Two months after my mother entered a nursing home at age 73, she made a firm request to the home’s administration: add a Spanish-language channel to the lineup being offered throughout the facility. They obliged, lightening an otherwise grueling life transition for my mother, and her room soon filled with the sounds of programs she had watched much of her adult life. While it was a relatively modest concession on behalf of the nursing home, this decision was profoundly important to my mother. In the context of long-term care, it embodied the “person-centered” philosophy that has become increasingly common in this sector, affirming that individuals across the spectrum.... Read More
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.
It is estimated that 10,000 adults turn 65 and older everyday. Amidst an aging population and shrinking healthcare workforce, caregivers play a crucial role in the long-term care of older adults, accounting for more than 85% of all elder care in the US. According to a 2015 study by AARP, it was estimated that there are 34.2 million Americans are providing care to another person who is over the age 50.
The number of caregivers in the United States is expected to grow alongside the older adult population. Caregivers provide physical, psychological, and emotional care for another person who may be a family member, friend, or a partner. The act of providing care can be very fulfilling, but as a.... Read More
Despite connectivity, social isolation is not declining—especially among diverse older adults
When asked by staff of the Diverse Elders Coalition about the aging services available in her area, Elva, an American Indian elder from New Mexico, relayed how important her local Elder Center was to her and her peers’ well-being: “We as elders need a place to come to, [where we] have meals, do activities and visit with friends and relatives.”
Elva noted that the Elder Center was a place where she could get information about benefits and other available resources. “Many times, as a Native elder, we feel that we don’t exist,” she said.
In our increasingly digitally connected world, there.... Read More
Culturally Competent Care Resources for Providers Serving Dual Eligibles
Last week, I traveled to New Orleans for the 2019 Aging in America Conference, hosted by the American Society on Aging (ASA). This annual event brings together thousands of people working in the aging field for a week of workshops, film screenings, events and receptions. It’s a great opportunity for the Diverse Elders Coalition to connect with partners who are normally scattered across the globe but find themselves in the same room for this one week every year!
Yesterday, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation, the educational arm of the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) civil rights organization, and SAGE, the world’s largest and oldest organization dedicated to improving the lives of LGBTQ older adults, announced a historic partnership to fundamentally improve the experiences of LGBTQ older adults as they seek long-term care and services.
In November of 2017, we met Betty (she/her/hers) and liz thomson (they/them/theirs) through the interview on November 20, 2017. They had just moved in together that fall and were adjusting to their new apartment in Greenwood, Indiana. Liz, who is an adoptee and identifies as bi/queer and gender non-conforming, interviewed Mom to get her thoughts on how the new situation was going. In September of 2018, Mom passed away and left liz with the logistics that follow a death, but also a deeply unexpected void in their life. Trying to cope in a healthy way, liz wrote Toilet Talks, a semi-fictional play about their elder care experience. Toilet Talks will be a.... Read More