Reading Help

Don’t Miss This Opportunity to Make a Difference

Dear Colleagues and Friends:

Whether we like it or not, tax reform is here. As with any economic change, you may be assessing your finances and wondering how you will be impacted, here at NHCOA, we are. It is important for us to share with you that this newly passed legislation may impact the tax benefits of your 2018 charitable giving, particularly if you currently itemize.

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act provides for several new lower tax rates, it nearly doubles the standard deduction, and eliminates both personal exemptions and almost all itemized deductions. Although the legislation maintains the current-law income tax charitable deduction, it will significantly reduce the number of taxpayers who itemize and effectively eliminate the income tax charitable deduction for a vast majority of Americans.

If you plan to itemize for 2017, you may wish to consider making a gift this calendar year to realize the full tax benefit. Additionally, it may make sense for you to accelerate some charitable contributions planned for 2018 into 2017 to receive a larger income tax charitable deduction this year.

It’s Not Too Late

To ensure you maximize a tax break for this year (when you itemize deductions on your income tax returns) you must make your gift before Dec. 31. Here are a few important things to know:

Credit Card: A last-minute gift can be made online through Dec. 31 by visiting NHCOA’s website

Checks: To send a last-minute gift by mail, please send your gift via the U.S. Postal Service to ensure your envelope has a postmark on or before Dec. 30 (the last day post offices are open) to the National Hispanic Council on Aging, 2201 12th St NW, Suite 101, Washington, DC 20009.

If you have any questions about gifting, please contact Fatima Velez at finance@nhcoa.org.

Talk With Your Tax Professional

Please consult with your tax or financial advisors to determine if increasing or accelerating your giving in 2017 is beneficial for your particular situation.

If you are interested in making a year-end gift to help improve the lives of Hispanic older adults, their families and caregivers, or if you have any questions, please contact me right away with questions.  I, or one of my colleagues, would be happy to help.

Thank you for your support and happy holidays from all of us at the National Hispanic Council on Aging.

Sincerely,

Yanira Cruz, DrPH, MPH

President and CEO

Empowering Communities to Age with Dignity

By Dr. Yanira Cruz / President and CEO of NHCOA

NHCOA/WDC/July 2017. The National Hispanic Council on Aging (NHCOA), brought together members of the older adult population along with elected officials, social advocates, and service providers in a Symposium at the Miami-Dade College InterAmerican Campus on June 29th.

This linguistically and culturally safe space gave those present the opportunity to discuss solutions to issues such as economic insecurity, hunger and affordable housing, with special emphasis on Hispanic Caregiving.

This activity was part of a three day Regional Conferences that also included a two day Empowerment and Civic Engagement Training— NHCOA’s signature leadership program.

“Empowering Communities to Age with Dignity” is the conferences’ slogan for this year. With this in mind, NHCOA’s focus this year is to engage people to participate in conversations about supporting Hispanic caregivers through education and training.

Empowering and supporting caregivers is the key to help us achieve our common goals and ensure our older adults can enjoy their golden years in good health, with dignity and economic security.

Last year, NHCOA was able to bring together the most experienced professionals at national level to discuss family caregiving realities, especially among diverse communities.

Family caregivers help make it possible for older adults and people with disabilities of all ages to live independently in their homes and remain a part of their communities. Roughly40 million family caregivers provide unpaid care for their loved ones to the tune of $470 billion annually.

In 2015, out of the 43.5 million people that provided unpaid care to a family member, 9.1million were Latinos. In other words, non-white Hispanic caregivers have the highest reported prevalence of caregiving among any other race or ethnic group. This is of extreme importance because Hispanic caregivers help delay and prevent more costly care and unnecessary hospitalizations, saving taxpayer dollars.

This is why NHCOA hosted the first Caregiving Thought Leaders Roundtable in Washington, DC and after a very productive discussion we released the proceedings to promote local and national discussions on this issue.

