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Results of the National Hispanic Council on Aging’s 2017 National Caregiving Survey

NHCOA/Washington, D.C. November, 2017.- Family has always been at the heart of Hispanic values. A big part of that value includes caring for our elders. In fact, providing care for our elders is often considered an honor and is performed willingly. However, caregiving does not come without its own challenges.

As life expectancies grow, we are faced with concerns about health (e.g., chronic disease, dementia, etc.), health care costs, financial stability, and housing. Many of these issues have Hispanic families turning to each other even more for physical, emotional and financial support.

This year, the National Hispanic Council on Aging (NHCOA), along with its partners, has focused on the needs of Hispanic family caregivers. Over the course of the past year, among other things, NHCOA implemented a National Caregiving Survey. The Hispanic older adults and caregivers that participated in this survey and our other events were enthusiastic about working to support caregivers and were dedicated to addressing the burdens of caregiving for Latino caregivers.

The challenges faced by Hispanic caregivers may seem daunting, but the dedication of community leaders, Hispanic focused nonprofit organizations, decision makers and experts working together can find solutions to the challenges and ease the burdens of caregiving for Hispanic caregivers. Here we share the results of the National Caregiving Survey.

NHCOA’s National Caregivers Survey was administered in Spanish and English and could be taken online or in-person at various NHCOA events. Many local community-based organizations and community leaders were instrumental in disseminating this survey to survey takers. The target audience was Latino caregivers. Survey participation was voluntary and anonymous. The goal of the 2017 survey was to:

  • Understand the demographics of Latino caregivers,
  • Describe the challenges caregivers face, and
  • Recognize what resources are needed to aid caregivers in their roles.

Over 7 months (March – September), NHCOA surveyed 158 Hispanic caregivers. Eighty-nine (89) participants took the survey in English and sixty-nine (69) participants took the survey in Spanish. One-in-four (25%) caregivers were age 65 and older, with an average age of 54. The age range of survey takers ranged from 26 years old to 82 years old.

The vast majority of caregivers were employed (64%) and had incomes greater than $30,000 (57%). More than 80% of Hispanic caregivers provided care for a friend or family member:

  • Parent/Parent-in-law (50%),
  • Spouse/Partner (13%),
  • Child (12%),
  • Friend/Neighbor (8%), and
  • Other (31%).*

*Note the percentages do not total 100% as caregivers could select multiple categories.

Survey respondents lived in 19 states, Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C. Most respondents live in Maryland (30%), California (16%) and Florida (15%), the sites of this year’s regional conferences. Eighteen countries/territories of origin were represented by caregivers who took the survey, with most having been born in the United States (17%), Puerto Rico (13%), Mexico (13%), and El Salvador (11%).

Half of caregivers live with the ones they are caring for and more than half (52%) of caregivers have been providing care for more than 5 years. Additionally, when we asked about the amount of time spent on caregiving, we found that 29% of caregivers spent less than 8 hours a week on caregiving, 22% spent 9-20 hours a week, 15% spent 21-30 hours a week, 11% spent 31-40 hours a week on, and 23% spent more than 40 hours a week on caregiving tasks.

Caregivers provide a range of services and assistance for those they are caring for. To better understand the types of assistance that Latino caregivers currently provide to their loved ones, we asked “What kind of assistance do you provide?” Caregivers were able to select multiple services. Most caregivers tended to provide everyday assistance such as meal prep, assisting with medical visits, transportation, household chores, administering medication, etc.

Caregivers provide care to individuals with a variety of conditions including advanced age, dementia, and cancer. This experience can be a chronic stressor, and caregivers often experience detrimental psychological, behavioral, and physiological effects on their daily lives and health. Latino caregivers overwhelmingly reported (71%) that caregiving is taking an emotional toll on them.

Latino caregivers were asked to list their top three challenges they have experienced as a caregiver. Most caregivers (64%) reported that balancing other family and personal responsibilities was among their top three challenges as caregivers. The least reported challenge (44%) was communicating with health care providers. Other challenges included finding information and educational resources for caregivers (47%), having enough money to afford caregiving (48%), and understanding government programs such as Medicare, Medicaid, SSI, SNAP, etc. (56%). We also asked caregivers about their changes in employment status due to their caregiving roles and found that slightly more than half (51%) had no change in jobs status. The major change reported was a decrease in hours, however, only 13% reported that change. This year NHCOA is working on a strategy to support caregivers in their roles. To that end, we asked what Spanish language resources caregivers would like to have. Caregivers were able to choose multiple options and overwhelmingly caregivers wanted to see assistance with government programs in Spanish (57%) and trainings on stress management (56%). Another major concerns among Latino caregivers is that many are untrained, and half of caregivers wanted to trainings on caregiving techniques in Spanish.

