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Holiday Silver Lining: Avoiding Foodborne Illnesses While Traveling with Food

Washington, D.C. December, 2017.- As if the winter holidays are not enough stress, between making your gift list, shopping for gifts and deciding which party to attend, some of us add holiday travel to our to-do lists. Immediately following the decision to visit relative or friends for the holidays comes the big question — what food to bring to the party? Just the thought of all of this can be stressful, but don’t worry here is some food safety traveling advice.

The first step to make traveling with food safe and memorable while avoiding the risk of foodborne illness is to plan ahead. Get to know your food options for better decision making:

• “Shelf stable” foods can be safely stored at room temperature; such as fruit cakes, country hams or canned cranberry sauce. However, not all canned goods are shelf stable. Some canned food, such as canned ham and seafood, are not safe at room temperature. These will be labeled “Keep Refrigerated.”

• If you are traveling with perishable foods (those likely to spoil or become unsafe if not kept refrigerated at 40°F or below), place them in a cooler with ice or freezer packs. Examples of foods that must be kept refrigerated for safety include meat, poultry, fish, dairy products and all cooked foods. Have plenty of ice or frozen gel packs on hand before starting to pack the food.

If you take perishable foods along for eating while traveling, or to cook at your destination, plan to keep everything on ice in your cooler.The second step to traveling with food is to pack properly so it will be safe to eat when you reach your destination. Always remember to bring an appliance thermometer to check the temperature inside the cooler when you reach your destination. When packing perishable food:

• Pack directly from the refrigerator or freezer into the portable cooler. Meat and poultry may be packed while it is still frozen; that way it stays colder longer (40°F or below).  Also, a full cooler will maintain its cold temperature longer than one that is partially filled. If the cooler is only partially filled, pack the remaining space with more ice or frozen gel packs. Be sure to keep raw meat and poultry wrapped separately from cooked foods, or ready-to-eat foods, such as fruits or bread. Limit the times the cooler is opened to keep it colder longer. Open and close the cooler lid quickly, but only open it when necessary.

• If you are traveling with hot foods, you can use an insulated container to keep the food hot. Fill the container with boiling water, let stand for a few minutes, empty and then put in the piping hot food. Keep the insulated container closed to keep the food hot — 140°F or above.

We hope this food safety traveling guidance will ease your holiday travel and you can find the silver lining to avoid any foodborne illnesses — the ultimate holiday gift.

Consumers with questions about food safety can call the USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline at 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854) or chat live with a food safety specialist in English or Spanish at AskKaren.gov, available from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday. AskKaren provides live chats as well as food safety information 24/7.

By: Janice López-Muñoz, BS, MSIH, Public Affairs Specialist, Food Safety and Inspection Service, USDA

Lo positivo en los días festivos: Evitar intoxicaciones mientras viajamos con alimentos

Washington, D.C. Diciembre, 2017.- Como si los días festivos no fueran suficiente estrés, entre preparar la lista de regalos, ir a comprarlos y decidir a qué fiesta asistir, algunos de nosotros tenemos que añadir a nuestra lista de pendientes- viajar. Una vez decidimos visitar a familiares o amigos durante los días festivos inmediatamente viene la gran pregunta- ¿qué alimentos voy a llevar a la fiesta? El solo pensar en eso puede causar estrés; pero no se preocupe que aquí le compartimos recomendaciones de seguridad alimentaria para para viajar con sus alimentos.

El primer paso para un viaje memorable y con seguridad alimentaria, mientras se evita el riesgo de intoxicaciones alimentarias es planificar con tiempo. Tome tiempo para conocer las opciones de alimentos que tiene para una mejor decisión.

Los alimentos de larga duración (“shelf stable”) pueden ser almacenados a temperatura ambiente; por ejemplo pastel (torta) de frutas, jamón campesino (“country ham”) o salsa de arándanos en lata. Sin embargo, no todos los alimentos en lata son de larga duración.

Algunos alimentos, como por ejemplo jamón o mariscos en lata, no están seguros a temperatura ambiente. Estos alimentos indicarán en la etiqueta “manténgase refrigerado” (“keep refrigerated”).

Si usted está viajando con alimentos perecederos (aquellos que  probablemente se echen a perder o se vuelvan inseguros si no se mantienen refrigerados a 40°F ó menos), colóquelos en una nevera portátil con hielo o paquetes de gel congelados. Ejemplos de estos alimentos incluyen carnes, aves, pescados, productos lácteos y todos los alimentos cocidos.

