Episode 17: Caregiving in Communities of Color


We often talk about family and paid caregivers as two distinct categories, but in reality these groups overlap…a lot. Especially in communities of color. On this episode we hear from a home health aide and family caregiver, Zulma Torres, about the difficulties she faces. And we hear an excerpt from a Longevity Project Virtual Event where Jean Accius of AARP, Karyne Jones of NCBA and Kezia Scales of PHI discuss the barriers people of color face with health.


ZULMA TORRES  has worked as a home health aide for Cooperative Home Care Associates (CHCA) for 23 years. In this role, she provides care for her clients on a daily basis and assists with their activities of daily living. She became a home health aide as a means to provide for her family, and soon learned that there is a great need for quality health care in a home setting and developed a love for her work. During her time in this field, she has also worked in CHCA’s home office and served as a translator at a nursing home. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with her husband, children, grandchildren and other family, and loves reading, music, and eating good food.

JEAN ACCIUS is a passionate champion and catalyst for changing how the world sees and values aging. He is an internationally recognized thought leader on aging, longevity, equity, health systems transformation and modernizing the delivery and financing of long-term care. With tri-sector experience and deep knowledge, he has a strong track record of building high-performing teams, managing cross-functional operations and processes, and developing innovative and actionable solutions, policies, and programs to close the opportunity gap so that everyone can live longer, healthier and more productive lives.As Senior Vice President of Global Thought Leadership at AARP, he leads a team in positioning AARP as a global thought leader by identifying emerging trends around the world, cultivating and elevating new ideas, forging global strategic alliances that become the foundation for collaboration and sparking bold solutions to change systems and improve the lives of the global population as it ages. He is an Executive Leadership Council Fellow, member of G100’s Transformational Leadership Network, and holds a bachelor’s degree in hospitality administration and a master’s degree in aging studies from the Claude Pepper Institute at Florida State University. He also holds a Ph.D. in public administration from American University. Dr. Accius is a graduate of Leadership Maryland’s Class of 2014, the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health program on health reform, and Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business Corporate Innovation program.

KARYNE JONES is President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Caucus and Center on Black Aging, Inc. (NCBA) and NCBA Housing Management and Development Corporation. During its fifty (50) year history, NCBA has been the only national organization devoted solely to providing effective leadership in making minority participation in aging services a national issue and priority.Prior to becoming NCBA’s chief executive officer, Karyne was Executive Director of Federal Relations with SBC Telecommunications, Inc., (now ATT) based in Washington, D.C. where she lobbied members of Congress on telecommunications issues and policies. She also represented the company’s corporate political action committee with national political organizations. Karyne’s previous Capitol Hill experience includes Legislative Aide to Congressman Andrew Young. During his tenure as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, she became his Public Affairs Officer and White House Liaison. A native of San Antonio, she returned to Texas and began her own political career and became active on numerous boards, commissions and civic projects involved in issues on education, civil rights, environmental and economic development. Karyne is a graduate of Clark Atlanta University where she received her Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and Northern Illinois University with a Master’s Degree in Public Affairs. She earned a second Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Harvard University.

KEZIA SCALES is the Director of Policy Research at PHI, and oversees PHI’s national research strategies to effectively study the direct care workforce and its relationship to long-term care, providing an evidence base to inform public policies on this critical workforce. Kezia also currently serves on the Leadership Council of the National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care.For nearly a decade, Kezia has conducted interdisciplinary research on person-centered, high-quality, long-term care with a focus on direct care workers. Kezia’s research has examined long-term care services across institutional and community-based settings in both the United States and England. Kezia holds a PhD in Sociology from the University of Nottingham and an MS in Comparative Social Policy from the University of Oxford (England). She obtained her BA in Sociology from Queen’s University in Canada. Prior to joining PHI, she completed a fellowship at the Center for the Study of Aging and Human Development and the School of Nursing at Duke University, with funding from the National Institute on Aging. Kezia is based in Durham, North Carolina.