“Do you have drumsticks?” my 85-year-old mother asks the cashier at the checkout counter at Madras Groceries in Sunnyvale, California. The woman points to a pile of long, narrow, cylindrical vegetables near the counter. A half-hour later, a quick inventory of my mother’s cart reveals drumsticks, taro roots, squash, long beans, okra, winter melons, pointed gourd, snake gourd, spices, snack packets of murukkus and a bag of brown basmati rice.
Food bought, cooked, served and eaten is collectively the barometer of my mother’s moods, which are intricately entangled with her health. When she’s bustling around the kitchen, cooking sambar, kootuor olan with squash and winter melon,.... Read More
During our recent visit to Montgomery, Alabama, we had the opportunity to confront our nation’s gruesome history of slavery, mass incarceration and racism, while also being able to witness descendants of that history participating in democracy, lifting up their voices to make sure their elected officials heard them – and elevating our faith in our democracy in the process.
Much has been reported about a paradigm shift within American society which looms on the horizon and cannot be ignored: In less than 20 years, according to U.S. Census data, older adults will outnumber children for the first time in our history. On reaching that milestone in 2035, experts predict, the 78 million older Americans 65 or more will slightly outnumber the 76.7 million children under 18.
Most of these seniors will be women, who have longer life expectancies than men and who will more than likely live at home with the assistance of family caregivers. The majority of the seniors will be baby.... Read More
When elder refugees arrive in America they leave behind violence or religious persecution, as well as family, culture and their native language. A program in Louisville, Kentucky helps refugees who are 60 and older transition to American life and avoid isolation.
This is a protection against isolation – a social hall alive with music that inspires clapping and dancing among refugees in their 60s, 70s, 80s and early 90s. It’s part of the Louisville Refugee Elder Program that serves arrivals.... Read More
Hispanics are one of the country’s largest ethnic groups and one of the fastest growing demographics, making up 17 percent of the U.S. population. As a group with higher rates of chronic disease, they face barriers navigating the health care system. These barriers include language and cultural differences, lack of education, health literacy, and a dearth of information.
Dr. Yanira Cruz, President/CEO of the National Hispanic Council on Aging (NHCOA), stresses that cultural factors may reduce equality in health care assistance for the Hispanic community and the opportunity to receive appropriate information from health care providers, in.... Read More
What Matters? Don’t Let Health Care Get in the Way
When it comes to health care, what matters varies from person to person and differs depending on your state of health or illness. For one person, it might mean feeling well enough to care for an active young grandchild three days a week. For another person nearing the end of life, it might mean alleviating pain or being lucid enough to have one more conversation.
However, when we near death or become seriously ill.... Read More
The Importance of National Native HIV/AIDS Awareness Day
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a virus that attacks the body’s immune system, making it difficult to fight off diseases, infections and certain cancers. HIV specifically attacks the body’s CD4+ cells, a type of T-cell that has a critical role in our adaptive immune system. When an unknown virus, bacteria, or pathogen enters the human body, CD4+ cells are required to stimulate the immune system in making the machinery to fight off the unknown intruder. Without CD4+ cells, it becomes difficult for the human body to regulate immune responses, increasing the risk of death from diseases and infections as common as the cold. When HIV destroys CD4+ cells, impairing the functionality of the immune system, this leads to the acquired.... Read More
Group sessions in St. Louis offer hope and help to African Americans at risk of cognitive decline
We wish to introduce the Diverse Elders Coalition to our “Senior Social Group For Brain Health As We Age!” Founded and led by Dr. Whitney Postman, Ph.D./CCC-SLP, Assistant Professor and Director of the Neuro-Rehabilitation of Language Laboratory at Saint Louis University’s Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, this group was forged as a community partnership between Saint Louis University’s Geriatric Workforce Enhancement Program, Northside Senior Center, and CareSTL Health, a Federally Qualified Health Center serving predominantly African American and economically disadvantaged residents of North St. Louis. Our aim is to reduce health.... Read More