By Kent Patterson. This article originally appeared on NMPolitics.net.
Looking spry as ever, Dolores Huerta once again took to the stage Saturday at Albuquerque’s annual Cesar Chavez Day celebration, just three days short of her 88th birthday. The co-founder of the United Farm Workers union urged hundreds of people gathered in the plaza of the National Hispanic Cultural Center to support an effort to make Chicano Studies at the University of New Mexico a master’s degree granting program and get ethnic, labor, women’s and LGBTQ studies from kindergarten up in public schools across the nation.
A native New Mexican who went on to chart a legendary life of multi-faceted activism from her California base, Huerta encouraged Burqueños to get.... Read More
During April and early May, the National Indian Council on Aging (NICOA) will be sharing a variety of financial information and resources to celebrate Money Smart Week. One very important part of being money smart, especially for our Elders, is making sure financial needs for retirement are addressed. Fortunately, this week is the perfect time to evaluate your retirement plan, as it is National Retirement Planning Week.
National Retirement Planning Week is a national effort to help consumers focus on their financial needs in retirement. The goal is to promote the importance of comprehensive retirement planning. For many, retirement.... Read More
Every year, March 20th is designated as National Native HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. As the US Department of Health and Human Services states, the day is “a time to recognize the impact of HIV/AIDS on American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians.”
What are HIV and AIDS? HIV is a virus spread through certain body fluids that attacks the body’s immune system, specifically the CD4 cells. Over time, HIV can destroy so many of these cells that the body can’t fight off infections and disease. Opportunistic infections or cancers take advantage of a very weak immune system and signal that.... Read More
Valentine’s Day is often known as a consumer holiday focused on couples. However, at the National Indian Council on Aging (NICOA), we want to reinvent the holiday and use it as a way to celebrate the love everyone has for their Elders.
“Native American values and cultures believe that everything and everyone is connected. What we do to others and to the planet we do to ourselves. Practicing love, honor, gratitude and respect daily will unify us with the planet, its creatures and the Great Spirit.” Today, we encourage everyone to practice love, honor, and gratitude for our Elders, and continue to practice it daily.
How Can You Show Love, Honor, and Gratitude for.... Read More
The Importance of Sleep for Our Elders – Winter Edition
The National Indian Council on Aging (NICOA) Executive Director Randella Bluehouse states, “NICOA encourages our Elders to sleep well and be healthy this winter season, and throughout the year.” Learning the causes of sleep deprivation, especially in the winter, and how to overcome them are important steps for our Elders to take in order to get a good night’s rest and increase their overall physical wellbeing.
Why Sleep Is Important
Sleep deprivation, a lack of sleep that affects a person’s performance when awake, includes symptoms such as having trouble staying awake during daily activities and the need for caffeine to.... Read More
Intergenerational Programs Thrive in Rural Minnesota
by Beth Baker. This post originally appeared on Next Avenue.
Rick Ramey, 82, has always loved monarch butterflies. So when his community of Moose Lake, Minn., built a new public pavilion, he floated the idea of establishing butterfly gardens there.
“I thought this was an ideal spot, down by the river,” he said. The community embraced the idea, and before long Ramey was organizing children to plant marsh milkweed, a food source for monarchs. He now is invited to local schools to teach students about the butterfly life cycle.
Among those working alongside Ramey in planting the gardens was Sebastien Blondo, 11. “I’ve always loved butterflies and the monarch,” he said. He’s learned a lot volunteering with.... Read More
A Culturally Relative Approach to Outreach in Rural & Frontier Communities
by Clarissa Durán, Program Manager for the Rio Arriba County – Northern NM BEC. This article originally appeared on the website of the National Council on Aging (NCOA).
The Northern New Mexico Benefits Enrollment Center (NNM BEC) is a partnership of entities in North Central New Mexico comprised of Rio Arriba County Health and Human Services (RAC HHS) Department Senior Care Services Division, Santa Fe County Human Services Department, Holy Cross Hospital in Taos, and North Central Community Based Services (a non-profits agency in the northern frontier area of Rio Arriba County) as well as many nonprofit supporting partners.
Covering an 8,000 square mile tri-county area, the NNM BEC serves many rural.... Read More
Paiute Tribe Elders Navigate a Faltering Health Care System
Dennis and Betty Smartt live in a neatly painted white-and-blue home on the Fort McDermitt Paiute and Shoshone Reservation, on the Nevada-Oregon border. They’ve spent their entire lives here, in this small tribal community of 600 people.
The Smartts, members of the Paiute Tribe, exemplify the challenges Native elders face as they get older in remote communities with poor health care access.
At their home, Dennis’ handcrafted eagle feather headdress adorns a stand in the living room. He recently returned from a trip to Fort Bidwell, Calif., where he spoke at a traditional gathering of elders for prayer and cultural talks. That trip illustrated some of the challenges the Smartts and.... Read More
Native American Heritage Month – Digital Storytelling
National Native American Heritage Month pays tribute to the rich traditions of Native Americans, and one of those traditions is storytelling. For the past month, the National Indian Council On Aging (NICOA) has been sharing the most recent stories from the Native Elder Storytelling Project to help celebrate that tradition.
Click above to watch our latest videos. They can also be found on NICOA’s YouTube channel along with our first round of videos.
Native Storytelling Importance
Shannon Smith from the Native Daughters Project beautifully paints the picture of the importance of Native storytelling:
Storytelling is a diverse and powerful medium of imagery and.... Read More
NEW Your Money, Your Goals Train the Trainer Webinars
In November, the National Indian Council on Aging, Inc. (NICOA) is hosting two FREE online webinars that will teach attendees how to become trainers of a financial empowerment program called Your Money, Your Goals. The program is from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and focuses on helping people to reach their financial goals, bring cash flow budgets into balance, order and fix credit reports, reduce debt, and avoid financial tricks and traps.
NICOA will bring a unique perspective to this program by providing Your Money, Your Goals through the lens of Native culture and traditions, focusing specifically on how to reach and provide culturally appropriate examples and training for American Indian and Alaska Natives. Attendees will also get PDFs.... Read More
A Nursing Home for American Indian Elders Fills Cultural Needs
by Kevyn Burger. This article originally appeared on Next Avenue.
Born on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota, Kathy Janis was taught to revere the elders in her Oglala Sioux Tribe.
“I was raised to consider every one of them to be a relative. Respect is instilled in us,” she said. “My parents didn’t tell it, they lived it and showed us.”
That’s why Janis prioritized the needs of her older relatives while serving on the Tribal Council. More than a decade ago, the governing body began laying the groundwork to build a nursing home specifically for the tribe’s members. An early step was visiting tribal elders who were scattered in facilities around the country.... Read More
Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) and Social Health
One aspect of healthy aging that may be overlooked is social health. Although the importance of friends and family to our health is well understood by American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/ANs), in today’s culture many Elders are separated from their communities and therefore from some of this tradition. These connections with our families and friends are incredibly important to our health and wellbeing as Elders.
As the Center for Advancing Health states, “Staying connected to other people through a wide variety of social activities can yield important health consequences as you age… a new study that found that older adults who maintain high levels of.... Read More