Since 1979, the National Asian Pacific Center on Aging (NAPCA) has served older Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) residents with a variety of services that support their dignity, well-being, and quality of life. NAPCA currently serves over 10,000 people nationwide through offices located in Seattle, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Washington, DC.
To celebrate forty years of service, NAPCA is telling the stories of program participants and partners through video and stories from its archives—one per week for 40 weeks, or “40 for 40.”
Through these stories, program participants and partners share their lives leading up to NAPCA and how NAPCA has helped them with hope and dignity through job training and placement, community, and greater understanding of the world they live and work in today.
A review of over 180 studies, published in The Gerontologist, found that intellectual and physical activity associated with employment moderates the physical and psychological changes often associated with aging. Mitigation of social isolation, mental labor of learning new tasks, and physical activity of being present in a work place lead to better life satisfaction, hope, increased sense of well-being, and general health and security in older adults.
NAPCA offers services to participants through the Senior Environmental Employment (SEE), Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP), and Agriculture Conservation Experienced Services (ACES) programs. NAPCA partners with hundreds of host agencies nationally through these programs to assist older adults age 55 and above with on-the-job skills and community engagement that will enable them to live and work in their communities with dignity and stability.
Older AAPI adults face additional barriers to employment and socioeconomic security, such as increased poverty levels, higher rates of limited English proficiency, and decreased access to community services due to language and cultural barriers. NAPCA helps break down these barriers with brown-bag lunches and participant meetings, providing information on services, processes, and procedures for necessary paperwork. NAPCA staff and program participants share new experiences. Through these community engagement meetings, program participants not only learn valuable information, they build a community of support and engagement.
Each week, NAPCA will share a piece of that community on the 40 for 40 webpage. Come and hear our stories!
Contributor Meaghan Bihun works at NAPCA, which is based in Seattle. Learn more about the nonprofit agency and see additional resources at www.napca.org.