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
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
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
Differences in NYC’s Chinese Elders End-of-Life Care Preferences
Scholars at Fordham University in New York presented their recent research on Chinese seniors’ perspectives about advance directives and end-of-life (EOL) preferences at the Gerontological Society of America (GSA) 2018 Annual Scientific Meeting, held in Boston in November. Because most studies on this subject “treat Asians as one group,” the researchers differentiated Mandarin and Cantonese speakers to discern any differences in their knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors toward end-of-life care.
The researchers said their preliminary findings show that the 150 Chinese elders who spoke Mandarin have somewhat higher knowledge about and more positive attitudes towards having a health care proxy to make decisions for them, should.... Read More
Ocean Le: Giving back to the older adults who have impacted my life
Please kindly allow me to introduce myself as Ocean Le, an aspiring health professional with the goal to improve the lives of older adults and their families. My interest in the field is embedded in the rich foundation of knowledge that has not been fully understood by the public. As a first-generation student of two immigrant parents, I have seen the detrimental effects of limited access to health care both domestically and internationally. This has inspired me to improve access to both health care and health care information – empowering people involved in the process of care.
My interest began in Honolulu, Hawaii, as an intermediate student at a Roman Catholic School. As a section 8 housing kid, I was.... Read More
SAGE Alaska Has Made Its Mark on the LGBT Movement
Over the past year, Alaska has emerged as a leader in the national fight against concerted, continuous attacks on the LGBT community, particularly those who are transgender.
In April, Anchorage became the first city in the nation to defeat an anti-transgender proposition that would have made it illegal for transgender people to use the locker room and bathroom that match their gender identity. SAGE Alaska was a part of the driving force behind the defeat of the proposition, and worked collectively with like-minded groups in the Fair.... Read More
Do NYC’s Seniors Need More Mental Health First Aid?
By Roshan Abraham. This article originally appeared in City Limits.
When two suicides by seniors occurred within a year at Knickerbocker Village, a 1,590-apartment housing complex in the Two Bridges section of Manhattan’s Lower East Side, it rocked the community, says Councilmember Margaret Chin, who represents the 1st Council District where the complex sits.
In November of 2017, a terminally-ill Chinese community leader in his 60’s took his own life. Months later, in July of 2018, a 78 year-old former tenant association president and Vietnam veteran committed suicide.
In a recent essay published in AAPI blog Reappropriate, Southeast Asia Resource Action Center (SEARAC) executive director Quyen Dinh recounted what is what like for her to grow up poor and not know it.
In elementary school, my day started with getting breakfast from the cafeteria window, where I got to choose a cereal box along with a small carton of milk from our cafeteria lady, Angie. She had short curly silver hair and always happily provided us our breakfast, along with a great smile.
For lunch, I lined up with the rest of my classmates to get lunch from Angie, too. Each of us carried a small envelope with our names on it.
by Rochaun Meadows-Fernandez. This article originally appeared on Next Avenue.
Jodi Savage was her grandmother’s caretaker in her last days. Like many black Americans, her grandmother’s cultural beliefs and religious background led to very little discussion around the end of life. Culturally speaking, black Americans on the whole tend to avoid discussing end-of-life topics for fear of speaking things into existence. Focus is placed on making the best of the time you’re given. A lack of cultural competency from physicians led to a misunderstanding of Savage’s grandmother’s needs and minimal support through the death-planning process. Savage.... Read More
While enjoying her 72nd year on the planet, Donna Personna knows her remaining days are numbered. Yet the prospect of her demise doesn’t scare her.
“The end question. ‘The end.’ It’s not a touchy subject for me. I’m irreverent,” said Personna, a transgender woman who grew up in San Jose and now lives in San Francisco. “I learned long ago this was going to come.”
Personna, a beloved drag performer, playwright, and hairdresser, credits her Mexican heritage with teaching her that death is a part of life. She pointed to the annual Dia de los Muertos holiday — the Day of the Dead in.... Read More