 

Supporting employee caregivers makes good business sense

Guest Contributor: Heather Tinsley-Fix, Senior Advisor, AARP

November is definitely a month that revolves around family. Whether we travel to or host holiday and Thanksgiving gatherings, our wider extended family is on our minds. It’s a month for remembering the need to care for our people – and that includes employees. You may already know that unpaid family caregivers are the backbone of long-term care supports and services in this country.  But did you know that nearly 17% of the US workforce falls into their ranks? That translates to roughly one sixth of your employees!  Some more surprising facts – half of these caregivers are Millennials and Gen X’ers, and 40% are male. Over the next decade, these numbers will grow significantly as the population ages.

This trend will have a significant financial impact for both caregivers and employers. Individuals spend an average of $7,000 annually on caregiving-related expenses. And failure to support employee caregivers can cost employers nearly $3000 per employee caregiver – via lower productivity, more absenteeism, higher health costs, and ultimately, staff turnover.

AARP and the Northeast Business Group on Health (NEBGH) have learned that supporting employee caregivers need not be expensive or complicated to make an impact. We’ve partnered to create a toolkit to help you understand the demands on employee caregivers and offer specific steps you can take to them – often at low- or no-cost. Download our free guide – Supporting Caregivers in the Workplace: A Practical Guide for Employers to learn more. The Guide includes tear-out sheets, a list of additional resources for both employee caregivers and managers, and data about what other organizations are doing to support their working caregivers.

Together, AARP and NEBGH are making it easier to know not only why to support employee caregivers, but also how to support them. Download our free guide – Supporting Caregivers in the Workplace: A Practical Guide for Employers and visit the website for more tools.

Please share this with your teams and networks. For more information, contact me or Tricia Sandiego, at askcaregiving@aarp.org.

PS: The Guide is also available as a printed, bound book. To obtain free copies, call 1-877-333-5885, select option 1, and request “Supporting Caregivers in the Workplace: A Practical Guide for Employers” item number D20353.

To achieve the wellbeing and aging with dignity for seniors it is necessary to guarantee the emotional and physical health of their Caregivers

By Nicolás Peña

Washington, D.C. October, 2017.- More than 9 million Latinos in the United States are caring for a family member without receiving any kind of compensation. This represents a challenge when they need to balance the many responsibilities of their lives in conjunction with caring for their loved ones. Their average income is $39,000 per year, well below the national average of $54,700.

In response, on October 20, 2017, The National Hispanic Council on Aging (NHCOA), led the Hispanic Caregiving Thought Leaders Roundtable, which was held at the American Cancer Society headquarters in New York City. The attendees concluded that in order to achieve the goal of wellbeing and aging with dignity for older adults, it is necessary to guarantee the emotional and physical health of those who take care of them, as well as their financial stability.

Creating a coalition to guarantee funds for the training of those who care for Hispanic older adults was one of the most important recommendations made by the more than 30 experts who attended at NHCOA’s invitation, and who are recognized leaders standing out in the protection and guidance of seniors in New York City.

“We are developing a national strategy to train Hispanic caregivers, and that is why during  2017 we have been consulting nationwide to determine where they are located  and what their actual needs and priorities are. The results will also help to build a database that will allow them get more resources and information”,  said Dr. Yanira Cruz, President of NHCOA.

The proposals and recommendations that achieved consensus and were adopted as goals by those attending this roundtable, among many issues discussed, were: Identifying resources that are linguistically and culturally appropriate for Hispanic caregivers, sensitizing and educating employers on how to provide support for those who have to share their regular jobs with the responsibilities of caring for a loved one, creating campaigns demanding decent wages and salaries, as well as providing  health plans specific to their needs, and fighting all forms of discrimination.

“I am very excited about this opportunity to convene stakeholders in order to identify the real needs of those who are taking care of a family member.  In order to become the best caregiver possible it is important to realize that this will only be achieved if caregivers first take good care of themselves,” said Dr. Anderson Torres, president of RAIN Total Care Inc., who was the facilitator of this roundtable.