  • I would like to highlights some key points that came out of this discussion:
  • There is a drastic need to understand who Hispanic caregivers are and what their specific needs are.
  • There exists a great need to conduct primary and secondary research to document the reality of Hispanic family caregivers and to develop programs and services that target Hispanic caregivers.
  • It is necessary to frame caregiving as a multigenerational issue and reach out to younger generations, who also need support and resources.
  • Caregiving as a community issue! Therefore, we need to seek ways to develop support and connections in a broader spectrum.
  • Implementation strategies need to be developed to provide education and information in a culturally and linguistically appropriate manner.

Latino low-income family caregivers spend about 44% of their annual income on caregiving. That is why NHCOA is diligently working to create awareness about the need to pass The Recognize, Assist, Include, Support, and Engage (RAISE) Family Caregivers Act, which calls for the development of a national strategy to support family caregivers by bringing together stakeholders from the private and public sectors to identify specific actions communities, providers, government, employers and others can take to make it easier to coordinate care for a loved one, get information, referrals and resources, and improve respite options so family caregivers can reset and recharge.

Additionally, NHCOA is working at the federal and local levels to advocate for paid leave legislation that would provide paid leave following the birth of a child or to take care of a personal or family member with a serious illness. The existing Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), allows eligible workers to take 12 weeks of unpaid leave following the birth of a child or to take care of a personal or family member with a serious illness. But many families can’t afford to take unpaid leave. And many workers are not subject to FMLA.

The lack of paid leave costs the U.S. economy roughly $21 billion a year. The Senate is considering a bill called the Family and Medical Insurance Leave Actor the FAMILY Act, which would establish the Office of Paid Family and Medical Leave within the Social Security Administration. As written, the bill would create a nationwide insurance program that offers up to 12 weeks of leave for family and medical purposes with partial pay.

It is crucial that Hispanics become involved in these initiatives. We need to raise our voices in order to disseminate the positive impact of these bills.

There are a many barriers to overcome and NHCOA is committed to continuing the struggle for an inclusive and quality health care system.

The American Health Care Act could be a reality. This proposal, which has passed in the House and is being considered in the Senate, warns to be devastating for more than 20 million people who now have health insurance because of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Some of the things we know about the American Health Care Act include:

  • At least 4 million Latinos in the United risk of losing health care.
  • Insurance companies would be able to raise rates by five times for health care plans for young people. These plans are already some of the most expensive on the market.
  • Millions living in poverty across 31 states would lose their benefits offered by Medicaid.
  • Emergency rooms would be over crowded as they would become the only access to basic medical treatment for those who lack health insurance.

With the repeal of the ACA, the benefits of Medicare would also be impacted. People over 65 and those who are suffering from some types of disabilities are could losing independence and the possibility of having basic insurance.

Health care access, affordable housing, hunger, and nutrition are just a few of the challenges Hispanic older adults face.

The National Hispanic Council on Aging continues to educate, promote and advocate for the wellbeing of aging Hispanics.

NHCOA does this by:

  • Prioritizing aging, particularly diverse aging communities’ needs in the allocation of resources and funding opportunities.
  • Ensuring that programs and benefits address the needs of the growing Hispanic aging population.
  • Continuing to prioritize and target the closing of health-related disparities among Hispanic older adults, their families and caregivers.
  • Creating culturally appropriate and age-sensitive volunteer networks that work with community-based organizations and provide seniors with information about social programs and how to access them.

By remaining united we are able to ensure that Hispanic older adults can enjoy their golden years with good health, dignity and economic security.

Thanks Miami!

NHCOA Raises Awareness on Elder Abuse

NHCOA/WDC/June 2017. The National Hispanic Council on Aging (NHCOA) – the leading national organization working to improve the lives of Hispanic older adults, their families and caregivers, is joining with communities and organizations across the globe to raise awareness on elder abuse for World Elder Abuse Awareness Day this June 15th.

With the Hispanic older adult population expected to double by 2050, it is crucial to raise awareness on issues affecting this diverse community. It is estimated that there are between 820,000 and 2.5 million cases of elder abuse reported every year. Unfortunately, for every incident reported, there are many older adults that suffer in silence. There are also some factors that keep the abuse of Latino older adults in the shadows, and they are all the more reason on why raising awareness is so important. These factors may include reliance on the family, the cultural value of marriage and loyalty to spouse, language barriers and immigration status.

