National Nutrition Month: Highlight on the Elder Index and Food Insecurity

Developed by the Gerontology Institute at the University of Massachusetts Boston, the Elder Index tool is used to measure the income older people need to meet their daily living expenses while staying independent in their own homes. The Elder Index tool is specific to household size, location, housing and health status, unlike the Federal Poverty Level, another index used to assess income level.

Additionally, the Elder Index accounts for the cost of healthcare, transportation, miscellaneous essentials, and food. After attending the webinar “Promoting Better Communities for.... Read More

             

“Meals on Wheels” – Telemundo Oklahoma

by Cecilia Hernandez-Cromwell. This video originally aired on Telemundo Oklahoma. The Spanish-language video embedded below includes English subtitles. A full English transcript is included below.

To be independent is something very important for human beings from the moment we begin to walk until we age. Fortunately there are organizations that help people stay longer in the place they call home.

At noon on a recent cold day in Oklahoma City, José de Loera Ruiz was on his way to have lunch with his friend Jerónimo Cazazos, who says, “For seven years friends like him have come to visit me.”

For approximately four years, José has been delivering lunch for Meals on Wheels to people who are homebound because.... Read More

             

What’s Behind My Mother’s Obsession With Food?

by Jaya Padmanabhan. This article originally appeared in India Currents.

“What did you eat today?” my mother, Sarada, begins her phone conversation with my twenty-three-year-old daughter in New York. When my daughter explains that she made rasam and sautéed cauliflower over the weekend, Sarada’s face lights up. Later she tells me she’s happy that all her grandchildren love rasam, a staple broth from the south of India.

Eighty-six-year-old Sarada immigrated to America in her 70s, and finds equanimity performing activities and engaging in conversations that hinge around food. When she meets people she doesn’t know, she connects through food conversations, often.... Read More

             

Type 2 Diabetes: Lessons Learned from the Experiences of American Indians

In the United States, American Indians and Alaska Natives have a greater chance of having type 2 diabetes than any other racial group. This is very troubling because without medical intervention, the progression of type 2 diabetes may lead to other conditions and diseases including high blood pressure, kidney failure, and heart disease – the number one cause of death in the United States.

In the United States, American Indians and Alaska Native are 50% more likely to be obese than non-Hispanic whites. In addition, 33% of the American Indian and Alaska Native population is considered obese. In other words, more than a quarter of the American Indian.... Read More

             

The Importance of Food Sovereignty

by Kayla Sawyer. This article originally appeared on the NICOA blog.

A poor diet now causes more deaths than tobacco smoking and high blood pressure. A healthier diet pattern is associated with 25 percent lower likelihood of developing physical impairment with aging. According to a 27-year global diet analysis published this month in the journal the Lancet, one in five deaths globally — that’s about 11 million people — in 2017 occurred because of too much sodium and a lack of whole grains, fruits, nuts and seeds, rather than too much trans fats, sugar-sweetened drinks and high levels of red and processed meats.

The Navajo Nation is the biggest and most populous reservation.... Read More

             

For Aging Immigrants, Food from Their Homelands Is Key to Happiness

by Jaya Padmanabhan. This article originally appeared on The Bold Italic.

“Do you have drumsticks?” my 85-year-old mother asks the cashier at the checkout counter at Madras Groceries in Sunnyvale, California. The woman points to a pile of long, narrow, cylindrical vegetables near the counter. A half-hour later, a quick inventory of my mother’s cart reveals drumsticks, taro roots, squash, long beans, okra, winter melons, pointed gourd, snake gourd, spices, snack packets of murukkus and a bag of brown basmati rice.

Food bought, cooked, served and eaten is collectively the barometer of my mother’s moods, which are intricately entangled with her health. When she’s bustling around the kitchen, cooking sambar, kootuor olan with squash and winter melon,.... Read More

             

Elder Refugees In Kentucky At Risk for Hunger

by Rhonda Miller. This article originally appeared on WKU Public Radio. This is part one of a three part series; you can read part one here and read part two here.

Feeding Kentucky, a nonprofit with a mission to alleviate hunger across the Bluegrass State, reports that food insecurity is a reality for one in 10 residents age 60 and older.

Elder refugees

The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Diverse Elders Coalition.

in Kentucky face an ever higher risk of hunger due to language barriers and lack of transportation.

On a recent rainy afternoon in Louisville,.... Read More

             

Medicare Advantage Plans Cleared To Go Beyond Medical Coverage — Even Groceries

by Susan Jaffe. This article originally appeared on Kaiser Health News.

Air conditioners for people with asthma, healthy groceries, rides to medical appointments and home-delivered meals may be among the new benefits offered to Medicare beneficiaries who choose private sector health plans, when new federal rules take effect next year.

On April 3, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) expanded how it defines the “primarily health-related” benefits that private insurers are allowed to include in their Medicare Advantage policies. And insurers would include these extras on top of providing the benefits traditional Medicare provides.

“Medicare Advantage beneficiaries will have more supplemental benefits, making it easier for them to lead healthier, more independent lives,” said CMS.... Read More

             

When Food Stamps Pass As Tickets To Better Health

By Courtney Perkes. This article originally appeared on Kaiser Health News.

Rebeca Gonzalez grew up eating artichokes from her grandmother’s farm in the central Mexican state of Tlaxcala. But for years after emigrating to the U.S., she did not feed them to her own kids because the spiky, fibrous vegetables were too expensive on this side of the border.

When she prepared meals at her family’s home in Garden Grove, Calif., Gonzalez would also omit avocados, a staple of Mexican cuisine that is often costly here.

“I saw the prices and I said, ‘No, never.... Read More

             

Breaking stigmas, creating awareness, and increasing age-sensitive education are three key elements to improve the lives Alzheimer’s patients and their caregivers

This post originally appeared on the NHCOA blog.

The National Hispanic Council on Aging (NHCOA) continues its work by looking for strategies that amplify the voices of thousands of families facing Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia, so their specific needs can be included in the decision-making process across public health.

Latinos face a higher risk of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias because they are not only living longer (2.5 years longer than whites and 8 years longer than blacks), but they also face severe health disparities, including high levels of hunger, higher rates of type 2 diabetes incidence and complication rates, and lack of access to health insurance.

Around 18% of Hispanic.... Read More

             

Healthy Eating, Healthy Aging

Funded by Walmart Foundation, the National Asian Pacific Center on Aging (NAPCA) has partnered with 19 Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) focused community-based organizations across 16 cities from across the nation to deliver our “Healthy Eating Healthy Aging” program to educate limited English speaking AAPI seniors 55 years and older.

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Each of the partner organizations established a target for the number of AAPI participants to serve among the multiple ethnic groups, including Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, Samoan, Filipino, Cambodian, Japanese, and English. The project team collaborated with the American Heart Association to develop a workshop curriculum.... Read More

             

NHCOA Regional Conferences: Promoting Communities of Success

This post originally appeared on the NHCOA blog. You can still register for NHCOA’s Los Angeles Open Forum on August 29th by calling 202-347-9733 or emailing events@nhcoa.org.

When we analyze the current state of Hispanic older adults in the United States the results paint a horrifying scenario; a scenario in which Hispanic elders are living in poverty, suffering hunger and dealing with inadequate access to healthcare. There is much improvement needed in the policies and programs that serve this aging segment of the population, in order to lessen the hardships that they currently face.

The numbers speak for themselves:

At 20%, Hispanic older adults have the highest level of poverty of any senior.... Read More
             
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