According to experts, Hispanics are more likely to develop Alzheimers. Caregivers who care for a family member with this illness often find it to be much more emotionally stressful than other types of caregiving. Therefore, the Alzheimer’s Association and NHCOA have announced a national alliance. “We are happy to work with NHCOA,” said Marshawn Brown, Director of Diversity and Inclusion at Alzheimer’s Association. “This alliance will help us to reach a vulnerable population with needed resources and information to help individuals living with the disease and their families better navigate the challenges of Alzheimer’s.

Yvette Peña, Vice President for Multicultural Leadership Hispanic/Latino Audience Strategy- AARP, shared with the attendees a screening of Cada Paso del Camino, a documentary produced by AARP addressing the realities of Hispanic caregivers in the United States. “Latinos don’t realize that they are investing more than 50% of their time in the care of a loved one, and often they do not assume themselves as caregivers.” Peña highlighted.

The following list below represents the contributors and participants who were present at The Hispanic Caregiving Thought Leaders Roundtable in New York City –

Facilitator:

Dr. Anderson Torres – President & CEO – R.A.I.N. Total Care, Inc.

Introduction:

Dra. Yanira Cruz – President & CEO – NHCOA.

Presentations:

Maggie Castro, Associate Director of Community Outreach – AARP New York.

Yvette Peña, Vice President, Multicultural Leadership Hispanic/Latino Audience Strategy- AARP.

Denise Gosselin, Policy Associate within the New York Academy of Medicine’s Healthy Aging Unit.

Marshawn Brown, Director, Diversity & Inclusion for Alzheimer’s Association.

La Toya Williams , Senior Manager, Primary Care Systems from  American Cancer Society, Inc.

Brainstorming:

Christian Gonzalez-Rivera, Senior Researcher, Center for Urban Future.

Mari Umpierre, PhD, Mt. Sinai Director of Behavioral Health & Research.

Carmen Nuñez, Program Director – Riverstone Sr. Life Services.

Carolina Hoyos, LMSW, Director – DFTA Caregiver Resource Center.

Caroline Rosenthal Gelman, PhD.

Helene Velazquez – American Diabetes Association.

Katherine Martinez, LMSW, Deputy Director, Presbyterian Senior Services.

Lisette Sosa-Dickson, LCSW, Executive Director, Spanish Speaking Elderly Council – RAICES.

Jenna McDavid, National Managing Coordinator – Diverse Elders Coalition.

Andrea Zaldivar, Ed.D, MS, ANP-BC CDE MJHS – Certified Diabetes Educator.

Karol Tapias, Associate Executive Director – Live On NY.

Guillermo Chacon, President Latino Commission on AIDS, founder Hispanic Health Network, Board member of New York Immigration Coalition & Latino Jewish Coalition.

Maria Salales, BSW, Caregiver Support Specialist, Care NYC Manhattan at Union Settlement Corsi House Neighborhood Senior Center.

Licet Valois, LMSW, MPS- Care & Support Program Manager, Alzheimer’s Association NYC Chapter.

Carlos Martinez, President & CEO, United Home Care & the Residences of UHC.

Jim Sherry, Professor of Health Policy and Management at the CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy.

Alek Chandra, GRIOT Circle in Brooklyn.

Jaime Torres , Vice President of Community Relations & Partnerships Urban Health Plan.

Claribel Estrella Blake, MPH   Program Director, Member Engagement and Community Outreach, Empire BCBS HealthPlus.

Lillian Kreig, District Manager – Social Security Administration.

Jorge Vidal, Casa de Esperanza National Latin@ Network.

Luis Ureña, Caregiver.

Juliana Cardenas, Caregiver.

Nelsy Vasquez Morales, Catholic Charity Community Services.

Dr. Emma Tsui, Assistant Professor at the CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy.

Daniel Leyva,  Director – Latino Religious Leadership Program.

The Hispanic Caregiving Thought Leaders Roundtable in New York City was sponsored by: AARP, the Hartford Foundation, Alzheimer Association, Verizon, Phrma, Abbvie, Abbott, Eli Lilly,  Anthem, Pfizer, United Healthcare Community & State and the Social Security Administration, American Cancer Society, Inc.

Gallery.

Para lograr el acompañamiento digno de los adultos mayores es necesario garantizar el bienestar de quienes cuidan de ellos

Por Nicolás Peña

Washington, D.C. Octubre 2017.- Más de 9 millones de Latinos en Estados Unidos cuidan de un familiar sin recibir ningún tipo de contraprestación. Esto representa un desafío al momento de equilibrar sus necesidades en comparación a las de sus seres queridos. Según cifras oficiales sus ingresos no sobrepasan los 39 mil dólares anuales, muy por debajo de la media nacional que se ubica en 54 mil 700 dólares por año.

