Category Archives: Healthy + Happy

HOW MEDICARE FAILS THE ELDERLY (nytimes.com)

By Jane Gross

(Published Oct. 15, 2011)

HERE is the dirty little secret of health care in America for the elderly, the one group we all assume has universal coverage thanks to the 1965 Medicare law: what Medicare paid for then is no longer what recipients need or want today.

No one then envisioned the stunning advances in medicine that now keep people alive into advanced old age, often with unintended and unwelcome consequences. Indeed, scientific reports have showed the dangers, not merely the pointlessness and expense, of much of the care Medicare is providing.

Of course, some may actually want everything medical science has to offer. But overwhelmingly, I’ve concluded in a decade of studying America’s elderly, it is fee-for-service doctors and Big Pharma who stand to gain the most, and adult children, with too much emotion and too little information, driving those decisions.

In the last year alone, and this list is far from complete, here is what researchers have found both useless and harmful, according to leading medical journals:

• Feeding tubes, which can cause infections, nausea and vomiting, rarely prolong life. People with dementia often react with agitation, including pulling out the tubes, and then are either sedated or restrained.

• Abdominal and gall bladder surgery and joint replacements, for those who rank poorly on a scale that measures frailty, lead to complications, repeat hospital stays and placement in nursing homes.

• Tight glycemic control for Type 2 diabetes, present in 1 of 4 people over 65, often requires 8 to 10 years before it helps prevent blindness, kidney disease or amputations. Without enough time to reap the benefits, the elderly endure needless dietary limits and needle sticks.

TO READ FULL ESSAY CLICK HERE –> How Medicare Fails the Elderly – NYTimes.com.

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BLACK WOMEN SUFFER DISABILITIES EARLIER in LIFE

Black women are likely to develop physical limitations earlier in life than others their age, according to a new study.  Researchers from Case Western University in Cleveland analyzed self-reported information on the mobility, strength and physical limitations of more than 8,700 older people included in the 1994-2006 U.S. Health and Retirement Study.  The participants ranged from 53 to 75 years old.  The study found a higher rate of physical problems among black women in their 50s and 60s in the study of black, Mexican-American and white men and women.  “We could not find the reason why African-American women developed limitations faster than other gender and racial/ethnic groups,” said David Warner, assistant professor of sociology, in a university news release.  After their mid-60s, however, the rate at which disabilities occurred among black women began to decrease, and by age 75 the rate leveled off, the study found.  For the study, recently published in Social Science & Medicine, the researchers also examined the participants’ early life experiences, socioeconomic status, marital status and health-related behaviors to determine how these factors might affect people’s disabilities.  Men of all racial and ethnic groups fared better than women the study found.  Better-educated, wealthier men, in particular, reported fewer physical health issues.  Women are at greater risk for disadvantages, such as lower incomes and lack of health care in midlife, which may have lifelong effects, the researchers said.  At age 75, Mexican-American women fared worst — with nearly five disabling limitations, twice as many on average as white men — the study found.  The study authors said future research should address the unique health experiences of older black women.  Preventive efforts are also needed to eliminate racial- and gender-related functional health disparities, they said.  The U.S. National Institutes of Health funded the investigation.

SOURCE: Case Western Reserve University, news release, HealthDay

via Black Women Tend To Suffer Disabilities Earlier In Life :  The Black Health Zone :.

GRATITUDE TO SUPPORTERS OF FIRST NATIONAL POC LGBT CONVENING

Dear Convening Attendees and Supporters,

It is with heartfelt gratitude I express THANKS to everyone for your presence, for your participation both during and after, for the beginning of a national movement/network, however you choose to define it, that will address issues pertaining to POC LGBT aging.  The First National Convening on POC LGBT Aging was a phenomenal gathering, please applaud yourselves for a job well done!!

Glen-Michael Francis, Exec. Dir., GRIOT Circle.

To all the staff of GRIOT Circle…Bonnie Harrison, Anthony McPhatter, Victor Pond and Daniella Noel who went beyond the call of duty and put their brightest foot forward to create an outstanding Convening.

To Brian de Vries for always being informative and supportive, a man of truth and clarity.  To Kyaien O. Conner for your brilliance and impressive level of research that opened so many people’s eyes to the disparate needs of LGBT POC aging.  Your presentation was amazing!  Thank you.

Chezia Carraway, my Elder Mentor Sister Friend, lots of love!  Thanks!  And to Helena Bushong for being the voice of our Trans-elder community that is far too often invisible at these important gatherings.  You rock!

Aisha Young for continuing to be the leader that you are!  Laurens Van Sluytman for always being in GRIOT’s–and my–corner, a guy you can count on!  Much Love!  Jay Blackwell you know how I feel about you and your support!  Louis Colbert for your kind words, as you know, we got work to do!!!! 

Carmelita Tursi for always being so very understanding and supportive, and for being available and open to the new kids on the block! Talk soon!?   Hutson Inniss for coming in and doing the work necessary, thanks man!  Jewelle Gomez for being a great elder and movement leader.  Nancy Bereano, your mentorship and love is felt!   Brendalynn Goodall, my SISTA friend, for always having my back and just being a great supporter friend!

