President Obama got Emotional and almost Cried while talking about his personal journey to the White house from a remote village of Kenya. His father left him at the very age of 2, left his mother working day and night to send him to the schools that other children used to attend those days.
I am a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion practitioner. I've earned a living doing this work for the federal government, local governments, colleges, universities and Fortune 500 companies. I've taught at the college level, traveled the world and met tens of thousands of people along the way. I have concluded that despite our differences, and in some cases our differences are vast, we still have more in common than we do differences. We need to learn how to communicate more effectively, cut each other some slack and keep focused on the goal of being positive and bringing people together.
When you focus on differences, your energy and focus becomes diverted. Look for commonality. It's there. I'm a large black man, who grow up in all black neighborhoods in Washington, DC. I recently met a Trump/Maga supporter who saw one of my interview shows on the Internet about domestic violence. He approached me in a parking lot at the auto shop. He approached me and introduced himself. (Warning, I am going to share a stereotype with you). This dude looked like what I think MAGA men look like. He had a long white beard and a big belt buckle on his jeans. He said, "Man, I saw your interview with Mildred Muhammad, the ex-wife of the DC Sniper. I saw how you admitted to some mistakes in how you reacted to helping victims. Man, you speak to me. I watched some of your other interviews. I learned something new." He extended his hand to shake. We shook hands and I said, "Thank you."
When the hurdles of politics, cultural conditioning and other barriers seemingly get in the way, I look for ways to connect. MAGA people have families. They love their children and want the best for them, just like me. Some of my friends who have different views have learned by hanging out with me that they were taught some very inappropriate things about people who do not look like them. Guess what? I was too. Being taught something inappropriate does not automatically make you a "bad person." Continuing that behavior after you know better, is likely to earn you the title of "Horrible Human Being."
When I worked in The White House it was common practice that Democrats and Republicans worked out many of their differences respectively over drinks and/or several dinners. They got loud, but they were respectful and things got done.
The same thing happens in every walk of life. Just remember to look for ways to connect with someone. It makes for a better day, a better week and a better world.
Here's an unlikely pair: Former President Barack Obama and rock star Bruce Springsteen. These guys are different, and they prove my point. The former president and the singer-songwriter, longtime friends, have shared their stories in a podcast, and now a book: "Renegades: Born in the USA." Barack Obama and Bruce Springsteen sit down with correspondent Anthony Mason to discuss the influence of their fathers on their life's work, and the shared narratives that drive the surprisingly similar fields of popular music and politics. Watch them in the interview below.
The former president and the singer-songwriter, longtime friends, have shared their stories in a podcast, and now a book: "Renegades: Born in the USA." Barack Obama and Bruce Springsteen sit down with correspondent Anthony Mason to discuss the influence of their fathers on their life's work, and the shared narratives that drive the surprisingly similar fields of popular music and politics.
Former U.S. President Barack Obama and rock musician Bruce Springsteen have been friends for a long time. In their podcast "Renegades: Born in the USA", they hold personal conversations. Next week, they will be launching a joint book under the same title. Ingo Zamperoni did an interview with Springsteen and Obama and asked about their joint project.
Lady Di is known for not sugar-coating her messages. I want people to grow in mind and spirit, so I try to be sincere and honest. Forget Instagram, selfies, perfect images, YouTube, TicToc, or even Facebook if you are looking for nice answers. Below are a few truths I would like to share as I grow. Yes, I am still growing as a Baby Boomer, and it does not matter which generation you are in; these truths are bona fide.
1. We will die; it is inevitable, and we do not know when so live life to your fullest.
2. Those we love will die, so expect it.
3. We all have the same problems (sickness, divorce, rejection, loneliness, to name a few)
4. The only opinion that matters is yours. If you believe it, it can be.
5. Do not waste time complaining and bitching; it is a disease and can only bring you down.
6. Pursue your passions.
7. Gratitude allows you to see the good in the world.
8. Guard your time like you guard your life. It is great to dream, but action is better.
9. You will never be perfect. Perfection does not exist and never will.
10. Smile and laugh a lot.
11. God, spirituality, and religion are not the same.
12. Your brand (reputation) is just a perception based on your proven results, and it is as good as what you can teach others, give to others or inspire others to do.
