by Daniel Blue Tyx. This article originally appeared in the Texas Observer.
“La calavera,” the caller intoned, as Beatriz García placed a turquoise glass bead over the skull-and-crossbones icon on one of the two brightly colored cards on the table in front of her. It was 9 a.m. on a Tuesday morning at Lindos Momentos Adult Day Care in McAllen, and the chalupa — a bingo-like game featuring iconography drawn from Mexican folklore — was already in full swing.
Beatriz, 74, has five children and worked for 21 years in a local elementary school cafeteria. Her husband, Guillermo, sits at her side. He’s 80 and picked cotton for 25 cents an hour as a migrant farmworker in his youth,.... Read More
Needed: More Community Support for People With Dementia
Our country has reached a critical moment. The aging of the baby boom generation and the fact that people are living longer is driving tremendous growth in the numbers of older adults. By 2030, one in five Americans will be age 65 or older. And statistics show that 90 percent of this population will want to age at home and in their communities.
To achieve this goal, older adults will likely need access to local services and supports — and their caregivers will need assistance, too. Providing those services is what members of the National Association.... Read More
Filipino Caregivers Battle Lack of Sleep, Other Work Risks
As a caregiver for nearly 10 years, Lea Nelson enjoyed the interactions she had with her elderly clients.
“The exchange of stories while eating meals, doing their nails, coloring and cutting their hair, and massaging,” she said. “Playing with them board games, mind games and card games.”
But Nelson, who provided one-on-one care at a home for seven years and served in a nursing facility for a year in the San Francisco Bay Area, also often had to stay awake through the night caring for the seniors and experienced other difficult working conditions.
“It was extremely hard,” she said.
Conditions Put Seniors at Risk
Recent studies only underscore the plight that caregivers — many of whom are.... 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
Results of the National Hispanic Council on Aging’s 2017 National Caregiving Survey
Family has always been at the heart of Hispanic values. A big part of that value includes caring for our elders. In fact, providing care for our elders is often considered an honor and is performed willingly. However, caregiving does not come without its own challenges.
As life expectancies grow, we are faced with concerns about health (e.g., chronic disease, dementia, etc.), health care costs, financial stability, and housing. Many of these issues have Hispanic families turning to each other even more for physical, emotional and financial support.
This year, the National Hispanic Council on Aging (NHCOA), along with its partners, has focused on the needs of Hispanic family caregivers. Over the course of the past year, among other things,.... Read More
Taking aging and caregiving as they come: an interview with Betty Thomson
Elizabeth (liz) Anh Thomson (they/them/theirs) identifies as a bi/queer, Vietnamese adoptee, disabled, gender non-conforming, cisgender female. They were adopted from Vietnam in 1974 by two sisters, Alva (ma) and Betty Thomson (mom). They were raised in Indianapolis, IN in a predominantly white, middle class neighborhood. They studied German and Sociology in undergraduate; Master’s in Women and Gender Studies; and currently a fourth year PhD candidate in Disability Studies, at the University of Illinois at Chicago. They have a passion for documentary photography, community organizing,.... Read More
Caregiving Around the Clock: National Family Caregivers Month and Resources for the LGBT Community
Each November we recognize National Family Caregivers Month. As the theme for this year makes clear, many of us are aware that caring for a spouse/partner, family member, or friend is often a 24/7 commitment of caregiving around the clock.
SAGE recognizes the importance of caregiving and planning within the LGBT community. A 2015 AARP report indicates 9 percent (3 million) of the 34.2 million Americans who provide unpaid care to another adult over the age of 50 identify as LGBT. Additionally,.... Read More
To achieve the wellbeing and aging with dignity for seniors it is necessary to guarantee the emotional and physical health of their Caregivers
More than 9 million Latinos in the United States are caring for a family member without receiving any kind of compensation. This represents a challenge when they need to balance the many responsibilities of their lives in conjunction with caring for their loved ones. Their average income is $39,000 per year, well below the national average of $54,700.
By all accounts, Bharti Parikh, 66, has led an exciting life. Her life has been an adventure that took her from a childhood in the tiny village of Patton in Gujarat, India, to a law degree, and fulfilling years in America that included working for the City of New York, being invited to be an artist at President Clinton’s inauguration, and being a singing star on TV.
However, there’s also another sadder, more stressful side to her story, one that is unfortunately shared by so many older adults in America. Bharti Parikh is a caregiver, and has had to be one for years. A senior herself, she.... Read More
A Nursing Home for American Indian Elders Fills Cultural Needs
by Kevyn Burger. This article originally appeared on Next Avenue.
Born on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota, Kathy Janis was taught to revere the elders in her Oglala Sioux Tribe.
“I was raised to consider every one of them to be a relative. Respect is instilled in us,” she said. “My parents didn’t tell it, they lived it and showed us.”
That’s why Janis prioritized the needs of her older relatives while serving on the Tribal Council. More than a decade ago, the governing body began laying the groundwork to build a nursing home specifically for the tribe’s members. An early step was visiting tribal elders who were scattered in facilities around the country.... Read More