Honey: A Story of Defeating PTSD

by Chunxiang Jin. This article originally appeared in the World Journal. To read the original article in Chinese, click here.

Cheryl “Honey” Dupris has multiple identities. She is a strong woman, a Native American, a paratrooper, and an Iraq war and Afghanistan war veteran who suffers from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

However, Honey is not the typical PTSD sufferer. She embraces the illness, bravely speaks out about her feelings, and works to enjoy every moment in life. If you talk and hang out with her, you would not even realize that she is a victim of PTSD. Instead, you would notice her vivacious laughter and squeals at a party, her unique fist bump with strangers, and.... Read More

             

Despite connectivity, social isolation is not declining—especially among diverse older adults

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

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

             

Type 2 Diabetes: Lessons Learned from the Experiences of Native Americans

In the United States, American Indians and Alaska Natives have a greater chance of having type 2 diabetes than any other racial group. This is very troubling because without medical intervention, the progression of type 2 diabetes may lead to other conditions and diseases including high blood pressure, kidney failure, and heart disease – the number one cause of death in the United States.

In the United States, American Indians and Alaska Native are 50% more likely to be obese than non-Hispanic whites. In addition, 33% of the American Indian and Alaska Native population is considered obese. In other words, more than a quarter of the American Indian.... Read More

             

The Importance of Food Sovereignty

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

A poor diet now causes more deaths than tobacco smoking and high blood pressure. A healthier diet pattern is associated with 25 percent lower likelihood of developing physical impairment with aging. According to a 27-year global diet analysis published this month in the journal the Lancet, one in five deaths globally — that’s about 11 million people — in 2017 occurred because of too much sodium and a lack of whole grains, fruits, nuts and seeds, rather than too much trans fats, sugar-sweetened drinks and high levels of red and processed meats.

The Navajo Nation is the biggest and most populous reservation.... Read More

             

NICOA Joins 2019 Aging in America Conference

by Kayla Sawyer

The National Indian Council on Aging, Inc. (NICOA) will travel to New Orleans for the 2019 Aging in America conference on April 15-18 to learn best practices and gain insights from leaders in the field about the current state of aging in America. Join nearly 3,000 professionals to discuss a multitude of issues affecting older adults as well as the latest policies and trends.

According to the American Society on Aging, the conference will have “a strong focus on critical and emergent topics facing the field of aging, as well as cutting-edge and responsive programmatic, research, policy and advocacy efforts.” Topics will include social isolation, emergency and disaster readiness, housing.... Read More

             

The Importance of National Native HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a virus that attacks the body’s immune system, making it difficult to fight off diseases, infections and certain cancers. HIV specifically attacks the body’s CD4+ cells, a type of T-cell that has a critical role in our adaptive immune system. When an unknown virus, bacteria, or pathogen enters the human body, CD4+ cells are required to stimulate the immune system in making the machinery to fight off the unknown intruder. Without CD4+ cells, it becomes difficult for the human body to regulate immune responses, increasing the risk of death from diseases and infections as common as the cold. When HIV destroys CD4+ cells, impairing the functionality of the immune system, this leads to the acquired.... Read More

             

Elder Abuse Often Goes Unreported

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

Unfortunately, the abuse and neglect of American Indian and Alaska Native elders occurs with alarming frequency in tribal communities. Tribal leaders from across the country have identified three major challenges in addressing elder abuse and neglect issues on reservations. There is a need to increase training about elder abuse and neglect, a lack of codes addressing elder abuse issues and a lack of policies and procedures for tribal agencies handling elder abuse and neglect issues.

More than 79 percent of elder abuse cases go unreported. Many tribes don’t have their own specialized elder protective service so there may not be anyone to report abuse.... Read More

             

Inadequate Data on Missing, Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls

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

TRIGGER WARNING: If reading this post triggers past traumas, please see the resources listed at the end of this article for assistance.

There is a serious lack of meaningful government data documenting rates of missing and murdered indigenous women and girls. A recent study by the Urban Indian Health Institute (UIHI) revealed that only 116 of the 5,712 cases of murdered or missing Native women were logged into the Department of Justice’s nationwide database.

U.S. attorneys’ offices declined to proceed with.... Read More

             

Honoring Native Heritage and Supporting American Indian/Alaska Native Elders


Photo by R. Madison

American Indian and Alaska Native Elders are the heart and soul of Native communities across the United States, and indigenous traditions of dance, food, cuisine and language around the world continue to thrive. We join our member organization, the National Indian Council on Aging (NICOA), in celebrating the rich heritage of the more than 500 unique tribal nations across the United States and the Elders who are preserving and passing those traditions down to future generations.This Native American Heritage Month, we’re sharing highlights from the Diverse Elders Coalition blog throughout 2018, including:

The Importance of Good Sleep for Elders: “Not only do Elders.... Read More
             

Learning and Teaching at the 2018 NICOA Conference on Aging in Indian Country

This week, the Diverse Elders Coalition will be participating in the 2018 NICOA Conference on Aging in Indian Country, learning and teaching alongside Tribal Elders, advocates, and service organizations at the Pechanga Resort and Casino in Temecula, CA. The 2018 Conference — NICOA’s 21st conference since the organization was founded in 1976 — will be the second that I’ve been a part of after traveling to Niagara Falls for the 2016 event. I’m looking forward to connecting with our friends and partners at NICOA as well the 1000+ other advocates and Elders who will be in attendance.

NICOA’s conferences tend to be really special events, with a Tribal fashion show, traditional foods served at.... Read More

             

Minority Mental Health Awareness Month

July is Minority Mental Health Awareness Month, and as we have previously shared mental illness affects one in five adults in America and is a leading cause of disability. Unfortunately, almost two-thirds of people with a diagnosable mental illness do not seek help, and racial and ethnic groups are even less likely to get help.

Furthermore, studies have shown that mental health is a major concern for American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/AN). Specifically, AI/ANs have a higher prevalence of a variety of mental health conditions, experience PTSD twice as often as the general population, and are known to experience serious psychological distress 1.5 times more than the general population.

#MyStoryMyWay

This year.... Read More

             

NICOA Conference on Aging in Indian Country is in September

The 2018 National Indian Council on Aging, Inc. (NICOA) Conference on Aging in Indian Country is just two months away, and it is the only conference which focuses exclusively on American Indian and Alaska Native Elders. The biennial conference, which will bring in 1,500 to 2,000 American Indian and Alaska Native Elders from all over the country, will be held at the stunning Pechanga Resort and Casino in Temecula, California from September 10-13, 2018.

The conference is a one-of-a-kind experience for attendees, especially for American Indian and Alaska Native Elders and those in aging organizations and communities. At the conference, attendees will learn about policy issues that are critical for Elders; learn about new programs and services.... Read More

             
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