13. No matter your experience or education, you will make mistakes.
14. No one can make you feel inferior without your permission.
15. Realize there are no barriers to what you can achieve.
16. Suffering is part of the struggle of life and can motivate you to do great things.
17. Live a life of no regrets.
18. Concentrate on creating value in yourself and others.
19. Meaning and purpose are more powerful than money.
20. Money only can buy you stuff, not happiness.
21. Life has more meaning when you find a purpose.
22. Be you: following the crowd, the herd is not how you become extraordinary.
23. If you use your race, nationality, sex, and physical/mental abilities as a crutch, you will waste your life.
24. Success is whatever you make it and varies for each person.
25. You will not get out of this world alive.
It does not matter if you agree or not, and it is real. Use your time on earth to create positivity for yourself and others. Use your gifts, take care of those you love, and recognize it will end someday.
Dianne Floyd Sutton, aka "Lady Di," is a savvy "give it to you straight with no chaser" human resources expert and author. Her presentations provide practical applications and strategies for navigating careers in the workplace through humor, engagement, and intellectual truth-telling. Workers of any age or generation can benefit from her resource guides that provide a framework for employees to succeed in the post-COVID-19 workplace environment.
7-year-old Talaya Crawford ran out of her shoe on the starting blocks of a 200-meter sprint at her AAU track meet in Omaha, Nebraska. While the inopportune start to the race would have been enough to make a less-determined individual give up, Talaya had different plans. After doubling back and calmly putting her shoe back on as the rest of the pack sprinted away, Talaya orchestrated a comeback and closed the gap between her and the other runners, and won the race.
This video was released in 1991 featuring singer N'dea Davenport on lead vocals.
Niko Omilano of the BBC went to Harrison Arkansas, allegedly America's most racist town to find out the truth about the town and its racism.
1. Government impostor scams Government impostors call unsuspecting victims and pretend to be from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Social Security Administration, or Medicare. They may say you have unpaid taxes and threaten arrest or deportation if you don’t pay up immediately. Or they may say your Social Security or Medicare benefits are in danger of being cut off if you don’t provide personal identifying information (that can then be used to commit fraud). Government impersonators often “spoof” the actual phone numbers of the government agency, or call from the same zip code (202 for Washington, DC).
2. The grandparent scam Grandmother and granddaughter The grandparent scam is so simple and so devious because it uses one of older adults’ most reliable assets, their hearts. Scammers will place a call to an older person and say something along the lines of: “Hi Grandma, do you know who this is?” When the unsuspecting grandparent guesses the name of the grandchild the scammer most sounds like, the scammer has established a fake identity without having done any background research. Once “in,” the fake grandchild will ask for money to solve some unexpected financial problem (overdue rent, car repairs, jail bond) and will beg the grandparent not to tell anyone. Because scammers ask to be paid via gift cards or money transfer, which don’t always require identification to collect, the senior may have no way of seeing that money ever again.
3. Medicare/health insurance scams Every U.S. citizen or permanent resident over age 65 qualifies for Medicare, so there is rarely any need for a scam artist to research what private health insurance company older people have in order to scam them out of some money. In these types of scams, perpetrators may pose as a Medicare representative to get older people to give them their personal information, or they will provide bogus services for elderly people at makeshift mobile clinics, then bill Medicare and pocket the money. Medicare scams often follow the latest trends in medical research, such as genetic testing fraud and COVID-19 vaccines.
4. Computer tech support scams Computer technical support scams prey on people’s lack of knowledge about computers and cybersecurity. A pop-up message or blank screen usually appears on a computer or phone, telling you that your device is compromised and needs fixing. When you call the support number for help, the scammer may either request remote access to your computer and/or that you pay a fee to have it repaired. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) found that seniors who fell for this scam lost an average of $500 each to computer tech support scams in 2018.
