September 26, 2017
The City of Seattle Human Services Department Invests $20,000 to Strengthen Support for Korean and Vietnamese Caregivers
By: Dr. Wes Lum

The City of Seattle Human Services Department awarded $20,000 to the National Asian Pacific Center on Aging (NAPCA) to evaluate the readiness of Seattle’s Korean and Vietnamese caregivers for Tailored Caregiver Assessment and Referral (TCARE®), an evidence-based care management process.

NAPCA will partner with Tailored Care Enterprises, LLC., the operating company and founder of TCARE®, to evaluate Korean and Vietnamese caregivers’ readiness for TCARE® by engaging with caregivers, Seattle professionals, Korean- and Vietnamese-serving community-based organizations, and community members.

“This partnership is aligned with the City of Seattle’s Area Plan on Aging to expand the scope of services and the reach to new populations and communities through the Community Living Connections and King County Family Caregiver Support Network, and will reinforce Washington State’s reputation as the #1 state for providing long-term services and supports, an accolade received by AARP in June 2017,” says Dr. Wes Lum, NAPCA President and CEO.

Through this project, NAPCA’s expertise in serving Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) older adults and their caregivers will position the City of Seattle to be at the forefront of reducing racial inequities experienced by AAPIs, enhancing the health and well-being of Korean and Vietnamese caregivers throughout Seattle.

According to Washington’s Office of Financial Management, AAPI’s are Washington State’s largest minority group, making up 8.7% of the state’s total population. Two of the state’s largest AAPI populations are Korean and Vietnamese, and among other challenges, these communities face grave disparities in accessing evidence-based programs and supports due to cultural barriers and high rates of limited English proficiency.

In Seattle, one of the challenges afflicting Korean and Vietnamese communities’ healthy aging – a priority area of the City of Seattle’s Human Services Department – is caregiving. According to AARP, family caregiving is higher in AAPI communities than in other racial groups, with 42% of AAPIs providing care to an older adult, compared to 22% of the general population. AARP also estimates that family caregivers who leave the workforce to care for a parent lose, on average, nearly $304,000 in wages and benefits over their lifetime.

“We are excited to be working with the City of Seattle, the Korean & Vietnamese communities and see our beloved aging community benefiting from 30 years research of our Founder, Dr. Rhonda Montgomery. This partnership enables us to reach a large group of loved aging adults & to reduce racial inequities in diverse communities. We are proud of this partnership & are honored for TCARE to be chosen to work with NAPCA & the AAPI community,” says Jessica Jacobs-Vechinski, TCARE COO​.

Click play below to listen to a statement from Dr. Wes Lum on the value of this new partnership:



The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Diverse Elders Coalition.