July 30, 2018
Let’s Talk AAPI Aging at n4a!
By: Tyrell Ma'ae

The 43rd Annual n4a Conference & Tradeshow, sponsored by the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4a), takes place in Chicago this week. The National Asian Pacific Center on Aging (NAPCA) welcomes the opportunity to highlight the aging issues facing Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) older adults and their families at this conference.

The conference will be held from July 29-August 1, 2018.  NAPCA will host an informational booth at the tradeshow, participate in two workshop presentations and sit on the panel of the closing general session.

Join us for the following sessions to learn more about how we are meeting the needs of diverse aging populations:

Tuesday, July 31 – 1:00pm-2:15pm Central

Growing Old in the USA: Supporting Diverse Elders

Heather Chun, NAPCA Director of Technical Assistance will partner with members of the ACL National Consortium on Aging Resources for Seniors’ Equity to provide technical assistance on data collection with diverse older adults. Currently, one in five older adults in the United States if a person of color or American Indian/Alaska Native. By 2040, it will be one out of three. Three out of every eight LGBT adults are older adults. This data is crucial to developing and implementing long-term services and supports for a rapidly aging – and diversifying – population. Acknowledging accessing and understanding data on diverse elders can be difficult, intimidating and confusing, attendees will leave this session with data collection resources, best practices and information on how to request technical assistance from members of the consortium.

Tuesday, July 31 – 2:30pm-3:45pm Central

The Coming Generational Diversity in the Workforce

Dr. Eun Jeong Lee, NAPCA SCSEP National Director will partner national SCSEP grantees to discuss best practices of the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) in serving mature workers and discuss how generational diversity benefits employers. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the workforce will grow to 164 million workers by the year 2024, and 41 million, or almost 25%, of the total workforce will be aged 55 years and older. In addition, the aging workforce will be more diverse by culture, ethnicity and race. SCSEP/Title V of the Older Americans Act is the only federal funded training and employment program for disadvantaged older workers with barriers to employment, including veterans, disabled, limited English proficiency, low literacy skills and homelessness.

Wednesday, August 1 – 8:00am-10:00am Central

Closing General Session: Looking at the World Through Their Eyes: Meeting the Needs of Our Diverse Aging Population

Dr. Eun Jeong Lee, along with representatives from other national minority aging organizations have been invited to provide insight into the Aging network on how we as service providers can continue to provide relevant services to keep up with the increasing diversity of our aging populations and the new opportunities and challenges that come with that diversity. We as service providers must continue to ensure that all staff and programs are culturally competent, we increase the number of leaders and staff who reflect the diversity of the clients we serve and work together to tackle the critical issue of health disparities.

The complete conference agenda can be found here: http://www.n4aconference.org/agenda

Attending the conference in Chicago is beneficial for NAPCA as we have two program offices and two subcontractors which serve Asian Americans in Cook County and Northern Illinois Counties. Both our Senior Community Services Employment Program (SCSEP) and Senior Environmental Employee (SEE) program operate in Illinois.

SCSEP is the largest federally-funded program specifically targeting low-income, unemployed older adults seeking employment and training assistance. Participants gain work experience in a variety of community service activities at non-profit and public facilities including schools, hospitals, day-care centers, and senior centers. NAPCA and its community partners operate SCSEP in 50 counties in 7 states. For more information, please visit www.NAPCA.org/programs/scsep/.

NAPCA is one of five national organizations that manage SEE, which is administered and funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to provide an opportunity for retired and unemployed Americans age 55 and older to share their expertise and skills in meaningful tasks that support a wide variety of environmental programs. For more information, please visit www.NAPCA.org/programs/see/ or contact 312-913-0979.



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