Multicultural Aging Revolution

AARP sponsored a dynamite general session at the annual conference of the American Society on Aging.   The session, "The Changing Face of America: Aging in our Multicultural Society," featured Lorraine Cortes-Vazquez, AARP's EVP of Multicultural Markets and Engagement, Jennie Chin Hansen, Pres. and CEO of American Geriatrics Society and Immediate Past Pres. of AARP, Fernando Torres-Gil, Assoc. Dean of CA Los Angeles School of Public Affairs and AARP Board member, and Maya Rockeymoore, Pres. and CEO of Global Policy Solutions.

A few facts shared in the session:

  • Non-hispanic whites will cease to be a majority in America, perhaps as soon as 2050.
  • By mid-century, the nation's Hispanic population is expected to increase 188%
  • By 2050 the nation's Asian population is expected to grow 213%
  • In only 50 years the nation's black population is expected to grow 71%

As the multicultural fabric of America changes, we can certainly expect aging in America to change. The panel indicated:

  • We've always been a nation of immigrants, but we've never had this extraordinary shift happening so quickly, so big and so profound within one or two generations-while at the same time the baby boomers are aging.
  • An investment in our multicultural youth is wise, as they will be the caregivers of the future.
  • If we embrace the multicultural aspects of our aging population we can enrich the experience of aging by drawing from the wealth of cultural experiences and knowledge.
  • There are vast differences even within racial-ethnic groups. For example, within the Asian-American population there are 47 ethnic groups and 100 different languages.
  • We must strengthen our public programs that shore up the retirement security for all citizens as they age - regardless of ethnicity or culture.

Bottom line: We're not just having an age wave - we're having a multicultural wave in this country and it will change the way all of us age.

Search AARP Blogs

Related Posts
February 04, 2016 09:00 AM
When Dad was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, I knew he would need all of his senses to help interpret the world around him and balance his changing cognitive abilities. But he has hearing impairment and limited vision (glaucoma plus visual-processing problems associated with Alzheimer’s). Even though there is only so much I can do about the visual issues, I assumed  hearing aids would solve his auditory problems. I was wrong. The good news is that we eventually discovered a surprisingly simple solution.
February 01, 2016 10:00 AM
The phone rang one day when I was at work. It was my mom. “Come right away, Elaine, we need you,” she said. Mom had just driven Pop to the emergency room. I knew Pop must have been very sick, because Mom hadn’t driven a car in years.
January 21, 2016 01:00 PM
I have been both a live-in caregiver and a long-distance caregiver. In fact, currently, I’m really both. My dad lives with me (as do my sister and her two sons at the moment), and I also travel for work, about a week every month. I’ve learned to manage my loved ones’ care no matter where I am. Here are some of my tips for other long-distance caregivers.