Laura Katz Olson is a professor of political science at Lehigh University who has studied aging policies in the US for over three decades and published widely in the field of aging and health care.  But not even her deep knowledge could prepare her for what she encountered trying to access health care services for her mother, a low-income senior who suffers from Parkinson’s disease and loss of vision.  In today’s episode Laura talks about her new book, “Elder Care Journey: A View From the Front Lines,” an account of her eye-opening firsthand experience of the systemic flaws in US health policy and long-term care in particular.  She explains why nursing homes and home care agencies often deliver poor quality of care, how taxpayer dollars support these institutions and why she believes caregiving should be a shared obligation.  Academia meets the real-world in this compelling story of a daughter’s hair-raising health care journey with her 93-year-old mother.

Laura’s book: Elder Care Journey: A View From The Front Lines

Find out how nursing homes in your area are rated: Nursing Home Compare

Chen Center (cited in the episode): Chen Neighborhood Medical Center