5. Sweepstakes & lottery scams This simple scam is one that many are familiar with, and it capitalizes on the notion that “there’s no such thing as a free lunch.” Here, scammers inform their mark that they have won a lottery or sweepstakes of some kind and need to make some sort of payment to unlock the supposed prize. Often, seniors will be sent a check that they can deposit in their bank account, knowing that while it shows up in their account immediately, it will take a few days before the (fake) check is rejected. During that time, the criminals will quickly collect money for supposed fees or taxes on the prize, which they pocket while the victim has the “prize money” removed from his or her account as soon as the check bounces. Unlike some of the other scams noted here, lottery and sweepstakes scammers can sometimes collect thousands of dollars from their unsuspecting victims.
6. Robocalls/phone scams Woman on phone Robocalls take advantage of sophisticated phone technology to dial large numbers of households from anywhere in the world. Robocallers use a variety of tactics to cheat their victims. Some may claim that a warranty is expiring on their car/electronic product and payment is needed to renew it. One popular robocall is the “Can you hear me?” call, where when the senior says yes, the scammer hangs up after recording their voice, thus obtaining a voice signature to authorize unwanted charges on items like stolen credit cards.
7. Romance scams As more people use the Internet for dating, con artists see an opportunity to find their next victim. Romance scammers create elaborate fake profiles, often on social media, and exploit seniors’ loneliness for money. In some cases, romance scammers may (or pretend to) be overseas, and request money to pay for visas, medical emergencies, and travel expenses to come visit the U.S. Because they drag on for a long time, romance scammers can get a lot of money from a senior—the FTC found that in 2019 alone, seniors lost nearly $84 million to romance scams.
8. Internet and email fraud While using the Internet is a great skill at any age, the slower speed of adoption among some older people makes them easier targets for automated Internet scams that are ubiquitous on the web and email programs. Pop-up browser windows simulating virus-scanning software will fool victims into either downloading a fake anti-virus program (at a substantial cost) or an actual virus that will open up whatever information is on the user’s computer to scammers. Their unfamiliarity with the less visible aspects of browsing the web (firewalls and built-in virus protection, for example) make seniors especially susceptible to such traps. Phishing emails and text messages may look like they’re from a company you know or trust. They may look like they’re from a bank, a credit card company, or an online store. Phishing emails request your personal information, such as a log-in or Social Security number to verify your account, or ask that you update your credit card payment. Then they use that information to steal your personal and financial information.
9. Elder financial abuse Unlike many of the other scams, elder financial abuse is carried out by someone a senior knows. This can be a family member, friend, power of attorney, or caregiver. These trusted individuals try and gain control of a senior’s money, assets, and credit. They also may withhold needed care in order to retain control over the person and their assets. Seniors who have a disability or cognitive impairment (such as dementia) may be at particular risk.
10. Charity scams Charity scams rely on seniors’ goodwill to pocket money they claim they’re raising for a good cause. Some scammers may use a name similar to a legitimate charity. They often capitalize on current events, such as natural disasters, and may set up a fundraising page on a crowdsourcing site, which don’t always have to means to investigate fraud. Charity scammers may insist you donate immediately, sometimes with a payment method that should be a red flag—e.g., gift cards or money transfer. If you suspect you’ve been the victim of a scam… Don’t be afraid or embarrassed to talk about it with someone you trust. You are not alone, and there are people who can help. Doing nothing could only make it worse. Keep handy the phone numbers and resources you can turn to, including the local police, your bank (if money has been taken from your accounts), and Adult Protective Services.
To obtain the contact information for Adult Protective Services in your area, call the Eldercare Locator, a government sponsored national resource line, at: 1-800-677-1116, or visit their website at: https://eldercare.acl.gov.
Financial scams targeting seniors are prevalent and costly. The FBI estimates that seniors lose more than $3 billion each year to fraudsters. Scammers go after seniors because they believe older adults have a significant amount of money sitting in their accounts.
But it’s not just wealthy seniors who are targeted. Low-income older adults are also at risk of financial abuse. And it's not always strangers who perpetrate these crimes. Over 90% of all reported elder abuse is committed by an older person’s own family members, most often their adult children, followed by grandchildren, nieces and nephews, and others.
