America’s older population is in the midst of unprecedented growth. As the baby boomer generation continues to experience increased longevity, the 50 and over population is projected to increase about 20 percent by 2030 or to about 132 million people. In just 15 years, one in five people will be at least age 65. Ensuring that this demographic continues to experience affordable and accessible housing that offers a sense of community as well as other services and supports that enables them to remain active and productive members of society has taken on a new urgency not only for individuals and their families, but also for the nation as a whole.
For some people, staying in their current homes works..... Read More
May is Asian American and Pacific Islander American (AAPI) Heritage Month! Back in 2014, we profiled Quyen Dinh, Executive Director of Diverse Elders Coalition member organization Southeast Asia Resource Action Center (SEARAC). This year, the DEC is excited to introduce Dr. Wes Lum, CEO of the National Asian Pacific Center on Aging (NAPCA). After an extensive nationwide search, Dr. Lum was appointed to the CEO position at NAPCA in March 2015 and has been leading the charge for AAPI elders ever since. Read on for more about Dr. Lum NAPCA:
On April 4, my 73-year-old mother had back surgery. It was a difficult and lengthy procedure and, unfortunately, she experienced a series of post-operative complications. She remained in the hospital for 12 days, and for several of those days things looked very serious. For the first time since I started doing health system transformation policy work, I had an opportunity to experience the acute care side of our health system not merely as a policy advocate, but as a worried family member.
There was a lot about my mom’s medical care that was good. Crucially, the complicated surgery itself appears to have been.... Read More
SAGECare: Creating a More Welcoming Space for LGBT Elders
SAGE is proud to announce the launch of SAGECare— a new training initiative for service providers led by a passionate and experienced team from SAGE. It offers cultural competency training to service providers who wish to join a more inclusive community for LGBT elders, as well as learn to welcome LGBT older adults with open arms.
SAGECare goes above and beyond the usual method of diversity training. The program creates a space for service providers to expand, transform and elevate their understanding of the needs of LGBT elders. The training provided by.... Read More
Our guest blog post today is courtesy of Maj. General Tony Taguba (Ret.). General Taguba is the National Chairman of the Filipino Veterans Recognition and Education Project (FilVetREP), a non profit organization whose mission is to raise awareness about Filipino WWII veterans and their contributions to the United States and to the Philippines. The second highest ranking Filipino American in the U.S. Army during his tenure, he is the proud son of a World War II veteran and also serves as a Community Ambassdor for AARP.
* In the interest of transparency, National Managing Coordinator Ben de Guzman serves on the Executive Committee of FilVetREP.
As the director of the LatinosAgainstAlzheimer’s Coalition, I’m thrilled when we can work hand-in-hand with our members to raise awareness of dementia and Alzheimer’s among their constituents, staff, and partners. That’s why I’m pleased to share our most recent collaboration with the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), the nation’s oldest civil rights volunteer-based organization.
LULAC News – the organization’s membership magazine – sat down with LatinosAgainstAlzheimer’s advocate Daisy Duarte to learn more about Alzheimer’s impact on Latinos and about her role as a caregiver advocate and a clinical trial participant.
The living arrangements of America’s older population are important because senior isolation has become an alarmingly common phenomenon, and will continue to increase as the older population continues to grow.
Regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, or sexual orientation, nobody relishes the prospect of aging without a spouse, family member, or a friend at their side during crisis or to simply share a laugh. All older adults — including African American seniors who live alone in communities that are geographically and economically isolated from economic opportunities, services, and institutions — are extremely vulnerable to the next calamity, be it from terrorism or a natural disaster.
Nothing causes seniors to experience a greater decline in health and emotional well-being than social isolation..... Read More
My mother is 94 years old and was admitted to hospice care a month ago. Getting there was a huge life/medical milestone for her and our family involving multiple doctor visits, calls and meetings with staff from two assisted living facilities, calls to her HMO and the hospice organization, meetings with hospice staff, emails and meetings with family members, forms signed and sent, and endless scheduling. Mom ended up moving from one facility to a sister facility with a higher level of care, so I also organized packing, movers and family help within a compressed time period. It was a withering amount of logistics.
Reflecting upon this recent period, I glean three key learnings about how to navigate this transition.... Read More
I recently read an article written about a family gathering around their mother as she was dying. I was struck by its vulnerable and loving perspective, but most of all by a concept Heather Plett called “holding space.” According to Plett’s article, “holding space” is about supporting another human being without “judging them, making them feel inadequate, trying to fix them, or trying to impact the outcome.” Holding space means “we open our hearts, offer unconditional support and let go of judgment and control.”
I remember holding space for my mom when she was dying. I didn’t know that a concept like this existed, but I knew.... Read More
Growing Older Together: Queer People of Color and Aging
As I get older, I find myself having more and more questions about how best to care for my aging parents, how my wife Mala and I can best plan for our retirement and beyond, and how we can best support and remain active in our LGBTQ people of color movements. I also see for the first time a critical mass of queer people of color (QPOC) who have been out for years or even decades, and are now at or near retirement age.
So I’m more excited than ever about the upcoming Creating Change conference in Chicago from January 20-24. We’ll have several opportunities for conversations with other QPOC elders who are grappling with these same questions and.... Read More