New York times blog regularly covers issues relating to senior citizens in USA. Many of the issues addressed are relevant to India as well. Their latest entry talks about how NRIs cope with long-distance caring situations where the parent(s) live in India and need to be monitored regularly.
How many people who come to America for an education or a job and stay eventually become transnational caregivers — people who care for relatives or friends across national boundaries? No one really knows. But there’s certainly a long tradition of cross-border family interactions in this nation of immigrants.
Both historically and today, financial support from people who come to the United States flows to relatives across oceans, and south to Mexico and Central and Latin America. Some immigrants spend parts of the year here and in their countries of origin, looking after young children or older parents left behind.
But the dynamics of these arrangements are different now because of two major trends. Across the world, people are living longer: more immigrants have aging relatives in distant lands in their 70s, 80s or 90s, with all the related medical and social issues.
Meanwhile, technology has transformed how people can communicate over long distances and altered expectations of what people can do for far-flung relatives. Whereas letters once took weeks to cross an ocean and phone service was scarce in Africa, Asia and rural areas of other continents, today video chats occur in real-time and almost everyone has cellphones.
Makes for real interesting reading. To read more, go here.