To Michelle Alcedo, my SFAM, for your continued energy and support!  Hope Barrett great seeing you as always, thanks for your words of encouragement.  Rev. Jaynce Jackson thanks for your words and for keeping everyone focused on why we were there.  To Sharon Day for bringing our native brothers’ and sisters’ voices to the table!  Don’t forget to say hi to Jackie for me!

Pauline Park thank you, it’s always good to have your voice in the room!  Tony Sarmiento what can I say, let’s make some noise, your brother in the struggle!  Mr. Bryan Epps from the moment I reached out to you, you were on board and have remained consistent in the process.  Thank you.  Let’s have lunch soon!

Mario Tapia we have got to do some more work together, let’s present our own initiative to the City Council and get it funded.  Call me!  Carmen Vazquez thanks.  That’s all I can say, thank you!!   Dion Wong  you brought a new clarity to the meaning of working in POC communities, I am humbled.

Dr. Rawha Haile, who was scheduled to be at the convening, was unable to attend because her father passed away.  I want to take this time to send out special thoughts of comfort, and a blessing to you and your family in celebration of your father’s amazing life!

Cheryl Reese thank you for being that voice in the room!  We got your information.  Imam Daayiee Abdullah thanks for lending your expertise to  this conversation!  Tracy Cooper you hit this one out the ballpark!  I knew you would!  To Edwin L. Walker, Senator Benjamin Cruz, the ASA/LAIN and all the participants I met … WE THANK YOU ALL.

GRIOT Circle is committed to working within and with the systems/committees to develop structure and support for the network.  We are also here to help with whatever else we can to move this project forward.  As I said during the closing plenary, it was not designed for GRIOT to be in charge of the network, that power is yours, it has to be organic and coming from the members, much like how we run GRIOT Circle.  We were the vehicle to bring us all together, now let us all build a network we can all be proud of.

With warm regards,

Glen-Michael Francis

Executive Director

GRIOT Circle, Inc.

PHILLY CIRCLE OF FRIENDS HOSTS ELEGANT AFFAIR

WHEN:

October 15, 2011  –  8pm – 1am   Cocktail hour: 8pm – 9pm   Donation: $75

WHERE:

THE REGAL BALLROOM  5411 Oxford Ave, Philadelphia, PA 215-268-6005

INCLUDES:

Continuous Open Bar, Deluxe Buffet, Dancing (DJ), Valet Parking

FOR TICKET PURCHASES:

Member Contacts

Bobby Bryant  267-319-4772   |   Harriet Graham  215-224-5844

Skeets Spence & Emma Willis  215-659-0633

Cliff Fitzgerald  610-527-4087

Debbie Harrison  215-842-9730   |   Ken Soapes  215-208-9767

Tyrone Taylor  73-678-5036   |   Beverly Gilbert  732-446-5173

Circle of Friends  P.O. Box 858  Glenside, PA  19038-0858

For directions download flyer, just click here  –> ELEGANT AFFAIR 2011

INSIGHTS ON CONVENING OF AGING PROFESSIONALS – Post 4

In effort to provide insights, address questions and foster clarity around the function, expectations and importance of the upcoming National Convening of Aging Professionals, GRIOT Circle provides post #4 in this Q&A series.

Please use the comment tab at the bottom of this post to expand the discussion on this topic and present your questions.

WHERE CAN I WATCH OR READ A REPORT OF WHAT HAPPENS DURING THE TWO-DAY CONVENING IN D.C.?

Another intended outcome of the Convening will be written reports of all interactions, discussions, decisions, suggestions made there.  We’re having a team of volunteers who will ensure faithful and detailed transcriptions will be shared with our funder and the general public.  These documents will also be made available on GRIOT Circle’s website and Blog.

HOW DO I EXPLAIN WHY THIS CONVENING IS IMPORTANT TO MY PEERS?

As stated earlier, this Convening marks a historic moment in U.S. public health where the needs of the POC LGBT elder community will be addressed competently and openly.

WILL ISSUES FACED BY CAREGIVERS BE ADDRESSED AND SOLVED?

Absolutely! One major challenge to chronic health care disparities is provider cultural competency or lack thereof.  It’s easy to talk about promoting positive health behaviors and encouraging healthier lifestyles among the POC LGBT elders, but it’s quite another thing to translate this into language, tools and concepts readily accessible to this population.  Cultural competence, at the provider level and at the institutional level, is a key goal of education on POC LGBT aging health issues.  A provider’s lack of cultural competence has been shown to negatively affect not only provider-patient interaction and care-giving, but also the patient’s care seeking behavior.  Conversely, it’s a well established health care fact that the provisions of health care services that are respectful of and responsive to the health beliefs, practices and needs of diverse patients can help close the gap in health care outcomes.

How Your Greatest Insecurities Reveal Your Deepest Gifts

Your Core Gifts:The Powerful, Unexpected Path To Love

By Ken Page, LCSW in Finding Love

In my decades of practice as a psychotherapist, this is the insight that has inspired me most:

Our deepest wounds surround our greatest gifts.

