by SAGE Communications. This article originally appeared on the SAGE blog.
When asked to think of the predominant challenges facing people as they age today, the common answers may be physical mobility and accessibility, savings and wealth management, or finding safe, affordable housing. These challenges are increased for LGBT older people, who may face maltreatment due to their sexual orientation or live in fear of discrimination. However, due to incredible advancements in medicine and science, many of the Stonewall generation are now experiencing a far less talked about challenge: aging with HIV.
In the late 90’s at the height of the AIDS epidemic, it was inconceivable to imagine that individuals who were diagnosed would live to.... Read More
Supporting Black Futures During Black History Month by Ending Diabetes Disparities
African American older adults are disproportionately affected by diabetes, which affects more than 10% of African American adults. Without proper management, diabetes may increase the risk for other diseases including cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, and Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.
One way to understand this concept is to think about how sticky sugar becomes when you caramelize it in a frying pan. This is the same process that occurs in our arteries, since the average internal temperature of the human body is 98.6°F. As our arteries are filled with this “sticky sugar,” our heart needs to work harder to.... Read More
The Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. As an Activist for Health Reform
On January 15, 1929, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was born in Atlanta, Georgia. Dr. King’s family always knew that he was special, but no one knew how special he would turn out to be, with his influence still being felt today. As one of the most prominent leaders of the Civil Rights Movement, Dr. King united Americans to fight racism and oppression via civil disobedience and nonviolent protesting. What is less well known about Dr. King is that his vision for a better America included abolishing health injustice.
“Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhuman.” — Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
We seldom talk about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s.... Read More
How a Slavery Legacy Made This 65-Year-Old a Georgetown Undergrad
by Richard Harris. This article originally appeared on Next Avenue.
It’s been nearly 14 years since Hurricane Katrina washed away all the physical mementos of Mélisande Short-Colomb’s life along the Mississippi Gulf coast. Her nearly 200-year-old Pass Christian, Miss., house and everything in it was gone in an instant — the family Bible, every photograph, document and piece of furniture, including the rocking chair with the baby bite marks that had been in her family for generations.
“Nobody was hurt. But we were all hurt. We survived,” says Short-Colomb, 65, the emotional scars still quite.... Read More
During our recent visit to Montgomery, Alabama, we had the opportunity to confront our nation’s gruesome history of slavery, mass incarceration and racism, while also being able to witness descendants of that history participating in democracy, lifting up their voices to make sure their elected officials heard them – and elevating our faith in our democracy in the process.
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.... 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
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
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.... Read More