Education & Action During COVID-19: Caring for LGBT Older People

This article originally appeared on Medium.

Older adults in the United States are at increased risk for contracting COVID-19. They are particularly vulnerable without access during the pandemic to the health care resources and social structures that contribute to overall wellness. This is especially true for the 1.1 million LGBTQ people who are ages 65 and older living across the country.

While LGBT older people are at a greater risk for the virus based on age,.... Read More

             

With HIV/AIDS, What Does Successful Aging Look Like?

by Grace Birnstengel. This article originally appeared on Next Avenue.

At 62, Hugo Sapién is seriously considering going back to school to earn a master’s degree in theology. In his younger days, this is something he would have never considered — not for lack of interest, but because he didn’t think he’d live long enough to even finish his undergraduate degree.

“I thought there’s no way I’m going to make it,” Sapién, of San Antonio, says. “I wouldn’t make any long-term plans.”

This was the mid-80s, when Sapién suspects he acquired HIV (he wasn’t diagnosed until 1995). Treatments for the virus were sprouting up with mixed effectiveness. Death was a real — if.... Read More

             

8 Warning Signs of Health Problems in Your Aging Parents

This article originally appeared on Black Health Matters.

As your parents get older, how can you be sure they’re taking care of themselves and staying healthy?

When you visit your aging parents, start by considering these questions:

1. Are your parents able to take care of themselves? Pay attention to your parents’ appearance. Failure to keep up with daily routines—such as bathing and brushing teeth—could indicate dementia, depression or physical impairments. Also pay attention to your parents’ home. Are the lights working? Is the heat on? Is the yard overgrown? Any changes in the way your parents.... Read More

             

Direct Care Workers Can Address Social Isolation and Loneliness

This article originally appeared on the PHI blog.

Illustration by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

A remarkable though unsettling new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine has drawn attention to the extensive harm that social isolation and loneliness are having on the health and well-being of older adults. The report—Social Isolation and Loneliness in Older Adults: Opportunities for the Health Care System—provides a sweeping overview of these two issues, as well as a compelling rationale for why the.... Read More

             

Grandparents Day: A Letter to Younger Generations

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

             

SAGE Stonewall Veterans Speak: Val Harris

This article is part of a series of profiles of the inspiring SAGE constituents who were part of the Stonewall uprising in 1969, an event that inspired the modern LGBT-rights movement. It was originally published on the SAGE blog.

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

             

Live a Healthier Life in Your 60s and Beyond

This article originally appeared on Black Health Matters.

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

             

Dual Stigma: HIV Positive and Over 50

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

             
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