Older Americans Month: Engage at Every Age

May is Older Americans Month! This year, the theme is Engage at Every Age, which emphasizes that you are never too old (or young) to take part in activities that can enrich your physical, mental, and emotional well-being. It also celebrates the many ways in which older adults make a difference in our communities.

How to Participate in Older Americans Month:

Join the ACL and AoA in the Older Americans Month Selfie Challenge! They want to see how you’re engaging. Simply take a selfie (or have someone take your photo) and tweet it with the hashtag #OAM18 Connect.... Read More
             

50 Years After Fair Housing Act, LGBT People Still Vulnerable to Housing Discrimination

by Kelly Kent. This article originally appeared on the SAGE Matters blog.

April 11, 2018, marks the 50th anniversary of the passage of Fair Housing Act, a pivotal piece of legislation that laid the groundwork for housing protections for marginalized populations in the United States. They say those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it, so it’s worth a look back at how things have and have not changed in terms of fair housing since 1968—and just how the legislation was passed in the first place.

In 1968, America was an extremely segregated society with distinct white and black neighborhoods. Racial and socioeconomic inequality were pervasive, creating a divide.... Read More

             

Hmong Elders and Depression

By Alice Daniel. This article originally appeared on txhaub.com.

When Yong Yang Xiong arrived in Fresno, California fourteen years ago at the age of 53, he really wanted to find a job. But he couldn’t speak English–and employers told him he was too old. On top of that, he was suffering from chronic physical pain.

“As a petite man, I was given very heavy loads to carry for days and nights,” he said, referring to the six long years he had spent helping the CIA fight its secret war in Laos.

When the war ended, he fled on foot to a refugee camp in Thailand where he spent the next 26 years. He and his family didn’t.... Read More

             

Intergenerational Programs Thrive in Rural Minnesota

by Beth Baker. This post originally appeared on Next Avenue.

Rick Ramey, 82, has always loved monarch butterflies. So when his community of Moose Lake, Minn., built a new public pavilion, he floated the idea of establishing butterfly gardens there.

“I thought this was an ideal spot, down by the river,” he said. The community embraced the idea, and before long Ramey was organizing children to plant marsh milkweed, a food source for monarchs. He now is invited to local schools to teach students about the butterfly life cycle.

Among those working alongside Ramey in planting the gardens was Sebastien Blondo, 11. “I’ve always loved butterflies and the monarch,” he said. He’s learned a lot volunteering with.... Read More

             

New York City Program Brings Generations Together

by Beth Baker. This piece originally appeared on Next Avenue.

A large room fills with older adults and teenagers in the New York City headquarters of the nonprofit DOROT. They sit down on opposite sides of two long rows of tables filled with black-and-white chess sets.

Dressed in a sweatshirt and jeans, Jessica Nooney, who says she is “almost 80,” plays with Joelle Garcia, 15. Nooney learned chess as a child from her father.

“I’ve always loved to play, and I’m so happy to play with young people,” she says. Unlike when she was raising her teenage children, she adds, “It’s a different relationship when you don’t have to be the authority figure. It’s a.... Read More

             

Pat Baldwin: Advocating for LGBTQ Elders in Michigan

by Adam Polaski, Freedom for All Americans. This post originally appeared on the SAGE blog.

Five years ago, Pat Baldwin walked into the office of the executive director at the Hannan Foundation, an organization dedicated to preserving the dignity of elders in the state of Michigan, and took a seat. Pat, who is the director of the Hannan Center for Lifelong Learning, wanted to speak with the foundation’s director about an issue close to her heart—an issue for which she knew Hannan was uniquely suited to make a difference.

Having worked with older adults and the aging population at Hannan for the past 17 years, Pat recalls that she had seen an increase in troubling.... Read More

             

Needed: More Community Support for People With Dementia

By Sandy Markwood, CEO of the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging. This post originally appeared on Next Avenue.

Our country has reached a critical moment. The aging of the baby boom generation and the fact that people are living longer is driving tremendous growth in the numbers of older adults. By 2030, one in five Americans will be age 65 or older. And statistics show that 90 percent of this population will want to age at home and in their communities.

To achieve this goal, older adults will likely need access to local services and supports — and their caregivers will need assistance, too. Providing those services is what members of the National Association.... Read More

             

Recap: 2017 Fall Couples Retreat for Older Lesbians in Chicago

Older lesbian couples in urban settings continue to seek community events that address their needs.  In response, I created a Fall and Spring weekend retreat for a small group of lesbian couples in the Chicagoland area in 2013. In November 2017, the 4th annual older lesbian couples retreat was held in Westchester, IL. As facilitator and Life Coach, I presented sessions on self actualization, finding purpose, defining relationship goals, and effective communication.

LGBT aging resources for financial planning and long term care was also provided. In addition, Terri Worman, AARP Associate State Director for the Greater Chicagoland.... Read More

             

Poor Public Transportation Can Be a Roadblock to the Everyday Needs of Arab-American Seniors

By Julia Kassem, Detroit Journalism Cooperative

Conversations around Detroit-area public transit in recent months have focused on new routes on Woodward, Gratiot and Michigan Avenue – as well as the Detroit Connector, a new service operating from Ann Arbor to Detroit offered by the University of Michigan that launched October 30.

Yet these discussions around transit development tend to omit those most in need of affordable, reliable and convenient transportation options.

Nationwide, the Pew Foundation reports that while only 18 percent of urban dwellers born in the United States regularly use public transportation, almost 38 percent of foreign-born city residents rely on public transit.

No. 1 Obstacle to Self-Sufficiency

In Metro Detroit, a city without the mass-transit system.... Read More

             

Texans With HIV Cope With Homes And Medicines Ruined By Hurricane Harvey

This story by Kaiser Health News senior national correspondent Sarah Varney aired Nov. 24, 2017, on Here & Now.

Angelia Soloman watched out the window of her ranch house in northeastern Houston as the floodwaters rose up to the windowsills.

She huddled inside with her three adopted children (ages 12 to 15), a nephew and her 68-year-old mother. “They were looking and crying, like, ‘We’re gonna lose everything,’” said Soloman. “And I’m like, ‘No, it’ll be OK.’”

When the water began rushing under the front door, filling up the house like a bathtub, Soloman led her family outside, and plunged into a river of water up to her chest.

The hurricane couldn’t have come at a worse time.... Read More

             

Mapping LGBTQ History in St. Louis

All too often, history is written by those in the mainstream, and the stories of marginalized communities – the stories of our elders – are lost. A team in St. Louis is working to recapture and map the history of LGBTQ communities in the region, and last month, they unveiled their interactive online map that documents queer history across the city from 1945 to 1992. Researchers identified 800 locations that were important to the LGBTQ communities in St. Louis during that time, including bars, bookstores, HIV clinics, cruising spots, protest sites, and locations of police.... Read More

             
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