Ships, Bridges, and Barriers: My Family in California

My grandfather passed through the Golden Gate — where the Golden Gate Bridge would later be constructed — in October 1903. He was on a ship from Japan that had stopped in Honolulu. The ship’s manifest notes that he was none of the following: an anarchist, a polygamist or a cripple.

My grandfather arrived in the time between the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 and the Immigration Act of 1924 (which included the Asian Exclusion Act and the National Origins Act). By 1924 the U.S. government had completely blocked the immigration of people it deemed undesirable including Asians, Arabs, people with disabilities, formerly incarcerated people, people with a history of physical or mental health issues, and the poor — along.... Read More

             

New Report: LGBT Older Adults Face Unique Challenges to Successful Aging

The Movement Advancement Project (MAP) and SAGE have just released a report, Understanding Issues Facing LGBT Older Adults, which aims to increase awareness of the diverse needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) elders across the country. The report offers a comprehensive look into the experiences of LGBT elders, highlighting the challenges they face across a wide range of topics from health care to financial security and community support, and their resilience in the face of these challenges.

As America’s population rapidly ages (the number of people over 65 will double by 2050) so too do LGBT adults. Currently, there are more than 2.7 million LGBT adults aged.... Read More

             

Sexuality and Sexual Health Among Older Adults

by Nicolás Peña, National Hispanic Council on Aging (NHCOA). This post originally appeared on the NHCOA blog.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau (2016), it is expected that by the year 2033 the population of older adults will outnumber people younger than 18 in the United States. With the life expectancy of older adults increasing, we must continue educating and informing this population on maintaining a healthy quality of life. Many older adults continue to be independent, expressing their basic needs, and engaging in and enjoying sexual relationships.

Aging is a natural process of life, and it is normal for the body to go through physiological and emotional changes, such as cognitive loss, and even higher vulnerability.... Read More

             

Leaning On Each Other: A Story and Call to Action from a Former Case Manager

pvv-headshotby Preston Van Vliet, National Campaign Organizer of the LGBTQ Work-Family Project, a joint initiative with A Better Balance and Family Values @ Work. You can reach him at LGBTQorganizing@gmail.com.

“How’s that jade plant doing?” Joe* asked me as we sat down at his kitchen table for our weekly visit. “You said you put it in a westward facing window, right? It should be getting way more light than mine do.” He gestured toward his patio door where cactuses, orchids, jade plants, and an avocado plant were growing on a bench he.... Read More

             

Elderly Care: A Hilo Family’s Experience

by Zedrick-Kyle Oda. This article originally appeared in Honolulu Civil Beat.

Within my big family, I always viewed my 87-year-old great grandmother and my 94-year-old great grandfather as strong-willed individuals. They’re always so loving to their children and to us grandchildren.

Everything seemed to be fine until the reality of time gradually caught up with them. As they lived with my 64-year-old grandmother throughout much of their lives, they’ve become more dependent on her over time.

My great grandfather has gradually lost his ability to walk and has developed a case of dementia. Also, my great grandmother has a harder time carrying out her daily routine due to her old age. Given that my grandmother worked.... Read More

             

The Untold Story: Grandma’s Long Years Of Caregiving

by Alani Jamile. This article originally appeared in Honolulu Civil Beat.

Grandma Jamile has always been a tough cookie.

From her rough childhood to experiencing a heartbreaking divorce, she has been through it all and never let anything get to her. She found ways to pick herself up in the worst situations and kept moving forward.

I am her first grandchild, which meant I was the one who spent the most time with her out of the six grandchildren she has. As I grew up, she would tell me stories in greater detail about her life. I knew about her growing up an only child with an alcoholic father, her mother abandoning her for a few years and.... Read More

             

Until Death Do Us Part

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

We’ve all seen the pictures of the rich, powerful white men signing the repeal of Obamacare, despite the fact that most people are happy with their healthcare and no one seems to have a plan for what comes next.

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

             

A Timely Reminder

This post originally appeared in the Pacific Citizen.

I recently received a very kind note from a man named Herb. In his note, he talked about reading one of my articles and expressed his amazement at my bravery. He also said, “This may be easy for me to tell you, but live each and every day to the fullest with gratitude.” His note came at a very important time for me, and here is the reason why:

I was on a plane from Dallas/Fort Worth to Los Angeles recently. It had been a very successful trip with a LGBTQ training in Shreveport, La., followed by a leadership summit in New Orleans. I was feeling good about everything that.... Read More

             

Family Caregivers: An Often Overlooked Subgroup

This post originally appeared on the NHCOA blog.

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In 2015, an estimated 34.2 million Americans provided unpaid care for an adult aged 50 or older. The Caregiving in the U.S. 2015 Report, conducted by AARP and the National Alliance for Caregiving (NAC), found that the prevalence of caregiving was higher in Hispanics when compared to other racial/ethnic groups. Also, the results of the report show that Hispanic caregivers spend almost 32 hours per week caring for a loved one. This commitment stems from the importance that is placed on family in the Latino culture.

The report also found that the health and wellbeing of these family caregivers.... Read More

             
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