‘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

             

What you need to know about the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

This article originally appeared on the NHCOA blog. Para leer en español, haga clic aquí.

The National Hispanic Council on Aging (NHCOA) is committed to keeping our communities up to date on the latest information about the current outbreak of coronavirus, or COVID-19. We share this information to help you stay safe and support others.

What is Coronavirus?

Coronaviruses are a group of viruses that can cause a range of symptoms including a runny nose, cough, sore throat and fever. Some are mild (like the common cold),.... Read More

             

Why The New ‘Public Charge’ Rule Could Hit Older Immigrants Hard

by Jaya Padmanabhan. This article originally appeared on Next Avenue.

Devyani Dave immigrated from India to California in 1995 in her early 60s to live near her son and his family. Her green card was sponsored by her son (who prefers not to reveal his name), a citizen who came to the U.S. in 1973. When Dave arrived to start her new life, she had no health insurance and relied on her son to support her. Now, sitting on a bench at Priya Living, a senior community facility in Santa Clara, Calif., Dave said she feels fortunate to be in close proximity to her only child, especially as she ages.

But some immigration experts say the.... 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

             

Aging in Massachusetts is Getting Harder

by Tibisay Zea. This article originally appeared in El Planeta, New England’s Spanish-language newspaper. Haga clic aquí para leer este artículo en español.

One of the biggest challenges of aging is securing economic stability while productivity progressively decreases. This seems harder to achieve in Massachusetts, as it has the worst financial security numbers for older adults, shows a recent study by the Institute of Gerontology at the University of Massachusetts, Boston (UMass Boston).

More than half of people 65 or older in the state live alone, and a third of those living as a couple do not have enough money to cover their basic needs on their own (housing, transportation, health care.... 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

             

Long-Term Care Equality Index proceeds to next phase

by Lois A. Bowers. This article originally appeared on McKnight’s Senior Living.

It was mid-April when I first told you about the launch of a new nationwide tool by elder advocacy group SAGE and the Human Rights Campaign Foundation to assess how well independent living, assisted living, memory care and continuing care retirement communities, as well as skilled nursing and hospice facilities, are treating residents who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer.

About eight months later, the voluntary Long-Term Care Equality Index, or LEI, now has 47 national, statewide, regional and local aging, senior services or LGBTQ membership or advocacy organizations that have endorsed the index and.... 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

             

Three Ways to Save on Medicare Costs

This article originally appeared on Medicare.gov.

You may be able to get help paying for your health and prescription drug costs. Even if you aren’t sure you’re eligible, it’s worth learning more about these three ways to save on Medicare costs:

Medicaid

If you have limited income and resources, you may qualify for Medicaid—a joint federal and state program that:

Helps with medical costs Offers benefits not normally covered by Medicare, like nursing home care and personal care servicesEach state has different rules about eligibility and applying for Medicaid. Call your state Medicaid program to see if you qualify, learn how to apply, and how Medicare works with Medicaid..... Read More
             

You Shouldn’t Need a Golden Ticket to Stay Mobile as You Age

by Dr. Terry Fulmer, President, The John A. Hartford Foundation. This article originally appeared on Next Avenue.

Perhaps no movie has better staying power than Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Many of us raised our children — and now our grandchildren — on the 1971 hit. In a movie filled with iconic scenes, one that really resonates with me involves Charlie’s four grandparents.

It’s hard to forget Grandpa Joe being confined to a bed, as life in the house goes on around him. He’s seemingly living out his later years as a passive.... Read More

             
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