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 full-time and.... Read More
Senior Day at the Roundhouse Provides an Opportunity for Dialogue
The New Mexico Legislature meets every year in January. During that time, the legislators hold an open house where they invite elders and those who work with elders to visit them for a one-day event. This community event is a great place to learn about NM resources available for elders. It is also a chance for elders to educate policymakers about the impact their decisions can have.
Diverse Elders to Educate Congress About Aging Needs in Our Communities
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 16, 2017
Jenna McDavid, Diverse Elders Coalition
Diverse Elders to Educate Congress About Aging Needs in Our Communities
Washington, DC – February 23, 2017
On Thursday, February 23, the Diverse Elders Coalition will release their new report, “Aging with Health and Dignity: Diverse Elders Speak Up,” at a congressional briefing in Washington, D.C. The report details the challenges and resiliencies of American Indian/Alaska Native elders; Asian American, Pacific Islander, and Native Hawaiian elders; Black and African American elders; Hispanic and Latino elders; and LGBTQ elders, communities with unique needs that are often ignored in mainstream policy discussions around aging.
In 2016, the Diverse Elders Coalition collected nearly.... Read More
Paid Family Leave: The Struggle Continues!
Families that don’t benefit from Paid Family Leave in the United States lose over $20 billion annually.
The Caregiving in the U.S. 2015 Report, conducted by AARP and the National Alliance for Caregiving (NAC), found that 34.2 million Americans provided unpaid care for an adult aged 50 or older. Those who are forced to leave their jobs in absence of Family Paid Leave report a loss of at least $300,000 in wages and/or pensions.
For this reason, the.... 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
Set a Goal, Make Time, Be Determined, and Change Your Life for Good
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
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
Nothing About Us Without Us: Bringing the Needs of Southeast Asian American Elders to Capitol Hill
Last year, with the help of partners like the Cambodian Association of Greater Philadelphia (CAGP) and the Lao Assistance Center of Minnesota, SEARAC collected over 400 comments in four languages from Southeast Asian American (SEAA) elders across the country. The comments were submitted in response to a call from the Administration for Community Living (ACL) for input on guidance for state plans on aging, which support programming for older Americans.
The comments elevated the voices of our Cambodian, Hmong, Laotian, and Vietnamese elders, whose stories are largely unknown or misunderstood by policymakers. Nearly all (98%) Southeast Asian Americans over the age of 55 were born outside the US, and between.... Read More
Housing for Vulnerable Populations: Charge and Change
January 15th was the day we celebrated the dreamer-activist Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and February is the month we celebrate Black History. As an older, African American, lesbian, activist, scholar, wife, mother, grandmother, sister, caregiver, friend, it is traditionally a time for me to reflect on the history and herstory of me and my ancestors in this country and across the globe.
I grew up wanting a house with a white picket fence. I guess those dreams came from the fairy tales of my childhood. I remember moving into a house in southeast Washington, DC where we were the only black family at the time. I remember hearing about Dr. King‘s advocacy and social justice work, which took him.... Read More