America is at the Nexus of Aging and Multiculturalism

 In General

Yet, on the other hand, living longer inevitable raises a
host of unique concerns. Longer lifespans mean increasing healthcare costs and
needs as people become more susceptible to chronic illnesses like heart
disease, diabetes, arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia. Increased
longevity raises concerns about outliving financial resources, loss of
independence and control, and fears of isolation.

As the
elder population grows larger, so does the gaping hole, a rift caused by
out-of-date policies and a lack of products, services, benefits and resources
necessary to serve older Americans.

Steps to Shape the Future

the hole will take nothing less than proactively advocating for extensive
social change.

As we
embark on the massive undertaking of changing laws and policies (which rarely
happens quickly), we shouldn’t miss out on taking the following common-sense
steps that can go a long way toward shaping future changes:

  1.           Train geriatric specialists
  2.           Train in cultural competence
  3.           Rethink housing options
  4.           Increase nonprofit involvement in elder programs
  5.           Tap into the value of older workers
  6.           Encourage volunteerism
  7.           Share responsibility

Fernando and Diana Lam.
“America Is at the Nexus of Aging and
Multiculturalism.” Aging Today Vol

Reprinted with permission from Aging
Today 32
:2, March-April 2011. Copyright © 2011. American Society on Aging,
San Francisco, California.

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