Tenga a la mano suficiente hielo o paquetes de gel congelados antes de comenzar a empacar los alimentos. Si usted va a viajar con alimentos perecederos para consumir en el camino o para cocinarlos al llegar a su destino, planifique mantener todo con hielo en su nevera portátil.

El segundo paso para viajar con sus alimentos es empacarlos apropiadamente para que se mantengan seguros hasta llegar a su destino. Siempre recuerde llevar con usted un termómetro de electrodomésticos para verificar la temperatura dentro de la nevera portátil cuando llegue a su destino.

Al empacar alimentos perecederos:

Empaque directamente del refrigerador o del congelador a la nevera portátil.

Las carnes y aves pueden empacarse mientras están congeladas; de esa forma los alimentos se mantienen fríos por más tiempo (40°F ó menos).

También, una nevera portátil completamente llena mantendrá la temperatura fría por más tiempo que aquella que esté parcialmente llena. Si la nevera portátil está parcialmente llena, coloque más hielo o paquetes de gel congelados en el espacio restante.

Asegúrese de mantener las carnes y aves crudas envueltas separadas de los alimentos cocidos o listos para consumir como frutas o pan.

Limite el número de veces que la nevera portátil sea abierta para mantenerla fría por más tiempo. Abra y cierre la tapa rápido, pero solo ábrala cuando sea necesario.

Si usted viaja con alimentos calientes, puede usar un recipiente con aislamiento térmico para mantener los alimentos calientes. Llene el recipiente con agua hirviendo, déjelo reposar por unos cuantos minutos, vacíelo y luego coloque los alimentos bien calientes.

Mantenga el recipiente con aislamiento térmico cerrado para mantener los alimentos calientes- 140 ° F ó más.

Esperamos que estas guías para viajar con seguridad alimentaria le faciliten su viaje para los días festivos y que usted pueda encontrar el lado positivo evitando intoxicaciones alimentarias como un gran regalo para celebrar los días festivos.

Consumidores con preguntas de seguridad alimentaria pueden llamar a la Línea de Información Sobre Carnes y Aves al 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854) o charlar en vivo con un especialista en seguridad
alimentaria en PregunteleaKaren.gov, disponible de lunes a viernes desde las 10:00am hasta las 6:00 pm, hora del este.

Por: Janice López-Muñoz, BS, MSIH, Especialista en Asuntos Públicos, Servicio de Inocuidad e Inspección del Alimentos, Departamento de Agricultura de los Estados Unidos (FSIS, USDA)

Home Fire Safety for Older Adults

Washington, D.C. December, 2017.- Older adults (ages 65+) are burdened with the gravest fire risk.  They are consistently more threatened with death or injury by fire than any other age group. Raising awareness among older adults is the key to reducing home fires and preventing deaths.

Understanding the common causes of home fires is the critical first step in preventing them.  Year after year, cooking, heating, and electrical equipment continue to be among the leading causes of home fires.

This presentation outlines fire prevention strategies related to each of these major causes, as well as key fire safety preparation strategies, such as escape planning and smoke alarm maintenance.  Presenter notes are included for each slide to assist you with the delivery of your community awareness presentation.

ESFI encourages you to use this presentation and the complementary Home Fire Safety Awareness for Older Adults Awareness Program resources to promote fire safety awareness among the older adults in your community.

For additional information, please contact ESFI at info@esfi.org or (703) 841-3229.

Consejos y Recursos para un Día de Acción de Gracias Libre de Bacterias

Por: Tanya Brown, Especialista en Asuntos Públicos, FSIS-USDA

En el Día de Acción de Gracias se consume más de 46 millones de pavos acompañados por una lista
interminable de platos y postres para acompañar, esta cena es por mucho, la más grande y estresante
que muchos consumidores preparan en todo el año; dejando espacio para errores que pueden enfermar
a los invitados.

“Nosotros recibimos un aumento de llamadas en la Línea de Información Sobre Carnes y Aves del USDA
cercano a la fecha de Acción de Gracias porque las personas están muy estresadas y tienen muchas
preguntas sobre como descongelar y cocinar su pavo,” dijo Marianne Gravely, especialista en
información técnica senior en el Servicio de Inocuidad e Inspección de Alimentos del Departamento de
Agricultura de los Estados Unidos (USDA-FSIS, por sus siglas en inglés). “Ya que esto es una fiesta
familiar grande, nosotros queremos asegurarnos que las personas preparen sus alimentos de una
manera segura para evitar enfermedades trasmitidas por los alimentos.”

