Facing Mortality Head-On

This article originally appeared in A&U Magazine.

For a handful of months now, I’ve been contemplating a decision that I know many long-term HIV survivors have contemplated before me.

Letting go.

That is, I have considered going off my medications—all of them—and letting Nature and the virus just take their course. As a long-time advocate of a patient’s right to choose when and how to end his own life when facing a terminal disease, the decision to cease medication seems to me a perfectly rational, honorable decision available to me.

I keep it open as an.... Read More

             

Bringing Alzheimer’s Out of the Shadows

This article originally appeared in Aging Today, the bimonthly newspaper of the American Society on Aging.

Stigma around Alzheimer’s disease, the sixth-leading cause of death among Americans, is slowly eroding as the disease becomes more and more visible in our communities and in popular culture. Films such as “Still Alice” and Pixar’s “Coco” are helping the general public to learn about and have conversations about dementia.

Open discussions of their personal diagnoses from high-profile figures like former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, musician Glen Campbell and restaurateur B. Smith are putting a public face on the progressive brain disease. While awareness is increasing, there are still aspects of Alzheimer’s and its impacts on society that are largely.... Read More

             

Differences in NYC’s Chinese Elders End-of-Life Care Preferences

By April Xu. This article originally appeared in the Sing Tao Daily.

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

by Aspen Christian. This article originally appeared in SAGEMatters, Fall 2018.

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

             

Christmas at the Covingtons

by Peter White. This article originally appeared in The Tennessee Tribune.

Rose and George Covington live in a 4-bedroom, two-bath brick house on Meridian St. in East Nashville. They are still doing what they started doing 45 years ago: raising children. Their own two, Tim and Jessica, are grown and out of the house.

They’ve got five grandchildren and one great grandchild, Michael, who is 2 ½. Rose and George are raising them. There is also Rose’s nephew, Jerry, 14. Kids from an extended family of eighty-nine at one time or another have lived in the house on Meridian St. It has four blue metal chairs on the front lawn and a welcome mat by the front.... 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.

Knickerbocker Village provides mental-health services for seniors through its Naturally Occuring Retirement Community, or NORC, an unplanned retirement community where senior services are funded.... Read More

             

Wisconsin Training Health Providers to Care for Aging Population

by David Wahlberg. This article originally appeared in the Wisconsin State Journal.

Dr. Matthew Weiss’ “patient,” an older man playing the role of an 80-year-old with diabetes, told Weiss he recently fell on the way to the bathroom and hit a dresser.

“I toppled over and banged my head into it on the way down,” the man said.

Weiss suggested the man sit on his bed at first when getting up, to steady his blood pressure. He checked the man’s feet and asked about medications and throw rugs. When the man said he drinks two beers.... Read More

             

Protecting Southeast Asian American Families

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.

I didn’t realize,.... Read More

             

The Ways Inequality Affects Black Americans at the End of Life

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

             
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