I am, among others, calling for my own geriatric care management organization ALCA to change, be more racially diverse.
13th Day of Marching
Why- we are in our 13th day of marching on the world’s streets for racial justice and inequality. The marchers are calling for change because of George Floyds’ torturous 8 ½ minute death by a policeman crushing his ability to breathe. They are asking for American police departments to change. But every system in our society must change too and that includes a system of geriatric care managers, my profession, and the organizations that represent them. In my case that is ALCA, The Aging Life Care Association, and the many other care management associations in the US.
Change is Hard
That turns out to be very hard. Organizations are systems. Organizations and their members are usually conceptualized as systems designed to accomplish predetermined goals and objectives through people and other resources that they employ. One organization we focus on the streets of the world in this 13th day of marching involves policemen- police departments and unions making big changes.
Every Organization Must Change To Fight Racial Injustice
But for us social workers and nurses and care managers, we turn to our organizations and they must change just like the police departments of America. They must include more people of color, move them fairly, into a high place where they have the power to change things. But just to begin with organizations must have dialogues.
So, start and respond to the dialogue in your organization now.
I am 75 and cannot march for justice, as I have all my life since Viet Nam and Watts- because, I am at risk . However, I am joining a beginning dialogue in my association Aging Life Care Association.
Why, because it is composed of mostly white members and needs to be more diverse because for society to change all systems and all individuals must change.
ALCA Serves Population Most if Risk COVID-19 – ELDERs
People are marching on streets for the 13th day now in part for reason geriatric care manager associations must change. ALCA serves the aging population or those with disabilities. These are the people who most often died and are dying now in the pandemic and the biggest population who dies are black, then Hispanic or brown- people of color
Why — because of income inequity. They make less, have the jobs where they are exposed as they are essential workers (they work through the pandemic — meeting death on the job)-aides in nursing homes, bus drivers, and meatpackers, line jobs in canneries and most have no choice but to go to work to make the rent every two weeks and feed their family.
Make Your Voice Heard
So, make your voice heard in your association. If you were able to protest or felt unsafe here is a safe way to create change. Ask for diversity, ask for serving more people of color, ask to take a stand on racial injustice or support others who are asking. Make your voice heard now.
Meredith Patterson says
“It’s about time” is what I have to say as a member of ALCA (formerly NAPGCM.) I have been practicing as an Elder Care Consultant/Manager for 30 years. I am a white privileged social worker who has been an activist throughout my life starting in the 60s as a child of parents who did not condone passers by.
Now I have taken to the streets to protest, to express my outrage and sadness.
Where are my colleagues? Have not seen one. Have not read a post or tweet. Maybe I’ve missed them but…. it is time! Enough is enough. It is our responsibility as white human beings to see that justice comes about for people of color. All ages and all genders.
Thank you to my longtime colleague Cathy Cress for this post.