Older Americans Month and the Role of Older Adults in Our Lives

U.S. culture is often described as youth focused — a description that is certainly true of U.S. popular culture. Driven by Hollywood standards of beauty and fashion, our media outlets inundate us with images and analyses of trends, as well as star gossip. Invariably, these images and analyses focus on the young and beautiful stars of stage, screen and popular music.

Today, however, the U.S. faces a demographic shift that will likely also force a cultural shift.  As the nation’s baby boomers age, we are for the first time in our history becoming an aging society, where older adults outnumber the young. Ever the harbinger of cultural change, the U.S. entertainment industry is already featuring older stars on stage and.... Read More

             

Celebrating Our Communities’ History and Future

May is an exciting month at the Diverse Elders Coalition. Our communities, which are so often left out of mainstream conversations, are highlighted nationally in two different ways during the month of May: not only is it Asian American/Pacific Islander Heritage Month, which allows our AAPI elders take the spotlight, it is also Older Americans Month, which celebrates the legacies and supports the future of all of our diverse elders. We love seeing the many ways in which our communities are working together to honor each other during May and all throughout the year.

The theme for this year’s Asian American/Pacific Islander Heritage Month is “Walk Together, Embrace Differences, Build Legacies.” I love this theme, not only because it celebrates.... Read More

             

Diverse Elders Coalition to Host Congressional Briefing After White House Conference on Aging

The Diverse Elders Coalition, in collaboration with the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, is hosting a Congressional Briefing on July 14, 2015, the day after the 2015 White House Conference on Aging. Coinciding with the 50th Anniversary of the Older Americans Act, this Briefing will discuss elders of color, indigenous elders, LGBT elders, and elders living with HIV/AIDS in light of the White House conference and will identify needs and challenges moving forward. The Diverse Elders Coalition will present a report documenting their engagement with the White House Conference on Aging and their policy recommendations on how to improve the lives of diverse elders and their families.

Congressmember Mark Takano (D-CA) will join the Briefing and provide comments. Rep. Takano.... Read More

             

Get Into the Act

This year’s theme for Older Americans Month is “Get into the Act.” Although unintended, the theme made me think of how often LGBT older adults have had to “act” throughout their lives – whether it was living in the closet growing-up in a time and place when it was not acceptable to be out – or the unfortunate number who feel compelled to go back into the closet as they get older and enter places where they feel more vulnerable and don’t feel safe or comfortable being out. The bottom line, of course, is that after spending a lifetime of trying to get out of the closet, LGBT older adults have earned the right to grow older in places where.... Read More

             

May: A Month to Celebrate

May has been an important month for me for almost my entire professional career doing policy work in Washington, DC. As Asian American/Pacific Islander Heritage Month (AAPIHM), it has served as an opportunity to focus on the communities I’ve served, lift up issues such as immigration, cultural and linguistic competence, and address anti-Asian violence and racial discrimination. From its modest beginnings in 1977 when it was just the first week of May, to 1992 when it became officially designated for the entire month, it was chosen initially to recognize both the completion of the transcontinental railroad and the role Chinese laborers played there as well as the arrival of the first cohort of Japanese immigrants.

May is also the.... Read More

             

What can we do to honor older Americans? Reauthorize the Older Americans Act (OAA)! (Older Americans Month)

By Aaron Tax, Director of Federal Government Relations at Services & Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE).

May is of course Older Americans Month. And given that it is Older Americans Month, what is one of the most important things we can do to honor older Americans? Reauthorize the Older Americans Act (OAA)! What is that, you ask? It’s probably the most important piece of aging legislation that most people in our country don’t know anything about.

Did you know? The OAA originally passed in 1965 as part of Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society? The OAA is one of three big pieces of legislation that form the safety net for older adults in the United States, with Social Security providing.... Read More
             

Doing a better job of telling diverse elders’ stories, starting with AAPI Elders + an exciting reveal! (AAPI Heritage Month)

May is Older Americans Month. It’s also Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month. As the National Coordinator of the Diverse Elders Coalition, I am honored to work alongside many diverse aging advocates, including leaders in the field of AAPI aging.

Partnering with our member organizations, the National Asian Pacific Center on Aging (NAPCA) and the Southeast Asian Resource Action Center (SEARAC), I have become very intimate with the daily realities of AAPI elders and their loved ones. I’ve learned many lessons along the way, such as the silence of AAPI elders who identify as LGBT, to why the “model minority” myth is damaging to the AAPI elder.... Read More