INDO-AMERICAN ASSOCIATION FOR SENIOR CITIZENS INC. (NIAASC)
Medicare Prescription Discount (Part –D), White House Conference on Aging,
Collaborations and Participation with National Federation of Indian
Associations, North American Bengali Conference, India Association of Long
Island, Senior Programs in New York and New Jersey for Indian Americans, and
Editorial listing a comprehensive programs seniors can undertake in their
organizations and communities
NIAASC JOINS YOU ALL IN CELEBRATING THE
58TH INDIA’S INDEPENDENCE ANNIVERSAY
HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE ABOUT NIAASC: The
National Indo-American Association for Senior Citizens (NIAASC), incorporated in
early 1999, is a nonprofit 501C3 organization. Its mission is to serve seniors
through information, referral and advocacy services. NIAASC has organized nine
full-day conferences/workshops (see information about conferences on NIAASC web
site). NIAASC through formal surveys, informal discussions and observations, has
identified problems faced by Indian seniors, their needs and aspirations in USA and
has periodically reported them in
its newsletters. Its representatives have appeared on
television/radio, and written articles of interest to seniors and their
families. Its pamphlet 'How to Set
Up Senior Citizen Program' is available on request. Its Board of Directors is
composed of individuals with dedication and professionalism in different fields.
It provides a continuity of efforts by virtue of the fact that only one-third of
its Board members retire every year, though eligible to be reelected. Its
membership is open to all but decision-making rests with members 50 years of age
and over. NIAASC remains to be an information, referral and advocacy entity without
reinventing wheels, and bringing to the attention of seniors and their families
services available in their local communities and encouraging them to utilize
them. Its collaborative efforts extend to a number of local, national and
international entities. In February 2005 NIAASC highlighted
its mission, objectives and activities at a conference in Artesia,
California. In May it presented a paper at the National Federation of Indian
Organizations; and in July it presented two papers at the North American Bengali
Conference 2005. Both organizations celebrated their 25th
anniversaries. It also presented a paper for the White House Conference on Aging
to be held in October 2005 in Washington. This conference is held once in ten
historical perspective outlined above is designed to
encourage every individual reader of this Newsletter
as well as Organizations catering to Indian seniors throughout the US
to ACTIVELY work with NIAASC. WE BELIEVE SUCH
ACTIVE COLLABORATION AND COOPERATION (as borne out
by the visibility we have got so far
at the State/Local level) would give much-needed visibility--
at the National Level as well -- to the
concerns of the Indian Seniors.
covered this subject earlier also, but Identity Theft seems to be one of the
fastest growing crimes. So here are some steps you can take to protect yourself:
Be aware that under the recently enacted law - U.S. Fair and Accurate Credit
Transactions Act – you are entitled to a free credit report once a year. New
Yorkers may begin requesting such reports effective September 1, 2005.
Protect your Social Security Number:
not carry your Social Security Card with you.
all payroll and bank information.
shred credit card offers before you throw them out.
Protect your Credit Card Information:
give your credit card number over telephone unless you have initiated the call
and trust the business. Contact the credit reporting bureaus* for an update on
your credit, as well as to ask them to take off your information from their
extra careful when using your credit card for ordering products on line.
Immediate Action if Identity Theft Happens:
Contact the credit bureaus*. Contact the fraud departments of these bureaus asking them to flag your file with fraud alert.
your accounts by contacting the fraud departments of your creditors or any
accounts that may have been affected. Also ask them to seek your permission in
writing before approving any new activity on your accounts.
a report with the police. Keep a copy of the report in case your creditors need
a proof of the crime.
P.O. Box 740123 – 0123, Atlanta, GA 30374-0123. Tel 800-685-1111,
site: www.equifax.com. TransUnion: P.O.
Box 97328 Jackson, MS 39288-7328. Tel 800-888-4213,
site: www.tuc.com. Experian: 701 Experian Parkway, Allen, TX
75013. Tel. 888-397-3742), web site: www.experian.com.
can also contact the Federal Trade Commission Fraud Hotline: 877-FTC-HELP
MEDICAID, MEDICARE, AND THE PART D DRUG BENEFIT:
has received four articles from the Asian American Federation of New York on the
above subject. They are:
overview of the Part D Medicare Drug Benefit Program: How it works; What is
changing; Who will be covered etc..
