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
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 #3 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.
WHICH ORGANIZATIONS ARE EXPECTED TO ATTEND THE CONVENING?
We have listed, to name a few: African Americans in Gerontology, Administration on Aging, Office of Minority Health (Capacity Building Division), OpenHouse, GRIOT Circle, Senior Service America Inc., Delaware County Office of Services, Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), and National Coalition for LGBT Health.
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE ISSUES SLATED TO BE ADDRESSED AT THE CONVENING?
We will have active conversations around older adult related topics such as: elder abuse, employment/retirement, housing, health literacy, immigration/migration, marriage equality, HIV/AIDS/STD prevention/care, religion/spirituality, etc.
IF I CAN’T BE IN WASHINGTON, DC, OCTOBER 12-13, HOW CAN I CONTRIBUTE TO THE CONVENING?
One of the intended outcomes of this Convening is the formation of a National Network of POC led organizations/providers and POC/LGBT elders. At the Convening we will strategize mechanisms for inclusion/participation of all those who wish to be part of this historic movement. It is likely we will rely greatly on social media, mass marketing, and other forms of outreach/communication to maximize inclusion, diversity and on going collaborations.
HOW IS THE US GOVERNMENT (MY TAX DOLLARS) INVOLVED IN THE CONVENING OF AGING PROFESSIONALS?
We continue this dialogue next week, please check back for more insights on the National Convening of Aging Professionals, or simply put your email address in the GET GRIOT BLOG UPDATES slot in the left column to receive alerts of new posts on the GRIOT Circle Blog.
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 #2 in this Q&A series.
HOW DOES THIS EVENT DIRECTLY EFFECT MY LIFE?
LGBT people of color elders remain on the fringes of society, marginalized, stigmatized and invisible. This Convening is a public statement alerting the general public and health care officials of the urgency to allocate funding and resources to address the specific needs of LGBT POC elders. This Convening also serves as a launch pad for a national network of people of color-led agencies that will more effectively advocate and rally for funding, write new policies and actively promote culturally competent practices as they relate to health care provision to the LGBT POC elder population. This means you will have people championing for your needs. You won’t have to wander aimlessly in search of safe, welcoming and affirming spaces.
Since this is not a town hall meeting, we are relying on the professionals and elders that are scheduled to attend the Convening to articulate the needs and issues of LGBT POC elders in this country.
In addition, the richness of the information that will be shared and discussed is due primarily to the ethnic, racial, gender, sexuality and diversity of both lay and professional participants.
HOW ARE THE ISSUES ADDRESSED AT THE CONVENING PRIORITIZED?
The issues addressed at the convening are directly rooted in the morbidity/mortality reality of the POC aging population. They also directly coincide with federal health care priorities that have been identified by a cross section of public health care agencies (i.e., Office of Minority Health, Administration on Aging, Department of Health and Human Services, American Society on Aging, etc.).
IS THIS AN INTERACTIVE EXPERIENCE OR DO I HAVE TO BE IN WASHINGTON, DC TO PARTICIPATE?
The Convening is a two-day event that will be held in Washington, D.C. with the active participation of those invited to attend.