February is full of things to celebrate. While Valentine’s Day is an opportunity to take care of our loved ones’ hearts, American Heart Month reminds us that it is also a time to focus on the health of our own hearts! And as we honor the leaders of the African diaspora during Black History Month, we also advocate for improvements in both society and in health that will enrich Black futures. Awareness of heart health is particularly important for Black and African American older adults because of environmental and genetic risk factors that cause poorer health outcomes.... Read More
Honoring Queen Latifah: The Celebrity, The Caregiver, The Heart Health Advocate
Black History Month is a commemorative month to celebrate the lives of those who are significant in the history of the African Diaspora. These people stem from different backgrounds including artists, activists, inventors, academics, scientists, musicians, actors, and many more. Although these people are different in profession, they are all unified with the goal of improving the lives of African Americans. In accordance with Black History Month, February is also American Heart Month, a commemorative month to highlight the importance of heart health in resolving heart disease and failure – the #1 leading cause of death in the United States and worldwide. During both Black History Month and American Heart Month, I would like to introduce Queen.... Read More
Precision Medicine Rejects “One-Size-Fits-All” Medicine and Creates Health Solutions that Meet the Needs of Diverse Elders
Clinical trials and health research are invaluable tools to advance individual and public health around the world, but the communities represented by the Diverse Elders Coalition – including American Indians and Alaska Natives, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, Hispanics and Latinos, and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and/or Transgender (LGBT) people – are often underrepresented in these initiatives. In fact, because of a lack of comprehensive, disaggregated data collection, participants may not be able to indicate their sexual orientation or gender identity, and no distinction may be made between South Indians,.... Read More
Even in the short term, not getting enough sleep can keep people from performing at their mental best, whether it be more complex executive functioning or problem-solving or memory. The experience is universal – we’ve all had it: “We have a bad night’s sleep, we’re hazy in the morning, we may not be as sharp as we usually are,” says Michael V. Vitiello, a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences and geriatrics at the University of Washington School of Medicine. “We may have some lapses in memory or we don’t process information quite as well.”
What’s more, it’s well-known by researchers, clinicians.... Read More
To Eliminate Race Disparities in Diabetes, We Must Address Social Determinants of Health
In the United States, diabetes is most prevalent among Southerners and residents of Appalachian regions. Blacks are afflicted more than whites. Over a third of African American seniors are diagnosed as diabetic.
The prevalence of diabetes increases with age, Kelly Zimmerman, spokeswoman for Louisiana’s Department of Health, said last week. Adults ages 65 and older had the highest rate in the state last year at 26.1 percent. Diabetes among all of Louisiana’s adults 18 years and above was 13.6 percent. For the state’s African American adults of.... Read More
Flu season is upon us! It is so important for people 65 years and older to get vaccinated because they are at greater risk of serious complications from the flu. While flu seasons can vary in severity, during most seasons, people 65 years and older have the greatest weight of severe flu disease. In recent years, it’s estimated that roughly 70 to 85 percent of seasonal flu-related deaths have occurred in people 65 years and older. It is particularly important for Hispanic older adults, as historically, Hispanic adults were 30 percent less likely to have received the flu shot compared to non-Hispanic whites.
The future remains uncertain for the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which opened the door for a major overhaul of the United States healthcare system with President Barack Obama’s signature in 2010, and which continues to be attacked and subjected to legislative revisions initiated by President, Donald J. Trump and his Republican colleagues.
But women, who tend to serve as the primary caregivers for their families while often ignoring their own health, can ill afford to wait until the dust finally clears, particularly when it comes to their hearts.
Often thought of as a “man’s disease,” heart disease stands as the leading cause of death for women in the United.... Read More
Honoring Our Experience, a social services program run by the Shanti Project, sponsors a series of REVIVAL dances to honor long-term HIV survivors in San Francisco. Hank wrote this piece for a talent show at the February 2018 REVIVAL dance and has graciously shared it with the Diverse Elders Coalition for publication on our website.
It’s 1959 and I’m six years old. My family has gathered at my grandparents’ house this Sunday to watch The Ed Sullivan Show. I’m sitting on the cold linoleum floor, watching, as this very tall, thin, very regal-looking woman walks onto.... Read More
A married, gay older couple living in a nursing home introduced themselves as brothers to their healthcare providers and fellow residents because they were afraid of discrimination. A limited-English proficient Chinese American older adult was exhibiting signs of dementia, but her husband thought they were natural symptoms of aging and didn’t tell his family members or doctor what they were experiencing. A home care worker could not figure out how to remove the traditional dress that an American Indian Elder was wearing, so she cut the dress off — not knowing that in the Elder’s culture, clothing was only cut off of a person’s body after they had died.
Stories about diverse elders experiencing a lack of culturally competent care.... Read More
It’s February, And I’m STILL Not Exercising Every Week
It’s almost the end February. Would you look at that.
The end of February, and already I’m not exercising every week (or ever). I haven’t finished my crochet project. To be sure, I did register for the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament (priorities, people!), but I haven’t been printing and solving crossword puzzles on paper in preparation.
February is a curious month. It sits there, between January’s New Year and March’s springtime, pretending to be innocuous.
Don’t be fooled: February is not innocuous. It bears the weight of all of our shattered dreams. It is the month of reckoning.
In most years, late December through January has a predictable arc. It’s cold, dark, and snowy. BUT, the days are getting longer..... Read More
The Importance of Sleep for Our Elders – Winter Edition
The National Indian Council on Aging (NICOA) Executive Director Randella Bluehouse states, “NICOA encourages our Elders to sleep well and be healthy this winter season, and throughout the year.” Learning the causes of sleep deprivation, especially in the winter, and how to overcome them are important steps for our Elders to take in order to get a good night’s rest and increase their overall physical wellbeing.
Why Sleep Is Important
Sleep deprivation, a lack of sleep that affects a person’s performance when awake, includes symptoms such as having trouble staying awake during daily activities and the need for caffeine to.... Read More