed at www.facebook.com/diverseelders
Speakers at this event include:
Randella Bluehouse, Executive Director, National Indian Council on Aging, Inc. (NICOA)
Dr. Yanira Cruz, President and CEO, National Hispanic Council on Aging (NHCOA)
Quyen Dinh, Executive Director, Southeast Asia Resource Action Center (SEARAC)
Dr. Wesley Lum, President and CEO, National Asian Pacific Center on Aging (NAPCA)
Aaron Tax, Director of Federal Government Relations, Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE)
Dr. Imani Woody, CEO, Mary’s House for Older Adults
Josephine Kalipeni, Director of Policy and Partnerships, Caring Across Generations
Lucila Torres Vargas, older adult
WHY: Elders living in communities of color, American Indian/Alaska Native communities, and/or LGBTQ communities have unique needs often ignored in mainstream policy discussions around aging, including culturally and linguistically competent care, access to services, housing, and a range of health disparities. By offering elders an opportunity to directly submit their comments to the ACL – and, at this event, to share those comments with legislators and advocates – the Diverse Elders Coalition is ensuring that those concerns are heard and acted upon by our champions in Congress.
“Native Elders and their families deserve a better quality of life. It is important that Elders access all resources available and have the support needed.” – Sally, New Mexico
“I cannot get services by myself. It’s too hard to speak to a machine on the phone. I don’t understand them, and they don’t understand me.” – Lay Houy, Philadelphia