“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
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 full-time and.... Read More
The Untold Story: Grandma’s Long Years Of Caregiving
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
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
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
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
This Hispanic Heritage Month, Let’s Rejoice in the Beauty of our Culture
by Bianca Perez. This post originally appeared on the NHCOA blog.
Celebrating Latino heritage means rejoicing in our culture and its differences, commemorating our traditions, and applauding our accomplishments. It means feeling proud of our background and exposing others to the beauty that surrounds our lives. For many Latinos who have migrated to the United States, Latino Heritage Month is a way to maintain our connection with our roots and to showcase the beauty that makes up our Latino culture. For those who were born here it is a way to keep the memories of our ancestors alive and to explore the depths of our heritage.
Older adults — our abuelitos and abuelitas or, for some, our parents — are the ones.... Read More
Almost two years ago, I left the home I have lived in for close to twenty years: the home where my children were raised most of their lives, and the home that I considered my dream house. To be honest, I went through a period of sadness and fear because of this move. We had sold the house without another place to move to. And we had decided to move from a large property with a huge front and backyard to a condo. Yes, we received a price we couldn’t turn down. Yes, we negotiated a 9-months-free rental clause. And yes, we had no closing costs to pay or no buyers trampling through our house looking in every nook and.... Read More
Like many Hmong parents, my parents, Soua Toua Yang and Song Vang, came to the United States as Hmong refugees. By the age of 13, my dad was a soldier of the Central Intelligence Agency’s Secret Army in Laos. He and my mom married young. In the late 1970s, my parents came to the United States together, at the ages of 18 and 23. My parents landed in San Francisco, California, but quickly moved around the United States to reunite with family. I was born in Denver, Colorado, the youngest and only daughter of six children. My parents.... Read More