Considerations: Things to think about before signing up for the Medicare
Part D Prescription Drug Benefit.
for Part D.
Part D Timetable
will be happy to forward these articles if someone is interested. Please send an
E-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org for these articles.
Media Coverage About NIAASC:
Asian World Television, RBC Radio and NIAASC Chapters)
representative have appeared before South Asian World Television and RBC Radio
during June/July 2005. On June 15 Mr. Ramasubramanian, NIAASC VP, appeared for a
10-minute interview at the South Asian World Television speaking about NIAASC
and senior issues. Mr. Prasad appeared live on the RBC radio three Sundays in
July for 5-10 minute interviews on the program conducted by Mr. Arish Sahani. A
number of Indian weekly newspapers also carried the news of creating NIAASC
chapters. NIAASC has underscored that creation of chapters is to develop a
unified voice and work as partners for the benefit of seniors. In the spring
issue of NIAASC newsletter details
were provided for developing chapters. You may also click “chapter” on the
NIAASC web site and review eligibility requirements and an application form
Will, Health Proxy and Durable Power of Attorney:
monthly meeting of India Association of Long Island, Ms. Alpa Pandya Esq., and
Dr. Ashwin Pandya, NIAASC President, explained the importance of the above
instruments as a part of “end of Life” issues. From a practical perspective
they asked the participants to fill out the above forms, duly signed and
witnessed, for proper record. All in attendance complied with. It is expected
that other “End of Life” issues will be addressed in subsequent meetings.
Pandyas have volunteered their efforts at other gatherings also for the same
to Mrs. And Mr. Chandubhai Patel:
On June 5,
2005, the couple celebrated their 50th marriage anniversary at the
Vaishnav Temple with their family and friends. NIAASC members extend their
congratulations and wish to see more and more anniversaries. Mr. Patel is the
NIAASC Board member and a very active leader with the Senior Citizen Center of
Glimpse of Two Studies undertaken by Dr. Jyotsna Kalavar:
In the spring issue NIAASC covered Dr.
Kalavar’s one-year sabbatical work with old-age homes in India.
We are proud
to bring to your attention two studies conducted by Dr. Jyotsna Kalavar recently
covered in the Journal ‘Activities, Adaptation & Aging’ published by The
investigates the motives and Study 2 covers the barriers to participation in
physical activity by older Asian Indian immigrants to the United States. In the
first Study 100 older Asian Indians living in US completed the Participation
Motivation Questionnaire for Older Adults. The most highly reported motives for
participation were based around medical reasons and keeping healthy and active.
Analyses of variance showed significant differences in reasons for participation
in physical activity based on gender and age. In the second Study 10 sedentary
older Asian Indians living in the USA participated in focus group discussions.
They viewed physical activity as being an integral part of everyday activity.
Barriers identified included existing health problems, risk of injury, and
issues associated with their new lifestyles in the United States.
National Indo-American Association for Senior Citizens offered assistance with
publicity of the studies and participant recruitment. The
studies were partly funded by the National Institute on Aging
is Associate Professor at Penn State University, and is also a life member of
a recent advertisement in an Indian weekly newspaper, the announcement said
“Need patrons to form an association for single seniors from India, which
would serve as a platform for social/cultural get together, picnics, travel
locally/nationally, support group and matters catering to the needs of single
seniors for a happier and fuller life. Financially comfortable persons having
own transportation, call 732-727-9456” or send E-mail to Romesh Tewari email@example.com.
NIAASC welcomes this move of developing a single senior association.
note: Romesh Tewari is a NIAASC Board member and former treasurer. Since
October 2004 NIAASC has been exploring the issue of single seniors in order to
develop an appropriate strategy to address their unique problems and concerns.
Dr. Bhanumathi Ivatury from Texas, along with Dr. Annie Koshi from New York,
(both NIAASC life members) has taken a lead in that direction and they attended
NIAASC Board meeting in April 2005 in New York. The spring 2005 issue of NIAASC
newsletter covered this subject at length. Please review it at the NIAASC web
EVENTS: NIAASC PARTICIPATION/COLLABORATION:
NASSAU COUNTY WHITE HOUSE CONFERENCE
ON AGING EVENT
Nassau County Department of Senior Citizen Affairs (an Area Agency on Aging)
requested Solution-Based issue paper for the above event. NIAASC submitted a
paper on “Adaptation by Recent Seniors of Indian Origin in U.S.A.”
