Throughout my entire life, I have been fortunate enough to have been influenced and guided by older adults. As a young section 8 housing kid juxtaposed amongst kids from a higher socioeconomic class at a Roman Catholic private school, I found comfort in older adults who guided and consoled me during times when I felt alone. If it weren’t for my grandfather, grandmother, my mothers’ friends, and my school’s religious brothers, I would not be the person I am today. To many people, older adults can be perceived as “uncool” or stereotyped because of their age, however, I have.... Read More
Charles “Valentino” Harris, known to friends and family simply as Val, was 17 years old the first night of the Stonewall uprising. “On that night in ’69, I was at a disco called the Sanctuary near Times Square with my friend Nelson,” says the native New Yorker. “Someone called the bar, and suddenly word spread that the drag queens were rioting at the Stonewall.” He and.... Read More
When you reach your 60s, all the issues that arose in your 50s become more extreme.
Your yearly well-woman visit is a good time to check in with your doctor about how you’re doing, how you’d like to be doing and what changes you can make to reach your health goals. In addition to talking with your doctor or nurse about your health, you may also need certain vaccines and medical tests. Don’t worry. You won’t need every test every year.
Younger than 65? Right now a yearly well-woman visit won’t cost.... Read More
by Grace Birnstengel. This article originally appeared on Next Avenue.
HIV/AIDS used to be considered a disease of the young. In the early 1980s, when doctors first reported cases of HIV, nearly 70% of diagnoses were among people under 40.
Fast forward four decades later and more than 50% of Americans with HIV are now over 50. And by 2020 that number is expected to reach 65% to 70%. This is largely due to major medical improvements in the effectiveness of anti-retroviral therapy (ART) in suppressing the virus and transforming HIV from an often fatal.... Read More
How a Slavery Legacy Made This 65-Year-Old a Georgetown Undergrad
by Richard Harris. This article originally appeared on Next Avenue.
It’s been nearly 14 years since Hurricane Katrina washed away all the physical mementos of Mélisande Short-Colomb’s life along the Mississippi Gulf coast. Her nearly 200-year-old Pass Christian, Miss., house and everything in it was gone in an instant — the family Bible, every photograph, document and piece of furniture, including the rocking chair with the baby bite marks that had been in her family for generations.
“Nobody was hurt. But we were all hurt. We survived,” says Short-Colomb, 65, the emotional scars still quite.... Read More
Let’s Talk Aging, Caregiving and Cultural Competence at This Year’s Aging in America Conference
It’s April, which means that the American Society on Aging’s 2019 Aging in America Conference (AiA19) is right around the corner! The Diverse Elders Coalition and our five member organizations will be on the ground in New Orleans from April 15th through the 18th, talking about issues of aging, caregiving, and cultural competence in our communities. Will we see you there?
For conference attendees, you can find a full list of the panels, workshops, film screenings, and events that the Diverse Elders Coalition and its members will be a part of at AiA19 by.... Read More
Vietnamese Death Anniversaries Unite Young and Old
By Christine Nguyen, MD. This story originally appeared on KALW FM’s “Crosscurrents.”
In 2006, my Mom had a dream. Grandma sat above her, perched on a black stone wall so high her feet didn’t touch the floor. “Mother,” Mom called, “You’re up so high. You might fall to your death.”
A phone call interrupted Mom’s dream. It was her brother. Their mother was dead. “Sister,” he added, “I’ve made Mother a tombstone. Black. Granite from India.”
Ancestor worship is the most common religious practice in Vietnam. It’s called Đạo Ông Bà, or “belief in Grandfather and Grandmother.” When a Vietnamese parent dies, the children make an altar in their homes for the parent’s spirit to live. The practice is.... Read More
The spirit of the Gray Panthers stirs to life at GSA national meeting
By Barbara Peters Smith. This article originally appeared in the Herald Tribune.
The atmosphere at this year’s meeting of the Gerontological Society of America — scientists and social scientists who study the last third of the human lifespan — struck me as less theoretical than ever before. And more, well, feisty.
It could have been the effect of a hotel workers’ strike that made attending conference events a constant moral calculation — with marching and drumming service employees an ever-present reminder of the broadening economic gap between those who get to lie on “heavenly” pillowtop mattresses and those whose task it is to change the sheets.
This reflection was just one of the many ideas that came out of the 3rd edition of the Reframing Aging Thought Leaders Roundtable, organized by the National Hispanic Council on Aging (NHCOA) held in New York City on October 19, 2018. A group of 27 experts in the field of aging gathered once again to address the misconceptions around getting “older”. This meeting was a continuation of conversations that began at roundtables in Washington, DC and Albuquerque, NM.
Anna Maria Chavez, Executive Vice President of.... Read More
NHCOA is transforming the negative perceptions of Hispanic older adults in the U.S.