‘We Weren’t Expected to Live This Long’

by Grace Birnstengel. This article originally appeared on Next Avenue.

(Editor’s note: This story is part of Still Here, Still Positive: A series on the first generation of Americans aging with HIV/AIDS, with support from The John A. Hartford Foundation.)

More than 500,000 people over 50 in the U.S. are growing older with the human immunodeficiency viruses (HIV) that, if untreated, cause acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, or AIDS.

While some have contracted HIV/AIDS in their later years (sparse sexual health promotion for older adults is often to blame), the bulk of these survivors were diagnosed decades ago, back in the throes of the AIDS epidemic of the 1980s and 1990s, when.... Read More

             

AMA offers 6 tips to improve heart health during American Heart Month

by Kelly Jakubek. This article originally appeared on the American Medical Association website.

To help the millions of Americans currently living with high blood pressure reduce their risk of heart attack and stroke, the American Medical Association (AMA) is offering six tips that Americans can take to improve their heart health. The release of these tips coincides with the start of February’s American Heart Month this week.

“In February, American Heart Month, we encourage all Americans to take control of their heart health by better understanding and monitoring their blood pressure levels and making healthy lifestyle changes that can significantly reduce their risk of serious health consequences associated with high blood pressure,” said AMA President Patrice.... Read More

             

The Voices of the Silenced

by SAGE Communications. This article originally appeared on the SAGE blog.

When asked to think of the predominant challenges facing people as they age today, the common answers may be physical mobility and accessibility, savings and wealth management, or finding safe, affordable housing. These challenges are increased for LGBT older people, who may face maltreatment due to their sexual orientation or live in fear of discrimination. However, due to incredible advancements in medicine and science, many of the Stonewall generation are now experiencing a far less talked about challenge: aging with HIV.

In the late 90’s at the height of the AIDS epidemic, it was inconceivable to imagine that individuals who were diagnosed would live to.... Read More

             

Supporting Black Futures During Black History Month by Ending Diabetes Disparities

African American older adults are disproportionately affected by diabetes, which affects more than 10% of African American adults. Without proper management, diabetes may increase the risk for other diseases including cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, and Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.

One way to understand this concept is to think about how sticky sugar becomes when you caramelize it in a frying pan. This is the same process that occurs in our arteries, since the average internal temperature of the human body is 98.6°F. As our arteries are filled with this “sticky sugar,” our heart needs to work harder to.... Read More

             

The Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. As an Activist for Health Reform

On January 15, 1929, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was born in Atlanta, Georgia. Dr. King’s family always knew that he was special, but no one knew how special he would turn out to be, with his influence still being felt today. As one of the most prominent leaders of the Civil Rights Movement, Dr. King united Americans to fight racism and oppression via civil disobedience and nonviolent protesting. What is less well known about Dr. King is that his vision for a better America included abolishing health injustice.

“Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhuman.” — Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

We seldom talk about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s.... Read More

             

Pneumonia Vaccination: Protect yourself by asking the right questions

It’s a new year, and here at the National Hispanic Council on Aging (NHCOA), we’re resolving to make 2020 the healthiest year yet for NHCOA’s constituents and staff. Hopefully by now you have been vaccinated for influenza and the immunization will keep you healthy over the winter months. Equally important is another vaccine currently available for your protection — the pneumococcal vaccine – which prevents a serious illness, pneumococcal disease or pneumonia.

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that pneumonia is just a bad cold or the flu or that it can be prevented with the flu vaccine. In.... Read More

             

New Data Show ACA Is Reducing Racial Disparities in Health Coverage

by Dara S. Taylor. This article originally appeared on the Community Catalyst blog.

Since the passage of the ACA over 20 million people have gained access to health insurance coverage through the Marketplace. A recent issue brief from the Commonwealth Fund reaffirms that substantially lowering uninsurance rates nationwide has also led to reductions in racial and ethnic disparities in health coverage. The health coverage gains have been most pronounced for minority groups and individuals with incomes below 139 percent of the federal poverty level.

Before the passage of the ACA, Latinx people had the highest initial uninsurance rate. Black people also had higher initial uninsurance rates than whites. Therefore, a reduction of.... Read More

             

Building an Age- and Dementia-Friendly California

By Dr. Marcy Adelman. This article originally appeared in the San Francisco Bay Times.

I am proud and honored to announce that I have been invited by Governor Newsom and former California First Lady Maria Shriver to join the Governor’s Alzheimer’s Prevention and Preparedness Task Force. The Task Force consists of 29 members. It is a diverse group of formal and informal experts— caregivers, health service providers, researchers, policy experts, advocates, affected families and media professionals. The Task Force is charged with developing a plan that will work for all Californians living with Alzheimer’s and for the people who care for them.

For the last seven years, I have had the opportunity to advocate for, and.... Read More

             

Recording Available for Health Disparities Webinar with the All of Us Research Program

In case you missed our webinar on health research and health disparities with the All of Us Research Program, a recording of this webinar is now available here. Just enter your name and email address and you will be able to watch the full presentation at any time!

This webinar was rich, informative, and inspiring. Thank you to our co-presenters:

Christina Pacheco JD, Director of Policy, National Hispanic Council on Aging (NHCOA) Keisha Lewis OT, Program Coordinator, National Caucus and Center on Black Aging (NCBA)

And thank you.... Read More

             

Join the Diverse Elders Coalition for a webinar on health research and diverse populations

On Thursday, August 22nd at 3pm EDT, the Diverse Elders Coalition (DEC) will host a webinar on health research among diverse populations. We’ll discuss the barriers to access that have prevented communities of color, LGBT communities, American Indian/Alaska Native communities, and others from participating in health research. We’ll also explore the different health conditions and disparities that can be better understood and alleviated through greater participation in biomedical research and the advancement of precision medicine. The webinar will focus on the National Institutes of Health’s All of Us Research Program and the protections.... Read More

             

Dual Stigma: HIV Positive and Over 50

by Grace Birnstengel. This article originally appeared on Next Avenue.

HIV/AIDS used to be considered a disease of the young. In the early 1980s, when doctors first reported cases of HIV, nearly 70% of diagnoses were among people under 40.

Fast forward four decades later and more than 50% of Americans with HIV are now over 50. And by 2020 that number is expected to reach 65% to 70%. This is largely due to major medical improvements in the effectiveness of anti-retroviral therapy (ART) in suppressing the virus and transforming HIV from an often fatal.... Read More

             
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