I had the pleasure of attending a Grantmakers In Aging webinar yesterday that focused on the impact of HIV on our elders. Speakers on the webinar included Ben de Guzman, our National Managing Coordinator, as well as Mark Brennan-Ing of ACRIA and Aaron Tax of SAGE. As someone who is relatively new to both HIV and aging advocacy, the experience was extremely valuable to me – especially because by 2020, over 70% of the people with HIV in this country will be 50 or older.
During the presentation, Mark Brennan-Ing shared some health information about older adults with HIV. Adults over 50 years old account for 11% of new HIV infections in the United States. Additionally, elders.... Read More
Today is National HIV and Aging Awareness Day (NHAAAD), celebrated each year on September 18th to mark the unique challenges of being an elder with HIV. The following is a speech given by Herbie Taylor at our May 7th WHCOA Town Hall in Los Angeles, CA. For more information on NHAAAD, visit our HIV and Aging webpage, or join us for a free webinar on Monday, September 21st from 2-3pm EDT with Grantmakers in Aging.
By Guest Contributor, Herbie Taylor. Herbie is a 63-year-old Gay man of color who is retired, disabled, sober for 18+ years,.... Read More
Memories of my maternal grandma will always be with me. We called her “Ma’sani’ “(translated from my language it means — “Elder Mother.”) Our tribe is matrilineal so my four clans come to me through the female lineage of my parents ancestors. When I was a child I remember traveling to the deep frontier country in the back of our pickup truck to visit Grandma. The roads were dirt – not paved. The air was fresh and my hair would blow wild in the breeze. I was so excited because we were going to grandma’s house. My maternal grandmother lived about 35 miles off the main roadway. On rainy days the dirt roads were hard to maneuver because of the.... Read More
Honoring the Families’ Treasures: Our Grandparents
In just a few short decades, one in five U.S. residents will be an older adult. This is an incredible demographic shift for U.S. society and it has implications for every aspect of U.S. life. As advocates for, and experts of, the senior community, we discuss a lot of those implications. We talk about needed services for our nation’s seniors and the current lack of quality, affordable, senior appropriate housing stock. We talk about the unacceptable levels of hunger among U.S. seniors and lack of access to transportation and quality medical care. We talk about the importance of educating a slimming workforce so that our elders can be supported and the critical importance of Social Security and Medicare. And for.... Read More
Golden Girls: Growing Old, Growing Up, and Growing Asian American
Today marks the 30th anniversary of the debut of “The Golden Girls” on NBC. From modest beginnings, the show would become a huge success, garnering top ratings for NBC and accolades for the show, its cast, and crew. But more importantly, from a cultural perspective, it has had a much larger impact. As the first network broadcast show to focus on older women, The Golden Girls changed the way we looked at them and broke many stereotypes. From water cooler chatter to professionally refereed academic journals, much has been made of what their groundbreaking portrayals mean for how we understand women and aging.
HIV can infect anyone, at any age, if given the chance. However, it does disproportionately impact certain populations. HIV/AIDS is a serious health concern for older adults; today adults 50 years of age and older account for 32.7% of HIV diagnoses in the U.S. Furthermore, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that this number will increase to 50% by 2015. The numbers don’t lie: HIV can, and often disproportionately, affects older adults, parents and grandparents.
Contrary to popular myths and stereotypes, some seniors engage in behaviors that put them.... Read More
National Indian Council on Aging, Inc. (NICOA) and the 2015 White House Conference on Aging
The 2015 White House Conference on Aging was a unique experience. It did not follow the traditional path of previous White House Conferences primarily due to the lack of funding and authorizing legislation in support of the process this year. Despite these obstacles, President Obama, Nora Super and the Administration for Community Living were able to create a new approach and focus the nation’s attention on aging issues. Given these challenges, it was a bold accomplishment.
Like others in the Aging Community, I wondered how the virtual format and regional forums would be implemented. My concern was that technology might interfere with direct communication and hinder the process. Many in tribal areas would not be able to participate.... Read More
Sunday, September 13th is Grandparents Day, and at the Diverse Elders Coalition, we are so grateful for our grandparents: whether you say grandmother, grandfather, abuela, abuelo, oba-chan, ojisan, lola, lolo, yeay, taa, tutu, halmoni, halapoji, bibi, babu, awa, tata, pog, yawg, yéyé, nǎinai, or another term of endearment, the elders in our lives have served as role models, supporters and caregivers.
Grandparents are more than just pinched cheeks and comfort food, though. The grandparents in our lives can be a valuable resource as we figure out how to make the world a better place. I love this quote from Janet Mock’s book Redefining Realness, in which she talks about the struggles her relatives have faced, and the role.... Read More
Caregiving in the Filipino American Community: This is How We Do It
“If you were from, where I’m from, then you would know.”- Montell Jordan
Immigrant culture in the United States, by virtue of taking one’s homeland culture to a new location in the context of a new culture, entails some degree of cultural sharing. For Filipinos in the United States, this has resulted in a vibrant new “Filipino American culture” that borrows from new and old to create a unique new entity. It also creates some challenges as those familiar with old ways must adapt to new environments.
These cultural conflicts and confluences are revealed no more clearly perhaps than in the very personal journey of caregiving for a loved one as they age. For older people who grew up in.... Read More