Beyond Age, Race & Income: Sociodemographic Factors to Track During COVID-19

by Elana Kieffer. This article originally appeared on the NCOA blog.

New York City has been the American city hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic. Not all New Yorkers are equally at risk; age has been a serious risk factor, and nearly 75% of New Yorkers who have died from COVID-19 were 65 and over. Race and class also influence infection and mortality rates: Black and Latino city residents have died from COVID-19 at twice the rate of White or Asian New Yorkers, and the ZIP codes in the bottom.... Read More

             

8 Warning Signs of Health Problems in Your Aging Parents

This article originally appeared on Black Health Matters.

As your parents get older, how can you be sure they’re taking care of themselves and staying healthy?

When you visit your aging parents, start by considering these questions:

1. Are your parents able to take care of themselves? Pay attention to your parents’ appearance. Failure to keep up with daily routines—such as bathing and brushing teeth—could indicate dementia, depression or physical impairments. Also pay attention to your parents’ home. Are the lights working? Is the heat on? Is the yard overgrown? Any changes in the way your.... Read More

             

Tips on Dementia Caregiving in the COVID-19 Outbreak

by Liz Seegert. This article originally appeared on Next Avenue.

Caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s or other dementia is hard enough during normal times. As the coronavirus pandemic continues to affect communities around the U.S., though, it’s not surprising that family caregivers are anxious, unnerved and confused.

If you’re caring for a family member with dementia during this global health crisis, there are ways to minimize stress, care for your family and care for yourself, too.

Dementia itself does not increase the risk of COVID-19; however, dementia-related behaviors may increase risk. People with dementia may forget to wash their hands or take other precautions recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).... Read More

             

Hidden and Buried and Locked

by Cynthia McCormick. This article originally appeared in the Cape Cod Times.

When Cape snowbird Marie Seufert tells people in her Florida retirement community that she’s a widow, they sometimes ask when her husband died.

“I say, ’No, it was my wife,” said Seufert, 71, who lost Mary Sidlevicz, her spouse of nearly nine years, on Jan. 5, 2017.

“There were people in Florida who kept referring to her as my ‘friend.’ I kept correcting them. It was my No. 1 relationship,” Seufert said.

“I have to come out to people whether I want to or not. I’d rather just play golf,” Seufert said during a phone interview.

Support Group “A Relief”

Seufert said it was.... Read More

             

LGBTQ Bereaved Spouses Seek Solace

by Kevyn Burger. This article originally appeared on Next Avenue.

After surviving a heart attack and a cancer diagnosis, Carol Riddell feared being kept alive by machines more than she feared death itself. The retired teacher had made her end-of-life wishes clear to her wife Debbie Joffe: no extraordinary measures.

Two years ago, hospitalized after a complicated surgery, Riddell had to be intubated. Her blood pressure dropped and her kidneys began to fail.

“Her system was tanking. Her sister and I were there and we knew she couldn’t come back from this,” said Joffe, 64, who lives in Cincinnati, and had been Riddell’s partner for 30 years and her wife for four.

“I got into bed.... Read More

             

Recent State of the Union Highlights Unfinished Work on Paid Family Leave

By Jason Resendez and Stephanie Monroe of UsAgainstAlzheimer’s.

During the State of the Union, President Trump touted his administration’s progress on expanding paid leave for parents who work for the federal government. According to the President, “As we support America’s moms and dads, I was recently proud to sign the law providing new parents in the Federal workforce paid family leave, serving as a model for the rest of the country.” While this accomplishment is undoubtedly worthy of praise, it also highlights the unfinished work of establishing a comprehensive paid leave policy that values diverse forms of caregiving, from the cradle to later life. 

Our nation’s 41 million family caregivers remain shamefully undervalued, even as our.... Read More

             

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.... 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

             
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