NCOA Connects Older Hispanics to COVID Vaccines and Benefits
ARLINGTON, Va., Sept. 28, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- The National Council on Aging (NCOA), the national voice for every person’s right to age well, is connecting hundreds of thousands of older Hispanics/Latinos to trusted information online and in their communities, empowering them to stay healthy and financially secure.
“Too many older Hispanics/Latinos have faced systemic inequities their entire lives, making it difficult to access the resources they need,” said Ramsey Alwin, NCOA President and CEO. “We believe in meeting people where they are and providing culturally responsive information to help them age well.”
Addressing Vaccine Stigma
As the pandemic continues, NCOA is partnering with the National Alliance for Hispanic Health and the Health Resources and Services Administration to bring facts about the COVID-19 vaccine to older adults. The project will reach 38 communities, focusing on those with high populations of low-income Hispanic/Latino seniors. It will leverage the power of trained vaccine navigators to encourage vaccination.
In Colorado, NCOA is partnering with Servicios de la Raza, a trusted 40-year-old community-based organization that is educating at least 2,000 Latino older adults most in need of key information.
“Culturally, the battle lies in fighting against the chisme, or stigma, and overall misinformation circulating within the community of Latino older adults,” said Executive Director Rudy Gonzales, son of the legendary Chicano activist Rodolfo “Corky” Gonzales. “Our strategy, thought, trust, and deep appreciation for our community of older adults are in the hands of those who best know how to empower and mobilize transformational change.”
Servicios de la Raza is leveraging its previous experience in vaccination work—with over 9,000 vaccinated to date—by deploying a mobile van, tapping the expertise of a medical provider on staff, and incentivizing older adults with gift cards to participate in the program.
Improving Access to Benefits
NCOA also is connecting Hispanic/Latino older adults to federal, state, local, and private benefits to pay for daily expenses. BuscaBeneficios.org is a free, confidential Spanish-language version of its respected BenefitsCheckUp®, which has helped millions of older adults find billions of dollars in benefits to pay for food, medicine, utilities, and more.
Over the past year, NCOA has connected 79,000 older Hispanics/Latinos to benefits through our online tools, community-based partners, and job training programs. This includes 10,600 Spanish-speaking older adults who found over $72.5 million in benefits programs on BuscaBeneficios.org.
“We know that older Hispanics are under-enrolled in programs such as SNAP and Medicare Extra Help, which can provide benefits to pay for food and health care,” Alwin said. “Busca Beneficios is an easy way to find out if a person may be eligible and learn how to apply.”
As part of its outreach to Hispanic/Latino older adults, NCOA also offers the Chequeo Contra Caídas, a Spanish-language online screening tool that allows older adults to assess their risk of falling—one of the greatest health risks as people age. Users receive a personalized report with Spanish falls prevention resources, including videos and practical tips.
The National Council on Aging (NCOA) is the national voice for every person’s right to age well. We believe that how we age should not be determined by gender, color, sexuality, income, or zip code. Working with thousands of national and local partners, we provide resources, tools, best practices, and advocacy to ensure every person can age with health and financial security. Founded in 1950, we are the oldest national organization focused on older adults. Learn more at www.ncoa.org and @NCOAging.
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SOURCE National Council on Aging