Ocean Le: Giving back to the older adults who have impacted my life

Please kindly allow me to introduce myself as Ocean Le, an aspiring health professional with the goal to improve the lives of older adults and their families. My interest in the field is embedded in the rich foundation of knowledge that has not been fully understood by the public. As a first-generation student of two immigrant parents, I have seen the detrimental effects of limited access to health care both domestically and internationally. This has inspired me to improve access to both health care and health care information – empowering people involved in the process of care.

My interest began in Honolulu, Hawaii, as an intermediate student at a Roman Catholic School. As a section 8 housing kid, I was.... Read More

             

Do NYC’s Seniors Need More Mental Health First Aid?

By Roshan Abraham. This article originally appeared in City Limits.

When two suicides by seniors occurred within a year at Knickerbocker Village, a 1,590-apartment housing complex in the Two Bridges section of Manhattan’s Lower East Side, it rocked the community, says Councilmember Margaret Chin, who represents the 1st Council District where the complex sits.

In November of 2017, a terminally-ill Chinese community leader in his 60’s took his own life. Months later, in July of 2018, a 78 year-old former tenant association president and Vietnam veteran committed suicide.

Knickerbocker Village provides mental-health services for seniors through its Naturally Occuring Retirement Community, or NORC, an unplanned retirement community where senior services are funded.... Read More

             

Wisconsin Training Health Providers to Care for Aging Population

by David Wahlberg. This article originally appeared in the Wisconsin State Journal.

Dr. Matthew Weiss’ “patient,” an older man playing the role of an 80-year-old with diabetes, told Weiss he recently fell on the way to the bathroom and hit a dresser.

“I toppled over and banged my head into it on the way down,” the man said.

Weiss suggested the man sit on his bed at first when getting up, to steady his blood pressure. He checked the man’s feet and asked about medications and throw rugs. When the man said he drinks two beers.... Read More

             

To Eliminate Race Disparities in Diabetes, We Must Address Social Determinants of Health

by Susan Buchanan. This article originally appeared in the Louisiana Weekly.

In the United States, diabetes is most prevalent among Southerners and residents of Appalachian regions. Blacks are afflicted more than whites. Over a third of African American seniors are diagnosed as diabetic.

The prevalence of diabetes increases with age, Kelly Zimmerman, spokeswoman for Louisiana’s Department of Health, said last week. Adults ages 65 and older had the highest rate in the state last year at 26.1 percent. Diabetes among all of Louisiana’s adults 18 years and above was 13.6 percent. For the state’s African American adults of.... Read More

             

Its Flu Season! Don’t Wait, Get Vaccinated!

Flu season is upon us! It is so important for people 65 years and older to get vaccinated because they are at greater risk of serious complications from the flu. While flu seasons can vary in severity, during most seasons, people 65 years and older have the greatest weight of severe flu disease. In recent years, it’s estimated that roughly 70 to 85 percent of seasonal flu-related deaths have occurred in people 65 years and older. It is particularly important for Hispanic older adults, as historically, Hispanic adults were 30 percent less likely to have received the flu shot compared to non-Hispanic whites.

.... Read More
             

Black, Hispanic Elders Especially Susceptible to Dehydration

by Susan Buchanan. This article originally appeared in the Louisiana Weekly.

Elders are among those most vulnerable to dehydration, and African American and Hispanic adults are more likely to become dehydrated than whites, researchers have found.

In a review of health issues after the Gulf Coast’s hurricanes in 2005, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) pointed to the dangers of dehydration for older adults. People suffered from heat and a lack of potable water. After Katrina struck that August, dehydration took the lives of many local seniors in nursing homes, hospitals, shelters and their houses. Rita, Wilma and Dennis were other deadly Gulf hurricanes in 2005.

‘Extremely Dangerous’

Beyond access to water, older people are vulnerable to dehydration for.... Read More

             

Walking on the beach in Miami Beach, Florida.

by Shelly M. SAGE member from 2010, mostly at SAGE Harlem. Shelly also volunteers at the center.

Hot sunny days are a welcome change from home in NYC.  Hot weather all the time, even now in October the average temp is 80’s. Good for the bones. Miami Beach was hot sand, cool blue water that not the same in New York. Funny didn’t see the one animal I was expecting was flamingos. Images were reflecting on the highway of the birds on the sound barriers to let you know where you are. And the other was so many palm trees. And only palm trees.  Had only four days’ vacation driving around the area from Miami and Sunny Isles and Ft.... Read More

             

Conquering Health Disparities Facing Older Hispanics

For far too many years, Hispanics across the country have been sidelined in critical medical research. As a result, our community is not taken into consideration in the creation of medical treatment programs that, for some, would be their best chance for survival. For a community that already faces a lower life expectancy, higher rates of diabetes and other critical health disparities when compared to their white peers, this reality is simply unacceptable.

Even worse is the lack of precise medical treatments for older Hispanic populations. As some of the most vulnerable members of our society, these individuals deserve equal access to treatment.... Read More

             

Eczema Symptoms Found to Be Worse for African Americans

by Ryan Whirty. This article originally appeared in The Louisiana Weekly.

All skin – and a particular skin disorder – is not the same, as a recent study into the effects and symptoms of eczema, a frustratingly itchy, often painful and potentially embarrassing affliction of the dermis, shows.

In a study published in September in Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology – the scientific journal of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology – researchers examined the molecular differences between the skin of African Americans with atopic dermatitis (the formal name for eczema).... Read More

             

The First Loss is the Deepest

This article originally appeared in A&U Magazine.

Every long-term HIV survivor on the planet has stories to tell about friends, lovers, co-workers, and/or family members whom they lost to the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s and 90s. Anyone familiar with my writing knows the importance I place on our storytelling, our sharing our stories ourselves, to avoid the “straight-washing” of our history that happens when we let others tell our stories. With that in mind, this is a story about the first of my friends to die.

Dean died first. In early 1982. For about a year, we had.... Read More

             
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