I’ve found that the very qualities we’re most ashamed of, the ones we keep trying to reshape or hide, are in fact the key to finding real love. I call them core gifts.

It’s so easy to get lost in the quest for self-improvement. Every billboard seduces us with the vision of a happier, more successful life. I’m suggesting an opposite road to happiness. If we can name our own awkward, ardent gifts, and extricate them from the shame and wounds that keep them buried, we’ll find ourselves on a bullet train to deep, surprising, life-changing intimacy.

Over the years, I realized that the characteristics of my clients which I found most inspiring, most essentially them, were the ones which frequently caused them the most suffering.  Some clients would complain of feeling like they were “too much”; too intense, too angry, or too demanding. From my therapist’s chair, I would see a passion so powerful that it frightened people away.

TO READ FULL ARTICLE, CLICK HERE –>  Psychology Today.

Military Ends ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’

Speaker Christine C. Quinn

September 2011

LGBT and HIV/AIDS Community Report

Dear New Yorker,

After nearly two decades of advocacy, Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell is officially over.

No longer will LGBT Americans be denied the right to serve this great country of ours, nor will they be forced to hide a part of themselves in order to continue their service.

I’d like to thank President Obama, Senator Gillibrand, Congress Member Nadler, and the other members of Congress for ending this discriminatory policy once and for all.  Special thanks as well to the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, the Human Rights Campaign, and all the other advocacy organizations for their incredible work in gaining equality in the military.

The end of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell sends a simple, but powerful, message that we all deserve respect, regardless of who we love.  This is an historic step for equality and the security of our nation and world.

Best,

Chris Quinn
Speaker

50 Best Companies for Workers Over 50 – AARP

1. Scripps Health

2. Cornell University

3. National Institutes of Health

4. First Horizon National Corporation

5. West Virginia University

6. The YMCA of Greater Rochester

7. Atlantic Health System

8. Mercy Health System

9. Bon Secours Richmond Health System

10. The Aerospace Corporation

 

TO SEE ENTIRE LIST, CLICK ON THIS LINK –> Best Employers Winners 2011 – AARP

Ask Our Doc: Treat Your Feet

By Dr. Kevin B. Coleman

Doctor of Podiatric Medicine,  New York State licensure

When people shop for shoes based on style or brand and how they fit with their outfit, instead of how shoes fit their feet, they’re setting themselves up for foot pain and discomfort.  Ill-fitting shoes that are too large or too small, and footwear with poor arch support are the prime agitators for foot problems.

For care of foot pain and discomfort turn to podiatrists.  These health care professionals must be licensed by the State to provide medical and surgical management of the lower extremity–which includes foot, ankle and lower leg.  They have the ability to diagnose systemic diseases and treat lower extremity manifestations.

The most common problems many podiatrists treat are toe nail disorders, such as ingrown, fungal or elongated nails, and hyperkeratoses (corns and calluses caused by tight shoes).  If you see a growth or feel discomfort make an appointment with a podiatrist for a proper diagnosis.  A visit usually includes an exam, a thorough assessment and treatment recommendations.

We are medically and surgically trained to help patients with these common foot problems.  Some of the reasons why people with such ailments seek assistance from a podiatrist are:

1]  Podiatrists are specially trained to trim corns and calluses.  When people try to cut their own calluses they run the risk of injuring themselves, which could lead to possible infection.  Having a professional do this can remove the chance of accidents.

2]  Some patients have inadequate vision or limited flexibility so they can’t reach their feet well enough to safely clip their nails, thus need a podiatrist to provide this service.

3]  Diabetes and poor circulation can also create the need for assistance from a podiatrist.

In between visits to your foot doctor, patients commonly use do-it-yourself pampering practices, such as warm water foot soaks, massage to help with foot discomfort and applying a favorite foot cream.

People with diabetes and/or poor circulation should have their feet evaluated every two months by a podiatrist.  Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance are commonly used to pay for podiatry services.  Next time, the Doc will offer steps to help diabetics walk in good health.

Walk lively, see your podiatrist regularly.

____________________________

Dr. Coleman has 25 years of experience, trained at New York College of Podiatric Medicine and is based in Brooklyn.  He can be reached at 231-846-8643 to address your questions and concerns.

Dekalb Market Launched

Looking to get all your shopping done for the week?  A new market close to Fort Greene highlights the best locally-grown produce and products in Brooklyn.

With over a dozen food vendors, an Internet radio station and educational farm, Dekalb Market, a project put together by Urban Space and located on Fulton Mall in Downtown Brooklyn, is looking to become a new sustainable hub for both retailers and the community at large.

Approximately 29 Brooklyn-based purveyors ranging from food vendors to retail stores will be on hand.  There will also be vendors from the Dekalb Farm offering options from educational classes on horticulture from Liberty Sunset Garden Center, to an incubator farm with eight plots.

TO READ MORE, CLICK HERE –> Dekalb Market Launches – Ft. Greene-Clinton Hill Patch.