Dr. Laura Mosqueda, dean of the Keck School of Medicine of USC, and her mother-in-law, Emilia, honored America’s 41 million caregivers in a big way: aboard a float on New Year’s Day during the 131st Rose Parade® presented by Honda.
They rode together on Hope’s Heroes: Honoring Caregivers of All Generations, the float commissioned by The SCAN Foundation, a public charity dedicated to “transforming care for older adults in ways that preserve dignity and encourage independence.”
Dean Mosqueda, a geriatrician, and Emilia, both have taken care of family members, and they know how hard that can be.
“Despite the fact that I came from a well-educated family, that I was a geriatrician, that we had financial resources and social support, [caregiving] was still incredibly difficult to do,” Dean Mosqueda told USA Today.
Dean Mosqueda cared for her mother Gloria, whom she described as a “brilliant woman” and a “real force of nature in the very best sense of the word.” But when she needed care, “Mosqueda noticed people would speak past her and not include her in conversations,” the story said. “She’s now made it a priority in her own practice to speak directly to her patients and invite the family members in, rather than the other way around.”
Emilia Mosqueda cared for both her parents while raising her own family in East Los Angeles. She and Laura Mosqueda hope publicity from the Rose Parade will bring recognition of the work done by The SCAN Foundation, and of the challenges facing caregivers, even young ones. The organization says that 1 in 3 millennials (age 18-39) provides unpaid care to an adult friend or family member. Another one-third believe they will provide such care in the next five years.
“What I hope will really happen is awareness that translates into action,” Dean Mosqueda said. “Perhaps it will remind somebody, ‘Hey I know someone who is providing care. I ought to go offer them help. I ought to go say thank you, or tell them what a great job they are doing.’”