Bay Area Reporter/New America Media, News Report, Matthew S. Bajko, April 2014
For those, who like me, grew up listening to Caetano Veloso, seeing him getting older is just a reflection of our own aging and the multiple challenges and possibilities to unfold wellness, live well, and have a creative life into old age
Baby Boomers know well these challenges and also know well this poet of the Brazilian music. Caetano Veloso has been called the Bob Dylan of Brazil — a popular musician who has made staggering artistic and intellectual contributions to his country. The New York Times recently dubbed him “Brazil’s unofficial poet laureate”.
Veloso is consistently one of the most literate and beguiling forces in music. To see him in person is to see a sinuous, warm and joyous show in which Veloso’s vocals are backed by a young and edgy band. Seeing him aging so gracefully and maintaining his core values is refreshing. For Veloso family is everything and he is very close to another DIVA of Brazilian music, his sister Maria Bethania, both always look for young band players who bring new styles to old rhythms reminding us constantly that old and young play together an important role for a rich community.
Caetano and Maria Bethania, are very close to their mother and they say their love for music comes from her with whom, they love to sing. They do not shy away from politics or for family values. A great way to follow!
Veloso says, about his own aging: “I’m beginning to be an old man,” Veloso says. “It’s something that can excite you, because you get curious to see how changes go. You lose a lot, but you can gain a lot, too.”
The Administration on Aging just released A Toolkit for Serving Diverse Communities.
This Toolkit provides the Aging Network and its partners with a replicable and easy-to-use method for providing respectful, inclusive, and sensitive services for any diverse community. The Toolkit consists of a four-step process and a questionnaire that assists professionals, volunteers and grassroots advocates with every stage of program planning, implementation and service delivery for older adult communities, their families and caregivers.
The core principles of the toolkit include respect, inclusion and sensitivity as the hallmarks of quality service. This Toolkit is an invitation to make a cultural shift in service provision, to learn, to grow and fully appreciate the diverse community of older adults that agencies and their partners serve.
Download the AoA Diversity Tool Kit
A new report available from MAP and SAGE, Improving the Lives of LGBT Older Adults, shows that contrary to stereotypes, LGBT elders are more likely to live in poverty, face social and community isolation, and lack appropriate health care and long-term care. The report examines the unique barriers and disparities faced by LGBT elders. It also offers detailed and practical solutions, providing a roadmap for LGBT and aging advocates, policymakers, and anyone interested in ensuring that all Americans have the opportunity to age with dignity and respect.
The report states that although largely invisible until very recently, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) older adults make up a significant (and growing) share of both the overall LGBT population and the larger 65+ population. While confronted with the same challenges that face all people as they age, LGBT elders also face an array of unique barriers and inequalities that can stand in the way of a healthy and rewarding later life. The additional challenges to successful aging faced by LGBT elders are gaining visibility with the aging of LGBT Baby Boomers, who are the first generation of LGBT people to have lived openly gay or transgender lives in large numbers.
The report examines three areas of particular difficulty for LGBT elders:
- LGBT elders are less financially secure. LGBT older adults are poorer and less financially secure than American elders as a whole due to a lifetime of discrimination compounded by major laws and safety net programs that fail to protect and support LGBT elders equally with their heterosexual peers. The report examines the following key programs and their impacts: Social Security, Medicaid and long-term care, tax-qualified retirement plans, employee pensions, retiree health insurance benefits, estate taxes, veterans’ benefits, and inheritance laws.
- LGBT elders find it more difficult to achieve good health and healthcare. The report examines major reasons for this, including: LGBT elders’ health disparities are overlooked; there is limited government support for the families and partners of LGBT elders; health care environments often are inhospitable to LGBT elders; nursing homes often fail to protect LGBT elders; and visitation policies and medical decision-making laws often exclude the families and partners of LGBT elders.
- LGBT elders are more likely to face social isolation. Despite a high level of resilience and strong friendship networks, social isolation has still been found to be higher among LGBT older adults. In addition to being more likely to live alone, LGBT elders also are more likely to feel unwelcome in, or be unwelcome in, mainstream aging programs such as senior centers and volunteer centers. They also often lack support from, and feel unwelcome in, the broader LGBT community. Finally, housing discrimination adds to the challenges LGBT elders face in connecting to their communities and may separate LGBT elders from loved friends or partners.
In addition to examining the challenges faced by LGBT elders, the report also provides detailed and comprehensive policy analysis and recommendations. Read the report.