Born in Santa Ana, CA, to two Muslim refugee survivors of the Cambodian genocide, Hatefas Yop wasn’t aware of her family’s use of public services when she was a young girl. After all, her peers in her elementary school all hailed from the local neighborhood, where many immigrant and refugee families had to live in one-bedroom apartments subsidized by Section 8 housing. She didn’t understand the melancholy in an elder whom Hatefas referred to as “Grandma,” when she said her food stamps (paper at the time) weren’t ‘real money.’ “But you could use it to.... Read More
What Second Chance? The Uncertain Future of Post-Prison Health Care
In the months since President Trump signed the First Step Act, the product of a landmark bipartisan effort that many have called one of the most important justice reforms in years, about 500 individuals have been released from federal prison.
“America is a nation that believes in redemption,” the president boasted at the White House signing ceremony, as he celebrated a law that expands the “good time credits” allowing more federal inmates to apply for early release.
But for many of those returning citizens, “redemption” may prove a mixed blessing.
When asked by staff of the Diverse Elders Coalition about the aging services available in her area, Elva, an American Indian elder from New Mexico, relayed how important her local Elder Center was to her and her peers’ well-being: “We as elders need a place to come to, [where we] have meals, do activities and visit with friends and relatives.”
Elva noted that the Elder Center was a place where she could get information about benefits and other available resources. “Many times, as a Native elder, we feel that we don’t exist,” she said.
In our increasingly digitally connected world, there.... Read More
Type 2 Diabetes: Lessons Learned from the Experiences of Native Americans
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
For Aging Immigrants, Food from Their Homelands Is Key to Happiness
“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
Culturally Competent Care Resources for Providers Serving Dual Eligibles
Hispanics are one of the country’s largest ethnic groups and one of the fastest growing demographics, making up 17 percent of the U.S. population. As a group with higher rates of chronic disease, they face barriers navigating the health care system. These barriers include language and cultural differences, lack of education, health literacy, and a dearth of information.
Dr. Yanira Cruz, President/CEO of the National Hispanic Council on Aging (NHCOA), stresses that cultural factors may reduce equality in health care assistance for the Hispanic community and the opportunity to receive appropriate information from health care providers, in.... Read More
Three Easy Tips to Improve Heart Health for Black Older Adults
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
Inadequate Data on Missing, Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls
by Kayla Sawyer. This article originally appeared on the NICOA blog.
TRIGGER WARNING: If reading this post triggers past traumas, please see the resources listed at the end of this article for assistance.
There is a serious lack of meaningful government data documenting rates of missing and murdered indigenous women and girls. A recent study by the Urban Indian Health Institute (UIHI) revealed that only 116 of the 5,712 cases of murdered or missing Native women were logged into the Department of Justice’s nationwide database.
U.S. attorneys’ offices declined to proceed with.... Read More
While enjoying her 72nd year on the planet, Donna Personna knows her remaining days are numbered. Yet the prospect of her demise doesn’t scare her.
“The end question. ‘The end.’ It’s not a touchy subject for me. I’m irreverent,” said Personna, a transgender woman who grew up in San Jose and now lives in San Francisco. “I learned long ago this was going to come.”
Personna, a beloved drag performer, playwright, and hairdresser, credits her Mexican heritage with teaching her that death is a part of life. She pointed to the annual Dia de los Muertos holiday — the Day of the Dead in.... 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