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Sounds Like Impact: A newsletter for audio and action – Vol. 6
Welcome to Volume 6 of Sounds Like Impact!
First, hello to all of the new folks! I am so glad to have you here. If you haven’t had a chance to learn about this newsletter, feel free to start here and come back.
This week we focus on what caregiving is and could be with the right systems in place. We also have an interview with comedian-podcaster-caregiver, Anita Flores.
A heads up that most of this curation is U.S. centric because we have one of the worst cultures around care. But if you are from outside the U.S. please share what caregiving looks like in your country; hopefully it even looks as innovative as this.
I also encourage everyone to share their experiences with caregiving and any resources others may find help in the comments. Sharing is caring. ❤️🩹
I would still love more responses to this short get to know you survey that you were sent when you subscribed (I really am learning a lot!); but if you don’t have time, maybe this quick poll?
🙌 Keeping the faith: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) finally lifted their ban on gay and bisexual men donating blood.
🎧 #AudioForAction Theme of the Week
We [should] care, A LOT.
It’s easy to just focus on the act of giving care, and less on the people doing the action and the systems that exacerbate inequality related to this essential work. Make no mistake, the topic of caregiving is fraught. There is a complex history with this line of work that in the U.S., in particular, is rooted in many of the -isms–namely racism and sexism. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
Last month, President Biden released an executive order about caregiving and while the order has its fair share of controversy—within the disability community, for one—I am hopeful that we can get to a better place. Care work isn’t, and should not be, a partisan issue.
If you are not caring for someone today, you could be caring for someone tomorrow.
*This curation will only be four episodes given the additional audio resources provided in the CTA section. Also last week was a lot!
This was a perfect recent episode to get into the economics of it all.
Better Life Lab, Caregiving in America – the Dignity Gap
“We are talking about people who maintain life, but they are not seen as essential in the work that they are doing.” - Brittany Williams (caregiver in Washington state)
Twenty-Four Seven: A Podcast About Caregiving, A Comedian Walks Into A Dementia Unit
Rekha Murthy, our past interview guest, consulted on this show that takes an expansive view of caregiving. The first season details the host’s personal experience, while season two (where this ep is from), features different stories.
How to Talk to [Mamí and Papí] About Anything, Cooking for a Loved One with Special Dietary Needs
While this show isn’t about caregiving explicitly, a lot of the episodes are about navigating relationships with parental figures or relatives whom you could care for, especially as a child of immigrants. I also chose this episode to demonstrate another way care work can show up–cooking.
🚨 Calls to Action
Sustain: Check out these NPR Life Kit stories that have tips to make your caregiving experience more sustainable: “How Caregivers can prevent burnout” and “How to Be a Better Caregiver When A Loved One Gets Sick.”
Also, CareWalks from iHeartPodcasts is a show that encourages you to take walks while listening to the episodes (they offer abridged versions too!)
Advocate: Help get Paid Leave for ALL passed – “The The United States is 1 of only 6 remaining countries in the world with no guaranteed form of paid leave.”
Maybe you’ve seen a couple of celebs, such as Stephanie Beatriz of Brooklyn Nine-Nine, make a funny video called “Get Your Sh*t Together, Baby”? It was for the #PaidLeaveforALL campaign. Let’s legislate change!
Support: The National Domestic Workers Alliance, an organization advocating for the rights and economic security of care workers. You can hear / read more from executive director Ai-Jen Poo on “How to care for the people who take care of us.”
Join: Find your community by joining a support group. There are so many different types, including virtual ones if finding local or attending in-person groups is inaccessible.
Our interview guest Anita Flores talks about support groups on her podcast CareTalkers in this episode.
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ANITA FLORES is a podcast producer at Earwolf and has produced and starred in videos for Buzzfeed and Univision. She's performed stand up and storytelling all over New York City and hosts two podcasts. That's right, TWO! CareTalkers explores the world of caretaking and I’m Listening focuses on different themes and pivotal moments from the show Frasier. You can follow her on Twitter/Insta @anitajewtina.
Below is an excerpt of my interview with my brilliant friend Anita. Be sure to check out the full interview where she talks about her start in comedy and storytelling, the origins of the caretaking podcast she co-hosts, how she is navigating caregiving thanks to the Alzheimer’s Association and support groups, among other topics.
My mother and her siblings were caregivers for grandmother who had Alzheimer’s, so I am so appreciative of all the work that Anita is doing to care for herself and to support others navigating similar situations.
Let’s talk about CareTalkers. How did this show come about?
At least nine years ago, my dad had to have life-saving heart surgery and he kind of just started declining after that. And I'm an only child and my parents are divorced, and basically I was just kind of thrown into being a long-distance caregiver because my dad lives in Connecticut and I live in New York.
And I just was thinking about the fact that, you know, there's this entire huge chunk of people all over the world who are dealing with suddenly being given this responsibility of taking care of someone else.
[Read on to learn the rest of the origin story.]
⏭ Coming Up
Next week are going to talk AI, the good, the problematic and solutions if I can find them! All this news about Chat GPT, AI and the writers strike, and you thought we weren’t going to touch it?
🤗 An act of joy: I bought a bike at a used bike fest over the weekend; I have big plans for my Brooklyn summers, okay! I still plan to keep my weekly walks, but I am also thinking about how safe it was to ride in the early phase of the pandemic (almost no drivers on the roads), and reflecting on my visit to Copenhagen years ago and asking, why can’t we have more livable, bike-able, walkable cities!? 🚲
Well, someone in the #SoundsLikeImpact community helped answer that question. Thank you to John Money of The Blip Report for this episode “Jeff Speck: Walkable City & Walkable City Rules.” Maybe listen while on a walk if that’s accessible to you?🚶
Take care of yourselves! And if you listen or take any actions, be sure to let me know in the comments or via email soundslikeimpact [at] unofficialsocialchair [dot] com.