Por esta razón, el Consejo Nacional Hispano para el Adulto Mayor (NHCOA, por sus siglas en inglés), lideró la Hispanic Caregiving Thought Leaders Roundtable desarrollada en la Sociedad Americana contra el Cáncer, y en donde los asistente llegaron a la conclusión de que para lograr el bienestar y acompañamiento digno de los adultos mayores, es necesario garantizar la salud emocional y física de quienes cuidan de ellos, así como su estabilidad económica.

Crear una coalición que permita garantizar fondos para el entrenamiento de quienes cuidan de un adulto mayor hispano fue una de las recomendaciones hecha por más de los 30 expertos que respondieron al llamado de NHCOA, y quienes se destacan en la protección y guía de personas de la tercera edad en la ciudad de Nueva York.

“Estamos desarrollando una estrategía nacional para iniciar la capacitación de los caregivers Hispanos, y es por eso que durante este 2017 hemos consultado a nivel nacional, dónde están, cuáles son sus necesidades reales y prioritarias. El resultado será además una base de datos que nos permitirá hacerles llegar más recursos e información, destacó, la Dra. Yanira Cruz, presidenta de NHCOA.

Identificar recursos informativos, linguística y culturalmente apropiados, sensibilizar a los empleadores y educarlos sobre cómo brindar apoyo a quienes se desempeñan como caregivers, generar campañas para garantizarles salarios y sueldos dignos, así como planes de salud ajustado a sus necesidades, y la lucha contra toda forma de discriminación, fueron las propuestas que lograron el concenso de los asistentes a esta mesa de trabajo.

“Estoy  muy entusiasmado con esta convocatoria para identificar las necesidades de quienes cuidan de sus familiares y así puedan convertirse en los mejores caregivers para sus seres queridos, pero es importante concientizar que este resultado se logrará, siempre y cuando cuiden bien de sí mismos,” aseguró el Dr. Anderson Torres, presidente de RAIN Total Care Inc, quien fue el facilitador de este encuentro.

Según expertos, los Hispanos son más propensos a desarrollar Alzheimers y el estrés emocional de quienes cuidan a un ser querido con esta enfermedad es mucho mayor. En este sentido, la Alzheimer’s Association  y NHCOA anunciaron recientemente su alianza nacional.

“La Alzheimer’s Association está feliz  de trabajar con NHCOA”, dijo Marshawn Brown, Directora para la Diversidad e Inclusión de la Alzheimer’s Association. “Esta alianza nos permitirá llegar, con la información y recursos necesarios, a una población vulnerable, y al mismo tiempo, ayudar a las personas que viven con la enfermedad  y sus familiares a enfrentar los desafíos del Alzheimer.”

Ivette  Peña, Vicepresidenta de Estrategias para la audiencia Latina/Hispana de AARP, aprovechó la oportunidad para sensibilizar a los asistentes a esta mesa de trabajo con la proyección de Cada Paso del Camino, documental producido por AARP que aborda las realidades del caregiver hispano en Estados Unidos. “Latinos, sin darse cuenta,  invierten más del 50% de su tiempo al cuidado de un ser querido, y muchas veces no se asumen como caregivers.” Reflexionó Peña.

Facilitador:

Dr. Anderson Torres – President & CEO – R.A.I.N. Total Care, Inc.

Apertura:

Dra. Yanira Cruz – President & CEO – NHCOA.

Presentaciones:

Maggie Castro, Associate Director of Community Outreach – AARP New York.

Yvette Peña,Vice President, Multicultural Leadership Hispanic/Latino Audience Strategy- AARP.

Denise Gosselin, Policy Associate within the New York Academy of Medicine’s Healthy Aging Unit.

Marshawn Brown, Director, Diversity & Inclusion for the Alzheimer’s Association.

La Toya Williams , Senior Manager, Primary Care Systems – American Cancer Society, Inc.

Intervenciones:

Christian Gonzalez-Rivera, Senior Researcher, Center for Urban Future.

Mari Umpierre, PhD – Mt. Sinai Director of Behavioral Health & Research.

Carmen Nuñez, Program Director – Riverstone Sr. Life Services.

Carolina Hoyos, LMSW Director – DFTA Caregiver Resource Center.

Caroline Rosenthal Gelman, PhD.

Helene Velazquez – American Diabetes Association.

Katherine Martinez, LMSW – Deputy Director, Presbyterian Senior Services.

Lisette Sosa-Dickson, LCSW – Executive Director, Spanish Speaking Elderly Council – RAICES.

