Health care issues for the elderly draw attention in Texas

BROWNSVILLE, Texas (AP) – On a bright, windy day in this town on the southern tip of Texas, Sandalio Mata sat in a rocking chair, doing a crossword puzzle outside his postage-stamp house off an alley.

The Houston Chronicle ( ) reports Mata, still spry at 91 after a life working as a migrant farm laborer, had just returned from a community center for elderly, where he finds companionship and care paid through Medicaid, the federal health care program for the poor. Medicaid also pays for the care of his wife, Maria, 85, whose arthritis-swollen knees make it difficult for her to move around and keeps her at home.

That care comes from their daughter, Nina Newell, who works for a home health agency, earning just above minimum wage to do small chores around the house, make sure Maria takes the right medications, and keep her company. “I love to work with the elderly,” Newell said in Spanish, holding her mother’s frail hands.

– Washington Times

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