Washington, DC – Despite their resilient nature, Hispanic older adults continue to face a plethora of challenges, which include retirement insecurity, lack of access to health care, housing and programs, as well as hunger and chronic disease. The National Hispanic Council on Aging (NHCOA)— the leading national organization working to improve the lives of Hispanic older adults, their families, and caregivers— presented these facts through their report: Status of Hispanic Older Adults: Insights from the Field released on Capitol Hill. The organization also found, through their report, older adults’ eagerness to be civically engaged and to share insightful and concrete recommendations to address the challenges they face.
Dr. Yanira Cruz, President & CEO of NHCOA highlighted the depth of the findings during her speech. “Our seniors are struggling just to stay economically afloat and to maintain their health. They shared with us that many are facing hunger or are on the verge of homelessness, that their low fixed salaries don’t cover basic expenses, that housing costs are too high and that the housing is in poor shape and not appropriate for seniors.”
The report is a data and testimonial-driven status report with policy recommendations that captures the hardships and challenges shared by seniors during NHCOA’s open forums held in multiple parts of the country, and compiled from a nationwide survey taken by over 900 seniors and a literature review.
“The NHCOA report highlights the need to continue our commitment to addressing the diverse needs of Hispanic populations and ensuring they have access to culturally and linguistically appropriate services to age in a healthy way,” said J. Nadine Gracia, MD, MSCE, deputy assistant secretary for minority health and director of the HHS Office of Minority Health.
NHCOA Board Member and former Deputy Assistant Secretary at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration on Aging Cindy Padilla moderated a panel of experts and community leaders— Octavio Martinez, MD, NHCOA Board Chair and Executive Director of the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health, Bob Blancato, President of Matz, Blancato & Associates, Adjoa Adofo, Director of Communications, Better Medicare Alliance and Yvette Peña, Vice President of Multicultural Leadership Hispanic/Latino Audience Strategy, AARP— provided context to the report’s findings through national statistics and testimonials.
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, access to health, housing, and abuse protection among the U.S. aging population, and ensuring that programs & benefits address the cultural and linguistic needs of the growing Hispanic aging population.
“At each community forum, Hispanic older adults and other participants understood the complexity of the challenges they were facing,” explained Dr. Cruz during her speech. “They also had insightful recommendations to address these challenges, ranging from local, state and national advocacy, to researching candidate platforms in preparation to vote,” she added.
“This is a matter of health equity for all older Americans. I know that you will make a difference and this is why we need to come together to support organizations like the National Hispanic Council on Aging to make sure that we really put our older Americans in truly their golden years” Commented Congressman Raul Ruiz of California.
Our Capitol Hill Briefing is underwritten by AARP, Abbott, AbbVie, Aetna Foundation, AstraZeneca, Herbalife, Humana, Lilly, Pfizer, PhRMA, United Health, Univision, Verizon, and Walmart.
To download the State of Hispanic Older Adults: Insights from the Field use http://bit.ly/2ddAvte or visit the NHCOA home page, www.nhcoa.org.