Why is the month of May such an exciting month for us at the National Asian Pacific Center on Aging (NAPCA)? Not only is May designated by the Administration on Aging (AoA), part of the Administration for Community Living (ACL) as Older Americans Month (OAM), but Congress also designated May as Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month (APAHM).
NAPCA is the only national organization with a sole focus on Asian American and Pacific Islander American (AAPI) older adults, working at the intersection of the AAPI and aging fields to ensure that the challenges confronting AAPI older adults are heard and addressed.
The theme for Older Americans Month 2018 is Engage at Every Age, emphasizing that you are never too old (or too young!) to take part in activities that can enrich your physical, mental, and emotional well-being. It also celebrates the many ways in which older adults make a difference in our communities. As a national grantee of the Senior Community Services Employment Program (SCSEP), we target assistance to low-income, unemployed AAPI adults aged 55 years and older by providing job training through temporary paid work experiences that often lead to unsubsidized employment. In 2017, NAPCA served over 1,600 older adults and partnered with 550 local nonprofits, contributing $1.33 million of in-kind support back into their communities. NAPCA SCSEP participants performed 740,000 hours of community services, valued at over $17.8 million.
May 2018 marks the 40th Anniversary of Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month, which celebrates the culture, history, traditions, achievements and contributions of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States. AAPI elders are a diverse group representing over 50 ethnicities and a linguistic heritage of over 100 languages. Aside from fostering economic support for AAPI older adults, our work at NAPCA also focuses on health promotion and education, increasing cultural competency among service providers, and assuring the development of ethnic and language data collection and reporting policies.
Stay connected with us throughout the month of May as we feature and celebrate the AAPI older adults we work with across the United States. Visit us at our website: www.NAPCA.org
Connect on Facebook at: facebook.com/NAPCA.AAPI.Aging
Connect on Twitter at: twitter.com/NAPCA_aging
The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Diverse Elders Coalition.