Symposium of the UC San Diego Center for Healthy Aging, talks about wisdom and aging, well-being, and longevity. Furthermore, the presenters also talked about societal implications of wisdom and compassion: health, education and technology. Presenting our capstone project for healthy aging. We presented our neighborhood assessment to many guests at the symposium. The audience was interested in learning more about affordable housing apartments at Barrio Logan. They wanted to know more about the specifics in how affordable are those apartments, the cap rate, and what costs are considered affordable housing. We mentioned that according to some locals in the Barrio Logan area prices can range from 800 dollars and also that these apartment complexes have many people who are waitlisted for several years. This goes back to the beginning of the year on LCS tour of affordable housing options for seniors in San Diego. When we went to Serving Seniors we met with residents and toured several housing units to learn more about the different affordable housing models. By visiting several in the downtown areas and throughout several San Diego neighborhoods. We were able to able to see how housing was developed and how much occupants in those apartments will pay monthly. Many of the affordable options can range from $533 to $ 800 dollars a month. In addition, these apartments are designed for people who come from low-income and earning less of the area median income below estimated below $50,000. These apartments have housing options that offer solutions in addressing the homelessness and the elder population. Next, we spoke with individuals who have visited Barrio Logan before. They also went to went to reach out to the senior center. During their experience they had difficulty contacting the center and mentioned that it was closed when they last visited. According to the Census Bureau, the elder population was less than 10 percent. The area is heavily an industrial zone with many mechanic shops. We emphasized how there is a growing need to implement resources available for seniors in the neighborhood. We concluded that the city should look into funding the senior center to expand its operating hours and have it open to the public. Since the center is located near the freeway and near a busy street. The location is right next to a bus stop, benches, and close proximity to commercial areas. Perhaps it’s an opportunity to expand the senior center open to locals and community members.
This weeks topic is Health and Mortality, Inequalities: Gender, Race, and Class. One of the readings was Dona Tona of Nineteenth Street is a short story about a curandera who uses magic, herbs, and massage to treat someone is ill. The townspeople would make assumptions that she’s an actual “witch” or “Crazy Old Witch” with the ability to cure people with her natural remedies and prayers. While the townspeople viewed Doctor Herida as a the first choice to seek for medical help. People choose to go to the reputable doctor first rather than seeing Dona Tona, because they believe that Dr. Herida offered professional medical assistance.
However, there were cases when Dr. Herida prescription didn’t worked many people instead searched for Dona Tona assistance. The people who do end up seeking help from her have seen results in their recovery than the Dr’s prescriptions. The question is that why do people still view Dona Tona as the last resort and continue to go to the Dr. Regardless of what people said about her, Dona Tona continue to travel to far parts of the barrio to get where she is needed to help people in need. This is considered inequality consider differences with gender. Dona wasn’t taken seriously only when someone is gravely sick or the doc’s prescriptions didn’t cure the patient. Dona Tona deserves the source of recognition and credit just as well as Dr. Herida.
Even though people continue to seek for Doctor Heridas medical advice, in the end they still went to see Dona Tona. With her expertise patients were able to see signs of improvements to their health. Acknowledging the differences of the treatment of between both genders and see how Dona Tona is treated, while Dr. Herida was seen as more reputable and respectful. By seeing both differences show the source of inequality. Both are valid enough to seek for help. It’s the people choice to believe what they feel it’s the truth to them. As long as people are able to recognize people’s efforts like Dona Tona and consider her to be a valid resource as much as the doctor.
Seniors were elated and took on the challenge of the step by step painting instruction.The painting instructor Kelly was approachable, friendly, and supportive that anyone can paint the canvas. Promoted a positive attitude and encouraged seniors that anyone can be a painter. Seniors felt appreciative, respected, inclusive, and grateful for the given opportunity to partake in a hands on step by step painting instruction...Read more on our Healthy Aging Project page!