Of the large number of papers submitted the department selected seven papers for
presentation at the Hofstra University on June 15, 2005. The
submitted by NIAASC was one of the selected seven.
Rajeshwar Prasad, NIAASC Executive Director, presented
paper. The event was attended by some 300 seniors and their
among them were NIAASC President, Dr. Ashwin
Vice President, Mr. M.K.Ramasubramanian, Secretary,
Malhotra, Treasurer, Satpal Malhotra, and Tara Kotecha,
Prem Prasad a Board member and life member respectively.
conference was moderated by Dr. Sharon Mullen, Commissioner
the Nassau County Department of Senior Citizen Affairs. The
papers will be submitted to the White House Conference
Aging (WHCOA) on October 23-26, 2005. The WHCOA takes
once in ten years.
L to R: Prem Prasad, Satya Malhotra, Satpal Malhotra, Commissioner Mullon, R. Prasad, Pandya
Other six papers selected were: Teen-Elder Social Security Project by Adelphi University; Impact on Driving and Motor Vehicle Operation by National Center for Disabilities Services; Executive Function, Spiritual Perspective and Late Life Independence by LI University Center on Aging, C.W. Post Campus; Intervention Recommended for Improvement of Medicare Part D by Chairperson, subcommittee on Medicare Prescription Drug Act, Legislative Technical Advisory Committee; A Proposal to Protect Exempt Income from Interruption Futile Debt Collection Efforts by Nassau Suffolk Law Services Committee; and Caregiver Education, Skill-Building and Support Program by Adelphi University School of Social Work.
participation and presentation of a paper in response to the invitation
by NASSAU County bears testimony to the recognition of
NIAASC's pivotal collaborative role in the issues faced
by Indian seniors. Also the breadth of issues covered by other
institutions and associations mentioned above in the
proceedings of the conference, gives a rare insight into
HOW such issues are perceived, documented and addressed by
these groups from which we hope every reader of
this Newsletter--be it an individual or
organization serving Indian Seniors--could draw valuable
We urge you, readers, to comment, elaborate and let us know wherever pertinent how these issues were faced and addressed by you.
THE NORTH AMERICAN BENGALI CONFERENCE
– 2005 (NABC): The
NABC Conference, reportedly attended by some 10,000 participants, had many
different sessions during its July 1 –3, 2005 Silver Jubilee Celebrations.
Among other organizational responsibilities Dr. Samir K. Dutta organized and
moderated two sessions on Social Issues. Dr. Dutta, Vice President of NIAASC,
presented a paper on ‘Issues, Aspirations and Options in Senior Years for
Indo-Americans’ on July 2. Mr. Prasad was invited to speak on ‘Development,
Mission, Objectives and Activities of NIAASC’ on the same day. The NIAASC
President, Dr. Ashwin Pandya, attended the sessions on July 2, and 3. Other
NIAASC Board members who attended the session(s) included Tara Kotecha, Sushila
Gidwani-Buschi.and Prem Prasad. The above two presentations were complemented by
a documentary ‘Neither Milk Nor Yogurt’ directed and produced by Arti Jain
in California. The film portrayed the problems seniors of Indian origin face
when they retire after living for a long time in USA. The film was true story of
a widow who had lived in USA for forty years. The conference had major
activities, including inauguration, at the Madison Square Garden in Manhattan
and the above mentioned sessions were held at the New Yorker hotel just across
the street from there.
THE NATIONAL FEDERATION OF INDIAN
ASSOCIATION (NFIA): In
celebrating the 25th Anniversary on May 27-29, 2005, the NFIA, with a
membership of over 200 organizations, had a session on ‘Delivery of Services
to the Community – An Evaluation and What we need to do for the Future.’ Mr.
