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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.

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

Photo by: diariod3

A propósito del Mes de la Herencia Hispana resaltamos la relación médico-paciente y su impacto en la salud del Adulto Mayor Latino

Por Nicolás Peña

NHCOA/WDC/September 2017.- La falta de preparación de los hispanos en el cuidado de un familiar adulto mayor en Estados Unidos impacta negativamente en su correcta alimentación. Si a esta realidad le sumamos la ausencia de atención médica de calidad, el riesgo de desnutrición es mucho mayor. Según la Sociedad Gerontológica Americana 30 por ciento de los adultos mayores en EEUU sufre de desnutrición, mientras que 65% la padece mientras se encuentran hospitalizados. Los expertos coinciden en que la formación académica de los médicos debe pasar por un proceso de transformación que incentive a la humanización de esta profesión en favor del adulto mayor.

Según la Asociación Médica Mundial los médicos deben:

  • Esforzarse para crear una relación de confianza médico-paciente-familia.
  • Proteger al máximo la confidencialidad del paciente.
  • Tienen el deber de orientar a sus familiares (quienes cuidan de ellos) durante la recuperación o consulta médica.
  • Informar toda sospecha de maltrato o abuso contra el adulto mayor.

A medida que pasan los años la nutrición del adulto mayor se perjudica por cambios en el gusto, el olfato y hasta la visión, afectando así el disfrute de los alimentos. La perdida de piezas dentales anula la capacidad de masticar y la disminución de la función gastrointestinal interfiere con la absorción de nutrientes y el proceso de digestion. En este sentido, es importante evaluar las siguientes recomendaciones:

  • Consuma tres tazas de leche diariamente (sin grasa o baja en grasa).
  • Consumir alimentos ricos en vitamina b12, como cereales fortificados.
  • Evite consumir alimentos con alto contenido en sodio
  • Utilice especies y hierbas para saborear en lugar de la sal.
  • Agregue a sus meriendas, frutas y/o vegetales rebanados y de fácil masticación.
  • Consulte a su doctor, alternativas a los medicamentos que utiliza si observa cambios en su apetito.

Según la ultima encuesta desarrollada por el Consejo Nacional Hispano para el Adulto Mayor (NHCOA por sus siglas en inglés), mas de 50% de los consultados aseguró vivir con 10 mil dolares al año, lo que resulta insuficiente para acceder a una buena alimentación. Ante esta realidad los medios de comunicación social deben adquirir el compromiso de difundir los programas de asistencia gubernamental disponibles, o ceder espacios en su programación para que organizaciones como NHCOA lo hagan.

Video: A propósito del Mes de la Herencia Hispana resaltamos la relación médico-paciente y su impacto en la salud del Adulto Mayor Latino

Foto: Cortesía diariod3