Jane Gross isn’t a new figure in journalism or caregiving. She has steadily built up a wealth of articles and resources on aging during her 29 years at the New York Times. Despite her years of experience, Gross brings a fresh perspective to the caregiving discussion. She founded, and contributes to, the New Old Age Blog on the New York Times website, covering aging topics that are largely ignored by mainstream media.
Gross as a caregiver looked like this: She was working full time, sharing the care of her mom with her brother. Both were previously inexperienced as caregivers and “[they] were making it up as [they] went along,” like most who find themselves suddenly in the caregiver role. “We were flattened by the enormous demands on our time, energy, and bank accounts; the disruption to our professional and personal lives; the fear that our time in this parallel universe would never end and the guilt for wishing that it would … ” The first in her work environment to take care of a parent, Gross would become the point person for colleagues embarking on their caregiving journey. The questions were the same ones that many of us have when overwhelmed by the enormous responsibility of caregiving; Gross figured her answers might benefit many more than just her coworkers.
“The experience of fielding those questions inspired this blog. I intend for it to be a source of information and community for grown children faced with these new responsibilities, for the elderly adjusting to unwelcome limitations and dependency, to employers interested in easing the burden, for professionals in the field and for anyone else who wants to chime in. Whining is permitted. Wisdom, and humor, are especially welcome.”
– Our Parents, Ourselves
Gross writes on a variety of topics on eldercare and aging. Paula Span and Judith Graham, among others, frequently contribute. The New Old Age Blog has some of the best sources and best writing on caregiver and aging topics. But mostly it is the thought behind the blog that is the most appealing. It continues to inspire us to see the incredible work caregivers go on to do after one journey ends and the next one begins.
Thank you Jane Gross for your pioneering efforts and your dedication to supporting the caregiver cause!