By Nary Rath. This article originally appeared on the SEARAC blog
My mom arrived to the United States in 1983 fleeing from war and genocide to seek refuge. She was 21 years old when she started a new life in Ohio and then set roots in Connecticut, where she raised my older sister and me. Rebuilding her life in this country has led to opportunities never imaginable for my family in Cambodia, but the exposure to pre- and post-migration trauma continues to be felt by entire communities of Southeast Asian Americans (SEAAs).
Surviving genocide, long-term exposure to violence, displacement, and anti-immigrant racism in the United States are all factors that contribute to the high prevalence of mental health issues.... Read More
SAGE is proud to partner with the New York City Department for the Aging, Thrive NYC and our SAGE Puerto Rico affiliate at Waves Ahead in a public health campaign for Puerto Rican LGBT elders in New York City and Puerto Rico. The campaign seeks to provide help via SAGE’s National LGBT Elder Hotline in the U.S. and a telephone helpline in Puerto Rico run by SAGE Puerto Rico at Waves Ahead.
People all over the world, including Americans, are practicing social distancing during this coronavirus pandemic. We’re sheltering at home, leaving only when necessary to replenish essential supplies or to get in a little exercise.
Yes, it feels strange, this interruption to our lives and regular routines, but everyone who can stay home should; it saves lives and helps halt the spread of the virus.
We’re not, however, blind to a byproduct of all this enforced separation: loneliness. A survey.... Read More
As we’re all navigating a lot of uncertainty, upsetting news, isolation, and grief, all of the self-care activities that were important for staying healthy before the pandemic may be even more critical now. Even though there is a lot of emphasis on COVID-19 right now, your overall health is just as important as any other time. The better controlled your chronic conditions, the better you’ll be able to fight the virus.... Read More
by Dr. Octavio N. Martinez, Jr., Executive Director, Hogg Foundation for Mental Health. This article originally appeared on the NHCOA blog. Para leer en español, haga clic aquí.
COVID-19 is caused by something so small we cannot even see it, a virus known as SARS-CoV-2. This virus is causing illness and death throughout the world; and it seems to be targeting our elders especially hard. According to recent statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 8 out of 10 deaths reported in the United States of America have been adults 65 years.... Read More
Coronavirus Pandemic Exposes Gap in Mental Health Services for Seniors
The COVID-19 crisis, and with it the need to shelter in place, have exposed gaps in San Francisco’s services for seniors and LGBTQ seniors in particular.
The city has long established partnerships with community nonprofits with whom they have a successful track record for delivering in-person health and wellness services and programs and peer support groups that reduce social isolation and increase opportunities for program participants to engage, connect, and volunteer in their communities. For people who are not comfortable with in-person experiences, the Institute on Aging provides a phone service for older adults who need someone to listen to their concerns..... Read More
Diverse Elders Coalition Launches New COVID-19 Resource Hub
The COVID-19 pandemic has directly impacted older adults and caregivers in the United States. COVID-19 cases have surpassed 1 million, and there is at least one COVID-19 case in all 50 states. Individuals with weaker immune systems and underlying health conditions are most vulnerable to COVID-19, placing many older adults and people with disabilities at risk.
In our communities, COVID-19 is having an enormous impact on elders and caregivers, the challenges of which are exacerbated by existing health disparities and other socioeconomic factors, such as housing, poverty, lack of access to healthcare, and discrimination. It is not.... Read More
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has magnified what we’ve known all along – our institutions are not prepared to support family caregivers.
We write to urge government, community and religious leaders to please remember the challenges facing family caregivers as this public health crisis continues to unfold. Unpaid family caregivers are the backbone of the health care system in the United States, providing as much as 90 percent of all home health care for no pay.... Read More
COVID-19: We Must Care for Older Adults’ Mental Health
by Christine Moutier, Chief Medical Officer, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. This article originally appeared on the AFSP Lifesaver Blog.
No matter your age, mental health and well-being are influenced by numerous factors and are susceptible to change. Right now, most people, across all sectors of society, are being affected by the global health crisis related to the coronavirus. One particular group we should keep in mind during this challenging time is older adults, whose routines and usual support systems may be disrupted.
The most powerful factors that impact mental health and well-being for.... Read More
Latinos, Victims of Depression Who Are Unaware or Live in Denial
by Agustín Durán. This article originally appeared in Spanish in La Opinión. Para leer en español, haga clic aquí.
Since her daughter Clara died, Gladys, 58, has barely participated in family celebrations; she is constantly sick, and her appearance seems very fragile.
She says that everything is fine, that they are the ailments of her age. She refuses to see a therapist and affirms she is not crazy. Gladys blames her sadness and lack of desire to do anything as pure figments of her children’s imaginations.
The truth is that 14 years have gone by since Clara died, but Gladys gives those she meets the impression that her daughter just died yesterday. Still, the immigrant from Guadalajara, Mexico, denies.... Read More
by Kevyn Burger. This article originally appeared on Next Avenue.
After surviving a heart attack and a cancer diagnosis, Carol Riddell feared being kept alive by machines more than she feared death itself. The retired teacher had made her end-of-life wishes clear to her wife Debbie Joffe: no extraordinary measures.
Two years ago, hospitalized after a complicated surgery, Riddell had to be intubated. Her blood pressure dropped and her kidneys began to fail.
“Her system was tanking. Her sister and I were there and we knew she couldn’t come back from this,” said Joffe, 64, who lives in Cincinnati, and had been Riddell’s partner for 30 years and her wife for four.
After the fall of Saigon and the end of the Vietnam War in 1975, many Vietnamese people fled their war-torn country for the United States in search for a better life. Thousands of Vietnamese adults, children, and families crammed onto boats and traveled to the United States leaving their belongings, loved ones, and former lives behind. These people lost everything except for their memories of the fall of Saigon, the horrors of communist re-education camps, and the atrocities of the Vietnam War. For many Vietnamese individuals, these memories may transpire psychological trauma similar to the many Vietnam War-era U.S. veterans who suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
PTSD is a psychiatric disorder that can occur after a person experiences or observes.... Read More