Jenna McDavid, National Managing Coordinator – Diverse Elders Coalition.

Andrea Zaldivar, Ed.D-MS, ANP-BC, CDE, MJHS – Certified Diabetes Educator.

Karol Tapias, Associate Executive Director – Live On NY.

Guillermo Chacon, President Latino Commission on AIDS, founder Hispanic Health Network, Board member of New York Immigration Coalition & Latino Jewish Coalition.

Maria Salales, BSW, Caregiver Support Specialist, Care NYC Manhattan at Union Settlement Corsi House Neighborhood Senior Center.

Licet Valois, LMSW, MPS- Care & Support Program Manager, Alzheimer’s Association NYC Chapter.

Carlos Martinez, President & CEO, United Home Care & the Residences of UHC.

Jim Sherry, Professor of Health Policy and Management at the CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy.

Alek Chandra, GRIOT Circle in Brooklyn.

Jaime Torres , Vice President of Community Relations & Partnerships Urban Health Plan.

Claribel Estrella Blake, MPH   Program Director, Member Engagement and Community Outreach, Empire BCBS HealthPlus.

Lillian Kreig, District Manager – Social Security Administration.

Jorge Vidal, Casa de Esperanza National Latin@ Network.

Luis Ureña, Caregiver.

Juliana Cardenas, Caregiver.

Nelsy Vasquez Morales, Catholic Charity Community Services.

Dr. Emma Tsui, Assistant Professor at the CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy.

Daniel Leyva,  Director, Latino Religious Leadership Program.

The Hispanic Caregiving Thought Leaders Roundtable contó con el patrocinio de: AARP, the Hartford Foundation, Alzheimer Association, Verizon, Phrma, Abbvie, Abbott, Eli Lilly,  Anthem, Pfizer, United Healthcare Community & State and the Social Security Administration, American Cancer Society, Inc.

Galería

National Latinx AIDS Awareness Day

Washington, D.C. October, 2017.- ASPIRA, National Hispanic Council on Aging (NHCOA), League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), National Hispanic Medical Association (NHMA), AIDS United Hispanic Radio Network and Pinyon Foundation, in alliance with the Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC) have come together to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS and stigma. On October 15, 2017, we will observe the National Latinx AIDS Awareness Day acknowledging how important it is to understand our risk factors as Latinx and how we can prevent and treat HIV/AIDS.

The Latinx community is over-represented in HIV/AIDS rates.  According to CDC (2015), Latinxs accounted for 24% of all new cases of HIV in the United States, despite representing about 18% of the total US population. Of those new cases, 87% were men, and 12% were women. Also in 2015, 916 Latinx deaths were attributed directly to HIV.  In 2014, it was estimated that 235,600 Latinx were living with HIV in the United States and roughly 17% were undiagnosed. Among people age 50 and over with HIV, Latinx accounted for 17%.  In 2015, Latinx accounted for 21% of the total number of AIDS cases (18,274). People ages 25-34 accounted for 30% of AIDS cases.

Stigma is a significant issue in our society that can impede people from getting tested and getting access to care. Stigma also contributes to a lack of openness related to HIV, including fear, discrimination and homophobia, all of which are barriers. Moreover, poverty, migration patterns, education, and language barriers may also make it harder for Latinxs to get HIV testing and care.  Latinxs without papers may be less likely to use HIV prevention services, get an HIV test, and seek treatment because of concerns about being arrested and deported. Therefore, it is so important for Latinx to understand HIV and how we can prevent/treat it.  In conclusion, on  National Latinx AIDS Awareness Day we are having different informative and preventive activities to talk about HIV/AIDS, specifically testing, risk factors, and stigma.  Join us to learn more about HIV/AIDS and what you can do to stop HIV.

Humanizando El Amor!

Por Nicolás Peña.

Washington, D.C. Octubre, 2017.- Actualmente más de 9 millones de hispanos dedican -en promedio- 32 horas semanales al cuidado de un familiar en Estados Unidos sin ningún tipo de apoyo financiero, lo que representa uno de los principales desafíos al momento de hacerse cargo de un ser querido.

Los ingresos de los llamados “cuidadores” en la mayoría de los casos no sobrepasan los 38 mil dólares anuales. A esta realidad se le suma el hecho de atender además; empleos a tiempo completo, el cuidado de sus hijos y la atención a sus parejas sentimentales.

