There are many ways to write the story of the LGBT civil rights movement. We can start in the 1920s, when the Society of Human Rights was founded, or in 1955 when the Mattachine Society, a secretive group was founded, or with the 1965 gay march in front of Independence Hall in Philadelphia. The LGBT community has been fighting for their civil rights for decades; however, it wasn’t until the 1968 Stonewall Riots that issues facing the LGBT community attracted mass media attention in the US.
The Stonewall Riots ignited unity between many different LGBT groups to take back.... Read More
Does High Blood Pressure Influence COVID-19 Outcomes?
As we navigate the COVID-19 global pandemic, it is clear that older adults and people with underlying medical conditions are at greater risk of severe COVID-19 outcomes. According to the CDC, 8 out of 10 deaths reported in the US have been in adults 65 and older. People with underlying medical conditions such as heart disease, lung disease, and diabetes are also prone to develop more serious complications from COVID-19, but what about high blood pressure? Does high blood pressure affect COVID-19 outcomes?
High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is highly prevalent in the United States,.... Read More
Diverse Elders Coalition Launches New COVID-19 Resource Hub
The COVID-19 pandemic has directly impacted older adults and caregivers in the United States. COVID-19 cases have surpassed 1 million, and there is at least one COVID-19 case in all 50 states. Individuals with weaker immune systems and underlying health conditions are most vulnerable to COVID-19, placing many older adults and people with disabilities at risk.
In our communities, COVID-19 is having an enormous impact on elders and caregivers, the challenges of which are exacerbated by existing health disparities and other socioeconomic factors, such as housing, poverty, lack of access to healthcare, and discrimination. It is not difficult.... Read More
How COVID-19 Illuminated Racial/Ethnic Health Disparities
I did not expect that I would be writing about COVID-19 when I sat down to write a blog celebrating National Minority Health Month, however, it has turned out to be the perfect time to share the detrimental effects COVID-19 has had on racially and ethnically diverse communities, especially those living in low-income neighborhoods.
Developed by the Gerontology Institute at the University of Massachusetts Boston, the Elder Index tool is used to measure the income older people need to meet their daily living expenses while staying independent in their own homes. The Elder Index tool is specific to household size, location, housing and health status, unlike the Federal Poverty Level, another index used to assess income level.
African American older adults are disproportionately affected by diabetes, which affects more than 10% of African American adults. Without proper management, diabetes may increase the risk for other diseases including cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, and Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.
One way to understand this concept is to think about how sticky sugar becomes when you caramelize it in a frying pan. This is the same process that occurs in our arteries, since the average internal temperature of the human body is 98.6°F. As our arteries are filled with this “sticky sugar,” our heart needs to work harder to.... Read More
The Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. As an Activist for Health Reform
On January 15, 1929, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was born in Atlanta, Georgia. Dr. King’s family always knew that he was special, but no one knew how special he would turn out to be, with his influence still being felt today. As one of the most prominent leaders of the Civil Rights Movement, Dr. King united Americans to fight racism and oppression via civil disobedience and nonviolent protesting. What is less well known about Dr. King is that his vision for a better America included abolishing health injustice.
“Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhuman.” — Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
We seldom talk about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s.... Read More
I am extremely grateful…It’s been a year working to support diverse family caregivers
As I approach the end of my first full year working with the Diverse Elders Coalition, I am extremely grateful for the opportunities that I’ve had on both a personal and professional level. Working on the coalition’s caregiving initiative, “Addressing Unmet Family Caregiving Needs in Diverse Communities,” has been a very rewarding experience that will have a tremendous impact on my work as I move forward in my career.
My journey with the Diverse Elders Coalition began on January 7th, 2019. As the coalition’s newest Program Associate, my main focus has been on family caregiving. This initiative, a multi-year project to improve the multicultural capacities of service providers to support diverse family caregivers, allowed for opportunities.... Read More
National Family Caregivers Month: Strength and Resilience
November is a very special month. It marks the month of Thanksgiving, where millions of families and friends across the United States gather to give thanks, show appreciation for one another, and feast. November also marks National Family Caregivers Month, a time to recognize the people taking care of the ones they love. Although National Family Caregivers Month is not as widely celebrated as Thanksgiving, it is just as important for millions of families across the United States. Along with expressing gratitude for family caregivers, National Family Caregivers Month is a time to highlight the issues of family caregivers, provide resources, and to advocate for supportive policies and programs.
There are many issues that family caregivers.... Read More
Celebrating National Disability Employment Awareness Month
In addition to being Hispanic Heritage Month, LGBT History Month, and Filipino American History Month, October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM). This month, we celebrate the contributions of workers with disabilities and educate everyone about the value of a workforce inclusive of their skills and talents. This year’s theme, “The Right Talent, Right Now,” emphasizes the critical role people with disabilities have in America’s economy.
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