During this pandemic, I’ve been worried about my grandma — Nanay, to me. That’s Tagalog for mother.
Her name is Felisa Mercene. She’s a Filipino American immigrant. She’s 92. Since March, she’s been living in isolation from most of our family in Southern California. Her relatives have been wary of visiting. What if they had COVID-19 and infected her?
3,000 miles away in Washington, D.C., where I live, I wondered: Is she feeling safe? Is she happy? Or … is she lonely?
It got me thinking. How do we make sure the older people in our lives — parents, grandparents, neighbors, relatives, friends — are doing OK in the pandemic?
I turned to three experts for advice.
What my research participant made clear to me that day is that the lack of robust and accessible social programs for long-term care is merely a...