Logo Header


Culture Change Througout Aging Services




The Anthropologist as Caregiving Daughter: Lessons from the World of the Frail Elderly 

(Source:  Author: Luisa Margolies, Journal of Aging)

Margolies, L. (2010). The Anthropologist as Caregiving Daughter: Lessons from the World of the Frail Elderly. Journal of Aging, Humanities, and the Arts: Official Journal of the Gerontological Society of America, 4(2), 119-132. doi:10.1080/19325611003800978

Abstract:  My Mother's Hip: Lessons from the World of Eldercare (Temple University Press, 2004) is based on both my mother's experiences in navigating the healthcare system after suffering a double hip fracture and mine as her principal caregiver. What happens when an anthropologist who studies global aging inadvertently falls into the role of caregiver? Much like a physician who finds himself in an exotic world when becoming a patient, the social scientist-caregiver immediately begins to deconstruct the systemic flaws from a professional perspective. My Mother's Hip opened the Pandora's box of how we care for an aging society in the context of a fragmented medical system. We who write such books see a glaring need to inform the public about critical medical issues that inevitably crop up in the course of eldercare. Parallel to the medical story is the story of how an author produces a trade book about a problematical topic and promotes it without alienating the popular audience.


(Source: National Senior Living Providers Network)

TTU — Masters Health Care Center resident Willie Ruth West likes visitors. So when Tennessee Tech University students Chanztyn Salters and Caleb Spicer arrived on a recent rainy afternoon, she warmly welcomed them.  Salters and Spicer are among 45 enrolled in LaNise Rosemond’s University Connections course for students majoring in exercise science, physical education and wellness.

Willie Ruth West greets TTU students Chanztyn Salters and Caleb Spicer.

Among requirements of the course are that the students visit Masters Health Care Center in Algood and connect with someone older and wiser whom they might not otherwise meet. The students are all entering majors and plan to become everything from high school athletic coaches to health center fitness trainers.

“What I try to do in these courses is get the students to realize that what we do as physical education teachers, coaches, occupational therapists, physical therapists and fitness professionals is give of ourselves to make the quality of life better for others,” Rosemond said. “The entire goal of the course is to help them understand a giving life philosophy.”  Rosemond’s classes have been traveling to Masters in Algood for three years during academic semesters. A few of the students, however, have developed relationships that extend far beyond the semester.  “There are so many good friends over there now. Some students still visit every semester even after the class is over,” she said.

“We have been very impressed with the students that we get here from Tennessee Tech because they are so focused on the residents and their needs. This doesn’t seem like a chore for them or a class assignment. They really seem to enjoy the friendship of the patients,” said Melinda Bilbrey, admissions coordinator and daughter of resident Willie Ruth West.  Salters, a sophomore in pre-physical therapy, said he has learned valuable lessons while visiting the nursing home.  “It’s helped me realize the importance of communication and how to connect with older people. We talk about situations and experiences. I’ve enjoyed it,” he said.

Josh Graves, a sophomore in exercise science, said he enjoys the visits as much as the residents do.  “It’s good to give back; you actually learn from people here,” he said. “It helps you with people skills. You come here not knowing what…  READ MORE:  Herald Citizen – TTU students extend classroom to nursing home