La comunidad hispana es la más propensa a sufrir de tensión financiera y estrés emocional durante el acompañamiento de un ser querido que padezca algún tipo de discapacidad o enfermedad crónica. Por esta razón, AARP lideró la realización del documental Cada paso del Camino.

Dirigido por Alberto Ferreras y producido por Trina Bardoso, Cada paso del Camino es la humanización del cuidado a un ser querido, del que derivan desafíos y soluciones contados cronológicamente por cinco héroes verdaderos, quienes evidencian lo mejor del ser humano: El amor!

Cada paso del Camino, pieza finalista en el New York Latino Festival, cuenta con la participación del reconocido locutor y presentador de televisión, Marco Antonio Regil, su historia es una de las protagonistas en este film.

“Es una manera de decirles a todas y todos, quienes están pasando por lo mismo, que no están solos (…) Hay maneras de educarse, de aprender a cuidar de quienes amamos de un mejor modo, resaltó Regil durante la promoción del documental.

Desde su experiencia, Marco Antonio Regil destaca algunas recomendaciones para acompañar dignamente el cuidado de un ser querido:

Acepta la realidad: acepta la situación, no discutas o contradigas a la persona enferma. No puedes obligarle a ser lo que antes era. “Yo descanse mucho cuando acepte que mi mamá tenía Alzheimer (…) No se puede culpar a nadie o vivir peleando con Dios”.

Enfócate en darles amor: Abrázalos, bésalos, acompáñalos, quiérelos. No pretendas que sean como tú quieres que sean, u obligarlos a hacer  lo que tú crees que tienen que hacer.

Edúcate: Si vas a cuidar de un familiar -o vas a contratar a alguien para que lo haga- tienes que buscar información, tanto de la condición como de los recursos disponibles.

“Tuve que dejar de sentirme culpable, dejar de hacer de papá con mi propia madre y entender que no estaba actuando mal por llevarla a una casa de cuidados. Todo lo contrario, así también pude volver a ser su hijo”, reflexionó Regil.

Actualmente más de 5 millones de estadounidenses viven con Alzheimer. Los hispanos corren mayor riesgo de sufrir esta enfermedad y se estima un aumento importante en la población latina durante los próximos años. Los hispanos estadounidenses representan alrededor del 8 por ciento de la población adulta, y para el 2050 constituirán cerca del 20 %.

Ante estas proyecciones el Consejo Nacional Hispano para el Adulto Mayor, (NHCOA por sus siglas en inglés), trabaja en conjunto con Alzheimer’s Association para concientizar y educar sobre la enfermedad.

“En beneficio de quienes cuidan de un ser querido con Alzheimer, es nuestra prioridad informarles, prepararles para la atención de calidad, el reconocimiento de los síntomas, ayudarles a mantener a sus adultos mayores independientes por más tiempo”, explicó la Dra. Yanira Cruz, presidenta de NHCOA.

NHCOA en alianza con AARP formó parte de la realización de Cada paso del Camino. “Celebramos esta iniciativa, la producción de este documental es suprema. Las historias de vida contadas en el documental son inspiradoras. Estamos seguros que logrará su propósito de influir en las vidas de nuestros adultos mayores, sus familiares y quienes cuidan de ellos”, recalcó la Dra. Cruz.

“About 40 million family caregivers provide about $470 billion annually in unpaid care to their loved ones”

By Nicolás Peña

Washington, D.C. Sept 27, 2017  – Building on the findings presented in the 2017 Status of Hispanic Older Adults: Insights from the field–Caregivers Edition, the National Hispanic Council on Aging (NHCOA), has developed a number of recommendations for local, state, and national leaders.

NHCOA forwards the following recommendations to better support Hispanic/Latino older adults by ensuring adequate training and care for their caregivers, and would like to urge and encourage members of Congress to support these important pieces of legislation that impacts their older Hispanic constituency:

  • Bipartisan passage of R.947 and S.337, the Family and Medical Insurance Leave Act (the FAMILY Act).
  • Bipartisan passage of S 1028, the Recognize, Assist, Include, Support, and Engage (RAISE) Family Caregivers Act.

“Latino low-income family caregivers spend about 44% of their income on caregiving; therefore NHCOA is working to create awareness about the need to approve the RAISE Family Caregivers Act. Our goal is to propose a national strategy that supports and meets the real needs of Hispanic families who care for their loved ones”, said Dr. Yanira Cruz, President of NHCOA.

