Discussion on Ethnic Minorities’ Access to Care Part of AARP ConferenceAARP recently held a three-day conference, "Diversity and Aging in the 21st Century," that included a discussion on elderly minorities' access to care and how to increase awareness of AARP's services in minority communities, New America Media reports. According to New America Media, "a good portion" of the nearly 72 million U.S. residents who are expected to be older than age 65 by 2030 will be minorities.
In a round-table discussion for ethnic media, AARP President-Elect Jennie Chin Hansen said that many elderly minorities "who are qualified for benefits are the most difficult to reach." She also called upon ethnic media support to help raise awareness of services AARP provides. Members of the media noted that many readers face language barriers that prevent them from seeking needed heath care services. They added that financial barriers on the news industry also hinder journalists from covering elderly issues.
A separate session discussed the well-being of elderly caregivers, who are mostly elderly immigrants working for low wages. "So many minority women work as bedpan carriers with no hope of health care," Carmela Lacayo, president and CEO of National Association for Seniors, said.
Tom Nelson, AARP's chief operating officer, said, "We know that for AARP, the diversity agenda is unfinished business. There's more to be done, and the only way to do it is by learning from each other" (Sundaram, New America Media, 7/4). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.