As An HIV Survivor, COVID-19 Stigma Is Sadly Familiar

by John-Manuel Andriote. This article originally appeared on Next Avenue.

Elizabeth Martucci figured it made perfect sense to share the exciting news that she and her 11-year-old son had recovered from COVID-19. The New Jersey resident even had “COVID-19 Survivor” T-shirts made.

Martucci didn’t anticipate the response she’d get to being a survivor — and the sometimes jarring lengths to which some will go because of their fear. As The New York Times reported in a story about Martucci, “Even now, a month into their recovery, some neighbors see them and run.”

“Federal.... Read More

             

With HIV/AIDS, What Does Successful Aging Look Like?

by Grace Birnstengel. This article originally appeared on Next Avenue.

At 62, Hugo Sapién is seriously considering going back to school to earn a master’s degree in theology. In his younger days, this is something he would have never considered — not for lack of interest, but because he didn’t think he’d live long enough to even finish his undergraduate degree.

“I thought there’s no way I’m going to make it,” Sapién, of San Antonio, says. “I wouldn’t make any long-term plans.”

This was the mid-80s, when Sapién suspects he acquired HIV (he wasn’t diagnosed until 1995). Treatments for the virus were sprouting up with mixed effectiveness. Death was a real — if.... Read More

             

Why People of Color Feel the Loneliest at Work

by Leslie Hunter-Gadsen. This article originally appeared on Next Avenue.

(In February 2020, Next Avenue published an article about the Cigna survey, Loneliness and the Workplace 2020 U.S. Report. Among its findings, based on a survey of 10,441 adults: African-American and Hispanic workers feel lonelier than whites. The black and Hispanic workers surveyed were more likely than whites to say they felt abandoned by coworkers when under pressure at work and more alienated from coworkers. Below, Leslie Hunter-Gadsden provides a follow-up, with insights about the racial loneliness-at-work divide and what could reduce it. Cigna did not supply someone to be interviewed for this article when requested. — The Editors)

In the Cigna loneliness at work.... Read More

             

Rural Communities Step Up to Help Their Hospitals

by Diane Eastabrook. This article originally appeared on Next Avenue.

In the DC Comics town of Metropolis, the townsfolk had Superman to protect them from villains like Lex Luthor, Brainiac and Darkseid.

But in real-life Metropolis, Ill. (pop. 6,133), there is no larger-than-life superhero. There’s a 15-foot-tall statue of Superman in the town’s center, but nobody in this sleepy community across the Ohio River from Kentucky is betting he’ll be much help if the coronavirus (COVID-19) begins to spread there.

Sitting alone in her Metropolis home amid a statewide lockdown, 83-year-old Lena Mathews worries about getting the virus. “I am concerned. There is not a shot or anything for it,” she says.

Despite Mathews’ Read More

             

OPINION: COVID-19 Shows the U.S. Needs Universal Family Care

by Sarita Gupta. This article originally appeared on Next Avenue.

(Across caregiving and community, business and intergenerational attitudes, the pandemic and how we respond to it could change us forever. Next Avenue turned to some of our Influencers in Aging, a diverse group of thought leaders, for their insights, counsel and opinions of what could lie ahead — if we choose.)

Prior to COVID-19, every two weeks, two women would come to clean my family’s house. They’re employees of a small cleaning service. Three weeks ago, when COVID-19 started to change how people live and work, the owner called to ask if we’d be willing to provide additional money so she could give.... Read More

             

HIV/AIDS’ Effect on Aging: Still Unclear

by John-Manuel Andriote. This article originally appeared on Next Avenue.

Craig Washington has never spent a night in the hospital because of HIV. Not even the time in the early ’90s when he got cryptosporidiosis, one of the opportunistic infections that can wreak havoc on someone with a weakened immune system.

The Atlanta-based social worker and therapist’s good health is especially impressive for a 60-year-old man diagnosed with HIV back in 1985 — the year the HIV antibody test first became available.

“For the most part,” said Washington, “I have been very blessed, very fortunate, that my health is pretty good and a lot of the day-to-day energy level I’ve been able to sustain.” He attributes his.... Read More

             

Poor, Older Black Americans are an Afterthought in the COVID-19 Crisis

by Christina N. Harrington. This article originally appeared on Next Avenue.

Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick recently said that he and other older Americans would be willing to risk death due to the coronavirus in order to protect the U.S. economy. What followed was a backlash by people warning that even the thought of sacrificing the elderly is unacceptable. Of even greater concern, though, is what this agenda would mean for poor, older black Americans — people like my 89-year-old grandmother — who already are an afterthought in this country and stand to be impacted the most by the pandemic.

America has always had a problem with those at the margins. Individuals with intersectional marginalized identities.... Read More

             

The Best Cities for LGBTQ Retirees

by Dave Hughes. This article originally appeared on Next Avenue.

(It seems like every few weeks or so, someone publishes a new list of The Best Places to Retire. Dave Hughes’ new book, The Quest for Retirement Utopia, will help you clarify which criteria are most important to you in deciding where to retire and provide resources to help find the spot that’s right for you. In a special section for LGBTQ people, Hughes has compiled The Best U.S. Cities for LGBTQ Retirees, which includes some places that may surprise you. Hughes, a Read More

             

Tips on Dementia Caregiving in the COVID-19 Outbreak

by Liz Seegert. This article originally appeared on Next Avenue.

Caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s or other dementia is hard enough during normal times. As the coronavirus pandemic continues to affect communities around the U.S., though, it’s not surprising that family caregivers are anxious, unnerved and confused.

If you’re caring for a family member with dementia during this global health crisis, there are ways to minimize stress, care for your family and care for yourself, too.

Dementia itself does not increase the risk of COVID-19; however, dementia-related behaviors may increase risk. People with dementia may forget to wash their hands or take other precautions recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).... Read More

             

‘We Weren’t Expected to Live This Long’

by Grace Birnstengel. This article originally appeared on Next Avenue.

(Editor’s note: This story is part of Still Here, Still Positive: A series on the first generation of Americans aging with HIV/AIDS, with support from The John A. Hartford Foundation.)

More than 500,000 people over 50 in the U.S. are growing older with the human immunodeficiency viruses (HIV) that, if untreated, cause acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, or AIDS.

While some have contracted HIV/AIDS in their later years (sparse sexual health promotion for older adults is often to blame), the bulk of these survivors were diagnosed decades ago, back in the throes of the AIDS epidemic of the 1980s and 1990s, when.... Read More

             
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