Because elder abuse takes several shapes and impacts important areas of older adults’ lives, it is an issue that NHCOA is quite aware of and attentive to, especially as this segment of the population grows.

NHCOA is working to improve the Older Americans Act to ensure that service providers that respond to elder abuse do so in a culturally and linguistically competent manner.

Abuse is truly more than just harm, and we encourage you to recognize the warning signs, for abuse can take several forms:

– Emotional Abuse happens when older adults are intimidated or scared to do the things they enjoy doing.  No one should have to live in fear or feel threatened.

What to look for: changed eating pattern, fear, passivity, isolated from family

– Sexual Abuse is any kind of sexual contact that a person does not want to make.

What to look for: torn or stained clothing, reported abdominal pain

– Physical Abuse is when someone causes pain or injury to another person.  Older adults deserve only the best treatment.  Physical abuse can have long lasting effects and should be reported immediately.

What to look for: unexplained falls or injuries, signs of physical restraint

– Abandonment happens when the person that is meant to care for an older adult avoids this responsibility.  Latino older adults have spent their lives caring for others.  They should receive the care of their loved ones when they need it the most.   

What to look for: poor hygiene, lost weight, malnourishment

– Financial Abuse happens when people pressure or convince older adults to give them money.  Older adults have worked hard for a lifetime, their money belongs to them, and they deserve to spend it the way they want to.

What to look for: irregular bank withdrawals, lack of affordable amenities

“Addressing elder abuse, like any issue confronting older adults, is a family affair within the Hispanic community. Everyday, NHCOA strives to be that voice for the nation’s Hispanic older adults. We invite you to join us in raising awareness on elder abuse, an issue that affects millions of older adults every year,” said Dr. Yanira Cruz, President and CEO of NHCOA.

If you believe an older adult is being abused, the National Domestic Violence Hotline has Spanish speaking assistants available around the clock at 1-800-799-SAFE.

The National Center on Elder Abuse has a list of organizations to contact in your state at 1-800-677-1116 and at: http://ncea.aoa.gov/Stop_Abuse/Get_Help/State/index.aspx

If you or a loved one has been a victim of Medicare fraud, report it. NHCOA can help, call 1-866-943-7289.

NHCOA Regional Conference: Empowering Communities to Age with Dignity

NHCOA/WDC-May 2017.- Hispanic older adults are the fastest growing segment of the U.S. and will comprise the largest ethnically diverse population in the next 20 years. Given this reason, the National Hispanic Council on Aging (NHCOA) continues to empower them, their families, and caregivers.

Once again, NHCOA will host its Regional Conferences, where we will reach and engage Latino on caregiving issues. This year’s Conferences will feature training and provide information for community leaders to be advocates to strengthen older adults’ voices and their contributions to our community, our economy, and our culture.

NHCOA’s Regional Conferences will be held at the Miami-Dade College Inter American Campus, Room 3103, 627 SW 27th Ave. Miami, Florida during June 27, 28, and 29 of 2017.

This regional convenings are three-day events that connect older adults, community leaders, and caregivers with local elected officials, providers, and stakeholders to ensure their needs and concerns are voiced in an attentive, receptive and safe environment.

Established in 1979, NHCOA is the largest constituency-based organization representing Hispanic older adults. NHCOA represents a network of 42 community-based groups across the continental U.S., the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. NHCOA also maintains a broader network of 7,000 individuals and reaches 10 million Hispanics each year through its work and that of its affiliates.

Read more:

Miami Regional Conference

Miami Regional Conference ESP

AHCA: “A defeat for the majority of citizens who are struggling for an inclusive and quality health system”

NHCOA/WDC/NP-May 2017.  After failing twice, GOP’s leaders managed to persuade the majority of its party to pass the American Health Care Act (AHCA) proposal in the House.

This proposal, which will now have to be passed in the Senate, warns to be “devastating” for more than 20 million people who now have health insurance through the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Dr. Yanira Cruz, President of the National Hispanic Council on Aging  (NHCOA), qualified this vote as “a defeat for the majority of citizens who are struggling for an inclusive and quality health system”.

Proponents of the bill said this health reform is supposed to be a step forward to “make America great again.” However, for millions of people, the consequences would be devastating.

