Personal experience adds new dimension to elder care researcher’s work

For more than thirty-five years Laura Katz Olson has studied the impact of elder care policy on vulnerable populations in the U.S. But, not even her deep knowledge of the subject could prepare her for her appalling encounters with the system when her own aged mother, Dorothy Katz, became incapacitated by Parkinson’s disease and a gradual loss of vision requiring full-time care.

Olson says sub-standard conditions and barriers to accessing services typify elder care in the U.S. Her first-hand experience of these increased her determination to shed light on what she calls the nation’s high-priced, dysfunctional system of long-term care—funded by taxpayer dollars—that benefits private industry at the expense of the elderly.

Olson, professor of political science at Lehigh University (Bethlehem, PA), combined her policy expertise with her personal story in her latest book Elder Care Journey, A View from the Front Lines (SUNY Press), which documents the demands and stresses of caregiving as well as the manifold indignities perpetrated by social welfare policy.

– Medical Express

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