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.
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.
Beyond access to water, older people are vulnerable to dehydration for.... Read More
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
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
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
Chinese elders ‘walk the middle path’ to better mental health
It’s a Friday morning, and the Selfhelp Benjamin Rosenthal Senior Center in Flushing, Queens is bustling with activity.
In one room, around two-dozen Asian seniors are practicing tai chi. Nearby, another group rehearses an opera, their voices rising above the reedy twang of traditional Chinese instruments.
But Jane Qiu, the program director here, says Selfhelp’s seniors weren’t always so engaged.
“By observation, I can see some members, when they came here, were so sad and just crying,” Qiu says. “And now they are just involved in all activities, smiling. You can see their faces here, just fewer couch potatoes.”
LGBT and Dementia – a new issues brief developed by the Alzheimer’s Association and SAGE outlines the unique challenges facing LGBT older adults living with Alzheimer’s and other dementias and their caregivers. The brief outlines the unique issues that arise when Alzheimer’s disease, sexual orientation, and gender identification and expression intersect, allowing advocates and care providers to better meet the needs of LGBT elders and their caregivers facing dementia.
“Living with Alzheimer’s or another dementia is not easy for anyone,” said Sam Fazio, Ph.D., director of quality care and psychosocial research, Alzheimer’s Association. “But LGBT individuals can often face additional challenges that need to be considered and addressed to ensure this population.... Read More
For Older Women, Domestic Abuse Often Isn’t Physical
by Jess Stonefield. This article originally appeared on Next Avenue.
“Well — he doesn’t hit me.”
It’s a phrase I hear when talking to older women through Humble Warrior, a free compassionate listening service aimed at providing support to those in distress. While the women recognize they are miserable in their marriages, they often believe that if they aren’t being hit, they have no legitimate reason to leave. Somewhere along the line, they’ve come to accept that emotional, verbal and financial abuse are just part of the marital package. To be honest — it’s hard to blame them.
Indeed, for many older women, domestic abuse is still a relatively new concept. The majority did not see physical.... Read More
July is Minority Mental Health Awareness Month, and as we have previously shared mental illness affects one in five adults in America and is a leading cause of disability. Unfortunately, almost two-thirds of people with a diagnosable mental illness do not seek help, and racial and ethnic groups are even less likely to get help.
Furthermore, studies have shown that mental health is a major concern for American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/AN). Specifically, AI/ANs have a higher prevalence of a variety of mental health conditions, experience PTSD twice as often as the general population, and are known to experience serious psychological distress 1.5 times more than the general population.