LGBTQ+ Chosen Family: Priceless!

Can you imagine not having access to your loved one enduring a lengthy hospital stay?
Can you imagine being strategically left out of the end of life decisions for your partner or significant other?
Do you have the legal standing necessary to handle your partner or chosen family member’s affairs?

A family of choice is a phrase used with pride to describe the close-knit relationships and adopted kin networks for LGBTQ+ populations. The presence of a secure and functional support network is one of the most vital components of healthy adjustments and optimal functioning for LGBTQ+ aging populations (SAGE, 2014).

Our nation’s population is aging, with the baby boomers entering retirement and adjusting to empty nests and finding new.... Read More

             

What’s Behind My Mother’s Obsession With Food?

by Jaya Padmanabhan. This article originally appeared in India Currents.

“What did you eat today?” my mother, Sarada, begins her phone conversation with my twenty-three-year-old daughter in New York. When my daughter explains that she made rasam and sautéed cauliflower over the weekend, Sarada’s face lights up. Later she tells me she’s happy that all her grandchildren love rasam, a staple broth from the south of India.

Eighty-six-year-old Sarada immigrated to America in her 70s, and finds equanimity performing activities and engaging in conversations that hinge around food. When she meets people she doesn’t know, she connects through food conversations, often recalling.... Read More

             

New Bill Restores Due Process Protections for Immigrants with Criminal Records

Asian Americans Advancing Justice and Southeast Asia Resource Action Center (SEARAC) applaud the introduction of the New Way Forward Act by U.S. House Reps. Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, Pramila Jayapal, Karen Bass, and Ayanna Pressley.

The New Way Forward Act advances the national conversation on immigrants with a criminal record by restoring due process protections for all immigrants, including immigrants in deportation proceedings. Key components of the bill include the below provisions:

Eliminating mandatory detention Ending deportations based for certain convictions Restoring judicial discretion for immigration judges Creating a five-year statute of limitations for deportability Establishing an opportunity to come home for certain deported individuals or non-citizens in deportation proceedings

In particular, the restoration of judicial discretion for.... Read More

             

How to Avoid Becoming Isolated as a Caregiver

by George Lorenzo. This article originally appeared on Next Avenue.

Family caregivers of loved ones with disabilities and chronic illnesses experience life transformations that are often unexpected. Their altered lifestyles, frequently resulting in dramatic changes to their personal identities, can last for many years, depending on their circumstances.

Being uprooted from their former selves over long periods of time can bring isolation and loneliness. And that can have negative physical and mental ramifications for both the caregiver and their loved one. How caregivers deal with their newly transformed lives, and how much assistance they may or may not get, can make a huge difference in their well-being. Here are stories of three family caregivers and their.... Read More

             

Social Isolation and the Holiday Blues for LGBTQ+ Older Adults

In normative aging, the evolution from adult to older adult often parallels exposure to ageist societal attitudes and behaviors. Seniors are adapting to changing circumstances of bereavement, relocation, and the digital divide of technology. Some are exploring social media to close the gap of connection to family and friends, while adjusting to retirement and smaller social circles. With all these moving pieces, the holidays come and may cast a shadow of isolation and potential loneliness to once vibrant, active and engaged individuals.

The holiday season can bring on holiday blues or ‘winter blues’ for vulnerable populations of older adults and elders. Triggers for social isolation during the holidays included changes in family structure that may result in more significant numbers.... Read More

             

NICOA Hosts Focus Groups with American Indian Caregivers

by Kayla Sawyer and Rebecca Owl Morgan

Earlier this year, the National Indian Council on Aging (NICOA) had the opportunity to host several focus groups with American Indian family caregivers in New Mexico. NICOA organized four focus groups with a total of 31 participants. The purpose of the groups was to learn more about these caregivers’ experiences helping an older family member or friend who has health problems and disabilities. During the focus groups, we learned about their caregiving duties, the challenges they face, and their encounters with healthcare professionals.

