by Viji Sundaram. This article originally appeared in India West.
When Sanjog Kaur could no longer bear the pain around her upper molar that had been bothering her for months, she took a needle-nose pliers from her husband’s toolbox one recent day, sterilized it in boiling water, rocked the offending tooth back and forth a few times and yanked it out of her mouth. Then she put a sterilized cotton ball in the gap to suck up the blood
“I was scared, but I had no other option,” said the 70-year-old Indian American resident of the Bay Area, who asked that her real name not be used. “A visit to the dentist has always set us.... Read More
California Governor Gavin Newsom in his State of the State address on February 12 spoke to the issue of the aging of the state’s population. “We need to get ready.… For the first time in our history, older Californians will outnumber young children.” In fact, California’s population of older adults is projected to increase by four million people by 2030. The state’s newly elected governor announced his commitment to establish a Master Plan for Aging to meet the needs of California’s.... Read More
Aging African Americans are hit with a double-whammy: health and financial troubles
February is full of things to celebrate. While Valentine’s Day is an opportunity to take care of our loved ones’ hearts, American Heart Month reminds us that it is also a time to focus on the health of our own hearts! And as we honor the leaders of the African diaspora during Black History Month, we also advocate for improvements in both society and in health that will enrich Black futures. Awareness of heart health is particularly important for Black and African American older adults because of environmental and genetic risk factors that cause poorer.... Read More
African Americans Face Greater Risk of Alzheimer’s Disease Than Whites
by Rodney Brooks. This article originally appeared in USA TODAY.
A decade ago, Rushern Baker III started seeing signs that something was wrong with his wife when she was still in her late 40s. Christa Beverly was forgetting things and losing things. Then, she was hopelessly lost only blocks from her parents’ home.
It took some doing, but he convinced her to see a doctor. She was tested, and at age 49 was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s. At the time, Baker was preparing to run for county executive in Prince Georges County, Md., which borders Washington, D.C., an election he won in 2010.
Within a few years of the diagnosis, Christa had lost most of her functions. Today, at age 58,.... Read More
Honoring Queen Latifah: The Celebrity, The Caregiver, The Heart Health Advocate
Black History Month is a commemorative month to celebrate the lives of those who are significant in the history of the African Diaspora. These people stem from different backgrounds including artists, activists, inventors, academics, scientists, musicians, actors, and many more. Although these people are different in profession, they are all unified with the goal of improving the lives of African Americans. In accordance with Black History Month, February is also American Heart Month, a commemorative month to highlight the importance of heart health in resolving heart disease and failure – the #1 leading cause of death in the United States and worldwide. During both Black History Month and American Heart Month, I would like to introduce Queen.... Read More
Even in the short term, not getting enough sleep can keep people from performing at their mental best, whether it be more complex executive functioning or problem-solving or memory. The experience is universal – we’ve all had it: “We have a bad night’s sleep, we’re hazy in the morning, we may not be as sharp as we usually are,” says Michael V. Vitiello, a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences and geriatrics at the University of Washington School of Medicine. “We may have some lapses in memory or we don’t process information quite as well.”
What’s more, it’s well-known by researchers, clinicians.... Read More
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.
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