Online Program

Asian American & Pacific Islander Agenda for Aging in All Policies

Monday, November 2, 2015 : 11:12 a.m. - 11:22 a.m.

Wesley Lum, PhD, MPH, National Asian Pacific Center on Aging, Seattle, WA

The National Asian Pacific Center on Aging (NAPCA) conducted a national needs assessment.  We found that Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) are two of the fastest growing populations 55+ throughout America.  Between 2000 and 2010, the Asian alone-or-in-combination population 55+ grew 85%, from 1.7 million to 3.1 million, and the PI alone-or-in-combination population 55+ grew 71%, from 91,000 to 155,000.  In 2012, AAPIs aged 55+ comprised 4% of the US population, and 20% of the total AAPI populations.  Between 2012 and 2030, AAPI elderly will grow by 88%, to 6.2 M, or one-quarter of AAPIs 55+.  Between 2012 and 2060, AAPI elderly will grow by 240%, to 11.4 million, or one-third of AAPIs 55+. 

It is important to recognize that this rapidly growing population of AAPI elderly have specialized needs.  Only 15% of AAPIs aged 55+ speak English at home.  The other 85% speak up to 40 different languages and dialects.  Approximately 56% of Asian elders are limited English proficient (LEP), more than Hispanics/Latinos at 53%; while 26% of NHPI older adults are LEP.  LEP can affect access to information and services to enable healthy aging, elder justice, and retirement security.  A significant proportion (27%) of AAPIs aged 55+ are linguistically isolated.  Moreover, 87% of Asian Americans 55+ are foreign-born, more than any other racial group in the U.S.  This can affect eligibility for retirement security.  In addition, 1/3 Million AAPIs 55+ remain uninsured.   

The Older Americans Act (OAA) funds critical services that help older adults remain healthy, secure and independent.  NAPCA’s priority will be to fund and reauthorize the OAA and its discretionary programs, but funding alone is not enough.  AAPI aging policy is nuanced.  Multiple determinants of health (social, political and economic) must be considered when developing, and advocating for, AAPI aging in all policies.

Learning Areas:

Administration, management, leadership
Diversity and culture
Public health administration or related administration
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines
Public health or related organizational policy, standards, or other guidelines
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Discuss criteria unique to AAPI elders when conducting a social policy analysis. Reshape/redirect the trajectory of aging policy over the next decade, and beyond, by designing advocacy strategies that take into account the unique/nuanced characteristics of AAPI elderly.

Keyword(s): Asian and Pacific Islanders, Aging

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I'm the President & CEO of the National Asian Pacific Center on Aging. I was the Director of the Executive Office on Aging, which is the designated State Unit on Aging for Hawaii, where a majority of older adults are of AAPI ethnicities. As an Assistant Professor, I've published peer-reviewed articles and technical reports on AAPI elders, family care giving, and aging policy. I've won awards for leadership and advocacy in the aging arena.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.