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Hanging in the Balance: a day in the life of a low-income senior and her family caregiver

In honor of November as National Caregivers Month, I want to tell you about Margaret and Sadie. I went to Old Bridge Township, New Jersey last month to meet with them and hear stories of what it’s like to be a daughter caring for your low-income mother as she ages in her home and what it’s like to be that mother and grandmother and great-grandmother aging in dignity. You can watch the full video about Margaret and Sadie here.

During my short visit, I heard stories of Sadie’s passion for cooking, as a 2nd generation Italian-American growing up in Brooklyn, NY. I heard about how she cared for her husband with Alzheimer’s–even when it was too much for her and she fell–because she wanted him safe at home with her. And, I heard about how every piece of the puzzle (food stamps for groceries, Medicare and Medicaid for health care, Margaret coming by every day to supplement Sadie’s home aide hours) has to be in place for this picture of Sadie aging in dignity. If Margaret is needed at home for a sick kid, or if Sadie has trouble with her Medicaid coverage — the whole picture changes.

This November, we’re grateful for all the fiery advocates out there in homes across the nation. And we’re grateful to be able to work on systemic fixes for those without a Margaret in their lives.

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