My drive home from a yum early birthday (tomorrow, but the weather forecast is nasty) breakfast turned out to be even meatier than my meal – intriguing listen on The Takeaway, a build on Paula Span’s 02/02/18 NY Times article, If Immigrants Are Pushed Out, Who Will Care For The Elderly.
Strange – both the article & the radiocast focus almost exclusively on how the crackdown affects the elderly, yet Todd Zwillich‘s guest, Stephen Campbell, off-handedly mentions that HALF of direct care is provided to people under 65, aka the NOT elderly.
How weird that – in this situation – youngers seem a huge yet forgotten demographic.
It’s true that Boomers increasing trip into young old age. They will need considerable support – in time. Down the road. BUT the worries of how immigration crackdowns & reduced legal arrivals will affect available direct care support hits youngers RIGHT NOW, whether they face disabilities as long term as cancer or as short as knee replacement.
And let us never forget the men & women returning from wars abroad, needing more & longer care than in previous engagements.
Am still stunned at hearing Stephen Campbell say, “Well, currently, according to the most recent estimates, about half the people who require long-term care are under the age of 65, but as time goes on & Baby Boomers continue to age into older adulthood, that population of older adults will require care.”
Please, excuse me while I take a moment or two to scream out in frustration: “AAAARRRRGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHH!!”
Am shocked appalled horrified to hear younger people – half the population currently receiving long-term direct care – so casually brushed aside. Especially the seeming endless stream of young men & women returning from Iraq & Afghanistan facing a LIFETIME of care for physical & mental wounds, needing home health care. And let us not forget the countless young lives mangled in the current opioid epidemic, which has claimed 64,000+ lives due to overdoses & left millions addicted; the recovering survivors need medical & psychological services ~and~ often direct care support.
The impact of the immigration crackdown & reduction of new arrivals will take its toll across all ages, from the child diagnosed with Down Syndrome to the high school athlete suffering a life-changing injury, from the NFL player entering his forties with chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) to the 52-year old suburban dad fighting to overcome addiction.
This blog is called All Ages, All Stages because John & I do all we can to help people across the age spectrum, from itty bitties to ancients, live as expansively as possible. The frustration we feel when older people are invisibled pales compared to my bottomless outrage at how a drop in direct care support will affect babies – tweens – teens – young adults – middle agers. I want to howl at the moon & shriek with outrage.
My guess is that youngers are ignored because their dilemma cuts a little too close to home. It’s easy to think of the elderly as needing home health care support; to think of thirty-somethings needing their daily needs met by others cuts t0o close to the bone.
Let me repeat again, NOT so casually – “According to the most recent estimates, about half the people who require long-term care are under the age of 65.” And HOW does the link address describe the article? “trump-immigration-policy-hurts-eldercare-home-aides.”
NO – every age of American, every demographic & every race color & creed are the not-so-casual casualties of short-sighted leaders taking wrong-headed actions, collateral damage in “making America great again.”
Gotta run – gotta go out & howl at the moon.