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

             

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

             

Childhood Memories of Racial Discrimination

by Leslie Hunter-Gadsden. This article originally appeared on Next Avenue.

In my childhood neighborhood, “moving on up” meant a 1970 move from our New York City apartment on 155th Street between Broadway and Amsterdam Avenues to a three-room apartment in a building on Riverside Drive West, near 159th Street in Washington Heights. The building was part of a six-unit, seven-story, multiple dwelling, facing the Hudson River and New Jersey, with the George Washington Bridge just to the north and clearly visible from the front entrance.

Back then, the building featured apartments for rent, but by the early 1980s, it converted to mostly co-op apartments. I turned 10 the year my mother and I moved in, and we lived.... Read More

             

Elder Abuse Won’t Stop By Itself

Approximately 1 in 10 Americans aged 60+ have experienced some form of elder abuse. Broadly defined, elder abuse is any form of mistreatment that results in harm or loss to an older person. More specifically, the World Health Organization defines elder abuse as “a single, or repeated act, or lack of appropriate action, occurring within any relationship where there is an expectation of trust, which causes harm or distress to an older person.”

The legal definition of elder abuse varies from state-to-state.

Elder abuse affects people from all ethnic backgrounds and social status, and most victims of abuse are women.  Elder abuse may be physical, emotion, sexual, exploitive, neglect, or abandonment. Specifically defined:

Physical abuse includes inflicting, or threatening to.... Read More
             

Black History Month: A Closer Look at The Minority Stress Model and Older Adult Sexual Minorities

I’m always pleased to see great activists and icons of the Civil Rights Movement, inventors, artists, academics and musicians celebrated during Black History Month. Historically most have experienced interlocking oppressions of race, class and gender, and have shared stories through biopics and documentaries, while unsung heroes and survivors among us share their stories in small communities throughout the country. Many older adult minorities continue to report facing minority stressors within and outside of our communities (Velez, Moradi, & Brewster, 2013). This Black History Month, while we are remembering significant people and events in the history of the African diaspora, let’s take a closer look at the stress, struggle and resilience that continues to impact the lives of aging older adults.... Read More

             

We have so much to learn from Black Elders — and so many reasons to support them

February marks the start of Black History Month, a celebration of Black and African American stories, experiences, and impact on American culture. At the Diverse Elders Coalition, we’re proud to celebrate Black Elders every month of the year, but February offers us a bonus opportunity to lift these stories up into the national spotlight. Black Elders have so much wisdom to share about our history and the ways they have challenged white supremacy and other forms of oppression. It is imperative that those stories are not lost or forgotten.

I recently attended a Capitol Hill Briefing about the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP), during which we heard testimonials from community-based organizations that employ older.... Read More

             

A Gift From My Grandmother: An Embrace of Life — and Aging

by Jeneé Darden. This article was originally published by KQED Public Radio.

My family packed into the black stretch limousine leaving Cal State University in the East Bay. We were heading to a restaurant after attending my mother’s college graduation. We turned on the music and popped the bottle of complimentary cheap champagne. My grandmother took two sips, then pumped her hands in the air like she was “raising the roof.”

“Someone is trying to get my grandma drunk!” I joked. “Give her the sparkling cider.”

In her sassy Southern drawl, my grandmother responded, “Now look, I’m a grown woman.” She resumed enjoying the music, then diluted her champagne with cider. We all laughed. My grandmother, Angie.... Read More

             

Black, Gray and Gay: The Perils of Aging LGBTQ People of Color

by Chandra Thomas Whitfield. This article originally appeared on NBCNews.com.

Cecelia Hayden Smith, 72, knows exactly how she wants to live out the remainder of her golden years: lounging lazily on the porch of a cozy house tucked along a quiet, treelined street in Washington, D.C.

She’d greet her partner each morning with a homemade country breakfast, and their afternoons and evenings would be filled with lively games of Spades and Bid Whist with a dozen or so housemates — all fellow LGBTQ elders.

“I’ve already picked out my rocking chair,” the retired substance abuse counselor quipped. “Just call me ‘Mama C,’ and make sure my room is in the front, so I can always see.... Read More

             

Set a Goal, Make Time, Be Determined, and Change Your Life for Good

Health-related goals are indeed popular New Year’s resolutions. Most of us make a resolution to lose weight and exercise more. However, for many of us, the path to good health is not an easy.  Procrastination, family obligations, work demands, or a lack of time can hinder the most well-intended resolution.

America is getting heavier.

Despite public awareness campaigns and other efforts to get people to watch their weight, obesity has taken a significant toll on communities of color and low-income families. When it comes to African American obesity rates, the U.S Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Minority Health report African American women have the highest rates of being overweight or obese compared to other groups in the.... Read More

             
Page 1 of 3123