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

             

The Day Shift

by Daniel Blue Tyx. This article originally appeared in the Texas Observer.

“La calavera,” the caller intoned, as Beatriz García placed a turquoise glass bead over the skull-and-crossbones icon on one of the two brightly colored cards on the table in front of her. It was 9 a.m. on a Tuesday morning at Lindos Momentos Adult Day Care in McAllen, and the chalupa — a bingo-like game featuring iconography drawn from Mexican folklore — was already in full swing.

Beatriz, 74, has five children and worked for 21 years in a local elementary school cafeteria. Her husband, Guillermo, sits at her side. He’s 80 and picked cotton for 25 cents an hour as a migrant farmworker in his youth,.... Read More

             

Possibilities: Creative Aging through the Arts

This post originally appeared on the India Home blog.

It’s India Independence Day, 2017,  and at the celebration being held at Queens Borough Hall in Queens, NY, the young announcer invites the next act to come up on stage. Ten women from India Home file in and start dancing, their bright white, orange and red saris billowing, their feet making dexterous patterns to the insistently upbeat music. The scene is remarkable not for the fact that there are Indian dancers in Queens, but because the women swaying on stage are all between 65 and 85 years old.

It is no coincidence that these women are so fit and vigorous..... Read More

             

Are South Asians more at risk for heart disease? Yes, and now there’s a new bill in Congress to address that!

This post originally appeared on the India Home blog.

Last year, Narendra Butala, a long time member of India Home, was facing a health crisis. He had been feeling breathless for a while. His blood pressure would drop suddenly and he would sweat profusely.

Still, he was afraid to go to the cardiologist because his brother had got a pacemaker in 2004 and had passed away shortly after. Even as he worried about the condition of his heart, he heard from one of his relatives. Pacemaker technology had changed, she said, and urged him to get a check-up. Finally, in July, a few months after his 78th birthday, Butala, took the plunge and went to Mount Sinai Hospital in.... Read More

             

Seniors Dance for Health, Life—and to Beat the Blues

by Jacqueline García. This article originally appeared on New America Media.

When a group of elderly women dance, their eyes focus on their hands, their movements and their fans.

Their dresses are colorful, flowers adorn their hair, and their shoes have heels, not too high but elegant.

“Dancing is art and is life,” said Ana Miranda, age 65, after a presentation at the World Conference on Geriatrics and Gerontology in San Francisco in late July. The once-in-four-years conference attracted 6,000 experts in aging from 75 countries.

Miranda along with the other women belong to the San Francisco Mission Neighborhood Center (MNC) Healthy Aging program. She has attended the senior center for more than five years and said the.... Read More

             

Challenges Loom for Growing Elderly Filipino American Population

by Neil Gonzalez. This article originally appeared on New America Media.

Betty de Guzman takes her ailments in stride.

The gracefully dressed, pixie-haired 78-year-old has been a breast-cancer survivor the past 16 years. “When I got diagnosed, I said so be it,” she said. “But I’m thankful to God for saving my life.”

She has also been battling diabetes. “I control my food and take my medicine,” she said while hanging out with friends at the Pilipino Senior Resource Center in San Francisco. “I eat a small amount of rice and more protein, vegetables and fruits.”

Health and other concerns pertaining to older Filipino Americans, such as de Guzman, are expected only to heighten as this.... Read More

             

Healthy Aging Starts with a Healthy Mouth, and Health Equity Starts with Us

Last week, the Diverse Elders Coalition traveled to Alexandria, VA for the Oral Health America Medicare Symposium. Advocates, policymakers, and providers convened for this Symposium to discuss how to get a dental benefit included in Medicare. A recent study found that 52% of older adults are unaware that Medicare doesn’t cover routine dental care – maybe you didn’t know that, either!

Given how important oral health is to overall health – if you can’t chew or swallow food, or if you are living with chronic pain from infection or gum disease, your overall health is certainly impacted! – it is shocking that once an elder turns 65, they are their own for.... Read More

             

Extreme Heat

This post originally appeared on the NICOA blog.

It is officially summer time, and with summer comes hot weather. Unfortunately, sometimes the weather gets too hot and becomes extreme heat, which can cause heat-related illnesses. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) note that “around 618 people in the United States are killed by extreme heat every year” even though heat-related deaths and illness are preventable.

Heat-related illnesses happen when the body is not able to properly cool itself, and in extreme heat evaporation is slowed so your body must work extra hard to maintain a normal temperature. On top of this, some people are more at.... Read More

             

LGBT Older Adults Run a Higher Risk for These Three Chronic Conditions

by Kathleen Cameron. This post originally appeared on the blog of the National Council of Aging (NCOA).

Chronic conditions can be difficult to manage at the best of times, but for many LGBT older adults, barriers to health care, lack of health insurance, and fear of discrimination by doctors threatens the healthy aging of a generation.

Studies suggest that LGBT older adults have higher rates of chronic conditions and other health problems, such as obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, arthritis, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and more. Because many LGBT.... Read More

             

Ojibwe Woman Proves it’s Never Too Late to Get Fit

By Barb Norbeck.  Ms. Norbeck (Minnesota Chippewa Tribe) is a member of the National Indian Council on Aging (NICOA) and lives in Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula. This post originally appeared on the NICOA blog.

I don’t let cold weather stand between me and exercise. I enjoy pulling on my cleated hiking boots, grabbing my walking sticks and taking a brisk walk on an icy sand beach on Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula. It does something for my spirit. I can enjoy it now at age 73 because I have the muscle mass and tone to extend myself. I can actually work up a sweat! I credit my positive attitude and agility to a variety of reasons. I.... Read More

             

Hispanics and Latinos are facing the fastest increase in the rates of type 2 diabetes

This post originally appeared on the NHCOA blog.

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

             
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