African Americans Face Greater Risk of Alzheimer’s Disease Than Whites
by Rodney Brooks. This article originally appeared in USA TODAY.
A decade ago, Rushern Baker III started seeing signs that something was wrong with his wife when she was still in her late 40s. Christa Beverly was forgetting things and losing things. Then, she was hopelessly lost only blocks from her parents’ home.
It took some doing, but he convinced her to see a doctor. She was tested, and at age 49 was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s. At the time, Baker was preparing to run for county executive in Prince Georges County, Md., which borders Washington, D.C., an election he won in 2010.
Within a few years of the diagnosis, Christa had lost most of her functions. Today, at age 58, she.... Read More
Why we care about visits to Capitol Hill (and you should too)
by Howard Bedlin. This article originally appeared on the National Council on Aging blog.
When our partners travel to the nation’s capital, the National Council on Aging (NCOA) Public Policy and Advocacy team strongly encourage them to schedule Hill visits.
We often get questions about why these office visits are so important and how they work. In advance of our 2019 Age+Action Conference, which will feature a Hill Day, we’re planning a series of educational webinars to discuss Hill visits and to help make your visit successful.
Register now for our webinar! Thursday,.... Read More
A Day of Advocacy Decades in the Making
by Aspen Christian. This article originally appeared on the SAGE blog.
Fifty years ago this coming June, LGBT elder pioneers started the fight for LGBT equality at the Stonewall Inn in New York City. As the nation nears the 50th anniversary of this watershed moment for the LGBT movement, SAGE and LGBT elders from across the country will gather in D.C. for SAGE’s first-ever National Day of Advocacy on March 13, 2019.
The Day of Advocacy will be held in conjunction with the annual SAGENet meeting, where SAGE affiliates gather to share ideas, participate in training sessions, and sharpen their advocacy skills. SAGENet affiliate leaders, SAGE.... Read More
New Congress begins slowly, but seniors’ priorities remain on the docket
by Marci Phillips. This article originally appeared on the NCOA blog.
The 35-day partial government shutdown that occurred during December and January was the longest government shutdown on record, and it hampered many aspects of the government’s work on behalf of older adults. While the government is back at work, Congress must pass a funding bill by February 15th. The National Council on Aging‘s Public Policy and Advocacy team are monitoring the negotiations and the shutdown’s effects on benefits and services that older adults rely on.
Only 5 of the 12 FY19 appropriations.... 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
New Group Aims To Address Isolation Among LGBTQ Older Adults
by Lisa Gillespie. This story was originally broadcast on 89.3 WFPL.
New preliminary survey research from the University of Kentucky shows that many older LGBTQ adults feel isolated and aren’t tapped into senior services. And that research is shaping programming of a new group geared toward these adults out of Lexington and Louisville.
UK researcher Aaron Guest recently surveyed around 700 LGBTQ adults over age 50 in the state. He asked them about issues related to health care, long-term care and other issues that could impact the lifespan of these adults.
“There may not be many family units to provide care, or friendship networks may have shrunk, so there’s not individuals to step into the caregiver status,”.... Read More
Inadequate Data on Missing, Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls
by Kayla Sawyer. This article originally appeared on the NICOA blog.
TRIGGER WARNING: If reading this post triggers past traumas, please see the resources listed at the end of this article for assistance.
There is a serious lack of meaningful government data documenting rates of missing and murdered indigenous women and girls. A recent study by the Urban Indian Health Institute (UIHI) revealed that only 116 of the 5,712 cases of murdered or missing Native women were logged into the Department of Justice’s nationwide database.
U.S. attorneys’ offices declined to proceed with.... Read More
Precision Medicine Rejects “One-Size-Fits-All” Medicine and Creates Health Solutions that Meet the Needs of Diverse Elders
Clinical trials and health research are invaluable tools to advance individual and public health around the world, but the communities represented by the Diverse Elders Coalition – including American Indians and Alaska Natives, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, Hispanics and Latinos, and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and/or Transgender (LGBT) people – are often underrepresented in these initiatives. In fact, because of a lack of comprehensive, disaggregated data collection, participants may not be able to indicate their sexual orientation or gender identity, and no distinction may be made between South Indians,.... Read More
Aging-Related Sleep Problems and Memory Loss
by Michael O. Schroeder. This article originally appeared in the U.S. News & World Report.
Even in the short term, not getting enough sleep can keep people from performing at their mental best, whether it be more complex executive functioning or problem-solving or memory. The experience is universal – we’ve all had it: “We have a bad night’s sleep, we’re hazy in the morning, we may not be as sharp as we usually are,” says Michael V. Vitiello, a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences and geriatrics at the University of Washington School of Medicine. “We may have some lapses in memory or we don’t process information quite as well.”
What’s more, it’s well-known by researchers, clinicians.... Read More
Facing Mortality Head-On
This article originally appeared in A&U Magazine.
For a handful of months now, I’ve been contemplating a decision that I know many long-term HIV survivors have contemplated before me.
That is, I have considered going off my medications—all of them—and letting Nature and the virus just take their course. As a long-time advocate of a patient’s right to choose when and how to end his own life when facing a terminal disease, the decision to cease medication seems to me a perfectly rational, honorable decision available to me.
I keep it open as an.... Read More