Today LCS took a trip to the LGBTQ Center located in one of San Diego’s most diverse neighborhoods Hillcrest. During the 1970’s Hillcrest’s LGBTQ community and locals unified through neighborhood organizations that advocated for inclusitivity, diversity, LGBTQ rights, and public engagement. The Center represents one of active organizations who advocated for resources in their community. It provides direct program services to the LGBT community, including men, women, youth, seniors, families, LGBT Latino community members and their families, and those living with HIV. The center provide communal services, government resources, auditorium, computer lab, lounge area, open community space, volunteer services, cross cultural services, and educational programs.
One of the long term volunteers in the center Nick grew up with his parents and grandparents in the same household. His memories of his grandparents were storytelling about their historical life events. Nick was able to value history through his grandparents storytelling. He believed that by living with his grandparents was an enrichment to his childhood along with his siblings. He was curious about how often the current younger generation communicate with their grandparents. This was an interesting question, even though not many people have the opportunity to live with their grandparents or don’t know much about them. It’s never too late to learn more about from your family members, and a great opportunity to start now. Nick also emphasized the importance of developing a relationship with grandparents and people should continue to stay in touch with family. This sheds light to the reading how family relationships are adaptive resources for people to grow, develop, and cope from life events. For example, black families provide support combating racism, individual level discrimination, and negative imagery. People who face this social challenges and seek help from their family members will be able to overcome obstacles and stand up for themselves. Through this example represents how family can help through challenging life moments. On the other hand, I wonder that there are parents in the world who have difficulty accepting their child’s identity. How would people with less accepting families cope with life challenging events. There have been cases where families are less accepting. In the center the community members have a place where they can call home and connect with other individuals. Even Though, many people are not related, however, they are able to form friendships through their hardships.
Next, the class participated in a collaborative activity WHO’s 8 key framework of health and well-being in age-friendly communities. During the discussion, a community leader senior expressed his concerns about the new bike program. He also expressed distress and fear from skateboarders or bikers that quickly pass by seniors. The community member emphasized how seniors with vision and hearing disabilities don’t feel safe and feel afraid of fast passerbys skating past them. He addressed the audience that there is a growing need to educate the public to understand seniors needs. The goal is to create safer walkable sidewalks and for individuals who utilize bike transport services to be considerate of the people with disabilities. This brings to attention to address safety concerns for seniors. Busy roads can cause difficulty for individuals who use wheelchairs, strollers, and walkers. Seniors need to be acknowledged and have empathy for the challenges they face in the daily basis. We gave a suggestion in hope that the city will look into implementing strategic methods for traffic control in busy type roads and more visible signs for crosswalks. Even though the bike share is open to the city market and have implemented convenience for people to travel around the neighborhood. However, there have been too many bike shares that block passageways in sidewalks , consequently can be a potential hazard for human traffic. By listening from seniors from the LGBTQ center we acknowledged that seniors feel need more visibility. The acknowledgement that skaters or fast passersby need to keep in mind for the safety of the pedestrians especially seniors who are walking around the area.
Overall, the trip to the LGBTQ center was an informative and educational learning experience. Also, is important to pay attention people near you and be kind to them. There will be people who have multiple layers of challenges that we may not know. It’s important to keep in mind and reflect on how not everyone will be able to solve everyone’s problems. Particularly individuals who have a troubled history need care and support. By engaging with seniors and understand more about their expressed concerns of the issues they are currently facing. Helps people gain more information in how we can combat those issues, through an intergenerational activity that gathers people of all ages together and come up with creative solutions. Through this group activity offers constructive feedback in what parts of the community needs improvement and how we can educate the public about senior visibility and inclusiveness.
Guest lecture professor Sue Peerson gave a detailed presentation about how to create a poster board for our upcoming healthy aging project. She Talked about formatting, strategically displaying info using graphics and percentages in how much information should be displayed. The professor also emphasizes how the formatting of the poster is important in how you as the author convey your message to your audience. Not only, will the poster will represent the narrative of the project, but also knowing the audience that will be attending the event. In this case, the Health Project event will be open to community members, seniors, UCSD staff, Faculty, and Students. It is necessary that your poster is legible and can be understood by the general public. Key thing is to keep in mind is to never underestimate the audience relationship. It is important to establish a clear and concise main argument. Overall, this presentation was informative and helpful in how to create an informative poster that can communicate and establish connections between your content and how you convey your message to your audience.
