Grandfamilies Cut Across Class and Ethnic Groups, Particularly Prevalent Among African Americans

Caregiving provided by grandparents serves as a safety net for children in need of parenting regardless of race, ethnicity, or sexual orientation. Approximately 2.9 million grandparents make breakfast, organize their grandchildren’s activities, arrange doctor’s appointments, help with homework, and worry about how they are going to afford college coupled with their everyday household expenses.

Since the 1970s, the number of grandparents raising grandchildren in the United States has rapidly increased. Sometimes grandparent caregiving is a formal arrangement, including foster care or adoption. Many times, grandparent caregiving is an informal arrangement that might occur in a multi-generational home or take place outside of the family home due to social conditions such as addiction, incarceration, child abuse, neglect, and even the death.... Read More

             

Elderly Homeowners are the New Expendables as New Development Invades Nashville

by Peter White

EDITOR’S NOTE: The communities and organizations comprising the Diverse Elders Coalition are well aware of how the affordable housing crisis is hitting older Americans. Only last year, for instance, a UCLA study showed that three-quarters of California’s lower-income seniors who rend are being burdened by rising rental rates. The crisis, though, isn’t only being felt on the coasts. The following article is part of an investigative series for the Tennessee Tribune that unearthed trouble in Nashville. Veteran reporter Peter White produced this series on gentrification in “Music City” with support from the Journalists in Aging Fellows Program of the Gerontological Society of America, the Journalists Network on Generations and The.... Read More

             

Group sessions in St. Louis offer hope and help to African Americans at risk of cognitive decline

by Dr. Whitney Postman, PhD/CCC-SLP

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

             

Five Inspirational Stories for Women’s History Month

In 1987, March was declared Women’s History Month, a time to commemorate the vital role of women in shaping history. Women’s History Month is a time to celebrate women of all backgrounds, to acknowledge the importance of their roles in our lives, and to support their efforts to make the world a better place. Women have shaped history through their leadership, courage, strength, and compassion. Although many of the contributions of women have been recognized and celebrated, women still face inequality in many aspects of their lives, reminding us that we have more work to do. As we celebrate the countless achievements made by women across all aspects of life, we must also support their fight towards social justice. Women’s.... Read More

             

Aging African Americans are hit with a double-whammy: health and financial troubles

by Rodney Brooks. This article originally appeared in USA TODAY.

An array of health and financial problems converge on African Americans as they age, posing a potentially devastating impact on them.

Blacks are more likely than whites to suffer medical conditions that lead to more severe health problems and higher health care and insurance costs as they grow older.

Their health problems are exacerbated by financial troubles that include lower savings,  homeownership rates and Social Security income than whites.

“It’s a huge issue,” says Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, CEO of Global Policy Solutions, a Washington, D.C., social-change strategy firm. “Over.... Read More

             

Three Easy Tips to Improve Heart Health for Black Older Adults

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 health outcomes.... 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

             

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

             

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

             
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