Health-related goals are indeed popular New Year’s resolutions. Most of us make a resolution to lose weight and exercise more. However, for many of us, the path to good health is not an easy one. Procrastination, family obligations, work demands, or a lack of time are only a few culprits that can hinder the most well-intended resolution.
Nonetheless, America is getting heavier. Despite more than a decade of public awareness campaigns and other efforts to get people to watch their weight, the obesity rates for racial and ethnic minority populations is steadily rising, with women taking the lead. Louisiana, West Virginia, Mississippi, and Alabama have the highest adult obesity rates — over 35 percent. When it comes to African American.... Read More
We most often hear the phrase “Until Death Do Us Part” at weddings, when a couple commits to fidelity and love for one another until one of them dies. The traditional wedding vows say nothing about what accompanying someone to death involves. And the vast majority of us have no training in what the dying process involves and what is required to sit with a loved one as they are dying.
My mom died in December at age 95. In reflecting on the end of her life, “until death do us part” is the phrase that keeps coming to mind. I think our bonds to parents and family are as deep as any marriage vow, and they span more of.... Read More
What the Repeal of the Affordable Care Act Means for My Wife and Me
For my wife, Mala, and me, this decision and the ensuing uncertainty is literally a matter of life or death. We’re middle-aged, self-employed elder caregivers. We’re not alone. Repealing the ACA puts people like us in a hopeless situation. As caregivers, we can’t take the full-time jobs that provide health care (even supposing they’d hire us so easily). But as self-employed people, we need access to affordable healthcare, or else we are one minor emergency away from.... Read More
Every 66 seconds, someone in the United States develops Alzheimer’s disease; every minute, a family is changed forever. In the coming decades, the number of Latino families impacted by this progressive brain disease will grow dramatically due to an increase in the Latino older adult population and higher rates of of diabetes and heart disease, both risk factors for Alzheimer’s and other dementias.
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) older adults face many of the same health and aging challenges other older adults face, but more pronounced. As a result, they are arguably more at risk if the incoming administration and Congress repeals the Affordable Care Act (ACA) without a replacement plan and/or makes significant and harmful changes to Medicaid and Medicare.
LGBT older adults face unique risks within the health care system due to the standard issues facing an aging population combined with their sexual orientation or gender identity, such as:
Aging Combined with Discrimination: Similar to the older population in general, LGBT older adults.... Read More
Did you get a good night’s sleep last night? Research shows that nearly 60% of Elders did not. And while we often focus on diet and exercise when making healthier choices, we may be overlooking our sleeping habits. For Elders and caregivers alike, quality sleep is important for promoting overall wellbeing.
We all know the classic sign of a poor night’s sleep: feeling crabby the next day. But did you know that poor sleep can have many different negative effects on the mind and body.
For instance, were you aware that not getting enough sleep can increase the risk for developing a disease? Shocking but true: research has shown that just a few days of not getting enough.... Read More
Repealing the Affordable Care Act without a Replacement Hurts Seniors
by Jennifer Goldberg, Directing Attorney of the Justice in Aging Health Team. This post originally appeared on the Justice in Aging website.
Every day, whether seniors need to see a doctor, receive care in their home, or pay for prescription drugs, Medicare, Medicaid, and the Affordable Care Act (ACA) are lifelines for older adults. However, the entire health care system upon which older adults rely is at risk in the new Congress. Changes to the ACA will dramatically alter the Medicare and Medicaid programs, and jeopardize the care seniors receive each day.
The ACA is under immediate threat in the next Congress. Over 30 million individuals risk losing coverage if the ACA is repealed. This includes over.... Read More
The Painful Struggles of America’s Older Immigrants
by Chris Farrell. This article originally appeared on Next Avenue.
America’s immigrant community is aging along with the rest of the population, and in many cases, with great financial difficulty.
Some 15 percent of adults 60 and over were foreign-born in 2015, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Older immigrants represent a larger proportion of the elderly in major gateway cities and states. For example, in New York City, they comprise 46 percent of older adults; in California, one in nearly three older residents is foreign-born. Late-life immigrants are contributing to rising ethnic populations in rural areas and small towns in the Midwest and South, such as in Minnesota and Georgia, according to the Population Reference Bureau.
The importance of friends and family to our health is well understood by American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/AN). Though the specific traditions of tribes, pueblos, nations, and bands can differ quite a bit between one another, we as AI/AN share our respect for, inclusion of, and focus on Elders as a common link between our communities.
In today’s culture, many Elders are separated from their communities and therefore from some of this tradition. While we may overlook it, the connections with our families and friends are important to our health and wellbeing as Elders. Research is demonstrating the importance of social interactions to the physical and mental health of.... Read More
Where Bigotry is Denied Entrance—Fighting HIV/AIDS Stigma in Housing
by Pat Lin. This post originally appeared on the SAGE blog.
On World AIDS Day, it’s important to commemorate how far we’ve come since the HIV/AIDS pandemic started. HIV isn’t the death sentence it used to be, but many long-term survivors of HIV continue to pay an emotional, physical and financial toll. In addition to managing the disease, HIV survivors still face stigma. As they get older and the effects of the disease compound the challenges of aging, they become more vulnerable. As the nation’s largest and oldest organization serving LGBT older adults, Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE) seeks to eradicate the stigma around HIV and to create welcoming spaces for long-term HIV survivors.