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Hispanic Community Health Study Data Book: A Report to the Communities

Working Together to Improve the Health of all Hispanics

Multi Generation Hispanic Family Standing In ParkSOL LOGO

The Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos HCHS/SOL, funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), is the largest and most comprehensive study of Hispanics living in four communities in the U.S.A. The Hispanic Community Health Study Data Book: A Report to the Communities contains a summary of findings from examinations of 16, 415 Hispanic adults conducted from 2008 to 2011. The study funding has been renewed until 2019.

It is important that the Hispanic community is aware of the HCHS/SOL study outcomes, they show challenges and opportunities to work together to improve the health of Hispanics. Feel free to share them with your friends and colleagues.

For English: http://catalog.nhlbi.nih.gov/pubstatic//13-7951/13-7951.pdf

For Spanish: http://catalog.nhlbi.nih.gov/pubstatic//13-7951/13-7951Spanish.pdf

Visit the HCHS/SOL study website: https://www2.cscc.unc.edu/hchs/

5 Common Challenges to Conducting Medicare Fraud Outreach Among Hispanic Older Adults

In order to get Hispanic older adults to report Medicare fraud, we must first be able to reach them effectively. Detection is the best way for seniors to protect themselves from scams and fraud. This is why breaking away at, and tearing down barriers, that prevent them from receiving reliable, trustworthy information regarding Medicare fraud is key.

Here is a look at 5 common challenges or barriers to conducting effective Medicare fraud outreach among Hispanic older adults and tips to address each one. 

Language barriers

Most Hispanic older adults speak more Spanish than English. They rely on their children, grandchildren, or friends to understand documents or other information they may encounter on a daily basis. The inability to fully understand causes many to feel frustrated and give up. While Latino seniors may be more comfortable speaking Spanish, they may encounter difficulties reading and writing. This is due to low levels of education and the reliance on jargon, slang and “Spanglish” (the combined usage of Spanish and English words to communicate). Therefore, even if the information is written in Spanish, many might have a hard time understanding certain wording and phrases they are not familiar with.

Reaching Hispanic older adults through a variety of culturally and linguistically appropriate communication channels is critical to eliminate the language barrier (i.e., local Spanish language radio PSAs, local Spanish language TV interviews). 

Misinformation

The propagation of myths within the community is frequent and wide-scaled, ranging from old wives tales to urban legends. Older adults, who are mostly homebound and have little contact with the outside world, are especially susceptible to blending facts and information with myths and taboos. And, even if they receive correct information, it can be difficult and confusing to retain. As we age, being introduced to new concepts and facts can be overwhelming, especially topics such as Medicare, which is complex in nature.

Constant reinforcement is key to fighting misinformation and is best achieved through one-on-one and group discussions in culturally and linguistically appropriate settings (i.e., community centers and places of worship).

Difficulty Navigating the Medicare System

These days technology plays a big role in our  healthcare system, especially the enrollment process. For an older adult who is used to handwritten paperwork and face-to-face interaction, it is difficult — and seemingly impossible to them— to use the internet and virtual assistance to process an application, enroll or report fraud. While online services are great and helpful to many, Latino seniors are a generation behind in terms of technology and access.

For Hispanic older adults to use the Internet to access and manage their Medicare accounts, in-person bilingual assistance is critical. 

Isolation

Seniors may not always go to a senior center or community center. In fact, if they do not have caregivers or family to take them, or go with them. They may not leave their home at all. As they reach their golden years, most of them stop driving and cannot walk, bike, or take public transportation as easily as when they were younger. This causes isolation and for the most part prevents them from receiving valuable information about Medicare and Medicare fraud. Even when they attend a senior center or community center, most times the seniors do not have the opportunity to attend informative events or fairs due to lack of transportation.

Sending culturally sensitive bilingual volunteers to make home visits or go to places Hispanic older adults frequent (places of worship, grocery stores, etc) can help bridge the isolation gap many Latino seniors experience as they age. 

 

The National Hispanic SMP (NHSMP), an off-shoot of the Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) initiative, is the only Medicare fraud prevention program that uses culturally and linguistically appropriate tools and resources to close the gap in Medicare fraud education among Hispanic older adults, their families, and caregivers. The NHSMP program was launched in Rio Grande Valley, Texas in 2005 and expanded into southern Florida in mid-2011. NHSMP also provides technical assistance to organizations working with older adult populations, so they can more effectively expand their reach to Hispanic seniors, while meeting the demands of our increasingly diverse older adult population. 

NHCOA Releases First Report on Status of LGBT Hispanic Older Adults in the U.S.

The first report of its kind documents the unique struggles of LGBT Hispanic seniors and presents key recommendations for policy makers and health care providers

Washington, D.C. – The National Hispanic Council on Aging (NHCOA) – the leading national organization working to improve the lives of Hispanic older adults, their families, and caregivers – released the report of its national study on the status of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Hispanic older adults during a press conference earlier today at the SAGE Senior Center in New York, NY. The study, entitled In Their Own Words: a Needs Assessment of Hispanic LGBT Older Adults, was conducted by NHCOA in collaboration with Services & Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE), with financial support from the Arcus Foundation. NHCOA and SAGE are founding members of the Diverse Elders Coalition, which represents millions of diverse older people across the country.

