As America struggles to distribute the COVID-19 vaccine, educating at-risk communities, especially African Americans 45-plus, about the safety of vaccines is essential to tackling the coronavirus pandemic. The first, vital step in the effort should be to better understand how older African Americans are experiencing the coronavirus pandemic. Battling COVID-19 isn’t something we do to African American communities; it’s something we do with these communities.
It was bound to happen: As the pandemic wore on, many older Americans couldn’t resist the urge to bring home a furry friend. According to a new poll from the University of Michigan, about 10% of all U.S. adults between the ages of 50 and 80 adopted a new pet between March 2020 and January 2021. That number was 16% for people aged 50 to 80 who have a child under 18 at home and 9% for those who don’t have children at home.
The Blue Book, Social Security’s manual for evaluating disability claims, lists 11 types of what it calls “mental disorders” among the conditions that medically qualify adults to receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI). It’s important to note that not all are generally considered mental illnesses. The Blue Book list includes autism, developmental and intellectual disabilities, and decreased mental function with a medical cause such as dementia. Neither the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention nor the nonprofit National Alliance on Mental Illness identifies these as mental health conditions, although they can have significant effects on mental health, and diagnoses of depression or another mental illness often accompanies them.
Disability Rights Michigan is pushing to make COVID-19 home vaccinations available to disabled people who need them.The organization said it’s a battle they’ve been fighting for months.
Older Americans still make up a majority of those who have been inoculated, and many are taking advantage and venturing out.
Forty-nine years ago today, Congress added senior nutrition programs to the Older Americans Act, ushering in a new era of federal commitment to food security for our nation’s seniors. This is not to say that no older Americans go undernourished now. But, thanks to the inclusion of nutrition in the Older Americans Act, generations of seniors who otherwise may have gone hungry have received hot, healthy meals. And it’s not simply about filling empty stomachs. Enhanced food security is associated with better overall health outcomes for seniors. It even reduces the elderly’s risk of falling and injuring themselves at home.
A roundtable of theatremakers talk about their work, how they make it, and models for inclusive spaces for both artists and audiences
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