The class gave a brief presentation of Golden Hills, Barrio Logan, and La Jolla. The team members explained their observations and analysis from their site visit. Team members informed the three San Diego neighborhoods narratives, goals, and policies. They also further addressed what aspects of the neighborhood are missing and needs improvement for the ideal age-friendly community.
Next, the class participated in a collaborative and intergenerational planning activity with seniors. This activity is where Casa Manana residents and university students communicate with each other about what would an inclusive and all ages friendly city look like. We were split in small groups and came back to have a collective discussion about what Casa Manana residents would like to see in their surrounding community. Rhiannon, Kyle, Micah, and I discussed
Whether if transportation is accessible to the residents. The seniors felt that the trolley was too far away and would like see the trolley run nearby to Scripps. In addition, they mentioned that the built environment must be conductive to the public transportation. One of the residents Pearl mentioned that many residents in Casa Manana experience challenges when traveling steep sidewalks. They envision in hopes to have flat ground that is manageable to walk especially those who use wheelchairs and walkers. We came to the conclusion, to incorporate bike lanes, open walkable trails to the public, pedestrian friendly walkways that are ADA compliant and safe when crossing across streets.
In addition, the residents want to see more public involvement and civic engagement in open communal spaces. They want to interact more with the general public through community activities. Residents are interested in having a field trip at Barrio Logan to experience the neighborhood art and culture. A couple of public engagement features proposed by the residents would be dancing events, festivals, recreation & park activities. Through these activities residents believe that it can bring people from all ages together. Furthermore, residents offered types of intergenerational activities that they would like to see in a shared public space, which some are board games “Bridge”, dancing events, friendly exercise workshops, free recreational park activities, and a communal stage to showcase the community talent.
Overall, what the elders and the team members came together was to link health and social services along with housing affordability, recreation that house intergenerational activities, incorporation of the arts, and accessible transportation. Throughout this activity residents would like to continue to be connected with the nearby community and university to share each others ideas and learn more from each other’s age group.
During the reading discussion we looked into about how homelessness can cause mental illness. An interesting finding was that individuals can possibly gain mental illness by living on the streets. Homeless people who experience mental illness don’t often reach out to mental health services or there is lack of available resources in their living community. Consequently, due to scarce amount of available resources people will not receive the necessary support to recuperate from mental illness. Another interesting thing learned from the reading narratives was that public shelters can create a welcoming space for homeless people. There have been many cases where people began to drink less and feel more motivated by the people in homeless shelters. However, shelters are designed for people to stay at specific times. Even though shelters do provide an opportunity for social connection, but there would be moments where homelessness can feel bored and resume to drinking. Furthermore, many homeless people often don’t seek charity work because they feel patronized and concerned how society look down on them by being a bum.
Next, in class class we also talked about the life course perspective. The objective of living a fulfilling life is to appreciate the human experience. By acknowledging the value of personal experiences can enable people to dedicate time to relax and have an opportunity to learn through their personal life challenges. Individuals who self-reflect their personal experiences able to take way what they have learned and find their true sense of self.
Lastly, toward the end of class we watched an informational video about the long term effects of the aging population. The video informs that not only we need to start preparing the younger population for their later lives, but also keep in check if we have been attaining goals in taking care of the aging baby boomers and older generations. Countries with less immigration will have trouble in sustaining the elder population. In other words, immigration provides majority of the workforce population that sustains the country’s economy and assist the older population. Furthermore, immigrants who come to work in the united states are not assured for retirement. They tend to have a shorter lifespan due to overworking to keep up paying their expenses. This was informative and showed that we also have to keep in mind of the minority population to have the chance to retire comfortably. The video also emphasized about the importance of needing diverse age groups. To illustrate, The BMW car manufacturing company have workers from diverse age groups that range from young adults to older adults. Both age groups collaborate with one another in making a final car product. The employees learn and assist each other when making a car. This shows that learning from both age groups can produce productivity, offer different point of views, and pass down useful knowledge from their past experience.