“The rapid aging of the population presents our country with the opportunity to embrace diversity as it appears at all stages of life,” said Dr. Yanira Cruz, NHCOA President and CEO. “Our hope with the In Their Own Words: A Needs Assessment of Hispanic LGBT Older Adults report is that we can be an active part of the necessary paradigm shift that needs to take place so that we can achieve a stronger, golden America for all, including LGBT Hispanic older adults.”

In Their Own Words: A Needs Assessment of Hispanic LGBT Older Adults is a result of a qualitative needs assessment that was conducted in order to better understand the experiences of aging, and the socio-economic and health challenges facing the LGBT Hispanic older adult community. Specifically, the research focused on understanding LGBT Hispanic older adults’ perceptions of the aging experience; identifying their unique health and socio-economic challenges; exploring the culturally appropriate strategies to better serve this population; and determining gaps in knowledge requiring further research.

“SAGE is proud to collaborate with our fellow Diverse Elders Coalition member, NHCOA, on this research project to better understand the challenges faced by LGBT Hispanic older adults, as well as their personal experiences,” expressed Michael Adams, SAGE Executive Director. “SAGE Harlem is only one of two known programs in the country specifically serving LGBT older Latinos, which represent about 15% of the elders we currently serve. Therefore, we are excited to see how this report will help inform culturally appropriate strategies that better serve LGBT Latino older adults in New York and throughout the country.”

Among the recommendations highlighted in the report is a widespread need for cultural and linguistic competence training that acknowledge patient’s diverse identities; education and benefits counseling; and more research is needed to develop effective programming to meet the needs of this population. Roz Lee, Senior Program Officer for the Arcus Foundation, stressed the need for increased investigation and research: “Research is a tool in the toolbox for social advocacy, and we need to use it in the right way.”

The study and report are particularly important, as they are the first to focus exclusively on LGBT Hispanic older adults and the particular concerns that they face while aging. NHCOA will use the findings of this report to improve the lives of LGBT Hispanic older adults by making key recommendations to legislators and health care providers on their behalf.

For questions, interviews, and photos please call (202) 374-9733 or e-mail media@nhcoa.org

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NHCOA RELEASES FIRST OF ITS KIND REPORT ON STATUS OF LGBT HISPANIC OLDER ADULTS IN U.S.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                           

NHCOA RELEASES FIRST OF ITS KIND REPORT ON STATUS OF LGBT HISPANIC OLDER ADULTS IN U.S.

New York – The National Hispanic Council on Aging (NHCOA) – the leading national organization working to improve the lives of Hispanic older adults, their families, and caregivers, in partnership with Services & Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE) – will release the report of its national study on the status of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Hispanic older adults during a press conference on Thursday, February 20 at 11 a.m. at the SAGE Center in New York, NY. The study, entitled In Their Own Words: A Needs Assessment of Hispanic LGBT Older Adults, was conducted by NHCOA, with financial support from the Arcus Foundation, and will be released in collaboration with Services & Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE) and the Diverse Elders Coalition.

The report is a result of a qualitative needs assessment that NHCOA conducted in order to better understand the experiences of aging, and the socio-economic and health challenges facing the LGBT Hispanic older adult community. Specifically, the research focused on understanding LGBT Hispanic older adults’ perceptions of the aging experience; identifying their unique health  and socio-economic challenges; exploring the culturally appropriate strategies to better serve this population; and determining gaps in knowledge requiring further research.

The study and report are particularly important, as they are the first to focus exclusively on LGBT Hispanic older adults and the particular concerns that they face while aging. NHCOA will use the findings of this report to improve the lives of LGBT Hispanic older adults by making key recommendations to legislators and health care providers on their behalf.

MEDIA ADVISORY

WHO: The National Hispanic Council on Aging (NHCOA) – the leading national organization working to improve the lives of Hispanic older adults, their families, and caregivers; Services & Advocacy for Gay, Lesbian and Transgender Elders (SAGE); and the Diverse Elders Coalition

WHAT: Press conference to release In Their Own Words: a Needs Assessment of Hispanic LGBT Older Adults – NHCOA’s report on the status of LGBT Hispanic older adults. Speakers include: Dr. Yanira Cruz, President & CEO, NHCOA; Michael Adams, Executive Director, SAGE; Roz Lee, Senior Program Officer, Arcus Foundation; Gary Gates, Williams Distinguished Scholar at the Williams Institute and Jason Coates, Public Policy Associate, NHCOA. Geo Genaldo, a gay Hispanic elder will also be available for questions and interviews.

WHEN: Thursday, February 20, 2014 at 11 a.m.

WHERE: The SAGE Center, 305 7th Ave., 15th Floor (between 27th-28th Streets), New York, NY 10001

WHY: Understanding LGBT Hispanic older adults’ concerns, perceptions and challenges is critical to develop programmatic and policy solutions as lawmakers develop public policy and federal programs intended for the U.S. aging population.

INTERVIEWS: For interviews and photos e-mail Diana Moschos at media@nhcoa.org.

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