by Beth Baker. This post originally appeared on Next Avenue.
Rick Ramey, 82, has always loved monarch butterflies. So when his community of Moose Lake, Minn., built a new public pavilion, he floated the idea of establishing butterfly gardens there.
“I thought this was an ideal spot, down by the river,” he said. The community embraced the idea, and before long Ramey was organizing children to plant marsh milkweed, a food source for monarchs. He now is invited to local schools to teach students about the butterfly life cycle.
Among those working alongside Ramey in planting the gardens was Sebastien Blondo, 11. “I’ve always loved butterflies and the monarch,” he said. He’s learned a lot volunteering with.... Read More
by Daniel Blue Tyx. This article originally appeared in the Texas Observer.
“La calavera,” the caller intoned, as Beatriz García placed a turquoise glass bead over the skull-and-crossbones icon on one of the two brightly colored cards on the table in front of her. It was 9 a.m. on a Tuesday morning at Lindos Momentos Adult Day Care in McAllen, and the chalupa — a bingo-like game featuring iconography drawn from Mexican folklore — was already in full swing.
Beatriz, 74, has five children and worked for 21 years in a local elementary school cafeteria. Her husband, Guillermo, sits at her side. He’s 80 and picked cotton for 25 cents an hour as a migrant farmworker in his youth,.... Read More
by Beth Baker. This piece originally appeared on Next Avenue.
A large room fills with older adults and teenagers in the New York City headquarters of the nonprofit DOROT. They sit down on opposite sides of two long rows of tables filled with black-and-white chess sets.
Dressed in a sweatshirt and jeans, Jessica Nooney, who says she is “almost 80,” plays with Joelle Garcia, 15. Nooney learned chess as a child from her father.
“I’ve always loved to play, and I’m so happy to play with young people,” she says. Unlike when she was raising her teenage children, she adds, “It’s a different relationship when you don’t have to be the authority figure. It’s a.... Read More
Pat Baldwin: Advocating for LGBTQ Elders in Michigan
Five years ago, Pat Baldwin walked into the office of the executive director at the Hannan Foundation, an organization dedicated to preserving the dignity of elders in the state of Michigan, and took a seat. Pat, who is the director of the Hannan Center for Lifelong Learning, wanted to speak with the foundation’s director about an issue close to her heart—an issue for which she knew Hannan was uniquely suited to make a difference.
Having worked with older adults and the aging population at Hannan for the past 17 years, Pat recalls that she had seen an increase in troubling.... Read More
Needed: More Community Support for People With Dementia
Our country has reached a critical moment. The aging of the baby boom generation and the fact that people are living longer is driving tremendous growth in the numbers of older adults. By 2030, one in five Americans will be age 65 or older. And statistics show that 90 percent of this population will want to age at home and in their communities.
To achieve this goal, older adults will likely need access to local services and supports — and their caregivers will need assistance, too. Providing those services is what members of the National Association.... Read More
A Culturally Relative Approach to Outreach in Rural & Frontier Communities
by Clarissa Durán, Program Manager for the Rio Arriba County – Northern NM BEC. This article originally appeared on the website of the National Council on Aging (NCOA).
The Northern New Mexico Benefits Enrollment Center (NNM BEC) is a partnership of entities in North Central New Mexico comprised of Rio Arriba County Health and Human Services (RAC HHS) Department Senior Care Services Division, Santa Fe County Human Services Department, Holy Cross Hospital in Taos, and North Central Community Based Services (a non-profits agency in the northern frontier area of Rio Arriba County) as well as many nonprofit supporting partners.
Covering an 8,000 square mile tri-county area, the NNM BEC serves many rural.... Read More
Filipino Caregivers Battle Lack of Sleep, Other Work Risks
As a caregiver for nearly 10 years, Lea Nelson enjoyed the interactions she had with her elderly clients.
“The exchange of stories while eating meals, doing their nails, coloring and cutting their hair, and massaging,” she said. “Playing with them board games, mind games and card games.”
But Nelson, who provided one-on-one care at a home for seven years and served in a nursing facility for a year in the San Francisco Bay Area, also often had to stay awake through the night caring for the seniors and experienced other difficult working conditions.
“It was extremely hard,” she said.
Conditions Put Seniors at Risk
Recent studies only underscore the plight that caregivers — many of whom are.... Read More
Undocumented Latinos Aging in New England’s Shadows
By Tibisay Zea. This story originally ran in El Planeta. To read the original article in Spanish, click here.
On every warm and sunny afternoon, Pedro Arellano, 68, sings Mexican boleros and rancheras accompanying himself with the guitar at an emblematic park in Boston. He seems to camouflage himself under the foliage, but there he is, in the shade, where many Bostonians have heard him, for years–yet very few know who he is, or would be able to recognize him.
Arellano arrived in the United States in 1991. He left his wife and six children in Puebla, his hometown in Mexico, and put himself in the hands of a coyote to cross the border, running away from.... Read More
by liz thomson. For the past five years, liz has been doing eldercare with mom and has learned a lot about the healthcare industrial complex, aging experience, and how marginalized the elder communities are. For more about liz and Betty, click here.
Since moving in together, mom and I have had to figure out how to share our lives together in a new way. One significant area of my life is about gender and sexuality. In Chicago, I had a very strong LGBTQQIA community – and specifically those who were Asian American and people of color. So, I knew moving to Greenwood, Indiana was going to be very different. However, I was surprised to see a PFLAG Greenwood.... Read More
Paiute Tribe Elders Navigate a Faltering Health Care System
Dennis and Betty Smartt live in a neatly painted white-and-blue home on the Fort McDermitt Paiute and Shoshone Reservation, on the Nevada-Oregon border. They’ve spent their entire lives here, in this small tribal community of 600 people.
The Smartts, members of the Paiute Tribe, exemplify the challenges Native elders face as they get older in remote communities with poor health care access.
At their home, Dennis’ handcrafted eagle feather headdress adorns a stand in the living room. He recently returned from a trip to Fort Bidwell, Calif., where he spoke at a traditional gathering of elders for prayer and cultural talks. That trip illustrated some of the challenges the Smartts and.... Read More
Diverse Elders Coalition Condemns the Trump Administration’s Ban on Words Including “Diversity” and “Vulnerable”
The Diverse Elders Coalition is deeply troubled by widespread media reports that the Trump Administration is banning words like “diversity” and “transgender” and “vulnerable,” among other important words that describe interventions, from the federal budget and ordering federal agencies not to use such words in budget documents. As the name of our Coalition manifests, we believe that respect and support for diversity among our elders is fundamental to a decent society. This is critically important because diverse elders are highly vulnerable as they age,.... Read More
Health Risks To Farmworkers Increase As Workforce Ages
That bag of frozen cauliflower sitting inside your freezer likely sprang to life in a vast field north of Salinas, Calif. A crew of men and women here use a machine to drop seedlings into the black soil. Another group follows behind, stooped over, tapping each new plant.
It is backbreaking, repetitive work. Ten-hour days start in the cold, dark mornings and end in the searing afternoon heat.
More than 90 percent of California’s crop workers were born in Mexico. But in recent years, fewer have migrated to the U.S., according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Researchers point to a number of causes: tighter border controls; higher prices charged by.... Read More