We most often hear the phrase “Until Death Do Us Part” at weddings, when a couple commits to fidelity and love for one another until one of them dies. The traditional wedding vows say nothing about what accompanying someone to death involves. And the vast majority of us have no training in what the dying process involves and what is required to sit with a loved one as they are dying.
My mom died in December at age 95. In reflecting on the end of her life, “until death do us part” is the phrase that keeps coming to mind. I think our bonds to parents and family are as deep as any marriage vow, and they span more of.... Read More
Numbers of Filipino American Elders, Other Aging Minorities on the Rise
NEW ORLEANS –- The number of elderly Americans is rising quickly with much of that growth bursting out of Filipino and other minority communities, according to experts speaking at a weeklong conference on aging issues.
But even as the Filipino American population and its number of elders are expected to continue to grow, aging concerns within that community remain in the background.
“I don’t think there’s much attention at all being paid to Filipino elder issues” even though that ethnic group “will have a large number of elder adults,” said Steven Wallace, who directs UCLA’s national center for the Resource Centers for Minority Aging Research,.... Read More
Where Bigotry is Denied Entrance—Fighting HIV/AIDS Stigma in Housing
by Pat Lin. This post originally appeared on the SAGE blog.
On World AIDS Day, it’s important to commemorate how far we’ve come since the HIV/AIDS pandemic started. HIV isn’t the death sentence it used to be, but many long-term survivors of HIV continue to pay an emotional, physical and financial toll. In addition to managing the disease, HIV survivors still face stigma. As they get older and the effects of the disease compound the challenges of aging, they become more vulnerable. As the nation’s largest and oldest organization serving LGBT older adults, Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE) seeks to eradicate the stigma around HIV and to create welcoming spaces for long-term HIV survivors.
The National Indian Council on Aging (NICOA) was a significant presence at the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) 73rd Annual Convention and Marketplace, October 9-14, 2016 in Phoenix, AZ. NICOA reached out to NCAI in early January to offer partnership to inform tribal leaders, partners and delegates from around the nation about the issues elders face across Indian Country. NICOA is thankful to Denise Desiderio, NCAI Policy & Legislative Director, and Robert Holden, NCAI Deputy Director for their support, of NICOA’ s advocacy for American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) elders.
NICOA presented a breakout session titled “Elder Issues in Indian Country” on Wednesday, October 12. NICOA coordinated a panel of speakers with expertise in aging across Indian Country. The.... Read More
Affinity Announces New Location and Upcoming Programming for Chicago Elders
On September 14th, Affinity Community Services‘ Trailblazers Who Care hosted a FREE Medical Advocacy workshop facilitated by The Care Plan, at our new location located in the historic Bronzeville community on Chicago’s southside. This senior programming workshop discussed advocacy for yourself and or a loved one in a medical setting. The Care Plan facilitator, Jacqueline Boyd, provided information on senior wellness and securing the maximum service from your health-care providers. The workshop series began in May and has covered senior advocacy for caretakers and families alike. The Care Plan provides consultations for managing and mapping successful senior health and aging. Our constituents have found the services offered by The Care Plan to be compassionately helpful and timely in the.... Read More
The Power of Generations, Part II: Legacies Across Time
Living in a four-generation family allows me to experience the waxing and waning of life. From my perspective as Obaasan (grandmother), I can observe our family’s generational inhaling and exhaling — a rising and falling that feels like a force of Nature.
Waxing/Enlarging My grandson is learning to wave at people. His hands go up and bend at the wrist in a whole hand greeting. He also greets trees, the sky, and the mobiles hanging in his room. His waving has recently become beckoning – as in “let’s go closer,” “please bring that to me,” “I want that!” In this way he draws more of the world toward.... Read More
Civic Engagement: Join us for a #TellACL Online Day of Action on 8/11
Have you heard about our #TellACL civic engagement campaign with Caring Across Generations? We want our communities to tell the Administration for Community Living (ACL) what we need to age successfully. Whether that means aging services in your native language, better access to healthcare that accounts for cultural traditions, better data collection on your community, or something else, we want to hear from you!
This Thursday, August 11th, at 2pm EDT, we’ll be hosting a Twitter chat using hashtag #TellACL. We hope you’ll join us to talk about the aging.... Read More
Shattering Stigma: Tell Your Story for Minority Mental Health Awareness Month
July is National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month, and at the Diverse Elders Coalition, we’re working to shine a spotlight on the unique mental health needs of our elders of color, American Indian/Alaska Native elders, and LGBTQ elders.
Research by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) shows that mental illness affects one in five American adults, yet nearly two-thirds of people with a diagnosable mental illness do not seek treatment. For American Indian/Alaska Native communities, as many as 28% of adults may be living with a mental illness; LGBTQ adults experience even higher rates of mental illness (40%)..... Read More
St. Martin’s LGBTQ Elders Find Strength in Families of Choice
In the Austin community on the Westside of Chicago, Father Chris Griffin serves a diverse congregation of elders, adults and youth at St. Martin’s Episcopal Church. St. Martin’s is an open and affirming space offering a safe haven for LGBTQ people. In the shadow of the Orlando shooting, Father Chris speaks with me about the senior ministry team and the importance of embracing our elders and their families of choice during this emotional time.
Q: How does St. Martin’s embrace the LGBTQ elder community? Fr. Chris: Our seniors play an important role within the various ministries of the church..... Read More
The Power of Generations, Part I: Grandchildren & Grandparents
I am carrying my eight-month old grandson around the house, trying to help him let go and go to sleep. As I chant “Ne-ne Ko-ko, Ne-ne Ko-ko, Ne-ne Ko-ko, Yoh-oh” (sleep baby, sleep baby) over and over, I remember my grandmother carrying me on her back before my afternoon nap, chanting the same thing. I can almost feel myself in both roles at the same time – grandchild, grandparent. A special magnetism helps span these generational roles.
Just Enough Distance While my relationships with son, daughter and elderly mother are very active and dominated by the present, when I interact with my grandson and my granddaughter I’m often thinking about my past and their future. I am remembering my.... Read More