Opponents raised their voices to warn of the risk of losing health care for at least 4 million Latinos in the United States. According to the Urban Institute, by 2021, this bill would result in an increase of 24 million people without health insurance”, said Dr. Cruz.

ACA, better known as “Obamacare” protects older adults from the abuses of insurance companies. With AHCA, insurance companies can set rates up to five times higher than the current prices of health care plans for young people, some of the most expensive on the market.

Millions living in poverty in 31 states will lose their benefits offered by Medicaid. Emergency rooms will become the only access to basic medical treatment for those who lack health insurance. According to the information released by local and national media, the deficit, as a result of AHCA, will exceed 130 billion dollars.

By repealing “Obamacare” the benefits of  Medicare  will also be impacted. People over 65 and those who are suffering from some types of disability are at risk of losing independence and the possibility of having a basic insurance plan.

“Una derrota para la mayoría de los ciudadanos que luchan por un sistema de salud incluyente y de calidad”

NHCOA/WDC/NP-May 2017. Luego de fracasar en dos oportunidades, el liderazo republicano logró convencer a la mayoría de su partido para la aprobación, en primera instancia, de la propuesta de Ley Estadounidense para el Cuidado de Salud (AHCA, por sus siglas en inglés).

Esta propuesta que ahora tendrá que aprobarse en el Senado, advierte ser  “devastadora” para las más de 20 millones de personas que hoy en día tienen seguro médico gracias a la Ley de Cuidado médico Accesible, (ACA, por sus siglas en inglés).

La Dra. Yanira Cruz, presidenta del Consejo Nacional Hispano para el Adulto Mayor (NHCOA) calificó esta votación  como “una derrota para la mayoría de los ciudadanos que luchan por un sistema de salud incluyente y de calidad”

“Con la entrada en vigencia de AHCA las compañías aseguradoras cobrarán hasta cinco veces más el monto de las primas para los adultos mayores, en base al costo de los planes de salud para los más jóvenes, uno de los más caros en el mercado”, advirtió la presidenta de NHCOA.

La reforma de salud liderada por el presidente Donald Trump, y que supone “hacer América grande otra vez”, impactará de fomar negativa a no menos de 4  millones de Latinos en Estados Unidos. De convertirse en ley, y según las proyecciones de Urban Institute, difundidas por la fundación Robert Wood Johnson, para 2021 habrían 24 millones más de personas sin seguro medico en este país.

Con AHCA  millones de personas quienes viven en condiciones de  pobreza en 31 estados del país perderán el beneficio que ofrece Medicaid. Este impacto se traduce en un evidente aumento del gasto en salud pública que deberá hacer el Estado.

Según cifras oficiales, el déficit que supone esta ley, se estima en 130 mil millones de dólares, y es que los servicios de emergencias se convertirán en la única forma de tratamiento médico que tendrán las personas que no puedan acceder a un seguro médico.

Las personas mayores de 65 años y aquellas con algún tipo de discapacidad grave estarán en riesgo, con la eliminación de “Obamacare”, de perder el Medicare, es decir, la posibilidad real de contar con un seguro médico básico.

Sin  “Obamacare” Más de 9 millones de Latinas perderán el acceso a la red de clínicas de salud y planificación familiar, que incluyen exámenes ginecológicos  y tratamientos para enfermedades de transmisión sexual.

“Sin gorrito no hay fiesta”

NHCOA/WDC/NP-Abril 2017.- Esta expresión es parte de la chispa que caracteriza a la comunidad Latina, y muchas veces, con la que los adultos mayores entienden que el uso del preservativo es fundamental para protegerse del VIH.

A finales de 2013, más de un millón de personas en Estados Unidos habían sido diagnosticadas con el VIH. Según cifras del Centro para el Control y Prevención de Enfermedades (CDC), por sus siglas en inglés, sólo en 2014, más de 44 mil casos resultaron positivos luego de practicarse la prueba. 24% fueron Latinos.

Esta pandemia no distingue sexo ni edad. Se estima que en 2020 los adultos mayores en Estados Unidos representarán el 50% de las personas sobreviviendo con la enfermedad.