Today during class we discussed about the Life Course Perspective and how it can guide us in understanding about individuals experiencing inequality from many diverse cultural backgrounds, gender, historical periods, and personal narratives. There was a held discussion about seeing disadvantage positions through several narratives describing their personal experiences of the disadvantaged. Their narratives can trace different aging experiences and it has shaped the senior cohort individually in their lives.
Next, Professor Bussell and Lewis explained that the upcoming LCS Capstone project can be paired in small groups or individually. The objective of this project is to come up with ways to debunk stereotypes and demonstrate the positive truths of the aging process. Some possible ideas to demonstrate and debunk negative stereotypes about elders would be through an infographic. It can offer another point of view about the seniors aging experience. The purpose for the LCS Capstone is to inform about current misconceptions about aging and how it contrast to reality through narratives, data, sources, etc. In class a video clip was played about aging and how seniors experience with negative aging stigma. What was interesting about video clip was about how interviewed seniors debunked ageist stereotypes and continue to do activities they enjoy to do. Even Though there were many pessimistic stereotypes seniors continue to be resilient and further explain their truths in how they embrace their age and emphasized that most ageist statements and myths are untrue.
Evermore, in small groups we discussed each about the misconceptions about seniors. Some examples of negative stereotypes about seniors are that they have inability to learn new skills, understand modern time technology, sexual activity, live in a senior retirement home, grumpy, physical inability, depressed, unable to take care of themselves, etc. Through this activity we discovered some of the current negative stigma seniors experience are usually pessimistic and need to be addressed with a positive approach and inform the public that most of these misconception don’t contrast real life seniors experiences. Possible activities to debunk these myths can be ‘never have I ever’ game, short-narrative videos with senior actors, podcast, blogs, etc. Towards the end of class we discussed about the HAP project and checked in with team members. So far the group and I reached out the painting instructor and contact with Bayside Community Center for future planning of the Art from the Heart event.
Art from the heart will be an event group members Kyle, Monique, Iris and I will be planning for the BaySide Community Center. In this event we plan to hold a group activity where elders are able to create their own paintings. The goal for this activity is for seniors to have fun and learn something new. Elders will be provided with light refreshments, a painting tutorial, and art supplies. It will be a casual event where seniors can unwind themselves through art and enjoy their cup of wine. This event will be an opportunity for seniors to experience a fun challenge and learn new skills. Studies have shown that painting is a fun way to relieve stress, promote positive feelings, and create a sociable environment. This event will enable them to have a chance to express their ideas through an easel as well as with the local community.
Throughout the half of the class period my group members and I discussed about HAP’s and how we will be planning the art event. So far we have sent an email to the BaySide Center and will await for their response to confirm about the proposed painting event. We also be going in person to discuss further details. Professor Bussell and Lewis have reviewed the group idea and gave us guidance and tips in how we will able to plan for our event. We will be looking into art supplies from many arts and crafts stores and comparing reasonable prices. Also, will be finding a professional painting instructor. Ideally we want someone to guide and provide a step by step painting tutorial. Art supplies will be decided when the painting instructor is confirmed. Overall, the group and I are very excited and can’t wait to have everything come together.
Planning the event with other scholars was a fun process. Music and dance. I’d say they danced incredible! The crowning of the senior prom king and queen were so adorable together. The singing performance radiated so much light and positivity. The senior performers were jolly and passionate as they sang a couple of songs. As I was going around the room I approached a table. An elder woman kindly held my hand and said, “beautiful girl”! This gesture is usually associated with family greetings and reminded me of how my grandma greets me when I visited her as a kid. I felt comfortable enough to the point where the conversations naturally flowed. Throughout the interaction among the group of seniors. An opportunity for any age group to interact with the senior population.