Welcome to the July newsletter!
The Strange Political Silence On Elder Care
For Alexis Baden-Mayer, who lives with and cares for her two elderly parents, the audiobook of Marcel Proust’s six-volume novel, In Search of Lost Time, has two distinct benefits. First, it provides 150 hours of literary distraction. Second, it features a character who jokes about excrement.
“Play it in the car as you drive your loved-ones to doctors appointments,” she wrote in a blog post about her caregiving experience. “Play it each morning as you strip soiled linens from the mattresses, make beds and fold laundry. Play it, as I have, to try to calm and distract yourself as you bark commands to your dementia-addled mother to wipe her butt and drop the toilet paper in the toilet.”
Seeking Family Forgiveness Through Caregiving
One of my patients, Marla (not her real name), spent decades paying the price for being a rebellious teenager, quitting school and moving several states away. As an adult, she and her parents never talked about those troubled years during their weekly phone calls, but her family didn't ever fully trust her again. She felt helpless to gain their forgiveness and shed her negative image.
Then her mother had a devastating stroke and, not long afterward, her father died suddenly. All at once, Marla saw an opportunity to help her mother, but also to redeem herself — to prove once and for all that she was a good daughter, capable and dependable. She hoped to finally win some respect and love.
Immigrants Play Large Role in Combating Home Health Caregiver Shortage
A large proportion of home health workers in the U.S. are immigrants, according to a new study compiled with census data. But stricter immigration policies proposed by the Trump administration could reduce the number of foreign-born health care workers and further fuel the nationwide caregiver shortage, some experts say.
More than 23% of home health, psychiatric and nursing aides were born outside the U.S., while almost 9% — and maybe more — were not citizens as of 2016, according to the report.