This Winter 2014−15 issue of Generations addresses the issue of how our nation’s social and health disparities persist despite decades of work by community practitioners to solve them, and how a climate of continuing economic uncertainty is proving challenging to the creation and longevity of programs and services essential for helping at-risk members of minority communities.
The White House Conference on Aging is continuing a series of regional forums to engage with older Americans, their families, caregivers, leaders in the aging field, and others on the key issues affecting older Americans. The forums are designed to help provide input and ideas for the 2015 White House Conference on Aging, which will be held in Washington, DC later this year.
Enacted in 1965 before the Social Security Act amendments established Medicare and Medicaid, the Older Americans Act (OAA) declared a national rights-based commitment to the “inherent dignity” of older Americans. Title I of the OAA calls upon federal, state, and local governments and tribes to enable a good quality of life for older persons in their later years (AOA, n.d.). To realize its vision, the OAA relies upon the ingenuity and resourcefulness of the nationwide aging network.
Adults in the United States are generally assumed to function independently. Unless shown to suffer from a condition known to undermine independence, we understand that adults hold privileges such as the right to enter into legal contracts and the right to make decisions for her or his own person and property. We acknowledge an adult’s ability to choose and control personal finances, wills and other legal decisions, independent living circumstances, medical decisions, driving functions and sexual relations.
It’s time to connect two global patterns: Climate Change and Population Aging.
When Tom Friedman wrote Hot, Flat & Crowded, he overlooked one important element: Graying!
Climate Change: What’s Age Got To Do With It?
The rise in the number of Americans from ethnic minority backgrounds has been accompanied by an increased interest in disparities that characterize the health status and healthcare needs of the U.S. population. Much of the literature has focused on African Americans’ health disadvantages, which persist. Increasing interest also has been paid to the health of the Hispanic/Latino population, which currently is the largest minority population.