Five Wishes: Advance Care Planning for Diverse Communities

This article was written for the Diverse Elders Coalition by Five Wishes.

Rosa was age 85, a widow, and doing great. She enjoyed good health, many friends and was involved in social activities at her church and in her community. Her children and grandchildren would say, only half-jokingly, that Rosa was healthier and more active than any of them and would likely outlive them all. Even her own doctor was impressed that a woman of her age was as alert and physically able as any patient half her age.

It really never occurred to Rosa or Rosa’s family that it might be smart to plan ahead in case she had an accident or suffered a severe.... Read More

             

I Attended a Focus Group with Vietnamese Caregivers. Here are Some of the Things I Learned.

Last month, I had the opportunity to attend a focus group with Vietnamese family caregivers in Houston, Texas. During the focus group, I learned more about their caregiving experiences, their challenges, and the changes they would like to see in the U.S. healthcare system. Here are some of the things I learned.

“Very thankful for my parents, but sometimes it can be hard to please them, especially when dealing with right and wrong because of our cultural values.” – focus group participant

Cultural Values Influences Caregiving Expectations

In the Vietnamese community, traditional values have a big impact on caregivers. Traditional values such as filial piety — respect for one’s parents, elders, and ancestors — influence many Vietnamese caregivers to exclusively.... Read More

             

As Death Approaches, Older Indian Americans Unprepared for the End

by Viji Sundaram. This article originally appeared on India West.

See the full slide show by Viji Sundaram at https://tinyurl.com/y5kc8fpk

The 88-year-old man looked gray and emaciated, the outline of his collarbones clearly visible under the loose fitting gown he wore as he lay in a narrow hospital bed in an East Bay nursing home. His eyes were closed, his mouth agape. A tube delivered both medicine and food directly into his stomach. He didn’t appear to know what was going on around him.

Nearly two years ago, aspiration pneumonia put Chandra Bhatia (his wife asked that his real name not be used) in the hospital. Since then, other health crises have.... 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

             

Where to Find Help for Difficult Caregiving Tasks

by Chuck Otto. This article originally appeared on Next Avenue.

Caring for a family member, friend or neighbor whose health is compromised by illness, injury or age can be among life’s greatest challenges. And the results of a new AARP study confirm that many non-professional caregivers are doing more medical and nursing tasks than ever.

Home Alone Revisited highlights the breadth and complexity of the tasks demanded of today’s family caregivers. A follow-up to AARP’s 2012 Home Alone study, the new study shows more caregivers are assuming responsibility for particularly demanding procedures once considered the exclusive domain of medical professionals, such as managing incontinence, pain and special diets.

Among the.... Read More

             

Middle Income Older Adults Need New Policies and Programs That Will Work for Them

by Dr. Marcy Adelman. This article originally appeared in the San Francisco Bay Times.

Joan and Lucy are members of an increasing population of older adults in their 70s and 80s who will need some type of assistance to support them to age in place. Joan is a retired teacher and her partner Lucy is a retired social worker.

Joan told me, “We always planned on traveling after retirement. There are so many places we haven’t been, and we wanted to visit all of them. But then Lucy developed Alzheimer’s, and everything changed. We took some great trips at the beginning of the disease. We enjoyed every minute of our time together. It.... Read More

             

Pride Month: Caregiving in LGBT Communities

It is estimated that 10,000 adults turn 65 and older everyday. Amidst an aging population and shrinking healthcare workforce, caregivers play a crucial role in the long-term care of older adults, accounting for more than 85% of all elder care in the US. According to a 2015 study by AARP, it was estimated that there are 34.2 million Americans are providing care to another person who is over the age 50.

The number of caregivers in the United States is expected to grow alongside the older adult population. Caregivers provide physical, psychological, and emotional care for another person who may be a family member, friend, or a partner. The act of providing care can be very fulfilling, but as a.... Read More

             

For the First Time, National Report Examines Potential Role of Caregivers in Medical Product Development

For the first time, a newly-released report, resulting from a one-day summit, “Paving the Path for Family-Centered Design: A National Report on Family Caregiver Roles in Medical Product Development,” explores the vital roles that family caregivers can play in shaping biomedical research and development, regulatory decision-making and healthcare delivery. Specifically, the report begins a dialogue on how to incorporate the critical knowledge of caregivers in developing pharmaceutical products, biotechnology therapies, and medical devices. It presents recommendations for leveraging the enormous – and largely untapped – a reservoir of information and observations of caregivers about the conditions their care.... Read More

             

Despite connectivity, social isolation is not declining—especially among diverse older adults

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

When asked by staff of the Diverse Elders Coalition about the aging services available in her area, Elva, an American Indian elder from New Mexico, relayed how important her local Elder Center was to her and her peers’ well-being: “We as elders need a place to come to, [where we] have meals, do activities and visit with friends and relatives.”

Elva noted that the Elder Center was a place where she could get information about benefits and other available resources. “Many times, as a Native elder, we feel that we don’t exist,” she said.

In our increasingly digitally connected world, there.... Read More

             

Blue Zones, Part 1: How the World’s Oldest People Make Their Money Last

by Richard Eisenberg. This article originally appeared on Next Avenue.

(In 2008, National Geographic writer Dan Buettner published his bestselling book, The Blue Zones: 9 Lessons for Living Longer From the People Who’ve Lived the Longest, about the five “longevity pockets” around the world: The Nicoya Peninsula of Costa Rica; Ikaria, Greece; Sardinia, Italy; Okinawa, Japan and Loma Linda, Calif. For this weekly series, Next Avenue Money and Work & Purpose editor Richard Eisenberg, a Gerontological Society of America Journalists in Aging Fellow, takes a different kind of look at the Blue Zones. Rather than focusing on their diets, he reports on how the people in the Blue Zones make their money last their.... Read More

             
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