In addition to the data and testimonials from seniors in different parts of the country, the report details several policy recommendations, including preserving and expanding programs that address retirement security among the aging U.S. population, and ensuring that programs & benefits address the cultural and linguistic needs of the growing Hispanic aging population:

The report highlights the NHCOA Regional Conferences. In 2017, NHCOA implemented three regional conferences in Miami, Florida, Silver Spring, Maryland and Los Angeles, California. The focus of these regional conferences was to provide a linguistically and culturally safe space for attendees to discuss community driven solutions to important issues facing Hispanic communities with special emphasis on Hispanic caregiving. The goals of these conferences were to gather information about the role of Hispanic caregivers and how to effectively support them in their roles while also advocating for local and national level policies that reduce the financial, physical and mental burden of caregiving. These conferences featured panel discussions of key issues faced by Hispanic older adults and their caregivers which opened the floor to group discussions and possible solutions.

“We provide an overview of the data we collected from the National Caregivers Survey. The goal of our survey was to understand the demographics of Latino caregivers, describe the challenges caregivers face, and recognize what resources are needed to aid caregivers in their roles. About 40 million family caregivers provide about $470 billion annually in unpaid care to their loved ones. In 2015, out of the 43.5 million people that have provided unpaid care to an adult or child, 9.1 million were Latinos. In other words, non-white Hispanic caregivers have the highest reported prevalence of caregiving among any other race or ethnic group”, added Dr. Cruz.

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  — Dr. Matthew Y.C. Lin – Deputy Assistant Secretary for Minority Health, Rhonda S. RichardsSenior Legislative Representative Health and Long Term Care from AARP, Allyson Schwartz – President and CEO of  Better Medicare Alliance, Zachary Bastian – Manager Strategic Alliances of Verizon and Margarita Navas from NHCOA.

This data and testimonial driven report is the only one of its kind that compiles information on how U.S. Hispanic older adults and their caregivers are faring in terms of indicators of wellbeing.

The 2017 Status of Hispanic Older Adults: Insights from the field–Caregivers Edition was sponsored by:  AARP, DHHS Office of Minority Health, Alzheimer’s Association, Verizon, The John A. Hartford Foundation, Matrix, PhRMA, Abbvie, Abbott, Eli Lilly, Better Medicare Alliance, The Social Security Administration, Health Foundation of South Florida, Independent Living Systems Inc., Montgomery County, Herbalife, Archstone Foundation, Univision, Pfizer, The California Endowment, Anthem, and The Henry J. Kaiser Foundation.

2017 Status of Hispanic Older Adults FV 

Executive Summary NHCOA Report 2017

NHCOA announces opening of Washington, D.C. Collection Center for victims of Puerto Rico hurricane

By Nicolás Peña

Washington, D.C. Sep 25, 2017 .- The National Hispanic Council on Aging  (NHCOA), stands in solidarity with the people of Puerto Rico after the devastation of Hurricane Maria which left 15 people dead, more than 3 million without communications, electricity, and water.

After the declaration of a State of Emergency in 54 of the 78 Puerto Rican counties, the situation of Hispanic older adults is even worse. According to the most recent official data, one in every 16 citizens in Puerto Rico is an older adult, which translates to more than 574,000 people. 40 percent of this population was living in extreme poverty, even before Maria.

NHCOA, honoring its mission to protect and improve the lives of Hispanic older adults urges the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to provide all the support needed for this vulnerable population.

NHCOA will open a collection center to receive non-perishable foods, medicines, water, blankets, disposable diapers, and clothing, for seniors (it doesn’t matter if is used, but in good condition). The address is: Casa Iris 2201 12th St. NW. Suite 101, Washington, and D.C.20009. If you would like to donate money, call 202-347-9733.

On September 26, NHCOA will present to Congress its annual report on the Status of Hispanic Adults. Taking advantage of the presence of Representatives and federal public health officials, Dr. Yanira Cruz, President of NHCOA, will file a petition in favor of Puerto Rico, specifically for its older adult population, their families and caregivers.

“In situations like these, we really see what our priorities are. We will raise our voice in the Capitol as loudly as possible, to remind and bring front of mind that natural disasters such as Maria, bring hardship and suffering to many, but especially the elderly, who in many cases are isolated, without a support system or family, and don’t possess the benefit of youth or good health to find their way through crisis. Do not give up! Latinos can do this and more!” said Dr. Cruz.

NHCOA instala en Washington, D.C. Centro de Acopio para las víctimas del huracán María en Puerto Rico

Por Nicolás Peña

Washington, D.C. Sept 25,2017.- El Consejo Nacional Hispano para el Adulto Mayor (NHCOA, por sus siglas en inglés), se solidariza con el pueblo de Puerto Rico tras el paso del huracán Maria que dejó al menos 15 personas fallecidas, más de 3 millones incomunicados, sin agua y electricidad.

