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 clicking on.... 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.
The last full week in September is celebrated annually as “National Employ Older Workers Week,” (#NEOWW) recognizing the vital role older workers play in the workforce. Aiming to increase awareness of this labor force and develop strategies to expand opportunities for older workers, we at the National Asian Pacific Center on Aging (NAPCA) use this time to celebrate older workers and their contribution to the workforce in the past, the present and the future.
According to U.S. Department of Labor statistics, the United States is undergoing a dramatic demographic shift. The average median age of the U.S.... Read More
After 11 years of economic expansion, the difference in unemployment rates between black and white older workers is at a historic low—just 1.1 percentage points apart. Black workers usually suffer from much higher rates of unemployment than whites, so the small gap between the two racial groups is good news (the gap between black and white men is usually larger than the gap between black and white women—for this period the men’s gap was 1.5 percentage points, while the women’s gap was just .7 of a percentage point). But the good news about a small racial unemployment rate gap likely is temporary, and history shows the racial gap in joblessness will grow in the next.... Read More
by Dr. Theodore Hutchinson. This post originally appeared on the SAGE blog.
On the day I was born 63 years ago, I became a ghost when these words were uttered: “Congratulations, it’s a girl!”
I am a person who is transgender. Although the signs were present throughout my life, the conversation and knowledge about trans folks were not a part of mainstream life in the U.S. back then. I was invisible to myself and to others.
But I’ve come to realize that no one deserves to be invisible. No one deserves to be forgotten. No one.... Read More