Life at the Intersection: Older Adults Need a Response to COVID-19 Grounded in Equity

by Denny Chan. This article originally appeared on the Justice in Aging blog.

Dorothy is in good spirits, but tired and growing increasingly impatient. In January – well before life for most Americans had been dramatically disrupted by COVID-19 with stay at home orders and the shut down of non-essential businesses – the 72-year-old Chinese American living in Seattle, Washington’s Chinatown began to see signs that her community’s life was slowing down. She’d been reading the daily headlines in the Chinese newspaper about the virus in Wuhan and other parts of China. But.... Read More

             

NAPCA Launches Automated In-Language Helpline and Website for Older Adults and Caregivers in Response to COVID19

Dear friends,

As COVID-19 began moving through our communities, the National Asian Pacific Center on Aging (NAPCA) immediately initiated conversations with multiple levels of government to ensure the needs of older adults and their caregivers from the Asian American and Pacific Islander populations were being addressed. While we are still continuing our conversations, we recognized the importance of providing access to in-language information and disseminating them through multiple resources. Addressing language barriers and lack of access to information are priorities for us.

In direct response to these priorities, we are launching our automated in-language Helpline and website. The.... Read More

             

COVID-19: We Must Care for Older Adults’ Mental Health

by Christine Moutier, Chief Medical Officer, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. This article originally appeared on the AFSP Lifesaver Blog.

No matter your age, mental health and well-being are influenced by numerous factors and are susceptible to change. Right now, most people, across all sectors of society, are being affected by the global health crisis related to the coronavirus. One particular group we should keep in mind during this challenging time is older adults, whose routines and usual support systems may be disrupted.

The most powerful factors that impact mental health and well-being for older.... Read More

             

Tips on Dementia Caregiving in the COVID-19 Outbreak

by Liz Seegert. This article originally appeared on Next Avenue.

Caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s or other dementia is hard enough during normal times. As the coronavirus pandemic continues to affect communities around the U.S., though, it’s not surprising that family caregivers are anxious, unnerved and confused.

If you’re caring for a family member with dementia during this global health crisis, there are ways to minimize stress, care for your family and care for yourself, too.

Dementia itself does not increase the risk of COVID-19; however, dementia-related behaviors may increase risk. People with dementia may forget to wash their hands or take other precautions recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).... Read More

             

Don’t Let Social Distancing Isolate Elders

This article originally appeared on the NICOA blog.

Although the implementation of social distancing is necessary to flatten the coronavirus curve and prevent the current pandemic from worsening, the stress of isolation can have an affect on anyone. With elders designated as “high risk,” elders and those supporting them worry that precautions could further isolate this vulnerable community, exacerbating loneliness and stress.

Chronic stress is harmful to your health and can be particularly hazardous for elders. Although it’s difficult to determine the extent to which chronic stress affects the health of elders, there is undoubtedly a correlation.

Here are some articles discussing both the need to stay socially distant.... Read More

             

National Nutrition Month: Highlight on the Elder Index and Food Insecurity

Developed by the Gerontology Institute at the University of Massachusetts Boston, the Elder Index tool is used to measure the income older people need to meet their daily living expenses while staying independent in their own homes. The Elder Index tool is specific to household size, location, housing and health status, unlike the Federal Poverty Level, another index used to assess income level.

Additionally, the Elder Index accounts for the cost of healthcare, transportation, miscellaneous essentials, and food. After attending the webinar “Promoting Better Communities for Older.... Read More

             

‘We Weren’t Expected to Live This Long’

by Grace Birnstengel. This article originally appeared on Next Avenue.

(Editor’s note: This story is part of Still Here, Still Positive: A series on the first generation of Americans aging with HIV/AIDS, with support from The John A. Hartford Foundation.)

More than 500,000 people over 50 in the U.S. are growing older with the human immunodeficiency viruses (HIV) that, if untreated, cause acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, or AIDS.

While some have contracted HIV/AIDS in their later years (sparse sexual health promotion for older adults is often to blame), the bulk of these survivors were diagnosed decades ago, back in the throes of the AIDS epidemic of the 1980s and 1990s, when.... Read More

             

Diverse Elders Coalition Urges Policy Changes to Protect Diverse Elders from COVID-19

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

MARCH 13, 2020

CONTACT: Jenna McDavid, National Director
jmcdavid@diverseelders.org
646-653-5015

Diverse Elders Coalition urges policy changes to protect diverse older adults from COVID-19

New York, NY — Today, the Diverse Elders Coalition (DEC) issued a plea to Congress in support of policy changes and protective measures to limit the impact of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, on older adults from communities of color, American Indian and Alaska Native communities, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) communities.

“People 60 years of age and older and those with underlying health conditions (e.g., diabetes, HIV, heart disease, and lung disease), are most vulnerable to getting sick or even dying from COVID-19. Many of the communities we represent already.... Read More

             

Latinos, Victims of Depression Who Are Unaware or Live in Denial

by Agustín Durán. This article originally appeared in Spanish in La Opinión. Para leer en español, haga clic aquí.

Since her daughter Clara died, Gladys, 58, has barely participated in family celebrations; she is constantly sick, and her appearance seems very fragile.

She says that everything is fine, that they are the ailments of her age. She refuses to see a therapist and affirms she is not crazy. Gladys blames her sadness and lack of desire to do anything as pure figments of her children’s imaginations.

The truth is that 14 years have gone by since Clara died, but Gladys gives those she meets the impression that her daughter just died yesterday. Still, the immigrant from Guadalajara, Mexico, denies.... Read More

             
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