Tras la declaración de “Zona de Desastre” en 54 de los 78 municipios puertoriqueños, la situación de los adultos mayores es aun más grave. Según las cifras oficiales más recientes, uno de cada 16 habitantes en Puerto Rico es adulto mayor, lo que se traduce en 574 mil personas. 40 por ciento de esta población vivía, antes del huracán, en situación de pobreza extrema.

NHCOA, honrando su misión de proteger y mejorar la vida del adulto mayor Hispano exhorta a la Agencia Federal para el Manejo de Emergencias (FEMA, por sus siglas en inglés) a facilitar el apoyo que sea necesario para esta población tan vulnerable.

NHCOA instalará un Centro de Acopio en sus espacios físicos para recibir alimentos no perecederos, medicinas, agua, mantas cobertoras, pañales desechables para adultos y ropa, no importa que esté usada, pero sí en buen estado. La dirección es: Casa Iris 2201 12th St. NW. Suite 101, Washington, D.C.20009. Si desea donar dinero, comuníquese al 202 347-9733.

El 26 de septiembre NHCOA estará presentando ante el Congreso de los Estados Unidos su reporte anual sobre el Estatus del Adulto Mayor Hispano y ante la presencia de legisladores y funcionarios federales en materia de salud pública, la Dra. Yanira Cruz, Presidenta de la organización, aprovechará para presentar una petición formal en favor de Puerto Rico, específicamente para los adultos mayores, sus familiares y quienes cuidan de ellos.

“En situaciones como éstas se demuestra realmente cuáles son nuestras prioridades. Alzaremos nuestra voz en el Capitolio las veces que sea necesaria en favor de nuestras hermanas y hermanos de Puerto Rico. No se rindan! Los latinos podemos con ésto y más! Los desastres naturales como María traen dificultades y sufrimientos a muchos, pero especialmente a los adultos mayores que en muchos casos están aislados, sin apoyo, y no poseen la energía que proporciona  la juventud o la buena salud para afrontar la crisis.” Destacó la Dra. Cruz.

“Together we can age without HIV”

By: Christine Perez

The National HIV/AIDS and Aging Awareness Day (also known as NHAAAD) was launched on September 18 to bring awareness to the challenging issues that the aging population encounter with HIV prevention, testing, care, and treatment.

It’s expected that by the year 2033, the number of older adults will outnumber people younger than 18 in the United States. This data supports the projection that the United States will not only see an increase in its older adult population, but that this population will continue to be more racially and ethnically diverse.

With the life expectancy of older adults increasing, it’s imperative to educate and inform this population on maintaining a healthy quality of life, starting with caring for their own bodies. It’s also important to recognize that aging is a natural process of life, and it is normal for the body and its functions go through changes, including cognitive loss and higher vulnerability to diseases including sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV/AIDS.

According to the CDC, at the end of 2014, an estimated 428,724 people aged 50 and over were living with diagnosed HIV in the United States. HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) is a virus that damages and weakens the body’s immune system and leaves an infected person vulnerable to diseases, infections, and cancer. When the body is weakened and unable to fight other diseases and infections, it can lead to the last stage of HIV, which is AIDS (acquired immune-deficiency syndrome). It’s important to mention that not everyone who has HIV has AIDS.

Older adults have the same HIV risk factors as younger people, but may be less aware of their risk factors for acquiring HIV. The lack of awareness contributes to sexually transmitted diseases. Therefore, the most important prevention for older adults is to be educated on the risk of sexually transmitted diseases.

For example, the CDC Act Against AIDS initiative focuses on raising awareness, fighting stigma, and reducing the risk of HIV infection among at-risk populations. Act Against AIDS includes the following campaigns: Let’s Stop HIV TogetherHIV Screening. Standard Care.Prevention IS CareHIV Treatment Works, and Start Talking. Stop HIV.

The National Hispanic Council on Aging (NHCOA), has partnered with the CDC and ASPIRA in their Partnering and Communicating Together to Act Against AIDS (PACT) initiative to focus on HIV/AIDS education and prevention efforts within the Hispanic community that directly target a hardly reached population: Latino seniors, families, and caregivers.

The reality is that older adults continue to be involved in and enjoy an active sex life. Together, we can promote and create awareness, break the stigma and be a voice for the voiceless and advocate for older adults to age in the best possible heath.