Financial scams often go unreported or can be difficult to prosecute, so they’re considered a “low-risk” crime. However, they're devastating to many older adults and can leave them in a very vulnerable position with little time to recoup their losses.
Learn how to identify and stop the most prominent scams so you can protect yourself and your loved ones from financial fraud.
Source: National Council on Aging
Do you know the difference between Alzheimer's Disease, dementia or just normal aging? Have you been noticing some memory problems with some older relatives and friends? If you're concerned and want to have them checked, you need to know the warning signs and other things to look for. Watch this video for the warning signs to learn more. For more information on Alzheimer’s or related dementias, visit https://www.alz.org.
In today's busy society, people mostly hold baby showers in high regard over elderly care services. Although both of them are essential, getting into old age is a sensitive phase and something that we shouldn't take lightly. For the first time in human history, here's a fantastic podcast show with different topics ranging from clinical care of older adults to things that family caregivers need to know. In this week's episode, Melissa B shares an overview of her vision for 'This Is Getting Old' podcast series.
This is a very insightful interview with host with Linda Burhans, Health Coach Tammy Taylor and guest author Kathy Flora. Coach Tammy discusses diabetes and pre-diabetes.
Presenter Diane Waugh, BSN, RN, CDP, prepares and equips you in handling the difficulties and frustrations, interacting with someone with dementia. Diane shares effective ways to avoid the "traps" that caregivers often fall into when trying to communicate with their loved one. These tips provide ways to communicate more effectively and reduce stress for all.
Did you know African Americans are 2x more likely than Whites to develop Alzheimer's Disease? Yet, African Americans are practically non-existent in Alzheimer’s Disease research or testing. Why? William Parris interviews Dr. Christiane Reitz, Assistant Professor of Neurology and Epidemiology at Taub Institute for Research on Alzheimer's Disease and the Aging Brain. This episode covers vital statistical information and early detection signs about this public crisis.
As I get older, I am very deliberate that I will be more patient and kind toward others. I was raised to be kind to others, however, the deliberate aspect of being kind occurred on February 10, 2019. On that day I was driving home from the office. It was cold and I had my hands on a heated steering wheel in a comfortable climate controlled luxury vehicle. I quickly grew tired of the traffic and pulled off the highway and stopped at a grocery store that was not in my neighborhood. I was in Oxon Hill, Maryland just across the Washington, DC line.
While walking into the grocery store I passed a man standing outside of the store who asked me if I had any "spare change" so that he could get something to eat. I told the man that I had to pick up a few items and that I would take care of him when I came out of the store.
I'm blessed beyond measure. I don't have to worry about where my next meal is coming from or whether I will have a warm, safe and comfortable place to lay my head. When I came out of the store, I asked the man: "Do you want some money? Or do you want a meal?" Without hesitation, he replied, "A meal." I looked at him, and said, "Let's take a walk." He said, Quiznos was one of his favorite places in the shopping center. While walking to Quiznos at the other end of the shopping center we started talking. The man was soft spoken, articulate and humble. Once we got into Quiznos I told him to order whatever he wanted. All he wanted was a regular sandwich, not even the "meal deal." I had to force him to get a drink. We sat down and I asked him if he felt comfortable talking about his situation. He agreed, and started sharing part of his story. He said used to be a successful self-employed plumber contracted with a large home improvement company. He asked me what I did for a living. I told him that I was a consultant and owner of an online magazine and blog.
The gentlemen asked that I take his picture and share his story as a reminder that people in his position, deeply appreciate people in my position who help others. After we finished eating, we shook hands and he thanked me for the meal. And then he walked out of the restaurant.
As I walked back to my car, I heavily reflected on the fact that anyone of us can fall on hard times, quickly and without warning. And then I realized that I can be a better person from this point on as a result of having dinner with a stranger. He's was a stranger because I never asked him his name. How could I spend an hour with this guy and not ask him his name?
He thanked me and walked away. I should have thanked him for being so open, humble and kind.
