Elders: From The Editors
- Honoring Our Elders
Honoring Our Elders
There are few things in life that bring me more joy than watching my grandmother enjoy retirement. After working as a nurse for more than three decades, she retired in 2006 and proceeded to do … absolutely nothing.
She bought a condo in her hometown, where she spends her days reading books, watching television, and having meals with her cousins and friends. She’ll never have to work again or worry about where she’ll live—a privilege that should be afforded to all elders, but unfortunately isn’t.
When we began working on this issue, there was a bubbling excitement: Could we honor elders while exploring the ways in which we leave them to fend for themselves? Could we present solutions to better our collective lives as we age, while also treating elders themselves as the solution? The answer to these questions is a resounding YES!
Our “Elders” issue presents an array of aging people who are not only committed to living a life of purpose but also to ensuring that other elders have the support they deserve. We lined up some heavy hitters for this issue, all of whom are elders in their respective communities.
Award-winning author Marita Golden explores how caregivers, who happen to also be elders, are practicing self-care. Omisade Burney-Scott, the creator of the Black Girl’s Guide to Surviving Menopause, illuminates how the misinformation surrounding menopause prevents people, especially those from marginalized communities, from getting the care they need. And esteemed journalist Greg Hernandez spotlights the Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Anita May Rosenstein campus, which houses LGBTQ seniors with LGBTQ teenagers and young adults to foster intergenerational connection.
This issue is also intentional about highlighting Indigenous communities who have created blueprints for how to revere our elders. Natasha Deganello Giraudie introduces the term “eldervoid” to explore the impact of elders being absent from their communities. And, of course, in this issue—as in all issues—we have some fun: There’s a story about elders getting their groove on in the bedroom, another about elders retaining their sense of style as they age, and even an interview with actor LisaGay Hamilton about aging in Hollywood.
Our society treats aging as a sin instead of the well of wisdom it truly is, but as my grandmother’s embrace of retirement has taught me, there’s much to learn from those older than us—and it’s our duty to ensure that we care for our elders just as we have asked them to care for us.
YES! Executive Editor