War, Trauma, and the Mental Health of Vietnam War-Era Older Adults

After the fall of Saigon and the end of the Vietnam War in 1975, many Vietnamese people fled their war-torn country for the United States in search for a better life. Thousands of Vietnamese adults, children, and families crammed onto boats and traveled to the United States leaving their belongings, loved ones, and former lives behind. These people lost everything except for their memories of the fall of Saigon, the horrors of communist re-education camps, and the atrocities of the Vietnam War. For many Vietnamese individuals, these memories may transpire psychological trauma similar to the many Vietnam War-era U.S. veterans who suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

PTSD is a psychiatric disorder that can occur after a person experiences or observes.... Read More

             

Where to Find Help for Difficult Caregiving Tasks

by Chuck Otto. This article originally appeared on Next Avenue.

Caring for a family member, friend or neighbor whose health is compromised by illness, injury or age can be among life’s greatest challenges. And the results of a new AARP study confirm that many non-professional caregivers are doing more medical and nursing tasks than ever.

Home Alone Revisited highlights the breadth and complexity of the tasks demanded of today’s family caregivers. A follow-up to AARP’s 2012 Home Alone study, the new study shows more caregivers are assuming responsibility for particularly demanding procedures once considered the exclusive domain of medical professionals, such as managing incontinence, pain and special diets.

Among the.... Read More

             

Elders Come for Indian Day at the National Senior Games

by Kayla Sawyer. This article originally appeared on the NICOA blog.

The National Senior Games Association (NSGA) came to Albuquerque from June 14-25, attracting a record number of 13,712 athletes from 50 states (plus an estimated 15,000 family members and friends), and setting more than 202 new records. This was the first year the Games were held in New Mexico, and it was the largest in National Senior Games 32-year history.

June 17 was a particularly special day of the Games — set aside to honor American Indian and Alaska Native elder athletes. With many details and logistical components,.... Read More

             

Vietnamese immigrants care for parents with dementia, amidst stigma

 

by Christine Nguyen, MD. This story originally aired on KALW Public Radio.

It was August 24, 2017, one day before Hurricane Harvey, a category 4 hurricane, hit Houston and dumped more water than any storm ever recorded in United States history. In just a few days, Houston saw as much rain as it usually saw in a year. My brother picked up our dad, who was 82, at his house, where he lived alone, and they evacuated to higher ground. They rode out the storm in the countryside. My brother’s in-laws had gotten 10 pounds of ground beef and made enough chili to last through the storm. This is.... Read More

             

Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month Highlight on Asian American Pacific Islanders

Alzheimer’s disease is a public health issue that impacts many. In the United States, 5.8 million people live with Alzheimer’s, while over 16 million family members and friends serve as their unpaid caregivers.

In light of June being Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month, the National Asian Pacific Center on Aging (NAPCA) is taking the time to reflect on how Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia uniquely impacts the aging Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community. Working closely with older adults through our programs, we feel the importance of these issues more with each day. After all, one of the greatest known risk factors for Alzheimer’s is age.

AAPI older adults are.... Read More

             

Addressing the Social Determinants of Brain Health

by Jason Resendez and Stephanie Monroe. This article originally appeared on SaludAmerica!

In our work with the UsAgainstAlzheimer’s Alzheimer’s Disease Disparities Engagement Network, we are reflecting on the numerous challenges and injustices people of color face when it comes to healthcare in the U.S.

For example, African Americans and Latinos face a higher risk for some of our country’s most common health problems, including obesity, heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, high blood pressure, stroke, Alzheimer’s and other dementias.

To understand and address these disparities, greater attention must be paid to the role of.... Read More

             

Sleep Is Crucial to Healthy Aging

by Kayla Sawyer. This article originally appeared on the NICOA blog.

It is a common misconception that sleep needs decline with age. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises that 61-64-year-olds get seven to nine hours, and adults 65 and older get seven to eight hours.

Unfortunately, as people age they tend to have a harder time falling asleep and more trouble staying asleep. Older people spend more time in the lighter stages of sleep than in deep sleep. They also experience an overall decline in REM sleep and an increase in sleep fragmentation.

.... Read More
             

Eradicating Elder Abuse is Everyone’s Responsibility

by Dr. Terry Fulmer, President, The John A. Hartford Foundation. This article originally appeared on Next Avenue.

Are you safe at home?

Many of us take the answer to that question for granted. After all, our home should be our refuge. It should be a place where we feel safe, secure and surrounded by people we love and trust — especially as we age. For the one in 10 older Americans who suffer elder mistreatment, however, home may simply not be a safe place.

As we recognize World Elder Abuse.... Read More

             

Hatefas’ Story: Public Assistance Allowed My Refugee Family to Dream for a Better Future

Born in Santa Ana, CA, to two Muslim refugee survivors of the Cambodian genocide, Hatefas Yop wasn’t aware of her family’s use of public services when she was a young girl. After all, her peers in her elementary school all hailed from the local neighborhood, where many immigrant and refugee families had to live in one-bedroom apartments subsidized by Section 8 housing. She didn’t understand the melancholy in an elder whom Hatefas referred to as “Grandma,” when she said her food stamps (paper at the time) weren’t ‘real money.’ “But you could use it to.... Read More

             

How to Be an LGBTQ Ally

by Grace Birnstengel. This article originally appeared on Next Avenue.

Chances are, there’s at least one person in your life who identifies within the LGBTQ community — likely more than one. The person might be a family member. Or a neighbor. Or a friend’s child or grandchild.

Though messaging about, and support of, LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer) people has progressed in recent years, the community still faces hate crimes, employment and housing discrimination, barriers to health care and harmful bias. That’s why allies are so important.

An “ally” is someone.... Read More

             
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