Tina and Jackie were born in the same town in 1947. Despite similar beginnings, their lives take very different turns. In 1967, Tina meets Frank. And Jackie meets Frances. As a same-sex couple, Jackie and Frances couldn’t marry, were denied spousal benefits, and experienced a lifetime of discrimination and lost wages. Fast forward to today, and Jackie, like so many other older adults, struggles with financial insecurity, social isolation, and overall lack of health and well-being, simply because they are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT).
by Chandra Thomas Whitfield. This article originally appeared on NBCNews.com.
Cecelia Hayden Smith, 72, knows exactly how she wants to live out the remainder of her golden years: lounging lazily on the porch of a cozy house tucked along a quiet, treelined street in Washington, D.C.
She’d greet her partner each morning with a homemade country breakfast, and their afternoons and evenings would be filled with lively games of Spades and Bid Whist with a dozen or so housemates — all fellow LGBTQ elders.
“I’ve already picked out my rocking chair,” the retired substance abuse counselor quipped. “Just call me ‘Mama C,’ and make sure my room is in the front, so I can always see.... Read More
When Health Policy Advocacy Doesn’t See Color, It Doesn’t See Me
Our advocacy around race and health requires us to address racism as a cause of poor health, recognizing that without addressing this root cause, attempts at solving health inequities will continuously fall short. However, in order to bring full awareness to the consequences of racism on health outcomes, we must take a step even further back, and address the ways structural racism is embedded in health policy and health advocacy.
When the foundations for the health advocacy strategies that shape our policies are flawed, we build structures that benefit some people above others. We then spend.... Read More
Hispanics and Latinos are facing the fastest increase in the rates of type 2 diabetes
Hispanics and Latinos make up the fastest-growing demographic of the US population. In 2015, the Hispanic population reached 56.6 million, making Hispanics the nation’s largest ethnic/racial minority, constituting 17.6% of the US population. It is projected that by 2060, the Hispanic population will reach 119 million, or 28.6% of the US population.
In addition to rapid population growth, Hispanics and Latinos are also facing the fastest increase in the rates of type 2 diabetes. Hispanics are at a greater risk than non-Hispanics for having prediabetes, a treatable condition categorized by.... Read More
New Report: LGBT Older Adults Face Unique Challenges to Successful Aging
The Movement Advancement Project (MAP) and SAGE have just released a report, Understanding Issues Facing LGBT Older Adults, which aims to increase awareness of the diverse needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) elders across the country. The report offers a comprehensive look into the experiences of LGBT elders, highlighting the challenges they face across a wide range of topics from health care to financial security and community support, and their resilience in the face of these challenges.
As America’s population rapidly ages (the number of people over 65 will double by 2050) so too do LGBT adults. Currently, there are more than 2.7 million LGBT adults aged.... Read More
The first 100 days of the Trump administration have been a cause for concern among many Hispanic older adults and their families. While our attention has been understandably focused on the new administration’s anti-immigrant policies, its efforts to roll back the Affordable Care Act, and its proposed cuts for programs seniors rely on, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has quietly taken a step toward erasing lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) seniors from a key survey that helps HHS ensure.... Read More
NICOA Points to American Indian/Alaska Health Disparities during National Minority Health Month
American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) Elders have long experienced disparities in health and healthcare. A health disparity is a difference in health outcomes from different groups within the population.
Historically, AI/AN communities have had limited access to quality healthcare. One outcome of treaties between AI/AN communities and the federal government is that all federal recognized tribes have a right to healthcare services. The Indian Health Service (IHS)* was created to meet this federal commitment.
Although there are 567 federally recognized tribes to date, there are many more tribes still seeking federal recognition..... Read More
April is National Minority Health Month! We join the US Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health in recognizing the health disparities that continue to affect diverse communities across the United States. Ample research suggests that communities of color in the United States face barriers to health and greater health disparities when compared to white communities, including availability and affordability of healthy food, incidence of diabetes, rates of HIV infection, access to healthcare, and the use and abuse of tobacco and alcohol, just to name a few.
The stress of our nation’s history of racism and exclusion.... Read More
Raising Awareness and Eliminating Health Disparities for National Minority Cancer Awareness Week
When I’ve given trainings to healthcare and social services providers about cancer in the LGBTQ communities, I always find it interesting to ask the audience, “Does it matter who a breast lump spent Valentine’s Day with?” Or, “Does it matter what country the lump’s grandparents were born in?” Most participants say, overwhelmingly, no, a lump is a lump is a lump: we should treat patients the same irrespective of their racial and ethnic backgrounds or their sexual orientation. But as we’ve learned this National Minority Cancer Awareness Week, cancer affects different populations differently, and minority groups in the United States continue to bear a greater cancer burden.
Much of this difference is due to factors like poverty and lack.... Read More
Education + Action = Prevention Power (National Minority Health Month)
In recognition of National Minority Health Month, the Diverse Elders Coalition is featuring stories relevant to the health disparities and health issues affecting diverse older adults during April. A new story will be shared every Wednesday with additional posts shared throughout the month. Be sure to visit diverseelders.org regularly during the month of April.
My stepmother, Miss Fannie embodies this year’s National Minority Health Month theme “Prevention is Power: Taking Action for Health Equity.” She didn’t always. She used to be one of the statistics that abound in the African American community about Black people. You see as an African American adult female, aged 65+, with less than a college education, she was among the percentage of people.... Read More