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
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
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
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
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.
For the first time, a newly-released report, resulting from a one-day summit, “Paving the Path for Family-Centered Design: A National Report on Family Caregiver Roles in Medical Product Development,” explores the vital roles that family caregivers can play in shaping biomedical research and development, regulatory decision-making and healthcare delivery. Specifically, the report begins a dialogue on how to incorporate the critical knowledge of caregivers in developing pharmaceutical products, biotechnology therapies, and medical devices. It presents recommendations for leveraging the enormous – and largely untapped – a reservoir of information and observations of caregivers about the conditions their care.... Read More
Despite connectivity, social isolation is not declining—especially among diverse older adults
When asked by staff of the Diverse Elders Coalition about the aging services available in her area, Elva, an American Indian elder from New Mexico, relayed how important her local Elder Center was to her and her peers’ well-being: “We as elders need a place to come to, [where we] have meals, do activities and visit with friends and relatives.”
Elva noted that the Elder Center was a place where she could get information about benefits and other available resources. “Many times, as a Native elder, we feel that we don’t exist,” she said.
In our increasingly digitally connected world, there.... Read More
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
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