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The Great Escape—A Physician Confronts Family Caregiving During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Educational Objective
To identify the key insights or developments described in this article
1 Credit CME

My mother died as the COVID-19 pandemic raced across the nation with wildfire ferocity.

At age 92 years, she was frail and living with advancing dementia. Until the pandemic took hold, upending my mother’s life, I was the first-response daughter who lived closest to her 2-bedroom apartment. With New York on the verge of lockdown, we played out our options—uprooting Mom from her native New York vs our fear of her remaining in place and contracting COVID-19. Our family ultimately decided to move Mom near my middle sister in New Hampshire, a state relatively untouched by COVID-19. Our hope was to avoid caregiving chaos during a pandemic and to protect our mother from contracting the virus.

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Article Information

Corresponding Author: Lynn Hallarman, MD, Stony Brook University, HSC Level 16, 101 Nicolls Rd, Stony Brook, NY 11794 (lynn.hallarman@stonybrookmedicine.edu).

Published Online: May 10, 2021. doi:10.1001/jamaneurol.2021.1170

Conflict of Interest Disclosures: Dr Hallarman has received personal fees from Harvard University as the content expert on dementia care for the National Center for Equitable Care for Elders.

Additional Contributions: I thank Earlene and my family for granting permission to publish this information.

References
1.
AARP; National Alliance for Caregiving. Caregiving in the US: 2020 report. Accessed April 6, 2021. https://www.aarp.org/content/dam/aarp/ppi/2020/05/full-report-caregiving-in-the-united-states.doi.10.26419-2Fppi.00103.001.pdf
2.
Democratic National Committee. The Biden plan for mobilizing American talent and heart to create a 21st century caregiving and education workforce. Accessed April 6, 2021. https://joebiden.com/caregiving/
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