3 ways to help New York's senior immigrants

new york elder immigrantsPoverty, alienation, and vulnerability are some of the challenges facing New York’s aging immigrant population.  For every challenge immigrant seniors face, there is a clear and worrying consequences.  For example, the table below shows the main challenges senior immigrants in NY face along with the quality of life issues that it raises:

 

Challenges

 

Quality of Life Concerns

 

Less personal income and less savings
  • Higher rates of poverty
Language or cultural barriers
  • Difficulty accessing services and assistance they qualify for
  • Increased vulnerability to predatory and fraudulent businesses and consumer fraud/scams
Limited education or vocational skills
  • Have to take lower-paying or jobs which may expose them to dangerous working conditions
Lack of affordable housing
  • Forces seniors with limited income to choose between the affordable housing they need and being alienated from the community they are used to
Increased isolation and access to services
  • Increases the risk of elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation; service-related

What can you do? Here are three things you can do now to help a senior immigrant reduce these risks and challenges:   

  1. Connect them to their local senior center: Senior centers often provide health and benefit screenings, information on housing assistance, as well as social activities for seniors to participate and feel like part of their community.  Contact your local  Department of Aging to get a list of all the senior centers in your county. 
  2. Contact the NY State Immigration Hotlinefor information on any state or federal assistance programs.  Their phone number is: 1-800-566-7636.
  3. Print out and go over with them the resource, New York State’s Resource Guide for Older New Yorkers:  This comprehensive resource goes all the program and resources that are available for seniors in New York.  Click here to download the guide.

 

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