Immigrants, whether legal or undocumented, make up a disproportionate share of those who care for the elderly -- and the need for such workers is set to explode in the coming years.If you know me, you know I hate to pretend the existence of some prior Golden Age of something or other. I prefer to critically identify each era's strengths and weaknesses, so I'm not going to pretend that this is a purely modern problem.
Nonetheless, I wish modern America was better at honoring our parents. All too often, we move out of the house at 18, accept expensive weddings,gifts, and whatever else we can get out of Mom and Dad, and then shuttle them off to the nursing home (and conveniently forget to visit) when it becomes something of a challenge to care for them.
Certainly, there are people who are better off in assisted lilving situations, and most of us do have economic opportunities that would be severely limited if we became our own parents' caretakers. But I wonder if we'd be better off sacrficing a little bit of financial gain for ensuring our parents comfortable, enjoyable final years in our own care.
Maybe, if the flow of immigrants is stemmed, we will be forced to consider more options besides nursing homes? And perhaps we will see we should have been doing so all the time?