Two days passed and I thought about that man and our time together every day. On Day 3, I returned to the same shopping center at approximately the same time, looking for that man. I circled the shopping center twice and did not see him. I drove out of the shopping center and started driving home. After driving about two blocks, I saw a man walking down the street that resembled the stranger. I slowed up and blew my horn. He kept walking.
I pulled into a parking lot ahead of him and waited for him to come my way. As he got close I jumped out of my car and started walking toward him. He slowed up and was obviously cautious until he recognized me. It was him. He stopped and I explained how our previous encounter motivated and inspired me to be more kind and giving.
I further explained that I wanted to say, "Thank you." He turned to me and said, "I really appreciated what you did for me the other day. Today was a good day for me. I stood in the parking lot of Home Depot and a lady picked me up to do a plumbing job. It made me feel good that I could help her and save her some money."
I finally asked him his name. His name is Alvin Byrd. Thank you Mr. Byrd!
Here are a few things that all of us can do to be more kind:
Walking My Momma Home is a memoir of my mom and me. It’s about love, hope, uncertainty, role reversal, courage and the raw humanity in Mom's experience of losing herself to the disease. It’s about the hard decisions, conflicts, the relationship balancing and personal soul-stretching my care-giving required. It’s our story of surprising joy and laughter, of tears and terrors, of opening hearts and deep, emotional healing.
Filled with stories, reflection, insightful questions, and invaluable resources, Walking My Momma Home helps you reflect on and process your own journey through the raw experience of fellow travelers walking dementia’s labyrinth.
Dementia Caregiving - A Family Affair by Kathy Flora (Posted Nov. 15, 2018)
When the phone rang yesterday, I would never have imagined that the call would evolve like it did. Calling was my uncle's niece on the other side of the family, patriarch of our sprawling family tree, the one who always cared for others without fanfare or complaint. He would pay tuition, throw a birthday party, contribute to any cause, help our unemployed family members find jobs. There is no end to the evidence of the visible love and support he and his wife, our aunt provided over the years.
Now, his niece reached out to me to enlist me in an intervention. (I am from his beloved wife's side of the family, a wonderful woman who died a year and a half ago, leaving him to manage on his own.) His nieces stepped into the gap that our aunt left, a gap that was growing wider and wider each month. He was now showing stark signs of dementia himself.
Suddenly there was legitimate concern about his driving, about his travel, and about his decision-making ability, about his desire to move in with a female friend, far more incapacitated than he is. Dear man, still wanted to care for others, no matter how confused he has become. Yes, as his niece conveyed, it was way past time to have "the talk."
So, this Sunday, under the ruse of taking him and his new lady friend out to lunch, several of us will convene at his snowbird condo on the Gulf in Florida to discuss the best way to maintain as much of his independence and decision-making capacity as possible, while securing his future care at the inevitable progression of the disease.
At least for now, he is still able to understand the reasons why he must make some decisions about his future care. Thankfully, he has indicated that he is willing to consider taking steps, "in a year or so", to put in place the supports he will need. But, with the rapid advance of his evident decline, "a year or so" may be too late. That's what we need to impress upon him this Sunday.
I ache for him, that loving, generous, kind and caring man, who lost the love of his life not long ago. I ache for him because he says that all he really wants is to join her in paradise. Yet, dying is not as easy as wishing it so. We don't usually get to choose how and when we go. What he may be facing as his genetically-related disease progresses are years of decline, in which his healthy body continues to thrive, and his heart continue to beat, while his mind drifts into a world unknown.
I ache for all who knew him as the dynamic executive, the loyal friend, and the most powerful model of goodness and love I have even known. I ache, yet my husband and I will accept the privilege before us. We will sit down on Sunday, with family from the other side who also love him dearly, and we will try our best to give back to him a portion of the love he poured out on all of us throughout our years. We will have "that talk"... that toughest of talks, really, that insists that he can no longer drive, no longer make his own decisions, and cannot live alone anymore.
God bless my uncle. God bless you and I am so very sorry. We'll be here for you, and we will walk with you, all the way home.
Have you encountered circumstances with a loved one that requires you to have “the talk?” If so, how did you handle it? What was the outcome? What advice would you give to others facing the same thing with their parents or other loved ones?
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