DIVERSITY, EQUITY & INCLUSION

The Georgia Gerontology Society is a statewide multidisciplinary professional network that educates, serves, and advocates for ALL older adults and their families. As the state of Georgia’s largest organization of multidisciplinary professionals in the field of aging, GGS is committed to advocating for all older adults and their families to have equal access to services and supportive community resources. We will continue to support decisive actions that address longstanding inequities and eliminate social injustice. We will also work to amplify diverse voices in our field and recruit professionals from underrepresented groups for leadership positions to ensure that we are working effectively for all older adults in Georgia. 

GGS Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Committee Members: Dr. Bonnie Kin, Carol Rowe-Jones, Debra Minor, Elizabeth Jones, Dr. Fayron Epps, Jennifer Almond, Dr. Lois Ricci, Nikki Dukes, Pat Baker, Dr. Regina Koepp, Dr. Sarah Saint Hamilton, Shari Jackson & Victoria Helmly

Do you have any comments or suggestions on how GGS can better support Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion within GGS or the aging network? Do you have a resource you think should be included on this page?

Please send us a message below.

RESOURCES

American Psychological Association Resources

African American Older Adults and COVID-19: Addressing Mental Health Needs, Supporting Strength – This webinar, recorded July 8, 2020, provides strategies and resources to build upon the existing resilience of this population, enhance coping skills to manage emotional distress, and practice self-care in this time of elevated stress.

African-American Older Adults and Race-Related Stress: How Aging and Health Care Providers Can Help (2018) – An overview of race-related stress and how it impacts older African Americans and recommendations for aging and health care providers.

Black Aging Matters: How to Better Address Racism-Related Stress in African American Older Adults (2018) – Current research, clinical application and first-hand testimonial on the impact of race-related stress on African-American older adults.

#BlackAgingMatters: How Racism-Related Stress Impacts African American Older Adults (2018) – Recap of a Twitter chat emphasizing the importance of cultural competence and providing action steps by health and aging service providers and organizations to address this issue.

Culturally Diverse Communities and Palliative and End-of-Life Care Fact Sheet (2019) – This fact sheet highlights how ethnicity and culture influence palliative and end-of-life care, barriers to effective communication, and the role of family in palliative and end-of-life care.

Facing the Divide (2018) – A video series designed to bring psychological science to the conversation regarding the connections among race, racism and health.

Fact Sheet: Age and Socioeconomic Status (2017) – Describes the impact of socioeconomic status (SES) on the quality of life of older Americans, nearly 14.6 percent of whom live below official poverty thresholds.

Integrating Mental Health Care for Diverse Older Adults in Primary Care and Nontraditional Settings Webinar (2019) – Learn integrated care models for serving culturally diverse older adults including assessment and treatment best practices, integrating family effectively in shared decision making, and overcoming time and transportation challenges in accessing care, including primary care.

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Aging: A Fact Sheet for Psychologists (2018) – Provides recommendations for providing effective and ethical treatment for the estimated 5-10 percent of older adults who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT).

Multicultural Aging Resource Guide (2018) – A summary of research studies and relevant journal articles, books and chapters on mental health and multicultural aging, and organizations dedicated to multicultural aging issues.

Multicultural Competency in Geropsychology: A Report of the APA Committee on Aging and its Working Group on Multicultural Competency in Geropsychology (2009) – An exploration of the key issues regarding the infusion of multicultural competence throughout geropsychology, including recommendations for improving one’s multicultural competence in working with older adults.

Multicultural Guidelines: An Ecological Approach to Context, Identity and Intersectionality (2017) – Provides psychologists with a framework from which to consider evolving parameters for the provision of multiculturally competent services.

Better Brain Health through Equity: Addressing Health and Economic Disparities in Dementia for African Americans and Latinos

By Rajiv Ahuja, Cara Levy

The ‘Better Brain Health through Equity: Addressing Health and Economic Disparities in Dementia for African Americans and Latinos’ report centers around two overarching themes: (1) Strengthening the infrastructure among health-care, long-term care, and community-based organizations to achieve greater health equity for people living with dementia and their caregivers and (2) Expanding dementia-friendly networks and workplaces in racially and ethnically diverse communities.