Ante esta realidad, el Concejo Nacional Hispano para el Adulto Mayor (NHCOA), a través del programa de información (PACT), continúa enfocando sus esfuerzo para prevenir al adulto mayor Hispano y sus familiares.

En este sentido NHCOA y ASPIRA vienen desarrollando una serie de actividades con el propósito de movilizar, informar y concientizar  a la comunidad adulto mayor Hispana. En esta oportunidad, el turno fue para los residentes de Casa Iris Housing Facility, espacio administrado por NHCOA y diseñado para garantizar viviendas de calidad y económicamente accesibles.

Durante esta charla informativa los asistentes fueron actualizados sobre las consecuencias del HIV en el adulto mayor, las probabilidades de transmisión y los métodos de prevención.

Juana Cruz (81), residente de Casa Iris, y honrando sus raíces dominicanas fue enfática en la necesidad de promover el uso del condón para evitar el contagio del HIV. “No importa la edad, hay muchos padrotes alegres por allí que no quieren usar el gorrito, y recuerden; sin gorrito no hay fiesta”.

Manuel Montesdeoca (76), expresó la importancia de hablar con el médico sobre la enfermedad. “Hay mucho tabú al respecto. Aunque se practique la abstinencia como forma de prevención, es bueno consultarle si es necesario hacerse la prueba”.

Los adultos mayores de Casa Iris agradecieron la presencia de Trang Nguyen Wisard en representación del CDC-PACT, Hilda Crespo, Elsa Mora y David Perfecto de ASPIRA.

Casa Iris Housing Facility

Casa Iris is a non-profit senior housing facility founded in 1997 under the Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Department’s section 8, 202 PRAC which provides housing for the nation’s senior population, 62 years and older.

Casa Iris is under the ownership of the National Hispanic Council on Aging (NHCOA), the leading national organization working to improve the lives of Hispanic older adults, their families and caregivers.

For NHCOA, the highest priority is to create a space where seniors can age with dignity, receiving quality services that allow senior to live independently for as long as possible. In order to achieve this goal NHCOA works with different organizations who provide various resources.

Casa Iris has 60 tenants, 75% are Hispanic and 100% are low income seniors; therefore, assistance is crucial to maintain the facility and provide necessary services to the housing residents and its local senior community members.

Currently the facility has a waiting list of over 50 prospective tenants. Members of the DC community also participate in some of the activities organized by the Casa Iris service coordinator. These activities aim to create an atmosphere that not only keeps our seniors and their visitors motivated, but also allows them to create a close knit community

To read more: Casa Iris Report 2016 

Hispanic Family Caregiving

Proceedings from a Thought Leaders Roundtable

The purpose of this report is to share the proceedings from the Caregiving Thought Leaders Roundtable held in Washington, DC on February 14, 2017. The roundtable focused on identifying the education and training needed to support Hispanic caregivers. The discussion was based on a new study released by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) focusing on Family Caregiving for Older Adults. The information gathered from the convening will inform NHCOA’s national strategy on family caregiving and create awareness on caregiving among Hispanics.

To read more: Final Proceedings Caregiving Thought Leaders Roundtable Washington DC 

The roundtable was opened by NHCOA’s President/CEO Dr. Yanira Cruz, welcoming remarks were offered by AARP’s Vice President, Multicultural Leadership, Yvette Peña, moderated by Dr. Octavio Martinez, NHCOA Chairman and Executive Director of the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health, and closing remarks were done by the John A. Hartford Foundation Sr. Program Officer Marcus Escobedo. A diverse group of 40 experts on Family Caregiving participated in the roundtable. Organizations and partners participating in this roundtable included, AARP, Alzheimer’s Association, Caregivers de Puerto Rico, Compassion & Choices, DH/Perfil Latino TV, Eldercare Workforce Alliance, Family Values @ Work, Hogg Foundation for Mental Health, Institute of Medicine, John A. Hartford Foundation, Labor Project for Working Families, Latinos Against Alzheimer’s Coalition & Network, Mary’s Center, Maryland Department of Health and Human Services – Area Agency on Aging, Montgomery County – Aging and Disability Resource Unit, Office of Minority Health, PhRMA, and SAGE.