Personal Reflections on Indigenous Elders as Repositories of Culture
During 2020, while COVID-19 was raging across the nation, my tribe, the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians in Cherokee, N.C., took intense measures early on, shutting down the Qualla Boundary (our tribal lands), implementing mass testing, contract tracing and case isolation. Tribal leaders and elders feel a sense of urgency about preserving the culture and language, as was demonstrated during the worst of the pandemic when Native language speakers were prioritized to receive the vaccine by some tribes.
In the end the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians handled the pandemic more effectively than many other areas in North Carolina, ensuring elders’ legacies.... Read More
Tackling Latino health, caregiving and housing is key as older population grows
By Laura Castañeda. This article originally appeared on NBC News.
Eduardo Covarrubias retired from his job as a museum security guard in Washington, D.C., 14 years ago and moved to Casa Iris, an affordable housing community for older adults.
The complex has 39 one-bedroom, 1,000-square-foot apartments for people ages 62 and older that cost a maximum of $813 per month, depending on income. To compare, the average one-bedroom apartment in the nation’s capital runs $2,213 monthly.
“It’s peaceful. There are good people living here and the administration is very efficient,” Covarrubias, 79, said in Spanish, adding that he would have had to move back to his native Bolivia long ago if not for Casa Iris.
Older.... Read More
The Importance of Latino Representation in Health Research
Precision medicine is a new approach to disease treatment and prevention that considers differences in people’s lifestyles, environment, and biological makeup, including their genetics.
Many groups, especially communities of color, have been historically underrepresented in health research. This disparity was highlighted with the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic and how it has affected different demographic groups in the United States. The COVID-19 pandemic made this disparity even more visible as the pandemic has affected every community differently. A 2021 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association analyzed 230 medical trials in the United States between 2011 and 2020 and found that, of those that reported race,.... Read More
We Must Support Our Hispanic/Latinx Caregivers
By Yanira Cruz and Ocean Le. This article appeared on the American Society on Aging (ASA), Generations Today | July-August 2021
Editor’s Note: This article represents the fifth in a series by the Diverse Elders Coalition (DEC) to be published in Generations Today. Articles are connected to ASA-hosted webinars; see end of article to register. The series of articles by the DEC highlights research from The Caregiving Initiative, a multiyear research project funded by The John A. Hartford Foundation.
The 2020 pandemic has brought up many problems for Hispanic/Latinx communities, and highlighted multiple preexisting health inequities identified in our 2019 national caregiving survey, particularly for Hispanic/Latinx caregivers. These inequities still exist and have proven problematic as we strive to vaccinate the.... Read More
Protecting Elders in a Pandemic World
At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, two of the first regulations from the World Health Organization (WHO) were self-quarantining and social distancing.
As many of us did our best to stay six feet away from each other in grocery stores, jobs, walking the streets, that new regulation affected our abilities to care and watch over our aging population at home and in elder care facilities leaving them vulnerable to the evils of elder abuse.
Many videos surfaced on social media of creative ways families kept in contact with nursing home residents. They chatted on cell phones while seeing them through windows, yelling out of windows.... Read More
Mental Health Services Needed to Treat Emotional Distress During the Pandemic
Jan is a 71-year-old lesbian and a diabetic. She lives alone and prides herself on her independence. She is quick to tell you she is a happily retired jack of all trades and now an aspiring photographer. Pre-pandemic she enjoyed doing portraits but COVID-19 and shelter in place (CSIP) put the portraits on hold. She is concerned that diabetes and her compromised immune system put her at greater risk for COVID-19.
From March to May, Jan rarely left her apartment. By mid-May she found herself feeling stressed and out of sorts. She told me for the San Francisco Bay Times, “It was like I was anxious all the.... Read More
Tag team approach to healthcare reaches older adults in Bangladeshi community during COVID-19 pandemic
Typically, Farzana Noor, a nurse practitioner at the Children’s Clinic of Michigan in Hamtramck is accustomed to bandaging up cuts and scrapes, treating colds, and soothing fussing children getting their first shots.
That all changed last year when the pandemic raged through the Bangladeshi community in Hamtramck. When nearby healthcare providers abruptly ceased operations amid the crisis, Noor began seeing an influx of older Bangladeshi women patients who often serve as the primary caregivers spanning generations in their households enter her office.
Noor, who is Bangladeshi American, found herself in familiar territory as many of the older patients were accompanied by their.... Read More
National Immunization Awareness Month: The COVID-19 Vaccine & Daily Life in Diverse Communities
Ocean: Hey Nina! Firstly, I just want to say welcome to the DEC team! We are so lucky to have you and its great knowing that we have a dedicated trainer to help others comprehend the unique issues, realities, and experiences of the diverse communities we serve. With that being said, I am excited to speaking to you about todays’ topic. As you know, August is National Immunization Month and so I wanted to talk about the COVID-19 vaccine and some of the general implications it has on daily life in diverse communities.
Nina: Hey.... Read More
What is Caregiver Burnout?
The caregiver syndrome refers to those people who suffer physical, psychological, and general health exhaustion due to the constant and continuous care of a patient.
Caregiver burnout—also known as caregiver stress or caregiver syndrome—was first described by the American psychologist Herbert Freudenberger in 1974. The mental health professional worked in a clinic for drug addicts in New York and observed that most of the volunteers at the clinic had a progressive loss of energy, leading to exhaustion, symptoms of anxiety and depression, as well as lack of motivation at work and aggressiveness with patients after a year of working.
This is a disorder with serious implications both physically.... Read More
Pride for who we are, Pride for where we come from
I love that June is both Pride Month and Immigrant Heritage Month, because at SEARAC, it gives us an opportunity to celebrate so many members of the Southeast Asian American communities — and embrace all aspects of their identities. Southeast Asian American members of the LGBTQ+ communities are centered, and the roots of SEAA families and stories are recognized as the strengths that they are.
In SEARAC’s Our Voices archive, we have incredible first-person accounts of what LGBTQ+ heritage means to our staff and partners. My colleague Kham S. Moua wrote in 2020 about the importance of solidarity among movements and communities. “I choose.... Read More