Our focus groups revealed how caregivers’ lives are impacted by their role as caregivers. Many American Indian caregivers spoke about skipping appointments and neglecting their own.... Read More

             

CAPAC Discusses Alarming Rise of Southeast Asian Deportations under Trump

WASHINGTON, DC – Last week, the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) held a Congressional Forum on the Rise of Southeast Asian Deportations. Members of Congress in attendance included CAPAC Chair Judy Chu (D-CA-27), CAPAC Immigration Task Force Chair Pramila Jayapal, (D-WA-7) House Judiciary Immigration and Border Security Subcommittee Chair Zoe Lofgren (D-CA-19), and Reps. Ami Bera (D-CA-7), Gil Cisneros (D-CA-39), Lou Correa (D-CA-46), Alan Lowenthal (D-CA-47), Grace Meng (D-NY-6), Harley Rouda (D-CA-48), and Maxine Waters (D-CA-43).

Since 1998, more than 17,000 Southeast Asian refugees have been issued a final order of removal, but due to.... Read More

             

National Family Caregivers Month: Strength and Resilience

November is a very special month. It marks the month of Thanksgiving, where millions of families and friends across the United States gather to give thanks, show appreciation for one another, and feast. November also marks National Family Caregivers Month, a time to recognize the people taking care of the ones they love. Although National Family Caregivers Month is not as widely celebrated as Thanksgiving, it is just as important for millions of families across the United States. Along with expressing gratitude for family caregivers, National Family Caregivers Month is a time to highlight the issues of family caregivers, provide resources, and to advocate for supportive policies and programs.

There are many issues that family caregivers.... Read More

             

Caregivers Need Support for their Diverse Needs

by Scott Bane, Program Officer, The John A. Hartford Foundation. This article originally appeared on The John A. Hartford Foundation’s “What We’re Learning” blog.

Dear Colleagues—

Family caregivers provide an estimated $470 billion in unpaid care each year. All family caregivers need more support, but the diverse needs of family caregivers have not been fully appreciated. Thanks to research supported by The John A. Hartford Foundation, we’re learning a lot more about the diversity of family caregivers in this country and how we can better support them.

Family caregivers are represented in all races, ethnicities, ages, sexualities, gender.... Read More

             

Grandparents Day: A Letter to Younger Generations

Throughout my entire life, I have been fortunate enough to have been influenced and guided by older adults. As a young section 8 housing kid juxtaposed amongst kids from a higher socioeconomic class at a Roman Catholic private school, I found comfort in older adults who guided and consoled me during times when I felt alone. If it weren’t for my grandfather, grandmother, my mothers’ friends, and my school’s religious brothers, I would not be the person I am today. To many people, older adults can be perceived as “uncool” or stereotyped because of their age, however, I have.... Read More

             

Culturally Competent Supports for Diverse Family Caregivers: Spotlight on Volunteers of America Minnesota-Wisconsin

This article was written for the Diverse Elders Coalition by Resources for Integrated Care.

Nearly one in four older adults dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid has Alzheimer’s disease or related dementia, and dually eligible older adults have higher rates of chronic conditions than Medicare-only beneficiaries. Caring for individuals with dementia and other chronic conditions often involves significant physical, emotional, and financial support from family members. To meet the needs of family caregivers, providers and health plans may benefit from strategies for supporting caregivers through services such as respite services, counseling, and training and education.

Family caregivers come from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds, and health plans report.... Read More

             

How to Support a Transgender Child or Grandchild

This article originally appeared on Next Avenue.

Gender is much more complex than most of us were taught.

Transgender people have existed for as long as people have existed. But due to stigma, poor treatment, lack of knowing others like themselves and fear of rejection, many transgender people have chosen not to come out earlier in life — or at all.

Transgender people face patterns of mistreatment and discrimination at alarmingly high rates when looking at the most basic elements of life: finding a job, having a place to live, accessing medical care and enjoying the support of family and community, according to the National Center for Transgender Equality, which conducted.... Read More

             
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