Rajeshwar Prasad, NIAASC Executive Director, was invited to speak on the
‘Issues and Aspirations of Seniors of Indian Origin.’ Other speakers at the
session included Ms. Theresa Thanjan, Director of Youth Solutions, Citizens for
New York City; Dr. Sambhu Banik, Professor of Psychology, Bowie State
University, Maryland; Ms. Ashwani Chowdhary, Board Member, SAKHI, New York City.
The session was moderated by Ms. Sudha Acharya, Executive Director of South
Asian Council for Social Services. The event took place at the Crowne Plaza
hotel in Queens.
of the audience at the NFIA workshop
to R: Chowdhary, Acharya, Prasad, Banik
INDIA ASSOCIATION OF LONG ISLAND (IALI)
HOLD 7TH SENIOR LUNCHEON:
India Association of Long Island (IALI) held its seventh Senior
on Saturday, May 21, 2005, in collaboration with the
Indo-American Association for Senior Citizens (NIAASC)
the Sitar restaurant in Huntington. Barbara Nayyar, MS,. Specialist
Gerontology with extensive direct and supervisory experience in the
delivered the keynote address on the subject ‘Psychological Changes
Seniors and How to Handle Them.’ The presentation was followed
L to R:
Sampurna Jain, Barbara Nayyar
a panel discussion moderated by Mr. Rajeshwar Prasad. Panelists
Anand, Ashwin Pandya, Susan Harty
Susan Harty, Director of Senior Program at the Town of Huntington, Dr. Ashwin
Pandya, NIAASC President, Barbara Nayyar, Dr. Kul Annad, and Sampurna Jain, IALI
ATTENDS THE FULL DAY CONFERENCE SPONSORED BY THE HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES
DEPARTMENT IN NEW YORK CITY: July 27, 2005
NIAASC Board member and former vice president, attended the above conference. The
meeting was organized by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
(CMS) New York Regional office at The New York Helmsley Hotel in Manhattan. It
was a well-attended meeting and the presentations focused upon the
forthcoming changes in the current Medicare and Medicaid services and how these
changes will affect the Asian American community. The speakers included
Mr. James T. Kerr, Regional administrator, CMS Region II New York,
welcome the group.
Ms, Judy Ah-Yuen, Director of Community Services, Chinese-American
Mr. Kwang S. Kim, Executive Director, Korean Community Services
of Metropolitan New York. described the existing composition of Asian American
senior citizens and the diverse needs of this group depending upon whether the
senior citizens came to the USA as retired individuals or they became senior
citizens after working and living in the USA for many years. They found that
net-working, media and collaboration are important to reach the community. He
stressed the need of inter- organizational networking on the local, regional and
CMS group discussed elements of new Medicare and Medicaid program.
Dayle Berke, Health Insurance Specialist presented the details of
the Medicare Part D,
Ms.Everett Lo from the Social Security Administration explained the
subsidies available to low-income seniors under the program and the
out-of-pocket expenses thresholds.
Ms.Laura Mulvahill from EPIC explained the availability of drug
coverage benefits to low- income senior citizens under the program known as
Reggie Staten, Director of Health Plan branch, CMS Region New York,
discussed Medicare prescription drug plans and Medicare Advantage Plans.
Frank M Winter, Health Insurance Specialist. CMS Region
discussed the topic of the retirement options for retiree drug coverage under
the new drug program.
GLIMPSES FROM DIFFERENT SENIOR PROGRAMS IN NY & NJ AREA:
A New York:
Citizen Center of New York (Vaishnav Temple):
Center meets every Saturday at the Vaishnav Temple. The temple has moved to a
new location in Queens. For further information please contact Chandubhai Patel
at 718-776-3619. Mr. Patel is also a NIAASC Board member.
Association of Long Island (423
Park Avenue, Huntington, NY)
India Association of Long Island holds a monthly assembly for the benefit of
seniors and their families at the Huntington Senior Citizen Center run by the
Town Government of Huntington. The program is conducted on the fourth Saturday
from 2:00 to 5:00 P.M. For more information you may contact Sunil Uppal at
631-499-3059 or Satya Malhotra at 516-333-8498 co chairs of Senior Citizen
Committee of IALI.