Siga los siguientes consejos y utilice estos recursos para ayudar a hacer esta fiesta de Acción de Gracias
una segura y salubre.

Fresco o Congelado

Si va a comprar un pavo fresco, cómprelo de uno a dos (1-2) días antes de planificar cocinarlo y
colóquelo en el refrigerador hasta que usted esté listo para cocinarlo. No compre pavos frescos ya
rellenos. Si no se manipulan de manera apropiada, bacterias dañinas que podrían estar en el relleno se
podrían multiplicar rápidamente.

Los pavos congelados se deben descongelar en el refrigerador. Permita 24 horas por cada 4 a 5 libras.
Por ejemplo, si usted compra un pavo de 12 a 16 libras, usted va a necesitar de tres a cuatro (3-4) días
para descongelar en el refrigerador. Un pavo congelado ya relleno no debe descongelarse. Siga las
instrucciones en el empaque y cocine directamente del estado congelado.

• No Lave el Ave

De acuerdo a la Administración de Medicamentos y Alimentos de los Estados Unidos (FDA, por sus siglas
en inglés) 68% de las personas lavan el pavo antes de cocinarlo; sin embargo, USDA no lo recomienda
porque lavar carnes o aves crudas puede salpicar bacterias alrededor del fregadero, a través de los
mostradores y a comidas ya preparadas. Cocinar el pavo a la temperatura interna correcta de 165 °F
matará cualquier bacteria, haciendo que lavar el ave sea un paso innecesario. La excepción a esta norma
es marinar en agua salada. Cuando esté lavando el pavo para remover la marinada de agua salada,
asegúrese de remover todos los otros alimentos u objetos del fregadero, coloque papel toalla en toda el
área y utilice una corriente de agua lenta para evitar que salpique.

• Use un Termómetro de Alimentos

La única manera para determinar si un pavo (o cualquier carne, ave o marisco) está cocida es verificando
la temperatura interna con un termómetro de alimentos. Un pavo entero debe verificarse en tres
partes: en la parte más profunda del muslo, en la parte más profunda del ala y en la parte más gruesa de
la pechuga. Su termómetro debe registrar 165 °F en las tres partes.

• Limpie el Refrigerador para los Sobrantes de Alimentos

Un día o dos antes del día de fiesta, asegúrese de limpiar cualquier alimento viejo ocupando espacio en
su refrigerador. Si usted no está seguro si aún está bueno para consumir, descargue nuestra aplicación
FoodKeeper. Está disponible para descargar en los dispositivos Apple y Android, la aplicación provee
tiempos de almacenamiento para más de 400 alimentos. Una vez su refrigerador esté limpio, usted
tendrá espacio para guardar todos los sobrantes de alimentos del Día de Acción de Gracias. No deje los
sobrantes de alimentos en la mesa o mostrador para que las personas coman, porque los alimentos van
a entrar en la zona de peligro (temperaturas entre 40 °F y 140 °F) donde las bacterias se multiplican
rápidamente. Mejor, coloque los alimentos en recipientes poco hondos y colóquelos en el refrigerador.

• ¿Tiene Preguntas? Llame a la Línea de Información Sobre Carnes y Aves del USDA

Si tiene dudas acerca de su cena de Acción de Gracias, llame a la Línea de Información Sobre Carnes y
Aves del USDA al 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854) para hablar con un experto en seguridad
alimentaria. Usted también puede charlar en vivo en PregunteleaKaren.gov, disponible de lunes a
viernes desde las 10 a.m. a 6 p.m. ET, en inglés y español. Si usted necesita ayuda el Día de Acción de
Gracias, la Línea de Información Sobre de Carnes y Aves del USDA está disponible de 8 a.m. a 2 p.m. ET

Tips and Resources for a Bacteria-Free Thanksgiving

By: Tanya Brown, FSIS Public Affairs Specialist

More than 46 million turkeys are eaten on Thanksgiving Day and with the never-ending list of side dishes and desserts, it is by far the largest and most stressful meal many consumers prepare all year, leaving room for mistakes that can make guests sick.

