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

             

They Fought for the U.S. in Laos. Now Many Older Hmong Fight Depression.

by Alice Daniel. Alice reported this story for KQED public radio’s statewide “California Report,” as part of a Journalists in Aging Fellowship supported by New America Media, the Gerontological Society of America and the Silver Century Foundation. This story was first published by New America Media.

Click to hear the radio report of this story.

Dia Yang is a cultural broker at the Fresno Center for New Americans. She helps Southeast Asian refugees acclimate to the United States.

On this rainy day, she’s working with a dozen older Hmong men and women who find life in America really hard.

Yang instructs them in a crafts activity: decorating little paper gift boxes to fill with chocolate and.... Read More

             

Digital Activism Brings Elders into the Fold

Earlier this week, I attended a virtual town hall hosted by ColorOfChange.org, which brought together hundreds of people from around the world to learn and share the many ways in which communities of color will be pushing back against unfavorable changes in the political and social climate of this country. I was really inspired by the collective power of so many activists, advocates, allies, and community members getting together – without having to leave their houses! – to strategize and support one another. I also noticed that during the town hall, as participants were typing and chatting with each other, that a number of people identified themselves as Baby Boomers or Elders who wanted to get more involved in.... Read More

             

Social Connections and Healthy Aging

This post originally appeared on the NICOA blog.

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

             

Refugee elders support each other after a long, difficult journey

by Hitomi Yoshida, with with support from Naw Doh, Shira Walinksy and Melissa Fogg, members of the Southeast by Southeast Community Center in Philadelphia. Hitomi is a long-time friend of the Diverse Elders Coalition, and you can read her stories of intergenerational work with diverse elders in our Diverse Elders Stories Initiative.

Naw Gay Lay is a 77-year-old Karen refugee from Myanmar (Burma). The Karen people are an ethnic and religious minority group that has been persecuted throughout much of Burma’s history.

As a young woman, Naw Gay Lay worked in a rice field and began raising her family in a rural village in central Burma. When she reached her mid-30s, the whole village had to flee.... Read More

             

Indian Country on the Move

Bright lights and big cities: they’re attracting more and more American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/ANs) to move toward urban and metropolitan areas at an ever-quickening pace. Just before World War II, almost all – some 92% – of AI/ANs lived on reservations. Now it’s nearly the opposite, with almost 80% of AI/ANs living off tribal lands.

leaving-indian-country

The push toward the cities was not always a voluntary one. After decades of removal policies and war aimed at fighting and slaughtering AI/ANs, the federal government’s approach turned into one of “killing the Indian, but saving the man.” This meant programs aimed at ‘educating’ AI/ANs in.... Read More

             

Indigenous Foods: A Path to Healthy Living

by Christine Herman. Christine is the NCAREE Technical Communications Manager for the National Indian Council on Aging, Inc. (NICOA).

Healthy eating in the modern world is not always easy. Fast food and prepackaged foods offer inexpensive and easy alternatives to healthier foods or cooking from scratch. Even in remote locations, you can count on finding snacks like burgers, chips, candies, and sodas. But these kinds of foods can be harmful to our health in the long run.

A poor diet can have dramatic impact on the lives of Elders. American Indians/Alaska Natives (AI/ANs) in particular face a predisposition – a greater likelihood of developing – obesity and diabetes.  Diet and nutrition play a crucial role in the overall.... Read More

             

Navajo Nation Leaders meet with the National Indian Council on Aging

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Navajo Nation Leaders meet with the National Indian Council on Aging

Albuquerque, New Mexico – March 9, 2016 – It is inspiring when Tribal leaders demonstrate their concerns and commitment to our cherished elders. The National Indian Council on Aging, Inc. (NICOA) in Albuquerque, NM received a special visit from the Navajo Nation President Begaye and Vice President Nez on March 7, 2016. They talked about their plans to create opportunities for intergenerational programs that will bring elders and youth together to strengthen the values of the Navajo Life Ways. Vice President Begay commented that “it is the obligation of the Navajo Nation to ensure that our language, culture and values from our elders to our.... Read More

             

The Little LGBTQ Community that Could

Indy Reads 2015 070C. Michael Woodward, MPH, is a writer and LGBTQ inclusion consultant and trainer based in Tucson, Arizona. He worked in various roles on the staffs of SAGA, Wingspan, and SAAF and now serves on the Board of Directors of SAGA and Equality Arizona. He wrote the title essay for the anthology Manning Up: Transsexual Men on Finding Brotherhood, Family & Themselves (Transgress Press, 2014).

July 31, 2014 was the end of an era, and a sign of the times. After 27 years in business, Tucson’s once mighty LGBT community center,.... Read More

             

White House Conference on Aging: This Time it’s Personal

The last time the White House Conference on Aging happened, back in 2005, I was personally in a major life transition: I had just taken a new job, moved across the country, and was too busy planning my new life in Los Angeles as a young 30-something to think about the Washington, DC I was leaving behind, much less be concerned with the “aging communities” that I was probably too self-absorbed to care about at the time.

Ten years later, as the White House Conference on Aging gears up for its once-in-a-decade incarnation this summer, my life has changed dramatically in many ways. With my parents in retirement age and me well into my forties, I am much more.... Read More

             
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