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Stay up-to-date of diverse aging issues by regularly visiting our unique blog. We are diverse older adults who are experts on our lives. We are also advocates, community leaders and aging professionals with valuable insights and experiences to help you better understand the aging world and the policies that shape older people in the United States.

Life Lessons from a Hmong Grandfather to His Granddaughter

The following is a guest post from SEARAC’s Bao Lor.

grandpa and the kids

“Wake up, kids! It’s 6:30!” my grandpa said as he pulled off the blanket that covered my head. I moved around, pretending to stretch and then curling back into a ball. Through my squinted eyes, I could see that my siblings were still lying next to me. I popped my head up and looked at the alarm clock across the room. It read: 6:10. This was my daily routine growing up. I grew up with my grandparents taking care of me and my siblings since my parents were always.... Read More

             

StoryCorps: A Transgender Woman’s Journey from Hiding to “Walking in Love”

Alexis Martinez grew up in a rough neighborhood on Chicago’s South Side in the early 1960s. She knew she was transgender from an early age.Alexis (whose birth name is Arthur) struggled with her identity, as did her family. At 13, she came out as transgender to her mother. Alexis’ mother called the police, who laughed and told her, “You’ve got a fag for a son, and there’s nothing we can do about it.”

As a result, Alexis joined a gang and “went as macho as [she] could be, to mask what [she] really was underneath.”

Alexis has a daughter, who accepts her for who she is. Says her daughter Lesley: “You don’t have to apologize. You don’t have to tiptoe..... Read More

             

Alzheimer’s Disease Among Hispanic Older Adults

Over the past several months, the National Hispanic Council on Aging (NHCOA) has conducted focus groups to learn about what Hispanic older adults and caregivers know about Alzheimer’s disease (AD).  We found that people have a wide variety of beliefs about what causes the condition and how to prevent it.  We also heard the insights of caregivers for people with AD.  While there is no known cure or prevention measure for AD, caregivers can pass on advice and teach other caregivers how to cope with the stress of providing care.

 “I would have her tested to be able to help her better, and have a better life for me and all of those who live at home.”

“The.... Read More

             

Immigration Reform: Reducing Barriers to Naturalization for Older Immigrants

BY DOUA THOR, FORMER EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, SOUTHEAST ASIA RESOURCE ACTION CENTER (SEARAC)

The Senate recently introduced a bill on immigration reform. The bill is extensive, and covers many issues. Here, we wanted to highlight a few provisions on naturalization for older immigrants.

The bill includes promising pieces on reducing barriers to naturalization for older immigrants. According to the Migration Policy Institute, there are more than 5 million immigrants over the age of 65 in the United States. Immigration reform presents a new opportunity—the best in years—to allow older new Americans to fully participate in American society and life, legally as well as.... Read More

             

DEC Supports Inclusive Immigration Reform

The elder population is growing exponentially, and becoming increasingly diverse. Today, one in five older adults is Latino or non-White, and there are at least 1.75 million lesbian, gay, and bisexual people 65 and older.By 2030, the number of adults of color is projected to be almost one in three, and the population of lesbian, gay and bisexual individuals is expected to double. Older immigrants and diverse elders are more vulnerable, isolated and face greater barriers to accessing services than the general older adult population. As such, immigration reform presents a key opportunity to strengthen our programs and policies to better support older immigrants.

The DEC stands in support of the following principles, in support.... Read More

             

Health Equity for LGBT Older People of Color

April is National Minority Health Month and today’s post brings attention to the health disparities faced by LGBT older adults of color. The Diverse Elders Coalition’s member organization SAGE (Services & Advocacy for GLBT Elders) today released a new policy report “Health Equity and LGBT Elders of Color.” The report can be downloaded here.

Read my recent editorial in The Huffington Post about health equity for LGBT elders of color. You can also read it on the SAGE Blog.

.... Read More

             

Immigration Reform and Politics in an Aging America

The Latino community is united in wanting to fix our nation’s broken immigration policies. Without a doubt, immigration is a galvanizing issue for the nation’s Hispanics, 75% of whom are United States citizens. The toxic rhetoric on immigration has affected us deeply, and that is why Latino voters last November generated a game-changing moment for this debate, giving us an opportunity to arrive at a solution. Our community is engaged and watching this debate closely. It matters not only to voters today, but it stands to shape the views of the nearly 900,000 Latino citizens who will turn 18 each year between now and 2028. This is an issue that impacts us, our families and our neighbors. Our immigration, asylum.... Read More

             

Immigration Reform: Key Issues for Older Adults and People with Disabilities

The National Hispanic Council on Aging (NHCOA) works with many organizations advocating for immigration reform.  However, not many advocates are considering the effect reform could have on older adults.  I am happy that NHCOA was able to partner with the National Council on Aging and Caring Across Generations to develop the issue brief Immigration Reform: Key Issues for Older Adults and People with Disabilities.  Aging advocates have a large role to play in immigration reform and this resource will help inform them on the varying issues faced by older people and people with disabilities.

Read the full issue brief here.

And don’t forget to come back on Wednesday April 10, right here on diverseelders.org as.... Read More

             

A Gay Son and His Dad: “Why I am an Aging Advocate”

How my dad supported his gay son

There was a time in my life, around 11 years old, when I often skipped school because I was being bullied and harassed. It was obvious to my classmates that I was “different” and they targeted me because of it.  At lunch, there was a boys table and a girls table, but I was relegated to the “other” table.

I hated waking up for school. Sometimes I would put my head over the toaster to create a “fever” and ask my mother if I could stay home. Sometimes it worked. Sometimes it didn’t.  Those days that it didn’t, I would put on my uniform, grab my lunch and deliberately slam the front door.... Read More

             

Five Reflections on Advocacy with Southeast Asian American Elders

“Will immigration reform help me reunite with my grandchildren?”

 “My husband passed from cancer I wish there were more support services.”

 “We want to take care of our family in harmony.”

On Tuesday, March 26, 2013, 60 youth and elders spoke up with these comments and questions. SEARAC, alongside the Cambodian Association of Greater Philadelphia, held an advocacy day where the group met with the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, the federal agencies, and Congressional offices in Washington, DC.

It was incredibly inspiring this week to see elders speaking up, with local impact through the group of Cambodian-American elders we hosted, as well national as I followed coverage of the.... Read More

             
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