Throughout my entire life, I have been fortunate enough to have been influenced and guided by older adults. As a young section 8 housing kid juxtaposed amongst kids from a higher socioeconomic class at a Roman Catholic private school, I found comfort in older adults who guided and consoled me during times when I felt alone. If it weren’t for my grandfather, grandmother, my mothers’ friends, and my school’s religious brothers, I would not be the person I am today. To many people, older adults can be perceived as “uncool” or stereotyped because of their age, however, I have.... Read More
I Attended a Focus Group with Vietnamese Caregivers. Here are Some of the Things I Learned.
Last month, I had the opportunity to attend a focus group with Vietnamese family caregivers in Houston, Texas. During the focus group, I learned more about their caregiving experiences, their challenges, and the changes they would like to see in the U.S. healthcare system. Here are some of the things I learned.
“Very thankful for my parents, but sometimes it can be hard to please them, especially when dealing with right and wrong because of our cultural values.” – focus group participant
Cultural Values Influences Caregiving Expectations
In the Vietnamese community, traditional values have a big impact on caregivers. Traditional values such as filial piety — respect for one’s parents, elders, and ancestors — influence many Vietnamese caregivers to exclusively.... Read More
War, Trauma, and the Mental Health of Vietnam War-Era Older Adults
After the fall of Saigon and the end of the Vietnam War in 1975, many Vietnamese people fled their war-torn country for the United States in search for a better life. Thousands of Vietnamese adults, children, and families crammed onto boats and traveled to the United States leaving their belongings, loved ones, and former lives behind. These people lost everything except for their memories of the fall of Saigon, the horrors of communist re-education camps, and the atrocities of the Vietnam War. For many Vietnamese individuals, these memories may transpire psychological trauma similar to the many Vietnam War-era U.S. veterans who suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
PTSD is a psychiatric disorder that can occur after a person experiences or observes.... Read More
For the last 20 years, the Southeast Asia Resource Action Center (SEARAC) has been mentoring advocates from Southeast Asian American (SEAA) and ally communities. Through SEARAC’s Leadership and Advocacy Training (LAT) program, SEAA members and allies participate in three days of training to develop communication and advocacy skills. SEARAC’s LAT program enables participants to transform their community’s story into policy change with focuses on health policy, education policy, and immigration policy. The program ends with a day of advocacy where participants meet with their Congressional representatives and/or staff to address the issues in their respective communities. Last week I got to attend SEARAC’s LAT program and it was one of the most memorable experiences I have.... Read More
It is estimated that 10,000 adults turn 65 and older everyday. Amidst an aging population and shrinking healthcare workforce, caregivers play a crucial role in the long-term care of older adults, accounting for more than 85% of all elder care in the US. According to a 2015 study by AARP, it was estimated that there are 34.2 million Americans are providing care to another person who is over the age 50.
The number of caregivers in the United States is expected to grow alongside the older adult population. Caregivers provide physical, psychological, and emotional care for another person who may be a family member, friend, or a partner. The act of providing care can be very fulfilling, but as a.... Read More
Type 2 Diabetes: Lessons Learned from the Experiences of Native Americans
In the United States, American Indians and Alaska Native are 50% more likely to be obese than non-Hispanic whites. In addition, 33% of the American Indian and Alaska Native population is considered obese. In other words, more than a quarter of the American Indian.... Read More
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a virus that attacks the body’s immune system, making it difficult to fight off diseases, infections and certain cancers. HIV specifically attacks the body’s CD4+ cells, a type of T-cell that has a critical role in our adaptive immune system. When an unknown virus, bacteria, or pathogen enters the human body, CD4+ cells are required to stimulate the immune system in making the machinery to fight off the unknown intruder. Without CD4+ cells, it becomes difficult for the human body to regulate immune responses, increasing the risk of death from diseases and infections as common as the cold. When HIV destroys CD4+ cells, impairing the functionality of the immune system, this leads to the acquired.... Read More
Five Inspirational Stories for Women’s History Month
In 1987, March was declared Women’s History Month, a time to commemorate the vital role of women in shaping history. Women’s History Month is a time to celebrate women of all backgrounds, to acknowledge the importance of their roles in our lives, and to support their efforts to make the world a better place. Women have shaped history through their leadership, courage, strength, and compassion. Although many of the contributions of women have been recognized and celebrated, women still face inequality in many aspects of their lives, reminding us that we have more work to do. As we celebrate the countless achievements made by women across all aspects of life, we must also support their fight towards social justice. Women’s.... Read More
Three Easy Tips to Improve Heart Health for Black Older Adults
February is full of things to celebrate. While Valentine’s Day is an opportunity to take care of our loved ones’ hearts, American Heart Month reminds us that it is also a time to focus on the health of our own hearts! And as we honor the leaders of the African diaspora during Black History Month, we also advocate for improvements in both society and in health that will enrich Black futures. Awareness of heart health is particularly important for Black and African American older adults because of environmental and genetic risk factors that cause poorer health outcomes.... Read More
Honoring Queen Latifah: The Celebrity, The Caregiver, The Heart Health Advocate
Black History Month is a commemorative month to celebrate the lives of those who are significant in the history of the African Diaspora. These people stem from different backgrounds including artists, activists, inventors, academics, scientists, musicians, actors, and many more. Although these people are different in profession, they are all unified with the goal of improving the lives of African Americans. In accordance with Black History Month, February is also American Heart Month, a commemorative month to highlight the importance of heart health in resolving heart disease and failure – the #1 leading cause of death in the United States and worldwide. During both Black History Month and American Heart Month, I would like to introduce Queen.... Read More
Ocean Le: Giving back to the older adults who have impacted my life
Please kindly allow me to introduce myself as Ocean Le, an aspiring health professional with the goal to improve the lives of older adults and their families. My interest in the field is embedded in the rich foundation of knowledge that has not been fully understood by the public. As a first-generation student of two immigrant parents, I have seen the detrimental effects of limited access to health care both domestically and internationally. This has inspired me to improve access to both health care and health care information – empowering people involved in the process of care.
My interest began in Honolulu, Hawaii, as an intermediate student at a Roman Catholic School. As a section 8 housing kid, I was.... Read More