They Fought for the U.S. in Laos. Now Many Older Hmong Fight Depression.

by Alice Daniel. Alice reported this story for KQED public radio’s statewide “California Report,” as part of a Journalists in Aging Fellowship supported by New America Media, the Gerontological Society of America and the Silver Century Foundation. This story was first published by New America Media.

Click to hear the radio report of this story.

Dia Yang is a cultural broker at the Fresno Center for New Americans. She helps Southeast Asian refugees acclimate to the United States.

On this rainy day, she’s working with a dozen older Hmong men and women who find life in America really hard.

Yang instructs them in a crafts activity: decorating little paper gift.... Read More

             

Every Minute Counts

Every 66 seconds, someone in the United States develops Alzheimer’s disease; every minute, a family is changed forever. In the coming decades, the number of Latino families impacted by this progressive brain disease will grow dramatically due to an increase in the Latino older adult population and higher rates of of diabetes and heart disease, both risk factors for Alzheimer’s and other dementias.

According to a recent report by the USC Roybal Institute on Aging and the LatinosAgainstAlzheimer’s Network, the number of Latinos living with Alzheimer’s or a related dementia could reach 1.1 million by 2030 and cost Latino families as much as $30 billion annually. However, Latinos are less likely.... Read More

             

Shattering Stigma: Tell Your Story for Minority Mental Health Awareness Month

July is National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month, and at the Diverse Elders Coalition, we’re working to shine a spotlight on the unique mental health needs of our elders of color, American Indian/Alaska Native elders, and LGBTQ elders.

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Research by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) shows that mental illness affects one in five American adults, yet nearly two-thirds of people with a diagnosable mental illness do not seek treatment. For American Indian/Alaska Native communities, as many as 28% of adults may be living with a mental illness; LGBTQ adults experience even higher rates of mental illness (40%)..... Read More

             

Two Stories from the Frontlines of Millennial Caregiving

As Alzheimer’s and brain awareness month comes to a close, I want to highlight two powerful stories that underscore trends that deserve greater attention: the growing impact of Alzheimer’s on communities of color and the growth of the millennial caregiver.

UsAgainstAlzheimer’s recently partnered with Genius of Caring, a web-based initiative that documents the growing impact of Alzheimer’s and dementia on families, to present the story of Kamaria Moore, 30, and her mother Mary, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s at the age of 58. Kamaria is a new homeowner, recently engaged, and solely responsible for her mother’s intensive care.

Kamaria’s experience highlights the growing impact of dementia on African Americans, a community three times more.... Read More

             

Suicide and LGBTQ/SGL Older Adults

During Black History Month, Mary’s House for Older Adults, SAGE Metro DC, and AARP DC held a LGBTQ/SGL (same gender-loving) State of the Union. One of the issues brought to the forefront was the increase of suicides among LGBTQ elders in nursing homes and other facilities. Surprised?

While we’re all sort of aware that suicide is a leading cause of death for youth aged 10 to 24, we rarely think of it as a leading cause for elders. However, the National Council on Aging (NCOA) has a startling statistic: people 45-64 years old had the highest suicide rate in 2013, and elders 85 years.... Read More

             

My Friend Daisy

Daisy Duarte is one of my personal heroes. She’s not a member of congress, a policy wonk, or a world-renowned research scientist, but she’s disrupting the way we think about Alzheimer’s on the Hill, in research labs, and in communities across the country. Daisy is a proud Latina, a full-time caregiver for her mother with Alzheimer’s, and a clinical trial participant. And as the number of Latinos with Alzheimer’s is projected to grow dramatically over the next 30 years, she’s exactly the kind of voice we need in the fight against Alzheimer’s today.

From her difficulty getting a timely and accurate diagnosis to her costly emergency room visit, Daisy’s story is typical of many Latino families struggling with Alzheimer’s..... Read More

             

Inner and Outer Peacemaking

At this time of year we often see cards that say “Peace on Earth.” Gatherings of family and friends make us think of our bonds to other people and a wish for peace. But what does peace really look like in our lives?

Take a moment to think about how peace looks (or would look like) in your life. Then think about how it would manifest in the life of the world.

Is it calmness and tranquility? Complete lack of conflict? Is it about reconciliation of past differences? Is work involved? Is there any struggle or challenge? How is your vision of peace similar to or different from what you see and read about?

Active Peacemaking

I try to practice active.... Read More

             

Memories Worth Fighting For

I remember the day I graduated from college like it was yesterday. My family flew in from our small town in South Texas to watch me become the first person in our family to graduate from college. The look on my mother’s face as I walked across the stage on that sunny DC day will be with me forever…or at least I hope it will.  Memory is more fragile than we think, particularly for Latinos.

While not widely known, Latinos are 1.5 times more likely than non-Hispanic whites to get Alzheimer’s, a progressive brain disease that slowly destroys memory and thinking skills and is ultimately fatal. According to researchers, Alzheimer’s disease contributes to the deaths of.... Read More

             
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