By Dr. Yanira Cruz, President and CEO
NHCOA is committed to enriching the lives of older Hispanic adults. As we celebrate Older Americans Month, we invite you to explore the different ways NHCOA is working to improve the lives of thousands of U.S. Hispanic older adults, their families, and caregivers. Below are some examples of our work in the areas of health, economic security, leadership development and empowerment, and housing.
As NHCOA continues to find new ways to better serve Hispanic older adults, their families, and caregivers, we thank you for everything you do in your families, communities, cities, and states. We also invite you continue joining our efforts to ensure that our most cherished and vulnerable population can age with dignity, economic security, and in the best possible health.
In commemoration of Older Americans Month, here is a look at some of the work we do at NHCOA:
Leadership Development & Empowerment
Leadership and empowerment, one of NHCOA’s top priorities, is at the core of any successful advocacy work. As part of its work in this area, NHCOA convenes key community grassroots leaders, including Hispanic older adults, their caregivers, advocates, and professionals to connect, network, and gain culturally and linguistically competent advocacy tools.
Through NHCOA’s Empowerment and Civic Engagement Training (ECET), grassroots leadership is cultivated by helping participants develop a strong, collective voice to speak on behalf, and represent our Hispanic older adults at all levels of government and community. This year, NHCOA will train a second generation of ECET leaders across the country and drive voter registration.
Health care fraud is one of the most pervasive types of fraud targeting seniors. Given that harder-to-reach populations, such as Hispanic older adults, are disproportionately victimized, NHCOA in conjunction with the U.S. Administration on Aging is working to fight Medicare fraud within the Hispanic community through the National Hispanic SMP (NHSMP).
Through the NHSMP, NHCOA is committed to being an active player in curbing Medicare fraud by providing assistance and capacity building to local community-based organizations (CBOs) and state SMPs in areas with high concentrations of Hispanic older adults, as well as providing resources for Hispanic older adults and their caregivers.
Health & Well-Being
As part of its work in the area of health and well-being, NHCOA implements a variety of programs, including:
Act Against AIDS Leadership Initiative is a partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s Act Against AIDS Leadership Initiative focused on HIV/AIDS education and prevention efforts directly targeting Hispanic older adults, their families, and caregivers.
Vacunémonos (Let’s Get Vaccinated) is a partnership with the CDC to raise awareness among Hispanic older adults, their families, and caregivers about the importance of getting vaccinations through adulthood to protect families and communities from preventable infectious diseases.
Salud y Bienestar (Health and Well-Being) is a national program that educates and informs Hispanic older adults, their families, and caregivers on how to prevent and/or manage diabetes and its complications. Its current expansion is supported by the Walmart Foundation.
NHCOA is also working to increase Alzheimer’s disease knowledge by conducting research to understand the attitudes, level of stigma, level of knowledge, and challenges within the Hispanic community as it relates to both caregivers and health care providers. The findings of this study could potentially serve as the basis for interventions designed to ensure effective management of Alzheimer’s within the Hispanic community.
NHCOA owns and administers low-income senior housing buildings located in Washington, DC and Garden City, KS. As the Latino community has lost significant household wealth, we are working to ensure Hispanic older adults have access to affordable, quality housing so they can age in place and in their communities.