The Milken Institute Alliance to Improve Dementia Care uses a consensus-driven approach to develop recommendations to improve care for individuals and their families across the continuum of dementia care. In October 2020, the Alliance convened a roundtable on “Reducing Health and Economic Disparities in Dementia,” bringing together leaders across industry, government, research, advocacy, philanthropy, community-based organizations (CBOs), and health systems for one purpose: to develop recommendations to reduce the inequitable impact of dementia on diverse populations. Informed by the roundtable discussion and the Alliance’s expert working group on disparities, this report presents actionable recommendations to build health equity by reducing disparities in dementia prevention, detection, diagnosis, and care.

COVID-19 and Race - Double Jeopardy: The Intersection of Race and Age
By Emma Swinford, Natalie Galucia and Nancy Morrow-Howell
Harvey A. Friedman Center for Aging at the Institute for Public Health, Washington University in St. Louis

The American Society on Aging recently released a statement, which begins, “Age offers no immunity to racism and violence.” In fact, age often magnifies the impact of structural inequalities like racism. Older adults of color are more likely to face increased later-life vulnerabilities, which often stem from a lifetime’s worth of experiences with systemic inequities and discrimination.

In gerontology, “double jeopardy” is a term used to describe the outcomes of the intersection of age with another social indicator that has put people at risk for discrimination throughout their lives, like gender or race. The term “cumulative advantage” (or disadvantage) refers to the process through which various social and economic forces accumulate and progress across an individual’s life course to produce disparities in older adulthood. Read More

Cultural Competence and Elder Abuse Webinar

While elder abuse occurs across cultural lines, cultural aspects can present both aggravating and mitigating factors on the likelihood of abuse from transpiring. This course will dissect the intersection of elder abuse and culture and how cultural competence helps in addressing the issues surrounding it.

This sessions’ instructors are from the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA). Eden Ruiz-Lopez is the Assistant Deputy Director at the NCEA where she leads day-to-day operations and activities and is involved in the planning, development, and implementation of its initiatives. Meanwhile, Kimmy Moon is the Project Coordinator in-charge of their Volunteer Consumer Committee Activities, Supports and Tools for Elder Abuse Prevention (STEAP) initiative, and their social media efforts. Read More

Diverse Elders Coalition

As the fabric of our country is changing in texture, our communities will be the thread that sustains the future. The United States is becoming increasingly older and more diverse in its racial and ethnic composition. Further, generations of lesbian, gay, bisexual and/or transgender (LGBT) people are aging. We know that addressing the health and economic security of older people will require dedicated attention from leaders in government, the aging and health fields, and from our everyday communities.

Founded in 2010, the Diverse Elders Coalition (DEC) advocates for policies and programs that improve aging in our communities as racially and ethnically diverse people; American Indians and Alaska Natives; and lesbian, gay, bisexual and/or transgender (LGBT) people. In the decades to come, the communities represented by the DEC will collectively form the majority of older adults in the United States. The DEC is working to strengthen policies and programs to enhance the health and wellbeing of diverse elders, educating and connecting diverse older adults and their loved ones to key policy debates on aging, and increasing public support for issues that affect our communities. Read More

Finding an LGBTQ-friendly senior care facility: What you need to know

When it’s time to start considering a move to a senior care facility, it’s an emotional process for anyone. But LGBTQ seniors face additional challenges and fears when taking this step. 

For one, research shows many senior facilities are not particularly welcoming to LGBTQ people, and housing discrimination laws that protect them are murky. There’s a patchwork of state, federal and local ordinances and laws vary depending on the type of housing or funding stream, says Tim R. Johnston, Senior Director of National Projects for SAGE, a nonprofit that advocates for LGBTQ older people. Read More

Medicare Data Shows Older Minorities Hit Hardest by COVID-19

By Rachel Nania
AARP

A new report released July 28 by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) highlights the pandemic’s impact on the Medicare population, and the trends mirror what’s happening nationwide: Minorities are disproportionately affected by the coronavirus and the illness it causes.

Black beneficiaries were hospitalized at higher rates than other racial and ethnic groups, the data collected from Jan. 1 to June 20 shows. COVID-19 cases were also highest among Blacks. Previously, the number of hospitalizations among American Indian and Alaskan Native beneficiaries was too low to be reported. Now, this population has the second-highest rate of COVID-19 hospitalizations and third-highest rate of coronavirus cases, the new report shows. Meanwhile, Hispanic beneficiaries had the third-highest rate of hospitalizations and second-highest rate of reported infections. Read More

One Size Doesn’t Fit All: Recognizing Diverse Caregiver Experiences

By Rita B. Choula, Rani E. Snyder, and The John A. Hartford Foundation
Next Avenue
December 4, 2020

Black and brown Americans face higher rates of infection and death due to COVID-19. There are myriad reasons why — stemming from policies and practices rooted in longstanding racism. The compounding of a lifetime of disparities affecting people of color, who are also family caregivers, is dangerous. Caregivers of color are at special risk of not only contracting the virus but also potentially passing it on to someone they live with or for whom they care.

