Bringing Alzheimer’s Out of the Shadows

This article originally appeared in Aging Today, the bimonthly newspaper of the American Society on Aging.

Stigma around Alzheimer’s disease, the sixth-leading cause of death among Americans, is slowly eroding as the disease becomes more and more visible in our communities and in popular culture. Films such as “Still Alice” and Pixar’s “Coco” are helping the general public to learn about and have conversations about dementia.

Open discussions of their personal diagnoses from high-profile figures like former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, musician Glen Campbell and restaurateur B. Smith are putting a public face on the progressive brain disease. While awareness is increasing, there are still aspects of Alzheimer’s and its impacts on society that are largely.... Read More

             

Differences in NYC’s Chinese Elders End-of-Life Care Preferences

By April Xu. This article originally appeared in the Sing Tao Daily.

Scholars at Fordham University in New York presented their recent research on Chinese seniors’ perspectives about advance directives and end-of-life (EOL) preferences at the Gerontological Society of America (GSA) 2018 Annual Scientific Meeting, held in Boston in November. Because most studies on this subject “treat Asians as one group,” the researchers differentiated Mandarin and Cantonese speakers to discern any differences in their knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors toward end-of-life care.

The researchers said their preliminary findings show that the 150 Chinese elders who spoke Mandarin have somewhat higher knowledge about and more positive attitudes towards having a health care proxy to make decisions for them, should.... 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

             

Christmas at the Covingtons

by Peter White. This article originally appeared in The Tennessee Tribune.

Rose and George Covington live in a 4-bedroom, two-bath brick house on Meridian St. in East Nashville. They are still doing what they started doing 45 years ago: raising children. Their own two, Tim and Jessica, are grown and out of the house.

They’ve got five grandchildren and one great grandchild, Michael, who is 2 ½. Rose and George are raising them. There is also Rose’s nephew, Jerry, 14. Kids from an extended family of eighty-nine at one time or another have lived in the house on Meridian St. It has four blue metal chairs on the front lawn and a welcome mat by the front.... Read More

             

The Ways Inequality Affects Black Americans at the End of Life

by Rochaun Meadows-Fernandez. This article originally appeared on Next Avenue.

Jodi Savage was her grandmother’s caretaker in her last days. Like many black Americans, her grandmother’s cultural beliefs and religious background led to very little discussion around the end of life. Culturally speaking, black Americans on the whole tend to avoid discussing end-of-life topics for fear of speaking things into existence. Focus is placed on making the best of the time you’re given. A lack of cultural competency from physicians led to a misunderstanding of Savage’s grandmother’s needs and minimal support through the death-planning process. Savage.... Read More

             

To Eliminate Race Disparities in Diabetes, We Must Address Social Determinants of Health

by Susan Buchanan. This article originally appeared in the Louisiana Weekly.

In the United States, diabetes is most prevalent among Southerners and residents of Appalachian regions. Blacks are afflicted more than whites. Over a third of African American seniors are diagnosed as diabetic.

The prevalence of diabetes increases with age, Kelly Zimmerman, spokeswoman for Louisiana’s Department of Health, said last week. Adults ages 65 and older had the highest rate in the state last year at 26.1 percent. Diabetes among all of Louisiana’s adults 18 years and above was 13.6 percent. For the state’s African American adults of.... Read More

             

NAPCA Gives Thanks!

As 2018 comes to an end with the start of the holiday season, we at the National Asian Pacific Center on Aging (NAPCA) take time to pause, reflect and give thanks as we are grateful for so many things: our experienced Board of Directors for their sound leadership, our hardworking and talented staff for their dedication to supporting Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) elders in aging with dignity and integrity, our many community partners for their commitment to providing excellent direct services and last but not least, our funders and individual donors for their trust and support in NAPCA’s mission and values.

Through continued funding from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S..... Read More

             

SEARAC Toolkit Sheds Light on Public Charge Proposal

The Trump Administration has proposed broadening the set of government services considered when determining whether an individual is a ‘public charge,’ a term applied to someone who is likely to rely on government assistance for support. If a person is considered a public charge, they may be denied a green card.

Seniors and parents of U.S. citizens are a significant, and growing, segment of immigrants to the U.S. and are critical to the well-being of intergenerational families. Between 1990 and 2010, the number of immigrants age 65 and older grew from 2.7 million to nearly 5 million. The number of parents of U.S. citizens who have been admitted as legal permanent residents more than tripled between 1994 and 2016. In making it.... Read More

             

Black, Hispanic Elders Especially Susceptible to Dehydration

by Susan Buchanan. This article originally appeared in the Louisiana Weekly.

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.

‘Extremely Dangerous’

Beyond access to water, older people are vulnerable to dehydration for.... Read More

             

Thought Leaders Reframe the Discussion Around Aging at NYC Roundtable

“Aging should not take away our identity.”

This reflection was just one of the many ideas that came out of the 3rd edition of the Reframing Aging Thought Leaders Roundtable, organized by the National Hispanic Council on Aging (NHCOA) held in New York City on October 19, 2018. A group of 27 experts in the field of aging gathered once again to address the misconceptions around getting “older”. This meeting was a continuation of conversations that began at roundtables in Washington, DC and Albuquerque, NM.

Anna Maria Chavez, Executive Vice President of.... Read More

             
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