Policy and a Pint®: How are we taking care of Mom?

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Policy and a Pint
Steve Seel at Policy and a Pint: How are we taking care of Mom? at the Amsterdam Bar and Hall. (MPR / Nate Ryan)
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Policy and a Pint
The Current's Steve Seel with Policy and a Pint: How are we taking care of Mom? panelists Gayle Kvenvold, Eric Schubert, and Dorothea Harris. (MPR / Nate Ryan)

As baby boomers reach retirement and beyond, younger generations will need to think about the care of their aging parents. Policy and a Pint: How are we taking care of Mom? looks at how the changing demographics are shaping how we think about aging in the 21st century. The Current's Steve Seel and guest panelists discuss how ill-prepared we as a society are for taking care of those who are rendered dependent by age or circumstance, why that happened, and what needs to change it.

Policy and a Pint
Steve Seel hosting Policy and a Pint: How are we taking care of Mom? at the Amsterdam Bar and Hall. (MPR / Nate Ryan)

Panelists also address issues that people in their 30s and 40s should be thinking about from "the talk" with mom and dad, to finances, to housing and care options, to transportation challenges, to blended family obligations, to the process of being deliberate about how we want to live during our own golden years.

Policy and a Pint
Policy and a Pint: How are we taking care of Mom? (MPR / Nate Ryan)

Listen to the hourlong conversation above, or download the MP3. Find choice quotes from the discussion below.

Policy and a Pint
Policy and a Pint: How are we taking care of Mom? (MPR / Nate Ryan)

On discussing loss:

Policy and a Pint
Policy and a Pint: How are we taking care of Mom? (MPR / Nate Ryan)

"Unfortunately, we associate aging with loss. And we don't like talking about loss. We don't like talking about losing our ability to drive any longer. Or our needing to downsize our homes. Or leave our communities. Those are painful topics, that we would choose to avoid for as long as we can. And it's not just with our parents, I think it's in our own lives."

Policy and a Pint
Policy and a Pint: How are we taking care of Mom? (MPR / Nate Ryan)

  —Gayle Kvenvold, LeadingAge Minnesota

On staying at home:



"I've worked with many elders that would rather stay home, regardless of what's going on, how sick, what the diagnoses are. They want to be at home with their family. They are more comfortable being at home with their family ... It's just kind of a tradition. Most African Americans come from a Christian background. The belief is you care for your parents, you respect your elders, you make sure they are being taken care of. That's kind of a duty, a moral duty that African Americans, as well as other minorities, try to uphold to. I've actually worked with seniors — they are not going (to a facility)."

  —Dorothea Harris, Volunteers of America

On community design:



"We're going to have to think about community design differently. So, for example in St. Paul, can this be a place that could be helpful for aging? You've got the YMCA downtown, you've got the health centers, you've got light rail — yet, there's pretty limited senior housing downtown. How do we have services in the community that are easy to access? And prepare for an aging population and not just leave people as orphans in their homes? So, the idea of community development: that discussion really needs to get deeper and wider rather than, 'Well, we're going to build an assisted living community out in the suburb out near the highway because that's where it's zoned for, not near anything.' That's not going to cut it."

  —Eric Schubert, Ecumen

Policy and a Pint™ is a co-presentation with Citizens League, and is made possible by Target Corporation.

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