by liz thomson. For the past five years, liz has been doing eldercare with mom and has learned a lot about the healthcare industrial complex, aging experience, and how marginalized the elder communities are. For more about liz and Betty, click here.
Since moving in together, mom and I have had to figure out how to share our lives together in a new way. One significant area of my life is about gender and sexuality. In Chicago, I had a very strong LGBTQQIA community – and specifically those who were Asian American and people of color. So, I knew moving to Greenwood, Indiana was going to be very different. However, I was surprised to see a PFLAG Greenwood.... Read More
Paiute Tribe Elders Navigate a Faltering Health Care System
Dennis and Betty Smartt live in a neatly painted white-and-blue home on the Fort McDermitt Paiute and Shoshone Reservation, on the Nevada-Oregon border. They’ve spent their entire lives here, in this small tribal community of 600 people.
The Smartts, members of the Paiute Tribe, exemplify the challenges Native elders face as they get older in remote communities with poor health care access.
At their home, Dennis’ handcrafted eagle feather headdress adorns a stand in the living room. He recently returned from a trip to Fort Bidwell, Calif., where he spoke at a traditional gathering of elders for prayer and cultural talks. That trip illustrated some of the challenges the Smartts and.... Read More
Diverse Elders Coalition Condemns the Trump Administration’s Ban on Words Including “Diversity” and “Vulnerable”
The Diverse Elders Coalition is deeply troubled by widespread media reports that the Trump Administration is banning words like “diversity” and “transgender” and “vulnerable,” among other important words that describe interventions, from the federal budget and ordering federal agencies not to use such words in budget documents. As the name of our Coalition manifests, we believe that respect and support for diversity among our elders is fundamental to a decent society. This is critically important because diverse elders are highly vulnerable as they age,.... Read More
Health Risks To Farmworkers Increase As Workforce Ages
That bag of frozen cauliflower sitting inside your freezer likely sprang to life in a vast field north of Salinas, Calif. A crew of men and women here use a machine to drop seedlings into the black soil. Another group follows behind, stooped over, tapping each new plant.
It is backbreaking, repetitive work. Ten-hour days start in the cold, dark mornings and end in the searing afternoon heat.
More than 90 percent of California’s crop workers were born in Mexico. But in recent years, fewer have migrated to the U.S., according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Researchers point to a number of causes: tighter border controls; higher prices charged by.... Read More
The Edie Windsor SAGE Center Dedicated in New York City
SAGE, the nation’s largest and oldest organization dedicated to improving the lives of LGBT elders, has officially renamed its Midtown senior center — the first LGBT senior center in the country — The Edie Windsor SAGE Center, in honor of its beloved hero.
Friends and supporters gathered at SAGE National Headquarters to celebrate the dedication and to pay tribute to the woman who paved the way to marriage equality. Windsor, who once served on the Board of SAGE and continued to be a staunch supporter of the organization and the community it serves, passed away in September of this year.
“Edie was many things to SAGE – a strong supporter, a Board member, a SAGE activist,” said.... Read More
Poor Public Transportation Can Be a Roadblock to the Everyday Needs of Arab-American Seniors
Conversations around Detroit-area public transit in recent months have focused on new routes on Woodward, Gratiot and Michigan Avenue – as well as the Detroit Connector, a new service operating from Ann Arbor to Detroit offered by the University of Michigan that launched October 30.
Yet these discussions around transit development tend to omit those most in need of affordable, reliable and convenient transportation options.
Nationwide, the Pew Foundation reports that while only 18 percent of urban dwellers born in the United States regularly use public transportation, almost 38 percent of foreign-born city residents rely on public transit.
No. 1 Obstacle to Self-Sufficiency
In Metro Detroit, a city without the mass-transit system.... Read More
On December 5, 2017, I, an African American lesbian elder, found myself on the steps of the Supreme Court of the United States of America. I had been asked to share my thoughts on the Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission case. I was happy that I’d been asked because I had a few thoughts and life experiences on what legalized discrimination looked and felt like.
However, for a few minutes, being in front of the Supreme Court, the highest court in the land, seemed surreal. Sort of like the time my wife and I took a cruise down the Nile in Egypt with the pyramids as a backdrop. I mean here I was on the same.... Read More
Texans With HIV Cope With Homes And Medicines Ruined By Hurricane Harvey
This story by Kaiser Health News senior national correspondent Sarah Varney aired Nov. 24, 2017, on Here & Now.
Angelia Soloman watched out the window of her ranch house in northeastern Houston as the floodwaters rose up to the windowsills.
She huddled inside with her three adopted children (ages 12 to 15), a nephew and her 68-year-old mother. “They were looking and crying, like, ‘We’re gonna lose everything,’” said Soloman. “And I’m like, ‘No, it’ll be OK.’”
When the water began rushing under the front door, filling up the house like a bathtub, Soloman led her family outside, and plunged into a river of water up to her chest.
The hurricane couldn’t have come at a worse time.... Read More
It’s India Independence Day, 2017, and at the celebration being held at Queens Borough Hall in Queens, NY, the young announcer invites the next act to come up on stage. Ten women from India Home file in and start dancing, their bright white, orange and red saris billowing, their feet making dexterous patterns to the insistently upbeat music. The scene is remarkable not for the fact that there are Indian dancers in Queens, but because the women swaying on stage are all between 65 and 85 years old.
It is no coincidence that these women are so fit and.... Read More
Kintsugi: A Survivor’s Reflection on World AIDS Day 2017
When the Japanese mend broken objects, they emphasize the damage by filling in the cracks with gold.
They believe that when something has suffered damage and has history, it becomes more beautiful than before.
This is kintsugi, the art of “fixing with gold.”
We were broken. Thirty-six years ago, a virus invaded our community, invaded our bodies. It destroyed hundreds of thousands of us. Those of us whom the virus couldn’t kill, it left broken—physically, emotionally, financially, spiritually broken.
We have suffered damage. Those of us who carry the virus.... Read More