Ethnicity, Race & Aging
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All men and women are created equal, especially in America, right? But do we all get the same health care as we age-regardless of race or creed? Not necessarily.
First, Life (Part 2) goes into the field, to see how and why one Korean-born Philadelphia woman cares for her 92-year-old mother at home. Then host Robert Lipsyte turns to his team of experts: Dr. Jerry C. Johnson, chief of the division of geriatric medicine at the University of Pennsylvania; Melvin Delgado, Professor of Social Work at Boston University; and Dr. Giang T. Nguyen, Assistant Professor of Family Medicine and Community Health at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.
For most ethnic groups, health care for the elderly is a family affair, the panel agrees. But that strong family bond cuts two ways, when a family, certain they should be able to handle the care of a parent themselves, fails to ask for outside help. In Latino and Asian cultures, nursing homes often are considered an unacceptable option. African Americans may also distrust the medical establishment, according to Johnson, aware of its historic mistreatment of minorities, including unauthorized medical experiments.
Up next: Is America's health care system ready for the "silver tsunami" of aging baby boomers coming its way? Not really, according to Dr. Linda Fried, dean of Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health. The good news and the bad news is "our medical advances are working-so people are living longer." Dr. Fried offers specific advice we all should be talking right now to prepare for the tide of elderly Boomers heading toward our country.
Finally best-selling crime novelist Linda Fairstein tells the tale of how her two careers-novelist and sex crimes prosecutor-came together to create an unexpectedly happy ending.