COALITION OF LIMITED ENGLISH SPEAKING ELDERLY
Chicago, Illinois, USA.
"Senior immigrants and refugees face many barriers to learning English and integrating into American society. They have often suffered from war, religious persecution, and deprivation. They are grateful to be in America, but it isn't easy. They face all the problems of other elders, but they must also learn a new language and navigate a complex and often confusing new world."
The Coalition of Limited English Speaking Elderly encourages service aging providers to be aware of the needs, rights and unique contributions of limited-English-speaking elders. The aim is to provide programs, resources and information to ethnic elders so that they may interact with someone who speaks their language and understands their culture.
Elderly from Bosnia, the Ukraine, Iran, Iraq, the Philippines, India and China participate in the coalitions programs. Languages such as Chinese, Korean, Polish, Spanish, Hindi, Punjabi and Russian are represented.
The organization aims to:
- Promote culturally-appropriate congregate meals and home delivered meal programs.
- Help limited-English-speaking seniors and their families better understand and participate in issues such as memory loss, elderly depression, elder abuse in ethnic communities, and other health awareness and screening programs.
- Teach ESL to Elderly - the coalition developed a curriculum for teaching English as a second language to older people called the Bright Ideas curriculum and is available through the organizations website. The course covers ESL-Civics units with topics targeted for senior immigrants and refugees who have limited English and education. The focus is on oral English communication skills. Instructions are available for ESL teachers, along with lessons for students, and visual support materials.