by Bev Bachel. Bev is a Twin Cities freelancer who writes about the power of purpose and advocates for a range of causes she cares about, including elder rights, cancer support services and financial literacy. She is the author of What Do You Really Want? How to Set a Goal and Go for It.
Research shows that when we have a clear sense of purpose, we live longer, enjoy richer lives and experience improved physical and mental well-being.
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
Each year on December 1st, we join millions of individuals and organizations around the globe in commemorating World AIDS Day. The prevention of HIV/AIDS – as well as the continued care of those living with HIV – has always been a top priority for the Diverse Elders Coalition and the communities we represent.
The National Indian Council on Aging (NICOA) recently worked with the native group nDigiDreams to gather elders to tell their stories about their lives and how their experiences were impacted by federal programs such as the Older Americans Act, Social Security, healthcare and the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP).
Digital storytelling offers unique differences from other approaches which is why we thought it would be a good fit for our Native elders. The video production team, Brenda Manuelito and Carmella Rodriguez, are Native women who have created over 1500 digital stories across the country..... Read More
Ringing in a New Year at the Diverse Elders Coalition
As we flip our calendars from 2015 to 2016 (assuming you still actually use a paper calendar, that is), I find myself really excited about the initiatives that the Diverse Elders Coalition will be working on in the coming year. This promises to be a milestone year for our elders and their communities, with a presidential election in the balance and the continued “graying” and “browning” of America as our population grows older and more ethnically and racially diverse.
Here are just a few of the things I’m looking forward to in 2016:
ACA Enrollment: January 31st is the last day on which Americans can enroll in health insurance through the Affordable Care Act. (Note that members of federally-recognized American.... Read More
As someone with very personal connections to both military servicemembers and the Japanese American community, I hold today, December 7, with a complex set of meanings and experience the gamut of emotions. “I’m feeling all the feels” as they might say these days. The anniversary of the attack of the Japanese Imperial Army on Pearl Harbor in Hawai’i on December 7 is marked with a solemn gravity and has particular resonance for the U.S. Armed Forces that remembers its fallen dead. Unfortunately, the day has another more tragic resonance for another community.
For Japanese Americans, who fell victim to the displaced rage of an American populace reeling from a military attack, President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s reference to “a day.... Read More
On December 1st, individuals and organizations around the world commemorate World AIDS Day, an acknowledgement of how far we’ve come in fighting this disease and how much work is still to be done to erase stigma, find a cure, and support survivors. The Diverse Elders Coalition has worked since our inauguration in 2010 to lift up the stories of diverse elders with HIV and to raise awareness about the ways in which our communities are disproportionately impacted by HIV/AIDS.
On May 7, the Diverse Elders Coalition, our member organizations, and our key partners had a very important opportunity to share the stories of our constituents with Nora Super, the Executive Director of the White House Conference on Aging. With discussions happening in English, Spanish, Khmer, and Tagalog, and a packed house at the Pilipino Workers Center of Southern California, we were able to provide Ms. Super and her team with a deeper sense of the challenges our communities face, their resilience and strategies for survival, and ultimately, their hope.
We’ve talked about this Town Hall in previous blog posts, but coming back to Los Angeles where I lived for two years gave me.... Read More
HIV can infect anyone, at any age, if given the chance. However, it does disproportionately impact certain populations. HIV/AIDS is a serious health concern for older adults; today adults 50 years of age and older account for 32.7% of HIV diagnoses in the U.S. Furthermore, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that this number will increase to 50% by 2015. The numbers don’t lie: HIV can, and often disproportionately, affects older adults, parents and grandparents.
Contrary to popular myths and stereotypes, some seniors engage in behaviors that put them.... Read More
A reality of the work we do in the non-profit sector, when so many of the issues we address affect people’s lives directly and what motivates us to “keep on keepin’ on” is their impact on us and our communities, is that it becomes a labor of love. The lives that we document in our Diverse Elders Story Initiative put human faces to the policy issues we work on and reveal the impact of these issues often more powerfully than any statistical research report. The stories we tell speak best to that impact when they speak to the heart.
In the summer of 2010, I had just been through a nasty breakup and could no longer afford my once-shared apartment in Manhattan. I was working from home at the time, so it was easy for me to sublet the place and find new digs, but I also needed to get some fresh air and clear my cloudy head. Traveling seemed like the way to go, and with friends spread out around the country, I felt confident that I could find a place to stay wherever I landed. So I purchased an unlimited rail pass on the Amtrak, sent my cats to live with a friend (I still don’t think they’ve forgiven me for that) and bounced between the east and west coasts for.... Read More
“I am a 60-year-old Trans Woman living with HIV:” Helena’s Story
As we enter the last days of Pride Month, I’m hopeful that the momentum from the US Supreme Court’s decision legalizing gay marriage in all 50 states will carry us through the rest of the year. Even after the rainbow flags have been put away and the glitter has been swept from the streets, it is crucial that we continue to fight for the rights of the LGBTQ community, in particular our vulnerable LGBTQ elders.
All too often, elders are left out of the conversation around HIV and STDs — we rarely see our elders targeted by HIV prevention and treatment campaigns. But older adults are still at risk for infections and should still be getting tested..... Read More