Take it from our family, long-term care takes a devastating toll on finances and emotional health

    by Andrew Lam. Andrew is the author of two books of personal essays: “Perfume Dreams: Reflections on the Vietnamese Diaspora,” and “East Eats West: Writing in Two Hemispheres,” and a book of short stories, “Birds of Paradise Lost.” This article was originally published by the Center for Health Journalism.

    The cost of aging in America is exorbitant, which my siblings and I are finding out firsthand through our struggles over the past three years to take care of our aged parents.

    My mother, suffering from Alzheimer’s, spends her remaining days mostly in a hospital bed in hospice care, but mercifully next to my father. Both live in an apartment in.... Read More

                 

    Medicare Advantage Plans Cleared To Go Beyond Medical Coverage — Even Groceries

    by Susan Jaffe. This article originally appeared on Kaiser Health News.

    Air conditioners for people with asthma, healthy groceries, rides to medical appointments and home-delivered meals may be among the new benefits offered to Medicare beneficiaries who choose private sector health plans, when new federal rules take effect next year.

    On April 3, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) expanded how it defines the “primarily health-related” benefits that private insurers are allowed to include in their Medicare Advantage policies. And insurers would include these extras on top of providing the benefits traditional Medicare provides.

    “Medicare Advantage beneficiaries will have more supplemental benefits, making it easier for them to lead healthier, more independent lives,” said CMS.... Read More

                 

    Reframing Aging for Hispanic Older Adults

    By Jean Van Ryzin. This post originally appeared on the NCOA blog.

    How we talk about aging matters. It shapes both individual and public perceptions. That’s why several national organizations are working together to reframe the story of what it’s like to grow old in America.

    Last week, the National Hispanic Council on Aging held a roundtable to address the misconceptions surrounding Hispanic older adults. We asked Dr. Yanira Cruz, NHCOA President & CEO, and Anna Maria Chávez, NCOA Executive Vice President and Chief Growth Officer, to share their perspectives.... Read More

                 

    It’s National Social Security Month!

    National Social Security Month is celebrated in April and is dedicated to educating you about Social Security programs and services.  From programs that help support you through life’s journey, to services that help put you in control, to systems that help protect what’s important to you, Social Security is committed to helping secure today and tomorrow for you and your family.

    During National Social Security Month, we encourage people to take control of their future with my Social Security at www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount. Create a my Social.... Read More

                 

    Confronting AIDS and Coming Out Taught Us How to Age Well

    by John-Manuel Andriote. This post originally appeared on the SAGEMatters blog.

    A first-ever survey in 2013 of LGBT San Francisco residents aged 60 to 92 found something startling: 15 percent of the 612 respondents had “seriously considered” committing suicide within the last 12 months. Commissioned by the city’s LGBT Aging Policy Task Force, the study found high degrees of disability as well as poor physical and mental health—both of which are associated with depression. The researchers were understandably concerned by the high percentage of LGBT seniors who had considered suicide.

    But look at the numbers in a.... Read More

                 

    Successful Outcomes of the LGBT Aging Policy Task Force

    by Dr. Marcy Adelman. This article originally appeared in the San Francisco Bay Times.

    Four years ago, the San Francisco LGBT Aging Policy Task Force concluded its 18-month tenure by submitting its final report, LGBT Aging at the Golden Gate: San Francisco Policy Issues and Recommendations, to the Board of Supervisors. The LGBT task force had been charged with studying and identifying systemic barriers to living well and to make recommendations for enhancing quality of life and reducing health disparities and inequities for LGBT older adults.

    The task force’s report was unanimously adopted by the Board of Supervisors.... Read More

                 

    Chinese Seniors in New York: Where to Live

    By Zhihong Li. To read the original article in Chinese,  click here.

    Over 20 years ago, Aunt Lee was ahead of her time among New York City’s Chinese elders when she decided to apply for an affordable housing unit in Flushing, out in the borough of Queens.

    “I lived in Manhattan’s Chinatown at that time,” she said. “I knew the news from the newspaper that an affordable apartment building for seniors was open for application. I applied successfully. It has been 21 years.”

    New York City’s aging Chinese population is increasing rapidly as affordable housing has become more rare. To solve this problem, some local elected officials ask the city to approve the building of more affordable housing.

    .... Read More
                 

    Hmong Elders and Depression

    By Alice Daniel. This article originally appeared on txhaub.com.

    When Yong Yang Xiong arrived in Fresno, California fourteen years ago at the age of 53, he really wanted to find a job. But he couldn’t speak English–and employers told him he was too old. On top of that, he was suffering from chronic physical pain.

    “As a petite man, I was given very heavy loads to carry for days and nights,” he said, referring to the six long years he had spent helping the CIA fight its secret war in Laos.

    When the war ended, he fled on foot to a refugee camp in Thailand where he spent the next 26 years. He and his family didn’t.... Read More

                 

    “Wake up! Don’t be sad, now is when you have energy left!”

    This article originally appeared on the NHCOA blog. Para leer este artículo en español, clic aquí.

    Agueda González is Dominican, and though she is 83 years old, she says she feels 60 (and that’s how she looks). A single mother, with a suitcase full of hope, she arrived in the United States more than 30 years ago. “I was 50 years old, another full life ahead and two beautiful children to be raised. Some friends told me, ‘Agueda you are too old to start a new life in a different country,’ and I.... Read More

                 

    A Gift From My Grandmother: An Embrace of Life — and Aging

    by Jeneé Darden. This article was originally published by KQED Public Radio.

    My family packed into the black stretch limousine leaving Cal State University in the East Bay. We were heading to a restaurant after attending my mother’s college graduation. We turned on the music and popped the bottle of complimentary cheap champagne. My grandmother took two sips, then pumped her hands in the air like she was “raising the roof.”

    “Someone is trying to get my grandma drunk!” I joked. “Give her the sparkling cider.”

    In her sassy Southern drawl, my grandmother responded, “Now look, I’m a grown woman.” She resumed enjoying the music, then diluted her champagne with cider. We all laughed. My grandmother, Angie.... Read More

                 

    When Food Stamps Pass As Tickets To Better Health

    By Courtney Perkes. This article originally appeared on Kaiser Health News.

    Rebeca Gonzalez grew up eating artichokes from her grandmother’s farm in the central Mexican state of Tlaxcala. But for years after emigrating to the U.S., she did not feed them to her own kids because the spiky, fibrous vegetables were too expensive on this side of the border.

    When she prepared meals at her family’s home in Garden Grove, Calif., Gonzalez would also omit avocados, a staple of Mexican cuisine that is often costly here.

    “I saw the prices and I said, ‘No, never mind,’”.... Read More

                 

    Creating Change for Diverse Elders at the 2018 Creating Change Conference

    This year’s Creating Change conference will be held from January 24th through 28th in Washington, D.C. and Diverse Elders Coalition member SAGE will be there to ensure that the stories of LGBT elders are represented and honored. As in previous years, SAGE will present a number of elder-focused sessions throughout the conference, and they will also be tabling — so be sure to pick up their new Age-Friendly Pride Guide and any other information you might need about culturally competent care, housing, and advocacy for LGBT elders.

    Here is a complete list of SAGE.... Read More

                 
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