Hindu Temple Society of North America: (Bowne
Street, Flushing, Queens, NY)
program for seniors is conducted every Wednesday from 10:00 to 3:00. It
is held at
the new premises dedicated to
to the Main Temple
Complex. Flushing. For more
information you may contact Mrs.. Nirmala Ramasubramanian at 718- 969-1827, who
is also a life member of NIAASC
Citizens Program by LI Gujarati
Cultural Society: ( 39 Montauk Highway, Blue Point, NY)
program is held fifth Sunday of every month from 2:00 to 4:30 P.M. in Blue
Point, Suffolk County. It is coordinated by Mr. Praful Shah, who is a also a
life member of NIAASC.
American Kerala Cultural & Civic Center Senior Program: ( 1824 Fairfax Street, Elmont)
Kerala Center conducts the program on the last Monday of the month in the
evening from 7:00 to 9:30. NIAASC works very closely with the Kerala Center. For
more information you may call the Center at 516-358-2000.
Hindu Cultural Council Senior Center: (118-09
Sutter Avenue, South Ozone Park, NY)
everyday Monday thru Friday 9:00 A.M. to 3:00 P.M. (funded by the Office of
Aging, New York City), for further information, call 718-323-8900
Gobind Singh Senior Center at Plainview Gurudwara (Old
Country Road, Plainview, NY)
every Thursday 11:00 A.M. to 3:00 P.M. Program is coordinated by Mr. Ardaman
B. New Jersey:
let us know if you have or know of similar programs in your area and would like
them to be identified by NIAASC in its newsletter. Please send us information
about the schedule, contact person, and telephone number by sending E-mail to
EDITORIAL: Role of NIAASC as a Clearing
is pleased to present an inventory of activities for seniors that can be
undertaken by different organizations. The list is in no way complete but it may
be helpful for existing as well as emerging groups in planning AND CONDUCTING
their activities for seniors in their communities.
exercises suitable for seniors
Intergenerational Communications & Conversation
Celebrations of National Holidays (viz. July 4th, August 15)
Interested Life Experiences
Celebration of Important Festivals (viz Diwali, Onam)
(preferably with other groups)
Group Trips: Religious institutions/places of pleasure
cards, bingo, chess, carom etc.
Discussions on Intercultural related issues
Discussions (Book Clubs & Poetry)
English as a second Language
Art and Painting
Screening of special films/documentaries
Participation in Health Fairs
Puzzles/Finding Words in Puzzles
Professional Consultation (Prescriptions – may be one to one)
In addition to above activities, talks
and presentations by professionals on issues affecting seniors will be of
immense help. Discussions be geared more as interactive so that seniors have
full opportunity to participate. Subjects of interest are listed as: Services
Available for Seniors and How to Procure them; Nutrition (may be with special
focus on Indian food); Safety
Tips (Heat & Cold); Identity Theft Precautions; Alternate Modes of Treatment
(viz. Ayurvedic); Family Conflicts and Compromises; Domestic Abuse & Elder
Abuse; Entitlement Programs (Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, SSI, also
Discount Prescription Drug Benefit –Medicare Part D); Transportation
Facilities (grocery, doctors etc.); End of Life Issues (Wills, Living Wills,
Durable Power of Attorney, Health Proxy, Revocable/Irrevocable Trust, Asset
Protection); Long Term Health Care; Financial Planning/Estate Planning; Senior
Housing (Independent Retirement Communities, Assisted Living); Nursing Homes;
Medical and Social Services; Insurance Counseling Services.
NIAASC are striving very hard through a variety
of media mentioned in this Newsletter (Conferences,
newsletters, TV) to elevate and highlight the concerns of an
ever-increasing segment of the Indian Diaspora -- namely
the Seniors. If these efforts are to be truly effective and
fruitful at the NATIONAL level we need each one of
you (either as an individual or as an organization that
you are part of) to ACTIVELY COMMUNICATE with us
through any medium that you are comfortable with
and share with us your activities, achievements
and concerns so that NIAASC could use its
National "reach" and recognition to disseminate
the information to other organizations like yours, for
the mutual benefit of both .Lastly, NIAASC is not and
is not intended to be a STAND-ALONE body independent of other organizations
serving Indian Seniors. OUR success and utility depends
upon how effective a "Catalyst" we can be
in your organizations' life and activities. To this extent, this is a
plea for your active cooperation and collaboration.
The cause of the Indian Seniors deserves nothing less!!!