To Be Seen

My memories from childhood are extremely hazy. Most of what I can recall are fleeting feelings: the bliss in skipping around my Kindergarten classroom as I sang about the days of the week, the joy in jumping up and down on my parents’ bed as I watched “David the Gnome,” the curiosity in having accidentally swallowed a piece of gum, the preceding anxiety and subsequent relief in remembering my steps for a dance recital. Practically all my childhood firsts are long forgotten; I cannot recollect the first book I ever read by myself, or the first tooth I lost, or the.... Read More

             

Quality of Life Enhanced for Seniors with Companion Animals

by D. Kevin McNeir. This article originally appeared in the Washington Informer

Much has been reported about a paradigm shift within American society which looms on the horizon and cannot be ignored: In less than 20 years, according to U.S. Census data, older adults will outnumber children for the first time in our history. On reaching that milestone in 2035, experts predict, the 78 million older Americans 65 or more will slightly outnumber the 76.7 million children under 18.

Most of these seniors will be women, who have longer life expectancies than men and who will more than likely live at home with the assistance of family caregivers. The majority of the seniors will be baby.... Read More

             

Grandfamilies Cut Across Class and Ethnic Groups, Particularly Prevalent Among African Americans

Caregiving provided by grandparents serves as a safety net for children in need of parenting regardless of race, ethnicity, or sexual orientation. Approximately 2.9 million grandparents make breakfast, organize their grandchildren’s activities, arrange doctor’s appointments, help with homework, and worry about how they are going to afford college coupled with their everyday household expenses.

Since the 1970s, the number of grandparents raising grandchildren in the United States has rapidly increased. Sometimes grandparent caregiving is a formal arrangement, including foster care or adoption. Many times, grandparent caregiving is an informal arrangement that might occur in a multi-generational home or take place outside of the family home due to social conditions such as addiction, incarceration, child abuse, neglect, and even the death.... Read More

             

Come see “Toilet Talks,” a play about eldercare, in Indianapolis next week!

In November of 2017, we met Betty (she/her/hers) and liz thomson (they/them/theirs) through the interview on November 20, 2017. They had just moved in together that fall and were adjusting to their new apartment in Greenwood, Indiana. Liz, who is an adoptee and identifies as bi/queer and gender non-conforming, interviewed Mom to get her thoughts on how the new situation was going. In September of 2018, Mom passed away and left liz with the logistics that follow a death, but also a deeply unexpected void in their life. Trying to cope in a healthy way, liz wrote Toilet Talks, a semi-fictional play about their elder care experience. Toilet Talks will be a.... Read More

             

Vietnamese Death Anniversaries Unite Young and Old

By Christine Nguyen, MD. This story originally appeared on KALW FM’s “Crosscurrents.

In 2006, my Mom had a dream. Grandma sat above her, perched on a black stone wall so high her feet didn’t touch the floor. “Mother,” Mom called, “You’re up so high. You might fall to your death.”

A phone call interrupted Mom’s dream. It was her brother. Their mother was dead. “Sister,” he added, “I’ve made Mother a tombstone. Black. Granite from India.”

Ancestor worship is the most common religious practice in Vietnam. It’s called Đạo Ông Bà, or “belief in Grandfather and Grandmother.” When a Vietnamese parent dies, the children make an altar in their homes for the parent’s spirit to live. The practice is.... 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

             

Christmas at the Covingtons

by Peter White. This article originally appeared in The Tennessee Tribune.

Rose and George Covington live in a 4-bedroom, two-bath brick house on Meridian St. in East Nashville. They are still doing what they started doing 45 years ago: raising children. Their own two, Tim and Jessica, are grown and out of the house.

They’ve got five grandchildren and one great grandchild, Michael, who is 2 ½. Rose and George are raising them. There is also Rose’s nephew, Jerry, 14. Kids from an extended family of eighty-nine at one time or another have lived in the house on Meridian St. It has four blue metal chairs on the front lawn and a welcome mat by the front.... Read More

             

Linh’s Story: An American Success Story Made Possible by Family-Based Immigration

by Linh Chuong. This post originally appeared on the SEARAC blog.

In 1986, my dad was forced to flee Vietnam because of persecution. He came to the United States as a refugee and was relocated to Oakland along with my three older brothers. As a child, I remained in Vietnam with my mother and three siblings, and my father filed paperwork to bring the rest of my family to the United States so we could be together again. We spent almost a decade apart before we were reunited as a family in East Oakland eight years later.

Our first.... Read More

             

When Mom Doesn’t Recognize Me, I Tie a Knot and Hang On

by D. Kevin McNeir for the Washington Informer.

I would have never believed there would ever come a time when my Mom–whom I’ve always described, whenever asked, as my best friend, No. 1 fan, personal “shero” and one who’s loved me unconditionally without hesitation or regret for my entire life–would look upon my face and require a few minutes before recognizing who I am.

But as her 90th birthday approaches, I must face the inevitable truth that Alzheimer’s is slowly, but surely, reshaping our world, her reality. The disease is eating away pieces of my mother’s mind, leaving a mere shell of the woman she once was. And, it both frightens me and causes great pain.

I.... Read More

             

Take it from our family, long-term care takes a devastating toll on finances and emotional health

by Andrew Lam. Andrew is the author of two books of personal essays: “Perfume Dreams: Reflections on the Vietnamese Diaspora,” and “East Eats West: Writing in Two Hemispheres,” and a book of short stories, “Birds of Paradise Lost.” This article was originally published by the Center for Health Journalism.

The cost of aging in America is exorbitant, which my siblings and I are finding out firsthand through our struggles over the past three years to take care of our aged parents.

My mother, suffering from Alzheimer’s, spends her remaining days mostly in a hospital bed in hospice care, but mercifully next to my father. Both live in an apartment in.... Read More

             

Increasing the Capacity of Family Caregiver Interventions

Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) are the fastest growing minority group in America, according to the U.S. Census. Between 2010 and 2030, the AAPI older adult population is projected to increase by 145%. A rapidly increasing aging population demands resilient, capable, and enduring systems of care. Familial systems of care are more prevalent in AAPI communities than other racial groups, with 42% of AAPIs providing care to an older adult, compared to 22% of the general population.

The Tailored Caregiver Assessment and Referral® (TCARE®) program is an evidence-based, care management software platform designed to enable care managers to more effectively support family caregivers by efficiently targeting services to their needs and strengths. The TCARE® program includes.... Read More

             

On Valentine’s Day, Remember to Love Your Elders

Valentine’s Day is often known as a consumer holiday focused on couples. However, at the National Indian Council on Aging (NICOA), we want to reinvent the holiday and use it as a way to celebrate the love everyone has for their Elders.

“Native American values and cultures believe that everything and everyone is connected.  What we do to others and to the planet we do to ourselves. Practicing love, honor, gratitude and respect daily will unify us with the planet, its creatures and the Great Spirit.” Today, we encourage everyone to practice love, honor, and gratitude for our Elders, and continue to practice it daily.

How Can You Show Love, Honor, and Gratitude for.... Read More

             
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