On Tuesday, September 11, 2018 at the Rayburn House Office Building in Washington, D.C., the National Hispanic Council on Aging (NHCOA) released their 2018 report, Status of Hispanic Older Adults: Insights from the Field – Reframing Aging. This gathering, supported by Congressman Raul Ruiz, was attended by 30 professionals with expertise in the field of aging and specifically focused on Hispanic older adults, their families, and caregivers.
Hispanic older adults continue to face daunting challenges in the areas of discrimination and ageism, healthy aging, retirement security, housing and access to programs. This year, NHCOA’s annual report focuses on reframing aging, as discrimination and ageism touch all spectrums of aging and inhibit older adults’ abilities to age with dignity.
“Our focus on reframing aging was illustrated as NHCOA implemented a National Reframing Aging Survey, three Regional Conferences, and a series of Reframing Aging Thought Leaders Roundtables. Using our national platform, we have been working to transform the negative perceptions of Hispanic older adults in the U.S. It is not an issue affecting just Latinos, but older adults in general,” said Dr. Yanira Cruz, President and CEO of NHCOA, during her welcoming remarks.
NHCOA Board Chair and former Deputy Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration on Aging, Cindy Padilla, moderated a panel of experts and community leaders including: Adjoa Adofo, Director of Communications of Better Medicare Alliance; C. Grace Whiting, President and CEO of the National Alliance for Caregiving; Wendy Chun-Hoon, Co-Director of Family Values @ Work; Jason Resendez, Executive Director of Latinos Against Alzheimer’s; Sindy Benavides, Chief Operating Officer of The League of United Latin American Citizens; and Claudia Bojórquez, Director of Strategy and Partnerships for Social Impact at Univision.
“It is critically important that together we ensure that all of our nation’s older adults can age in serenity and dignity, knowing that they are secure and cared for by the people, community, and nation that they served for so long,” highlighted Cindy Padilla.
In the report, NHCOA offers ten recommendations ranging from the bipartisan passage of the Family and Medical Insurance Leave (FAMILY) Act; the Caregiver Advise, Record, Enable (CARE) Act; the Recognize, Assist, Include, Support and Engage (RAISE) Family Caregivers Act; and strengthening financial programs for caregivers and families. These recommendations were community generated.
The 2018 Status of Hispanic Older Adults: Insights from the field–Reframing Aging Edition was sponsored by: AARP, Alzheimer’s Association, Matrix, PhRMA, Eli Lilly, Better Medicare Alliance, Aetna, Independent Living Systems Inc., Herbalife, Archstone Foundation, Univision, Pfizer, The California Endowment, Anthem, The Latino Health Initiative, and The NASH Education Program.
The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Diverse Elders Coalition.