My grandmother, Ba, came to America when I was twelve years old. She had just recently lost the ability to move her legs from the waist down. This quickly became a source of frustration for someone who had spent her entire life as a fiercely independent businesswoman. Striving to provide her with the best care, my father called in a home health aid to help her with her daily routine. Because she only spoke Gujarati, an Indo-Aryan language native to Western India, it was nearly impossible for her to communicate her needs to her caretakers. Time and again, my father would receive a dreaded phone call at work: that Ba had fallen while bathing, or while transferring from her bed into her wheelchair.
My father then tried to find alternative help. He called in various trained clinicians, hoping for better care. However, the daily calls to his work… Continue reading