In "Support Mechanism" published in Real Life, Assistant Professor Laura Mauldin discusses the technological innovations in healthcare that overlook "[t]he expertise of caregivers, alongside their ill or disabled partner." This article is part of Laura's research for a new book that centers stories of spousal caregiving in the context of illness, disability, and aging, supported by a Social Science Research Council Rapid-Response Grant.
***Excerpt from the Article***
Investment in home care — through better and more expansive funding for long-term services and supports, for instance — would help ill and disabled people, and their caregivers, to live well, accompanied by the technologies that move care out of the clinical setting. Instead, investments in corporate infrastructures merely outsource caregiving to family members who are then tasked with operating the medical technology; or lead to the development of private long-term care insurance plans that few can afford. Most cannot even qualify for such plans — you cannot obtain a long-term care policy if you already have a condition that warrants it. Many caregivers also lamented medical supply policies, telling me that they are often given just one of something they needed many of, or too many of something of which they only needed one. They pointed out the lack of coverage for repair parts like casters and brake lines. These misalignments reflect the notion that advanced technology in standard quantities can provide quick solutions appropriate for any and all situations.