Recipients of PSC Small Grant Awards
Patching up the safety net: The negotiation and construction of long-term care systems in the U.S.
I am currently conducting fieldwork for my dissertation. I am studying how older adults and families navigate and negotiate long-term care responsibilities. I became aware of the holes in the old age social safety net after watching several of my own friends and family members navigate disabilities and sicknesses where they needed help at home. I now realize that the reasons my family members had such challenges is because there is not a comprehensive system to support people with chronic needs for caregiving at home. In this vacuum, I saw that they had to rely on the generosity and availability of their friends and family to step in. In my dissertation, I am studying this process more systematically by following patients who are hospitalized with a stroke over the course of their recovery. By studying how patients and families navigate caregiving and social services as they recover from stroke, I hope to give a more comprehensive picture of the ways families cobble together resources to get the help that they need. I hope that my study can help illuminate to policymakers and healthcare providers the work that families put into coordinating long-term care.