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
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
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
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
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
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
Cultural competence is the key to trust and respect between clients and direct care workers
Resources for Integrated Care (RIC) has developed a series of briefs, described and linked below, to help long-term services and support (LTSS) providers, administrators, and other stakeholders, support a diverse direct care workforce that can meet the cultural needs and preferences of dually eligible beneficiaries. These resources contain information and promising practices related to organizational cultural competence in LTSS provider settings, training culturally competent direct care workers, and recruiting and retaining a diverse direct care workforce.
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
“I have been forgetting things for years, but now I forget in a new way. I used to believe I could eventually retrieve whatever was lost and then commit it to memory. Now I know I can’t possibly. Whatever’s gone is hopelessly gone. And what’s new doesn’t stick.”
This passage is just one of many favorites from Nora Ephron’s final book, I Remember Nothing — a 161-page testament to the fact that as we age, our memories get.... Read More
New Data Show ACA Is Reducing Racial Disparities in Health Coverage
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