The nationwide outbreak of the novel coronavirus has laid bare and heightened awareness of inequality that has long existed. But through recognition also comes opportunity to make real reforms that will directly benefit family caregivers of color, both during and after the pandemic.

Each community is informed by expectations, traditions and cultural norms that are critically important.

A first step is to recognize that the treatment of older adults — and the responsibility for their care — is part of the bedrock of many cultures. It is innate to who we are as people, as Americans who care for each other, and fundamental to many traditions related to ethnicity. While caregivers of color may be referred to as a single similar group, the experiences and cultural values, including how they choose to care for family — and where they care for them — vary widely. Read More

Racial injustice causes Black Americans to age faster than whites

By Nicole Van Groningen
Massive Science

Nelson Scott presented to the emergency room on his thirty-second birthday. A tall Black man with an athletic build and a clean fade haircut, he had the manners and the accent of someone raised in the South. He had recently graduated from law school in Texas and was on vacation in Los Angeles to celebrate. On the second morning of his trip, he woke up in his hotel room with stabbing abdominal pain and relentless vomiting. He wasn’t able to keep even sips of water down.

In the emergency room, I ordered a CT scan of his abdomen. The results were surprising: there was nothing to explain his symptoms. All the organs that usually cause abdominal pain — the liver, spleen, kidneys, intestines — appeared normal. What surprised me were the findings doctors call “incidental” — the conditions that we ordered to look at something else entirely. Nelson’s incidental findings were astounding. Read More

Stanford School of Medicine Ethnogeriatrics

eCampus Geriatrics in partnership with the Collaborative on Ethnogeriatric Education and the Department of Veterans Affairs is proud to present the Ethnic-Specific Modules on the health and health care of multicultural older adults. The Collaborative on Ethnogeriatric Education is composed of numerous representatives from 34 Geriatric Education Centers who worked together over a decade ago to design and develop the structure for the inter-disciplinary Ethnogeriatric Curriculum. The actual curriculum is a combined effort of authors from various institutions as well as a large panel of peer inter-disciplinary reviewers. We also thank the American Geriatrics Societyfor their encouragement and support for this project. Modules Available: African American, Alaska Native, American Indian, Asian Indian American, Chinese American, Filipino American, Hawaiian/Latino American, Hmong American, Japanese American, Korean American, Vietnamese American, and Pakistani American. Read More

Structural Racism—A Key Driver in Health Disparities

By Patricia Coogan, Lynn Rosenberg and Yvette Cozier
Generations Today

The COVID-19 mortality rate for Black Americans is triple that for white Americans. This appalling difference in mortality has helped to awaken Americans to the large racial health disparities that exist in the United States. These disparities are longstanding and welldocumented, and include asthma, chronic liver disease, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease.

While researchers have long considered genetic, physiological and behavioral explanations for racial health disparities, it has become clear that societal-level factors play a critical role. Of great importance among societal factors is structural racism—longstanding policies that favor white over Black Americans in housing, education, healthcare and criminal justice.elders. Read More

The Aging Experiences of LGBTQ Ethnic Minority Elders: A Systematic Review

By Jinwen Chen, MSocSc, Helen McLaren, PhD, Michelle Jones, PhD, Lida Shams, MSW
The Gerontologist, gnaa134, https://doi.org/10.1093/geront/gnaa134

Background and Objectives
In gerontological research and practice, an increasing amount of attention is being paid to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) older people and how their experiences differ from their heterosexual and cisgender counterparts.

However, LGBTQ elders themselves are not a homogenous group. Moreover, as the immigrant populations in industrialized nations age, the number of LGBTQ elders from ethnic minority backgrounds will only grow. This systematic review hence investigates the experiences of LGBTQ ethnic minority elders. Read More

The Experiences and Needs of Asian Older Adults who are Socially Isolated and Lonely: A Qualitative Systematic Review

By Shefaly Shorey & Valerie Chan
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.archger.2020.104254
Purpose -To examine the experiences and needs of Asian older adults who are socially isolated and lonely living in Asian and western countries. Read More

The National Asian Pacific Center on Aging

With over 40 years of working on behalf of AAPI older adults, NAPCA is more committed than ever to promoting their dignity, well-being, and quality of life.

