Earlier this year, the National Indian Council on Aging (NICOA) had the opportunity to host several focus groups with American Indian family caregivers in New Mexico. NICOA organized four focus groups with a total of 31 participants. The purpose of the groups was to learn more about these caregivers’ experiences helping an older family member or friend who has health problems and disabilities. During the focus groups, we learned about their caregiving duties, the challenges they face, and their encounters with healthcare professionals.
Our focus groups revealed how caregivers’ lives are impacted by their role as caregivers. Many American Indian caregivers spoke about skipping appointments and neglecting their own.... Read More
Sharing our caregiving research and making new connections at GSA 2019
Last week, the Diverse Elders Coalition traveled to Austin, Texas for our first-ever Gerontological Society of America annual scientific meeting. This yearly event brings together researchers, academics, and others in the field of aging to discuss new findings and solutions for improving aging. The Diverse Elders Coalition was excited to participate in this year’s conference for several reasons: we were able to support our friends at the Journalists in Aging fellowship, we shared new research on family caregiving in diverse communities, and we had an exhibitor’s booth from which we disseminated reports, brochures, and other publications from the DEC and its members.
Perhaps no movie has better staying power than Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Many of us raised our children — and now our grandchildren — on the 1971 hit. In a movie filled with iconic scenes, one that really resonates with me involves Charlie’s four grandparents.
It’s hard to forget Grandpa Joe being confined to a bed, as life in the house goes on around him. He’s seemingly living out his later years as a passive.... Read More
National Family Caregivers Month: Strength and Resilience
November is a very special month. It marks the month of Thanksgiving, where millions of families and friends across the United States gather to give thanks, show appreciation for one another, and feast. November also marks National Family Caregivers Month, a time to recognize the people taking care of the ones they love. Although National Family Caregivers Month is not as widely celebrated as Thanksgiving, it is just as important for millions of families across the United States. Along with expressing gratitude for family caregivers, National Family Caregivers Month is a time to highlight the issues of family caregivers, provide resources, and to advocate for supportive policies and programs.
There are many issues that family caregivers.... Read More
Family caregivers provide an estimated $470 billion in unpaid care each year. All family caregivers need more support, but the diverse needs of family caregivers have not been fully appreciated. Thanks to research supported by The John A. Hartford Foundation, we’re learning a lot more about the diversity of family caregivers in this country and how we can better support them.
Family caregivers are represented in all races, ethnicities, ages, sexualities, gender.... Read More
“I have been forgetting things for years, but now I forget in a new way. I used to believe I could eventually retrieve whatever was lost and then commit it to memory. Now I know I can’t possibly. Whatever’s gone is hopelessly gone. And what’s new doesn’t stick.”
This passage is just one of many favorites from Nora Ephron’s final book, I Remember Nothing — a 161-page testament to the fact that as we age, our memories get.... Read More
I Attended a Focus Group with Vietnamese Caregivers. Here are Some of the Things I Learned.
Last month, I had the opportunity to attend a focus group with Vietnamese family caregivers in Houston, Texas. During the focus group, I learned more about their caregiving experiences, their challenges, and the changes they would like to see in the U.S. healthcare system. Here are some of the things I learned.
“Very thankful for my parents, but sometimes it can be hard to please them, especially when dealing with right and wrong because of our cultural values.” – focus group participant
Cultural Values Influences Caregiving Expectations
In the Vietnamese community, traditional values have a big impact on caregivers. Traditional values such as filial piety — respect for one’s parents, elders, and ancestors — influence many Vietnamese caregivers to exclusively.... Read More
Eradicating Elder Abuse is Everyone’s Responsibility
Many of us take the answer to that question for granted. After all, our home should be our refuge. It should be a place where we feel safe, secure and surrounded by people we love and trust — especially as we age. For the one in 10 older Americans who suffer elder mistreatment, however, home may simply not be a safe place.
As you get older, your medical care can ripple across every aspect of your life. It might be a prescription that makes you too tired for dinner with the family. You may love bowling, but a hip replacement has kept you off the lanes much longer than you expected. You might feel sad and withdrawn from friends, unsure if it’s depression or because you can’t hear as well anymore.
In all of these examples, your health care.... Read More
States Need Pragmatic Policy Solutions to Better Support Family Caregivers
At JAHF we want to know how we can better support family caregivers—the nearly 18 million family members in the United States who provide care to older people who need assistance. They are often invisible members of our health care system who receive little preparation, training, or support. They make it possible for older adults to live in their homes, rather than an institutional setting, for as long as possible—which is what 87%.... Read More
What Matters? Don’t Let Health Care Get in the Way
When it comes to health care, what matters varies from person to person and differs depending on your state of health or illness. For one person, it might mean feeling well enough to care for an active young grandchild three days a week. For another person nearing the end of life, it might mean alleviating pain or being lucid enough to have one more conversation.
However, when we near death or become seriously ill.... Read More
Honoring Queen Latifah: The Celebrity, The Caregiver, The Heart Health Advocate
Black History Month is a commemorative month to celebrate the lives of those who are significant in the history of the African Diaspora. These people stem from different backgrounds including artists, activists, inventors, academics, scientists, musicians, actors, and many more. Although these people are different in profession, they are all unified with the goal of improving the lives of African Americans. In accordance with Black History Month, February is also American Heart Month, a commemorative month to highlight the importance of heart health in resolving heart disease and failure – the #1 leading cause of death in the United States and worldwide. During both Black History Month and American Heart Month, I would like to introduce Queen.... Read More