Formerly IGSW News | VOLUME 22 | FALL 2015 |

From the Director

Headlines remind us...

The Challenges of Providing Health and Social
Services to Older Refugees and Immigrants

By Scott Miyake Geron

The current migration crisis in the Middle East and Europe has many dimensions. Not least, it is a dramatic reminder of the challenges of providing crucial health and social services to streams of newcomers' in an emergency, and also over time as people try to navigate a different life. This issue of The LearningEdge focuses on CADER's successful efforts to train workers to address the mental health needs of older refugees in the increasingly diverse communities of our own nation of immigrants.

When we see these images of people on the move, we think mostly of job-seekers and young families with children. But older adults are immigrants, and refugees, too.... Read more

Boston University photo of Scott Miyake Geron

Issues and Views

For older refugees and immigrants

CADER Trains Practitioners to Address
Mental Health Concerns and Strengths

By Kathy Kuhn

In 2012 and 2014, we created two CADER online courses to teach health and social service practitioners the skills they need to address mental health issues of the older adult immigrants they increasingly encounter in their work. The courses, now in use across the aging network and beyond, have proved to be very effective. As a community-health outreach worker said after taking the courses, "I meet a lot of people in this context in my clinic. Now I have the tools to support them." Read more

Boston University photo of Kathy Kuhn

CADER online course provides crucial skills & understanding

Mental Wellness and Resilience Among
Older Immigrants and Refugees

This course provides the skills, knowledge, and understanding that you need to work with older immigrants and refugees in your practice. You'll learn about the difficulties they face. You'll also learn to recognize and promote the strengths and resources in immigrants and immigrant communities that build resilience and contribute to mental wellness. Sign up now for a 10 percent discount (enter code ENEWS2015) or obtain more info.

For older refugees and immigrants

A Clinical Patient Navigator at Work Against
Possible Suicide: How to Screen, What to Do

By Kathy Kuhn and Mary Johnson

This article is reprinted from the May–June 2013 issue

To ComeMrs. Nguyen is an 80-year-old woman who came to the United States from Vietnam 20 years ago, at the end of a traumatic journey. Her husband recently died, she has few friends, and she is experiencing health problems. She appears sad and keeps saying that others would be better off without her. Working with clients like Mrs. Nguyen, Nancy Peña (pictured at right), a clinical patient navigator at Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women's Cancer Center in Boston, often worried that she wasn't responding effectively to the possibility of suicide. "Patients are telling you, but if you don't have the tools, you can miss it," she says.... Read more

Photo courtesy Nancy Peña

Be prepared with this timely online course

Suicide Prevention Among Older Adult
Immigrants and Refugees

This course will inform those who work with immigrant groups how to talk about suicide with people at risk, what they can do to prevent at-risk immigrant older adults from taking their own lives, and how to put them in touch with appropriate mental health resources for assessment and treatment. Sign up now to receive a 10 percent discount (enter code ENEWS2015) or obtain more info.

ATTENTION AGENCIES: Prepare your staff with a customized online and face-to-face program

Find out how the courses described above can be part of a customized online and face-to-face program tailored to the needs of your staff and integrated into your training program. Contact Kathy Kuhn at

News to Note

Yet another update

Direct-Care Workers Are One Step Closer to
Minimum Wage and Overtime Protections

The long trek to assure homecare workers the basic rights that most other workers in the U.S. enjoy is (probably) almost over. On October 7, the U.S. Supreme Court let stand a recent U.S. Court of Appeals ruling that had reinstated the Obama Administration regulations designed to end years of exclusion of homecare workers from the Fair Labor Standards Act's minimum wage and overtime protections.

At stake are the living standards of more than two million direct-care workers, many of whom provide the care that allows older adults and people with disabilities to remain in the community rather than in institutions....Read more

New CDC state-by-state data on disability type

53 Million Adults in the U.S. Live with a Disability

One in eight adults in the United States (53 million people) has a functional disability—meaning reduction in the ability to perform everyday activities of life—with mobility limitation the most common type, says a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The report, "Prevalence of Disability and Disability Type Among Adults—United States, 2013," is a boon to researchers and service providers.... Read more

CADER–Massachusetts General Hospital
Partnership to Evaluate Acute Community Care

PCORI, the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute, has recently announced that the Center for Aging & Disability Education & Research (CADER) at Boston University will work in partnership with Harvard researchers at the Massachusetts General Hospital on a three-year, $1.9 million evaluation project. Scott Miyake Geron, CADER director, and Bronwyn Keefe, CADER associate director, will join an interdisciplinary group of clinicians and researchers to examine a new Massachusetts program, Acute Community Care to Avoid Unnecessary Emergency Department Visits. Look for more information in the next issue of The LearningEdge.