As the new National Managing Coordinator for the Diverse Elders Coalition, I am pleased to write my first post for our blog here on World AIDS Day. Observed annually on December 1, World AIDS Day is recognized around the world with this year’s theme: Focus, Partner, Achieve: An AIDS-Free Generation. This theme directly invokes the idea of age and makes us “focus” in on how different generations experience the epidemic, and is particularly appropriate for us to think about here.
As an openly gay man, I grew up and entered my teen years during the height of the epidemic in the 1980s. At the same time, I grew up a child of immigrants in a Filipino American household with two.... Read More
NICOA Conference Celebrates American Indian and Alaska Native Elders
The 20th Biennial National Indian Council on Aging, Inc. (NICOA) Conference took place September 3rd through 6th at the Sheraton Phoenix Downtown in Phoenix, Arizona. The NICOA conference was held in partnership with the Inter-Tribal Council of Arizona, and the Area Agency on Aging, Region 8. There were 1,387 elders attending from 65 different tribal nations.
The five day affair offered a range of events and activities for participants, speakers, families, and guests. Here are some of the highlights from each day:
Wednesday September 3
The first day of the conference began with a whirlwind of activity as many more attendees than expected arrived and were registered. An opening prayer was offered. The Ira H. Hayes American Legion Post 84 posted.... Read More
Webinar: New Opportunity to Address Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities for Medicare and Medicaid Beneficiaries (Dual Eligibles)
The Diverse Elders Coalition joins Community Catalyst for their latest Health Equity webinar
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) offers a unique opportunity to address racial and ethnic health disparities for individuals who are eligible for Medicare and Medicaid, sometimes referred to as “dual eligibles.” The dual eligible population is disproportionately non-white and they experience a high rate of health disparities. Through provisions of the ACA, more than a dozen states are launching demonstration projects focused on improving care for vulnerable dually eligible Americans. But very few states are using this new opportunity to address racial and ethnic health disparities, even though the demonstration design.... Read More
Making it Matter: Supporting LGBT Seniors through Health Care Reform Initiatives
As Community Catalyst’s Health Equity summer intern, I got to spend some time chatting with Linda Ellis of Georgia’s The Health Initiative about why closing the coverage gap in Georgia, and other states that have yet to expand Medicaid is pivotal for LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) elders. As she shared, there was a time when it made sense to focus on LGBT specific services and to think that “we need to specifically care for our own. However, that is not the case today for an LGBT-specific organization in a state with limited resources and support for both the LGBT community and LGBT health care expansion.”
Many LGBT elders have come of age in a culture of rejection from.... Read More
On April 3, 2008, my longtime friend Don (last name withheld) tested positive for HIV, the same day as his mother’s 56th birthday. He remembers the day vividly. “I had given blood to my doctor and a couple weeks later, I still hadn’t received a call. I called my doctor’s office and they said, ‘There’s an anomaly with your blood.’ I immediately freaked out and thought, ‘God, this is it.'” Don took the last appointment of the day and a few hours later received his diagnosis, along with a few referrals. He went home “to pull myself together, call my mom and wish her a happy birthday.” He wouldn’t share his HIV status with his mother for several years.
The AID Institute’s 7th annual National HIV/AIDS and Aging Awareness Day (NHAAAD) will be observed September 18, 2014 with the theme “Aging is a part of life; HIV doesn’t have to be!” For more information about HIV/AIDS and older Americans or to become involved with the campaign, visit www.NHAAAD.org.
Among diverse communities, the stigma of HIV is a cause of shame, embarrassment, and worse of all, denial and silence. When denial and silence are present, the lack of communication and information lead to myths and misinformation. Worst of all, silence results in increased infections and is inevitably compounded by stigma, which leads to people living with HIV who are undiagnosed and therefore, untreated.
Call in number: 1-877-267-1577 Meeting ID: 995 471 476
No advanced registration is required.
Jeanette Contreras, MPP, Outreach Lead – Partner Relations Group, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Jonathan Tran, California Policy and Advocacy Manager, Southeast Asia Resource Action Center (SEARAC) Patrick Aitcheson, Interim National Coordinator, Diverse Elders Coalition
Who should attend? Advocates. Policy makers. Older adults. Funders. Anyone interested in learning more about ACA enrollment as we approach the start of.... Read More
One last push – Getting the Older Americans Act (OAA) reauthorized in 2014
August in Washington, DC usually means Congressional recess, when all Congress members take a break from Washington and return to their districts. Depending on whom you ask, August in DC could either be a peaceful and quiet time or a time to schedule meetings and diligently prepare for Congress’ return post-Labor Day. For the National Hispanic Council on Aging (NHCOA), it has been the latter. As we enter the last quarter of the year, NHCOA is focusing efforts on scheduling Hill visits to educate Congressional staffers and reiterate how critical it is for Congress to reauthorize the Older Americans Act as they return to Washington from their states and districts this week.
The Older Americans Act (OAA) is one of.... Read More
August is National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM), and when it comes to vaccines, it’s important to keep in mind that immunizations are not just for kids – we all need to get vaccinated at different points throughout our lifetimes. That is why it is important for older adults to know what vaccines they may need, where they are administered, and receive encouragement from their trusted health care providers and loved ones to get immunized.
The fact is that the existence of vaccines is the one of the reasons we are able to live longer, healthier lives. Diseases that used to be deadly are now preventable, and NIAM presents an opportunity to highlight the value of immunization across.... Read More
Medicare and Medicaid at 49: Keeping the Generations-Old Promise Alive
While the concept of national health insurance was developed in the early 20th century, President Harry S. Truman elevated the issue during his Administration:
“Millions of our citizens do not now have a full measure of opportunity to achieve and to enjoy good health. Millions do not now have protection or security against the economic effects of sickness. And the time has now arrived for action to help them attain that opportunity and to help them get that protection.”
Twenty years later, his vision was brought to life under President Lyndon B. Johnson with the Social Security Amendments of 1965, which provided millions of older Americans and low-income families with access to healthcare through the Medicare and Medicaid programs. At.... Read More
Hepatitis, HIV and Older Americans: Get the Facts and Take Action
World Hepatitis Day is one of four official disease-specific world health days
While viral hepatitis is the 8th leading cause of death in the world, it is a largely silent killer. Each year, the disease kills approximately 1.5 million people worldwide. In the United States, the CDC estimates 4.4 million people live with chronic hepatitis. However, most are unaware they are infected. Four years ago the World Health Organization designated July 28 as World Hepatitis Day to raise awareness and encourage action, especially among vulnerable and high-risk populations, including older Americans. Viral hepatitis is a life-threatening disease on.... Read More
Medicare & the Windsor Decision: Where do we stand?
Last year’s Windsor decision has triggered a series of ongoing changes that impact many of us on a day-to-day basis. For LGBT older adults, Medicare is one of the most critical Federal programs undergoing change. So where do Medicare recipients currently stand? Our Q&A with Casey Schwarz of the Medicare Rights Center answers some important questions.