Asian American Elders Essay

1140 words - 5 pages

IntroductionThe focus of this paper is on Asian American seniors. Since I started working at The Turner Senior Resource Center as a coordinator of Korean Asian Outreach Program, I've seen and found many problems and difficulties that Koreans and other Asian American seniors are facing. I'm very concerned about these Asian American seniors. Throughout this report, I'm going to explore what their problems and needs are in receiving social services as well as look for the solutions related to policies for Asian Americans.Description of Personal BackgroundI went to visit Tae Keuk Village. It's a senior's town in Wayne and is available to low-income older adults. There are over forty Korean American seniors who are over 62 or disabled. I have volunteered at this place several times in my junior year and that was when I realized that there are many vulnerable aged people living in small apartments. The reason why I chose this place is that I found many seniors who were experiencing depression, isolation, and felt powerless. I believed that there must be some way to help these people live in better conditions. I talked to the manager of the center who has had many cases and a lot of social service experience with Asian American seniors. She is also very fluent in English and Korean.Description of ProblemsThere are two problems for Asian American seniors who seek access to services. The first problem is governmental policies and regulations that set limit to those elders in receiving any services. According to the U.S. Social Security Administration, "Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a cash assistance program funded and administered by the Federal Government." The program is for the aged, blind, and disabled. Beginning in January 1974, there was no minimum age limit for establishing eligibility based on blindness or disability under SSI. Most of the residents in the seniors' town are eligible to receive SSI. However, according to the manager, many residents failed to receive SSI because of changed policies after September 22, 1996. Even if seniors are aged 65 or older, they have to live in Michigan for at least five years with a permanent card.The other problem is the language barrier. The majority of seniors at the center could not explain their situations in English. The manager said that the language problem is a major problem, because the government does not provide any Korean interpreters. Some people who have a problem with language, or are disabled have to wait until they meet the age required for SSI.Identifying the Assisting AgenciesThere are various programs for seniors provided by the center, but the center is facing problems in serving Korean language services for seniors. For security reasons, the U.S. government demands that the SSI recipient speaks for himself or herself, not though an interpreter on the telephone. Interpreters can only be used in person. They can find help in submitting this problem to a lawyer. However, it costs a...

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