Whenever I tell people that I work in the field of aging, it raises more than a few eyebrows. I started working with the Diverse Elders Coalition before my 30th birthday, and even though I’m a few years older and wiser now, it still feels like few of my peers are thinking about aging, much less how they can support the generations who have come before them. And yet, in a country that threatens older adults’ access to healthcare, that tears immigrant families apart, that denies Muslim elders entry to this country to be with their family members, and that has a division of religious freedom at the highest levels of government to deny.... Read More
Promoting Advocacy, Collaboration, and the Value of Diverse Elders at the 2018 Aging in America Conference
This past week, all five members of the Diverse Elders Coalition attended the American Society on Aging’s annual Aging in America Conference in San Francisco, California. Staff from our member organizations were featured on dozens of panel discussions, workshops, and at events throughout the week, including our Thursday morning Symposium, “Fighting For Our Lives: Advocacy and Diverse Elders.” This powerful session highlighted the advocacy efforts of each of the Diverse Elders Coalition members, many of which were inspired by the DEC’s groundbreaking 2016 #TellACL civic engagement campaign. From that template, our member organizations developed nuanced and successful advocacy campaigns that centered the voices of their constituencies, including:
A married, gay older couple living in a nursing home introduced themselves as brothers to their healthcare providers and fellow residents because they were afraid of discrimination. A limited-English proficient Chinese American older adult was exhibiting signs of dementia, but her husband thought they were natural symptoms of aging and didn’t tell his family members or doctor what they were experiencing. A home care worker could not figure out how to remove the traditional dress that an American Indian Elder was wearing, so she cut the dress off — not knowing that in the Elder’s culture, clothing was only cut off of a person’s body after they had died.
Stories about diverse elders experiencing a lack of culturally competent care.... Read More
Join the Diverse Elders Coalition at the 2018 Aging in America Conference
All five of the Diverse Elders Coalition member organizations — as well as many of our partners and friends — will be attending this year’s Aging in America Conference, hosted by the American Society on Aging, in San Francisco from March 26th through 29th. The DEC will participate in a number of workshops on advocacy, caregiving, data disaggregation and more. We are excited about this opportunity to bring diverse voices to the table at one of the nation’s largest convenings on aging issues.
Conference attendees who are interested in better serving diverse elders or learning more about.... Read More
We have so much to learn from Black Elders — and so many reasons to support them
February marks the start of Black History Month, a celebration of Black and African American stories, experiences, and impact on American culture. At the Diverse Elders Coalition, we’re proud to celebrate Black Elders every month of the year, but February offers us a bonus opportunity to lift these stories up into the national spotlight. Black Elders have so much wisdom to share about our history and the ways they have challenged white supremacy and other forms of oppression. It is imperative that those stories are not lost or forgotten.
I recently attended a Capitol Hill Briefing about the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP), during which we heard testimonials from community-based organizations that employ older.... Read More
Celebrating Martin Luther King, Jr. and Giving Back to Our Communities
On Monday, January 15th, we honor the life and legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Many people and organizations in the United States use Martin Luther King Jr. Day as a day of service, giving back to their communities in the spirit of the change that Dr. King worked toward during his short life. The Corporation for National and Community Service maintains a website where you can locate an MLK Day volunteer opportunity in your community by entering your zip code or searching by city and state. And if you’d like to volunteer with one of the Diverse Elders Coalition organizations, click on any of the links below for more information:
Today, the Movement Advancement Project (MAP), SAGE, and the Diverse Elders Coalition released a new infographic in time for the holidays with resource links and information for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) older adults seeking support, as well as information about the challenges facing LGBT older adults.
For many older adults, the holidays can be a difficult time. However, this season can be particularly difficult for LGBT older adults. The lack of social and legal acceptance, both historically and currently,.... Read More
The Diverse Elders Coalition is attending this week’s Moving Mountains equity summit in Washington, DC, hosted by the Southeast Asia Resource Action Center (SEARAC). National Managing Coordinator Jenna McDavid wrote this blog to highlight the importance of bringing older adults into the fight for equity, justice and freedom. On Saturday, October 14th, participants of the summit will march from the Vietnam Veterans Memorial to the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial in DC. Learn more and join the march here.
When I joined the Diverse Elders Coalition (DEC) in 2015 as a Communications Associate, once of my first tasks was to find us some good stock photography that we could use in our reports and on our website..... Read More
Wisdom from Hispanic Elders and Leaders to Kick Off Hispanic Heritage Month
Con la sabiduría de los adultos mayores y líderes Hispanos celebramos el inicio del Mes de la Herencia Hispana!
September 15th marks the first day of Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15 – October 15), a time to reflect on the powerful heritage of the Latinx communities — a heritage that is passed down from elders to the generations to come. We’ll be sharing stories of Latinx community, culture, tradition, and resilience all month long on our blog, Facebook and Twitter, but I wanted to start our celebration off right with a series of powerful quotes from Hispanic older adults and leaders that will inspire you all month long.
This past week, I flipped my calendar from August to September, and I started thinking about pumpkins and sweet potatoes, hot chocolate, leaves changing color – and open enrollment for health insurance! This time of year is vitally important to diverse elders, because both Medicare and the Affordable Care Act have had a profound impact on our ability to age with health and dignity. Read on for more information and key dates around healthcare open enrollment, and make sure you’re ready to #GetCovered!
Medicare Open Enrollment October 15 – December 7, 2017
Medicare has a huge impact on diverse elders’ ability to get care. Various studies have found that
46% of Latino older adults 43% of Asian.... Read More
People across our country are enjoying longer lives. In fact, 10,000 people are turning 65 every day. This is great news for all of us, as we have longer to enjoy the intergenerational relationships that make our families stronger. However, it provides a challenge for our caregiving infrastructure.
These demographic shifts are putting an increased demand on our families, our finances, and on our care system in ways we didn’t anticipate. With some forethought, investment and planning, we can prepare for them. Instead of preparing for the future, though, we’re facing unprecedented attacks on the care we already have. Republicans in Congress are trying to take us back decades right when we need to provide more care, not less.
Last week, the Diverse Elders Coalition traveled to Alexandria, VA for the Oral Health America Medicare Symposium. Advocates, policymakers, and providers convened for this Symposium to discuss how to get a dental benefit included in Medicare. A recent study found that 52% of older adults are unaware that Medicare doesn’t cover routine dental care – maybe you didn’t know that, either!
Given how important oral health is to overall health – if you can’t chew or swallow food, or if you are living with chronic pain from infection or gum disease, your overall health is certainly impacted! – it is shocking that once an elder turns 65, they are their own for.... Read More