The month of May was an exciting month for us at the National Asian Pacific Center on Aging (NAPCA). May was not only designated by the Administration on Aging as Older Americans Month, but Congress also designated May as Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month (APAHM).
As the only national organization working at the intersection of aging issues and representing the voices of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) older adults and families, the month of May provided NAPCA the opportunity to honor both: Asian Pacific Americans over 55 by sharing weekly program success stories, news about local activities and events, but more importantly, resources that are culturally competent and linguistically appropriate for our AAPI community.
One Program Success Story: Mr. Peter Chan from Irvine, CA
Mr. Peter Chan, an immigrant from Hong Kong arrived in the US in the 1990s. After retiring from a travel agency, Mr. Chan enrolled into the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) in 2001 when he was 73 years old.
He was assigned to the Irvine Lakeview Senior Center as a Social Services Worker trainee. After two years, he was hired by the Center as a part-time employee. Mr. Chan continued to work there for 10 more years and then retired.
However, he still volunteers at the Center two days per week at the age of 90 years young! In 2014, he was honored by the City of Irvine as a Distinguished Citizens and was on the Wall of Recognition. He continues to be a mentor of many seniors.
A highlight of the additional program success stories shared during OAM and APAHM are included below: http://napca.org/celebrating-older-americans-month-asian-pacific-american-heritage-month/
Financial Exploitation Resources
June 15, 2018 is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day! This is an opportunity for communities to promote a better understanding of abuse and neglect of older persons by raising awareness of the cultural, social, economic and demographic processes affecting elder abuse and neglect.
In 2017, NAPC A developed several resources to specifically help AAPI older adults identify and protect themselves from financial exploration. Resources are available in English, Chinese, Korean, Samoan, Tagalog and Vietnamese and can be found here. Building on the success of the 2017 project, NAPCA is currently collaborating with the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA) and Robert Chinn Foundation to develop additional elder abuse resources for older adults and professionals.
The Voice of AAPI Older Adults
In celebration of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, NAPCA participated in a Community Leaders Forum hosted by the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (WHIAAPI). This forum provided an opportunity to engage with senior level federal officials to discuss issues impacting the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) population.
The forum included roundtable discussions on the following focus areas: Education and Career Development, Economic Development and Jobs, Immigration, Healthcare and Housing and Workforce Leadership.
In 2016, in partnership with WHIAAPI, NAPCA’s National Resource Center on AAPI Aging convened six listening sessions across the nation to understand the key issues facing AAPI older adults.
READ our final report that details the key findings from the listening sessions including recommendations for organizations and long-term service and support systems and a guide for community-based organizations to further explore AAPI-specific needs in their communities.
VIEW a video montage of the listening sessions.
The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Diverse Elders Coalition.