“We receive an increase of calls on the USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline around Thanksgiving because people are stressed and have a lot of questions about thawing and cooking their turkey,” said Marianne Gravely, senior technical specialist at USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service. “Since this is such a large family feast, we want to make sure people prepare their food in a safe manner to avoid foodborne illness.”

Follow these tips and use these resources to help make this Thanksgiving feast a safe and healthy one.

Fresh or Frozen

If buying a fresh turkey, purchase one to two days before you plan to cook it and place it in the refrigerator until you are ready to cook. Do not buy fresh, pre-stuffed turkeys. If not properly handled, harmful bacteria that may be in the stuffing can multiply quickly.

Frozen turkeys should be thawed in the refrigerator. Allow 24 hours for every 4 to 5 pounds. For example, if you purchase a 12 to 16 pound turkey, it will need three to four days to thaw in the refrigerator. A pre-stuffed frozen turkey should not be thawed. Follow the packaging directions and cook directly from the frozen state.

Don’t Wash the Bird

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, 68 percent of people wash their turkey before cooking; however, USDA does not recommended it because washing raw meat or poultry can splash bacteria around the sink, across countertops and into already prepared foods. Cooking turkey to the correct internal temperature of 165ºF will kill any bacteria, making washing an unnecessary step. The exception to this rule is brining. When rinsing brine off of a turkey, be sure to remove all other food or objects from the sink, layer the area with paper towels and allow a slow stream of water to avoid splashing.

Use a Food Thermometer

The only way to determine if a turkey (or any meat, poultry or seafood) is cooked is to check its internal temperature with a food thermometer. A whole turkey should be checked in three locations: the innermost part of the thigh, the innermost part of the wing and the thickest part of the breast. Your thermometer should register 165°F in all three places.

Clear out Fridge for Leftovers

A day or two before the holiday, be sure to clear out any old food taking up space in your refrigerator. If you aren’t sure if it’s still good to eat, download our Foodkeeper app. It’s available for download on Apple and Android devices, the app provides storage times for more than 400 food items. Once your refrigerator is clear, you will have room to store all of those Thanksgiving leftovers. Do not leave leftovers on the table or countertop for people to graze, because food will enter into the danger zone (temperatures between 40ºF and 140ºF) where
bacteria multiply rapidly. Instead, place food in shallow containers and place them in the refrigerator.

Have Questions? Call the Hotline

If you have questions about your Thanksgiving dinner, call the USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline at 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854) to talk to a food safety expert. You can also chat live at AskKaren.gov, available from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday, in English and Spanish. If you need help on Thanksgiving Day, the Meat and Poultry Hotline is available from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. ET

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.

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.

“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.

During Hispanic Heritage Month it’s time to highlight medical-patient relationship and its impact on the health of older adults

By Nicolás Peña

NHCOA/WDC/September 2017.- The lack of knowledge and training of Latinos who care for their loved ones in the US has a negative impact on their nutrition. This is a reality that could get worse without quality medical care. The risk of malnutrition could be the end result.  According to the Gerontological Society of America, 30% of older adults in the US are suffering from malnutrition, and another 65% suffer it while they are hospitalized. Experts agree that medical care has to improve and humanize interaction when treating older adults. It has to start in the classroom.

According to the World Medical Association every doctor should:

  • Build the medical-patient-family relationship based on confidence
  • Protect the patient’s confidentiality
  • Guide patients and caregivers during post medical consultation.

While the older adult is aging their nutrition is affected by their lack of taste, smell, even their vision, not allowing them to savor the food. Not having teeth creates difficulty in chewing. The consequences of gastrointestinal problems are due to the inability to absorb all the nutrients during the digestion process. Please follow these recommendations:

  • Consume foods rich in vitamin b12
  • Consume three cups of milk daily (low in fat)
  • Avoid consumption of high levels of sodium in your meals
  • Use spices and herbs to season your meals instead of salt
  • Consume easy to chew fruits and/or vegetables
  • If your medication is making you lose your appetite, please talk to your doctor

According to the most recent survey developed by the National Hispanic Council on Aging (NHCOA), more than 50% of Hispanic older adults are trying to live on an income of about $10,000 per year. With this amount, getting good nutrition is nearly impossible. That is why the media has to take a step towards promoting the governments alternative programs to assist this population, and create spaces and opportunities for organizations like NHCOA to spread the message.


Video: During Hispanic Heritage Month it’s time to highlight medical-patient relationship and its impact on the health of older adults

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