Open Enrollment Season is Right Around the Corner – Are You Ready to #GetCovered?

This past week, I flipped my calendar from August to September, and I started thinking about pumpkins and sweet potatoes, hot chocolate, leaves changing color – and open enrollment for health insurance! This time of year is vitally important to diverse elders, because both Medicare and the Affordable Care Act have had a profound impact on our ability to age with health and dignity. Read on for more information and key dates around healthcare open enrollment, and make sure you’re ready to #GetCovered!

Medicare Open Enrollment
October 15 – December 7, 2017

Medicare has a huge impact on diverse elders’ ability to get care. Various studies have found that

46% of Latino older adults
43% of Asian.... Read More

             

Are you managing multiple chronic health conditions? Medicare can help!

Managing your health can be challenging, especially if you have two or more chronic conditions or illnesses. The Connected Care campaign offers information to help you take advantage of new Medicare services that pay for comprehensive care management particularly needed by patients dealing with multiple chronic conditions. If you have Medicare and live with two or more chronic conditions, you may be eligible for chronic care management (CCM) services to help you maximize your health and spend more time with your loved ones.

What does CCM mean for you?

CCM means having a continuous relationship with a.... Read More
             

Aging New York Immigrants Confront Shortage of Culturally Appropriate Services

by Ramón Cuauhtémoc Taylor. This article was originally published by Voice Of America News.

On a fluorescent-lit stage at Desi Senior Center, an instructor leads a group of mostly Muslim Bangladeshi immigrants, ages 60 and older, in a session of balance and core exercises.

Aided by PowerPoint slides, he instructs them to squat in Bengali, then proceeds to count to ten in English. The women, dressed in colorful dupattas and hijabs, stand on the right; men, wearing Tupi prayer caps, on the left. They place their hands on their hips. Some close their eyes.

For five hours a day, three days a week in the basement of Queens, New York’s Jamaica Muslim Center, more than 150 aging.... Read More

             

Latinos & Alzheimer’s: Empowering Communities Through Culture

The names of friends and family members become harder to remember. You might forget how to tie your shoes or have difficulty dressing in the morning. You might find yourself lost in places that you have known your entire life or be confused by what day of the week it is. These are some of the early signs of Alzheimer’s, a progressive brain disease impacting millions of Americans — and hitting women and communities of color especially hard. 

In fact, Latinos are 1.5 times more likely to develop Alzheimer’s or a related dementia than non-Latino whites, and a report from LatinosAgainstAlzheimer’s and the USC Roybal Institute on Aging projects the number of Latinos living with.... Read More

             

Are South Asians more at risk for heart disease? Yes, and now there’s a new bill in Congress to address that!

This post originally appeared on the India Home blog.

Last year, Narendra Butala, a long time member of India Home, was facing a health crisis. He had been feeling breathless for a while. His blood pressure would drop suddenly and he would sweat profusely.

Still, he was afraid to go to the cardiologist because his brother had got a pacemaker in 2004 and had passed away shortly after. Even as he worried about the condition of his heart, he heard from one of his relatives. Pacemaker technology had changed, she said, and urged him to get a check-up. Finally, in July, a few months after his 78th birthday, Butala, took the plunge and went to Mount Sinai Hospital in.... Read More

             

Seniors Dance for Health, Life—and to Beat the Blues

by Jacqueline García. This article originally appeared on New America Media.

When a group of elderly women dance, their eyes focus on their hands, their movements and their fans.

Their dresses are colorful, flowers adorn their hair, and their shoes have heels, not too high but elegant.

“Dancing is art and is life,” said Ana Miranda, age 65, after a presentation at the World Conference on Geriatrics and Gerontology in San Francisco in late July. The once-in-four-years conference attracted 6,000 experts in aging from 75 countries.

Miranda along with the other women belong to the San Francisco Mission Neighborhood Center (MNC) Healthy Aging program. She has attended the senior center for more than five years and said the.... Read More

             

Aging as LGBT: Two Stories

by Heron Greenesmith. This post originally appeared on the Justice in Aging blog.

Tina and Jackie were born in the same town in 1947. Despite similar beginnings, their lives take very different turns. In 1967, Tina meets Frank. And Jackie meets Frances. As a same-sex couple, Jackie and Frances couldn’t marry, were denied spousal benefits, and experienced a lifetime of discrimination and lost wages. Fast forward to today, and Jackie, like so many other older adults, struggles with financial insecurity, social isolation, and overall lack of health and well-being, simply because they are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT).

Unfortunately, Jackie’s story.... Read More

             

Challenges Loom for Growing Elderly Filipino American Population

by Neil Gonzalez. This article originally appeared on New America Media.

Betty de Guzman takes her ailments in stride.

The gracefully dressed, pixie-haired 78-year-old has been a breast-cancer survivor the past 16 years. “When I got diagnosed, I said so be it,” she said. “But I’m thankful to God for saving my life.”

She has also been battling diabetes. “I control my food and take my medicine,” she said while hanging out with friends at the Pilipino Senior Resource Center in San Francisco. “I eat a small amount of rice and more protein, vegetables and fruits.”

Health and other concerns pertaining to older Filipino Americans, such as de Guzman, are expected only to heighten as this.... Read More

             

Healthy Aging Starts with a Healthy Mouth, and Health Equity Starts with Us

Last week, the Diverse Elders Coalition traveled to Alexandria, VA for the Oral Health America Medicare Symposium. Advocates, policymakers, and providers convened for this Symposium to discuss how to get a dental benefit included in Medicare. A recent study found that 52% of older adults are unaware that Medicare doesn’t cover routine dental care – maybe you didn’t know that, either!

Given how important oral health is to overall health – if you can’t chew or swallow food, or if you are living with chronic pain from infection or gum disease, your overall health is certainly impacted! – it is shocking that once an elder turns 65, they are their own for.... Read More

             

ACA Repeal Would Send Native American Uninsured Rate Soaring

by Jim McLean

The number of Native Americans without health insurance would increase sharply if Republicans in Congress succeed in repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act, according to a new report.

The report, from the left-leaning Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, says that proposed cuts to Medicaid and to the subsidies that reduce out-of-pockets costs for low-income individuals purchasing private insurance in the ACA marketplace would jeopardize the coverage of more than 300,000 Native Americans and Alaska Natives.

The uninsured rate among Native Americans would climb by 27.4 percent in Kansas and 36.2 percent in Missouri, according to the report. Kansas is home to approximately 60,000 people who self-identify as either.... Read More

             
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