• Responding to the Health Needs of
    Asian Americans
  • Montgomery
    Department of Health
    and Human Services

Senior Wellness Initiative

From 2015 to 2030, the population of Montgomery County residents aged 60 years and older is expected to increase by 39%. Among the older adult population, Asian Americans are the largest older adult minority group in the county, comprising 15% of county residents aged 60 years and over. Additionally, Asian Americans 55 years and older make up almost 28% of the county’s Asian American population.

On top of challenges that all older adults commonly face, Asian American older adults also have several unique health and social needs including limited English proficiency, poverty, and high rates of disability. To address these health and social needs and provide support to the County’s Asian American seniors, in Fiscal Year 2017 (FY17), AAHI launched their Senior Wellness Initiative. 

Friends’ Corner

Friends’ Corner’s goal is to provide a linguistically and culturally responsive educational discussions about health, wellness, and lifestyle to Asian American adults aged 55+.

The purpose of the Friends’ Corner is to educate older adults on various health, wellness, and lifestyle topics and on relevant county resources, programs, and services. Through Friends’ Corner, AAHI aims to increase older adults’ knowledge about relevant health topics and enhance and improve their access to county and other local resources.

Friends’ Corner is a multi-sessions workshop series that is usually hosted in casual and welcoming community environments. AAHI partners with community organizations to bring Friends’ Corner to the community.

Interested in bringing Friends’ Corner to your community? Email Phoebe.Shih@montgomerycountymd.gov.

Caregiver’s Corner

Forty-two percent of AAPIs provide care to an older adult, compared to 22% of the general population. Similarly, 17% of AAPIs live in multigenerational households, compared to 7% of the total population. While strength and resiliency are attributes of many AAPI families, AAPI family caregivers face unique challenges in caring for loved ones. Cultural issues, such as family shame, create barriers for AAPIs and their caregivers in accessing formal long-term services and supports. (Source: National Asian Pacific Center on Aging).

The goals for Caregiver’s Corner are to raise awareness about and destigmatize discussions about caregiver stress and burnout, to provide caregivers with self-care methods and tips, and to educate caregivers on resources related to caring for an older adult like respite care, assisted living, long-term care facilities and end of life discussions.

Caregiver’s Corner is a multi-session workshop series that usually takes place in community settings. AAHI partners with community organizations to bring Caregiver’s Corner to the community.

Interested in bringing Caregiver’s Corner to your community? Email Phoebe.Shih@montgomerycountymd.gov.

Community Workshops

AAHI regularly provides educational and informative health workshops in community settings on important senior wellness topics like:

  • Elder Abuse
  • Fall Prevention
  • Medicare
  • Eight Dimensions of Wellness
  • Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Medication Management
  • Pedestrian Safety
  • Senior Resources

If there is a senior wellness topic your community would like to learn about that is not on this list, we can always find experts to present to your community.

Contact Phoebe.Shih@montgomerycountymd.gov to setup a workshop in your community.

Community Health And Technology (CHAT) Program

Since the COVID-19 pandemic started in early 2020, seniors have been isolated from their daily routines, social contacts, doctors’ appointments, and more. As physical spaces closed, more businesses, medical providers, and services transitioned online. For low-income isolated AAPI seniors who have limited financial means and resources, the transition to online services was difficult as many did not have the equipment to get online and had limited knowledge around using technology. While majority of the physical distancing restrictions have lifted, the shift to online programming has remained. Access to digital technology and online services continues to be very important.

The CHAT Program provides isolated Asian American seniors with tablets that are preloaded with health and wellness applications. Tablets are meant to be used for telehealth appointments, to join online classes and activities meant to increase social connections, or to connect virtually with family and friends. To implement this program, AAHI partners with community organizations to identify seniors who will receive a Samsung Galaxy tablets for 1 or 2 years. Program participants also receive technical support around using the tablet.

This program is made possible by support from the Area Agency on Aging (AAA), which connected AAHI to funding for the tablets.

If your organization would like to join this program and offer tablets to your seniors, please contact Phoebe.Shih@montgomerycountymd.gov.

Senior Wellness Resources

AAHI has developed several multilingual handouts and other resources on topics related senior wellness in English, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, and Hindi are available.

Fall Prevention

Six out of every 10 falls happen at home, where we spend much of our time and tend to move around without thinking about our safety.  There are many changes you can make to your home that will help you avoid falls and ensure your safety.  The Fall Prevention brochure provides many tips for you to fall proof your home and increase your awareness for how to make sure your daily routines can prevent you from falling.

Find the Fall Prevention brochure in our Resource Library.

Elder Abuse

Older Adults are a common target for many different types of abuse, including financial exploitation, physical and emotional abuse, neglect, and sexual abuse. This educational brochure defines the types of abuse, highlights signs of abuse, and provides resources and information for older adults who may be the target of abuse.

Find the Elder Abuse brochure in our Resource Library.

Pedestrian Safety

In Maryland, 183 people die every year and over 27,000 more are injured from distracted driving crashes. In Montgomery County, nearly half of all drivers and 4 in 10 pedestrians involved in severe or fatal crashes were distracted.  Many pedestrians are hit by cars each year, a high percentage of them seniors. (Source: Department of Transportation, Montgomery County, MD). For AAPI seniors, due to language barriers and different cultures and immigration background, it becomes extremely important to promote pedestrian safety for AAPI communities.

To facilitate pedestrian safety, AAHI has developed a multilingual poster and magnet for community organizations. Organizations can display the posters in their facilities and can distribute magnets to their community members to encourage safety when traveling by foot.

The poster and magnet are both available in English, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese and Hindi. To order either, please use this form: AAHIPedSafety.

Dimensions of Wellness

Wellness is more than physical health. It means to be healthy in different areas of our lives. Wellness can include exercise, weight management, meditation, prayer, community, nutrition, finance, the mind and much more. Simply put, wellness is how we live our lives to find content and health. (Sources: National Center For Biotechnology Information at National Library of Medicine, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration).

Today’s seniors are living longer than ever, and their wellness routines are evolving to ensure each new year brings not only physical health, but also purpose and contentment.

The Dimensions of Wellness workbook is a resource for older adults to explore how each dimension of wellness relates to their life. This resource space for users to respond to reflective questions and truly ponder how they are integrating wellness into their daily routines. The workbook is available in English, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese and Hindi. Order a copy by emailing us. You can also find the Dimensions of Wellness brochure in our Resource Library.

AAHI has developed several multilingual workbooks and other resources on topics related to senior wellness. Resources are available in English, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, and Hindi.

Trainings and Technical Assistance

The AAHI Senior Wellness Initiative is a resource to all senior service providers. AAHI provides cultural responsiveness trainings to improve service providers’ abilities to serve Asian American clients. Additionally, AAHI provides technical assistance to Asian American community and faith-based organizations who are looking to provide new or improve existing services to older adults.

If you need assistance serving your Asian American seniors, reach out to us – we are happy to help!