Finding Housing When Mom Doesn’t Speak English
by Debbie Swanson. This article originally appeared on Next Avenue.
Finding assisted living or nursing care for a parent is never easy. The situation is further complicated when the individual in question is not fluent in English because he or she either never became totally versed in the language or aging has introduced difficulties.
“Patients with dementia often revert to their mother language,” explains Dr. Ivan Merkelj, medical director for Palm Beach PACE at MorseLife Health Systems. “The part of the brain that stores a learned language is different than the mother language, and they feel more comfortable with their.... Read More
African American Seniors Struggle to Find Therapists Who Understand
Choosing the right mental health therapist means finding connection and trust. For some African American seniors living in the San Francisco Bay Area, for instance, finding that therapist takes extra work. Finding someone they trust and who understands the challenges older people face is important, but African American seniors say another major factor is that the provider understands race and culture.
Linh’s Story: An American Success Story Made Possible by Family-Based Immigration
by Linh Chuong. This post originally appeared on the SEARAC blog.
In 1986, my dad was forced to flee Vietnam because of persecution. He came to the United States as a refugee and was relocated to Oakland along with my three older brothers. As a child, I remained in Vietnam with my mother and three siblings, and my father filed paperwork to bring the rest of my family to the United States so we could be together again. We spent almost a decade apart before we were reunited as a family in East Oakland eight years later.
Our first.... Read More
A Look at the Lives of Trans and Gender Nonconforming Older Adults
By Grace Birnstengel. This article originally appeared on Next Avenue.
Very little history, imagery or understanding of transgender older adults exists in the public sphere. The stories that circulate are often sensationalized, come from a lens of voyeurism or focus on celebrity figures.
To Survive on This Shore: Photographs and Interviews with Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Older Adults, a photography and interview project turned into a book from photographer Jess T. Dugan and social worker Vanessa Fabbre — both based in St. Louis — provides a level of representation previously unseen for this community. The book features 65 portraits of trans older adults between ages 50 and 90. Dugan was the photographer and Fabbre led the interviews with.... Read More
When Mom Doesn’t Recognize Me, I Tie a Knot and Hang On
by D. Kevin McNeir for the Washington Informer.
I would have never believed there would ever come a time when my Mom–whom I’ve always described, whenever asked, as my best friend, No. 1 fan, personal “shero” and one who’s loved me unconditionally without hesitation or regret for my entire life–would look upon my face and require a few minutes before recognizing who I am.
But as her 90th birthday approaches, I must face the inevitable truth that Alzheimer’s is slowly, but surely, reshaping our world, her reality. The disease is eating away pieces of my mother’s mind, leaving a mere shell of the woman she once was. And, it both frightens me and causes great pain.
I.... Read More
Older Americans Month: Engage at Every Age
May is Older Americans Month! This year, the theme is Engage at Every Age, which emphasizes that you are never too old (or young) to take part in activities that can enrich your physical, mental, and emotional well-being. It also celebrates the many ways in which older adults make a difference in our communities.
How to Participate in Older Americans Month:Join the ACL and AoA in the Older Americans Month Selfie Challenge! They want to see how you’re engaging. Simply take a selfie (or have someone take your photo) and tweet it with the hashtag #OAM18 Connect.... Read More
The Challenge of Curbing Smoking in Native American Communities
by Kevyn Burger. This article originally appeared on Next Avenue.
Mary Owl still remembers her first cigarette, puffed when she was 13 years old.
“I was never so high in my life,” recalled Owl, now 58. “I inhaled, got dizzy and then sick to my stomach.”
A tribal citizen of the Cherokee Nation, Owl lit up the day she arrived at a boarding school in rural Oklahoma.
Away from home for the first time, the lonely teen was susceptible to peer pressure.
“I was in the bathroom with some girls I’d just met. They asked me if I smoked and I said, ‘sure,’” Owl said. “I went back to my dorm and.... Read More
Health Needs of Older Rural Immigrants Often Overlooked
by Beth Baker. This article originally appeared on Next Avenue.
Micaela Rios, 64, who immigrated to rural western Kansas from Mexico 20 years ago, has a difficult job in a meatpacking plant. After years of packing beef in cold, wet conditions, she developed arthritis and high blood pressure. When she was 60, she had a heart attack.
Many immigrants and refugees work alongside her, some of them older than she, Rios said. Despite the arduous work, she feels lucky that the job comes with health insurance. She hopes to retire once Medicare kicks in.
“One reason she hasn’t retired is because of her health insurance,” said her daughter, Karla Davila, who acted as her mother’s interpreter for this interview..... Read More
Heart Disease Still Deadly for African American Women
by D. Kevin McNeir for the Washington Informer.
The future remains uncertain for the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which opened the door for a major overhaul of the United States healthcare system with President Barack Obama’s signature in 2010, and which continues to be attacked and subjected to legislative revisions initiated by President, Donald J. Trump and his Republican colleagues.
But women, who tend to serve as the primary caregivers for their families while often ignoring their own health, can ill afford to wait until the dust finally clears, particularly when it comes to their hearts.
Often thought of as a “man’s disease,” heart disease stands as the leading cause of death for women in the United.... Read More
NAPCA Celebrates the Arrival of Older Americans Month and AAPI Heritage Month
Why is the month of May such an exciting month for us at the National Asian Pacific Center on Aging (NAPCA)? Not only is May designated by the Administration on Aging (AoA), part of the Administration for Community Living (ACL) as Older Americans Month (OAM), but Congress also designated May as Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month (APAHM).
NAPCA is the only national organization with a sole focus on Asian American and Pacific Islander American (AAPI) older adults, working at the intersection of the AAPI and aging fields to ensure that the challenges confronting AAPI older adults are heard and addressed.
The theme for Older Americans Month 2018 is Engage at Every Age, emphasizing that you are never too.... Read More