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2014 State of Hispanic Older Adults: Stories from the Field

Dr Yanira Cruz at NHCOA 2014 Capitol Hill Briefing

Older Americans are living longer, not better

For many seniors across the country, aging in dignity is not possible because they cannot meet their basic needs. While Americans are living longer, statistics show that we are experiencing more chronic conditions, less economic security, and less food security. Older and aging Americans – especially Hispanic older adults – are facing unthinkable choices between eating meals and buying needed medications. Many need to return to the workforce to make ends meet, and many are living in poor housing. Today, more than ever, addressing aging issues is vital.

The thought of a senior stocking up on cat food instead of tuna is truly appalling.

Yet, during our 2014 Promoting Communities of Success Regional Meetings in Florida, Texas, and in California, we were confronted with a troubling reality: seniors are going to bed hungry.

Many seniors, who depend on their Social Security checks shared that their fixed incomes weren’t enough to pay rent, buy food, and purchase their medicines. And then, a participant spoke the unimaginable: “Food is so expensive here that I know some seniors are eating cat food to make ends meet and not starve.”

Giving older Americans a much-deserved voice

On Thursday, November 13, NHCOA released its latest report, Status of Hispanic Older Adults: Stories from the Fielda data and testimonial-driven status report with policy recommendations that captures the hardships and challenges shared by seniors during the regional meetings arising from the lack of policies, programs, and strategies to address the aging and diversification of our U.S. population.

Participants:

  • U.S. Representative Raul Ruiz, M.D. (D-CA)
  • U.S. Representative Michelle Lujan-Grisham (D-NM)
  • U.S. Representative Tony Cardenas (D-CA)
  • Cindy Padilla (NHCOA Board Member)
  • Kate Lang, Staff Attorney, National Senior Citizen Law Center
  • Dr. Jaime R. Torres, President, Latinos for Healthcare Equity
  • Jose Perez, Executive Director, Senior Community Outreach Services (McAllen, TX)
  • Francis Rizzo, Community Advocate (Dallas, TX)
  • Harry Paraison, MPA, Executive Director, DH Perfil Latino (Milville, NJ)
  • Elizabeth Jimenez, Director Senior Programs, Mexican American Opportunity Foundation (Los Angeles, CA)
  • Ariel A. González, Esq., Director, Federal Health and Family Advocacy, AARP

NHCOA 2014 State of Hispanic Older Adults Report Release

Read the report and click on the photo for more photos from the briefing.