Longer Looks: Caring For Elders; The Transportation Barrier; Meeting John Kasich
Each week, KHN's Shefali Luthra finds interesting reads from around the Web.
The New York Times:
Caregiving: A Burden So Heavy, Until It’s Gone
But as close as we were, I sometimes found myself despairing her long-lived genes. My great-grandmother lived to be 96; my grandmother lived to 97 despite being shot in her 70s by a drugged-out stranger. I knew my kids would one day leave for lives of their own, but Mom’s needs would just keep growing. By the time my nest was truly empty, I thought, there would be precious little left of me. When she died so suddenly, still issuing hilarious pronouncements and taking our teenagers’ side in generational disputes, I felt as if a madman had blown a hole through my own heart. Unmoored, I could not stop weeping. Caring for elders is like parenting toddlers — there’s a scan running in the background of every thought and every act, tuned to possible trouble. And there’s no way to shut it down when the worst trouble comes. (Margaret Renkl, 8/8)
The Transportation Barrier
Past research on health care access has examined the ways in which distance can present a problem for people in rural areas, but poorer people in suburban and urban settings, even though they may live closer to a doctor or hospital, can still have trouble with transportation. Some households don’t have a vehicle, or share one among multiple family members. As Gillian White noted in The Atlantic in May, low-income neighborhoods are hit particularly hard by shoddy transportation infrastructure—subways may not service areas on the fringes of a city, buses may be unreliable, and both are vulnerable to strikes or service suspensions. And for those who are disabled, obese, or chronically ill, riding the bus or the subway can be a difficult undertaking. (Imran Cronk, 8/9)
Meet John Kasich, The Man Who Defended Expanding Medicaid On The GOP Debate Stage
The Republican presidential debate last Thursday began with the theme of "electability," and the moderators posed the candidates the toughest questions they had. Donald Trump was grilled on whether he'd run for president as a third party candidate, and on his history of sexist remarks. Ben Carson was asked about various "basic mistakes" he made in describing American and global politics. And Scott Walker was pushed to answer whether he'd "really let a mother die rather than have an abortion" — and how he could sell those views in a general election. But when moderator Megyn Kelly came to Ohio Gov. John Kasich, she asked about a rather different sort of controversy in his past. (Andrew Prokop, 8/11)
Is That My Baby?
Surrogacy, in which a woman outside the relationship carries the couple's embryo until birth, has also made it to the mainstream. There's the 2008 Tina Fey/Amy Poehler movie Baby Mama, not to mention countless celebrities such as Jimmy Fallon and Sarah Jessica Parker telling the world that surrogates carried their babies, created from the couples’ own sperm and eggs. Even adoption has changed. Instead of being shrouded in secrecy, with the children themselves often not knowing, the fact is now proudly broadcast to the world, which looks upon it as nearly saintly, parents ‘saving’ unwanted children. The only thing that still seems to be a secret in these uber-confessional days is women who use donor eggs. (Amy Klein, 8/6)
The Dangerous Weight Of Expectations
While suicides on college campuses aren't unique to students of Asian descent, the risk factors surrounding children of immigrant parents are comparatively higher. One 2010 study found that the number of Asian-American students suffering from depression was significantly greater than their Caucasian counterparts. A comprehensive review released in May surveying the risk factors for suicide and depression among Asian-American youth listed concerns over school performance, being subject to bullying, low parental support, and difficulty orientating to American culture as largely responsible for the pervasiveness of suicide and depression within the community. (Jennifer Chen, 8/10)
Changing Anti-Vaxxers' Minds
The question of how to convince people to vaccinate their kids against easily preventable diseases came to a head earlier this year, when a measles outbreak that began last December at Disneyland sickened nearly 150 Americans and a similar number of Canadians. That incident, along with a growing number of outbreaks of pertussis, the virus that causes whooping cough, has perhaps changed the minds of some anti-vaxxers. Yet convincing doubters that vaccines are safe remains an uphill battle. But if arguing for the safety of vaccines doesn't work, maybe confronting people with the risks of vaccine-preventable diseases will, according to a new study. (Nathan Collins, 8/11)