What motivates us? Respect. Honor. Love.

We want to ensure that AAPI elders have the programs and services they need wherever they live in the U.S. That’s why we’re building the capacity of mainstream service providers to be culturally competent and linguistically appropriate. And that’s why we’re adamant that the input of our older adults are taken into account in all decisions that affect them. Read More

The National Resource Center on LGBT Aging

The National Resource Center on LGBT Aging is the country’s first and only technical assistance resource center aimed at improving the quality of services and supports offered to lesbian, gay, bisexual and/or transgender older adults. Established in 2010 through a federal grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the National Resource Center on LGBT Aging provides training, technical assistance and educational resources to aging providers, LGBT organizations and LGBT older adults. The center is led by SAGE, in collaboration with 18 leading organizations from around the country. Read More

The National Caucus & Center on Black Aging, Inc.

The National Caucus & Center on Black Aging, Inc. was founded in 1970 to ensure that the particular concerns of elderly minorities would be addressed in the then-upcoming 1971 White House Conference on Aging.

Since then, NCBA has helped protect and improve the quality of life for elderly populations, making certain that legislators, policy makers, philanthropists, advocacy groups, service organizations, thought leaders and the public at-large include minority seniors in their programs, policy- and law-making, and giving.

NCBA is one of the country’s oldest organizations dedicated to aging issues and the only national organization devoted to minority and low-income aging. Read More

The National Hispanic Council on Aging

The National Hispanic Council on Aging (NHCOA) is the leading national organization working to improve the lives of Hispanic older adults, their families and their caregivers.

Headquartered in Washington, DC, NHCOA has been a strong voice dedicated to promoting, educating, and advocating for research, policy, and practice in the areas of economic security, health, and housing for more than 50 years. Read More

The National Indian Council On Aging, Inc.

The National Indian Council On Aging, Inc. (NICOA), a nonprofit organization, was founded in 1976 by members of the National Tribal Chairmen’s Association that called for a national organization focused on aging American Indian and Alaska Native elders. Read More

What Are the Top Factors Leading to COVID-19 Health Disparities?

By Sara Heath
PatientEngagementHIT

It did not take long for COVID-19 to prove that it would affect certain patient populations more than others. Within weeks of the virus coming ashore in the United States, health disparities, especially ones tied to race and ethnicity, became all too clear.

Early on in the pandemic, Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) data showed higher rates of COVID-19 infection among Black, Hispanic, and American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) than compared to White patients. Anecdotally, neighborhoods and cities home to a higher population of Black and Hispanic people were harder hit by the virus than suburbs with larger populations of White patients. Read More

Why Black Aging Matters, Too

By Judith Graham
Kaiser Health News

Old. Chronically ill. Black.

People who fit this description are more likely to die from COVID-19 than any other group in the country.

They are perishing quietly, out of sight, in homes and apartment buildings, senior housing complexes, nursing homes and hospitals, disproportionately poor, frail and ill, after enduring a lifetime of racism and its attendant adverse health effects. Read More

Why Diversity Matters to the Aging Network

By Deborah Stone-Walls
National Association of Area Agencies on Aging

America’s population is not only aging rapidly; it is rapidly becoming more diverse. Statistics from the Administration for Community Living (ACL) indicate that the number of older adults from minority populations is expected to rise by 217 percent in the coming decades—a staggering fact that should make us all ask ourselves how prepared our agencies are to meet the needs of a population of older adults that is growing in its diversity. For this reason, in 2017, n4a created a Diversity Task Force to take a closer look at the importance of diversity and create a plan to increase the cultural competence of the Aging Network. This blog post is one of the results of the Task Force’s work. Read More

Who Gets High Quality Hospital Care?

By Anwesha Majumder and Ronan Corgel
U.S. News & World Report

A U.S. News analysis of seven years of Medicare records reveals broad and enduring racial disparities in who receives surgical care and in the quality of the hospitals where people of different races tend to get treated. These new findings build on many years of scientific research that has exposed racial disparities in access to health care. Read More