Blogger of the Week: Paula McCarron
Paula McCarron is a Chelmsford Patch blogger.
Welcome to Blogger of the Week, a weekly column on Patch where you get to know one of our bloggers a little better. Interested in blogging on Patch? E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Paula McCarron's Patch blogs are largely aimed at seniors and adults in the community taking care of their elderly parents.
Q: Have you always been particularly interested in this subject matter?
McCarron: In high school, I worked part-time in nursing homes and that’s where I first realized the see how so many older adults displayed great resilience and yet were also very vulnerable. I attended college to become a teacher but side-lined into health care. I’ve worked in home care services, nursing homes, residential elder care and hospice care. And in all of my work, I’ve been involved in helping families to understand and navigate their way through the health issues and the health care system.
Q: What do you think is the biggest challenge, or some of the biggest challenges, when it comes to aging and dealing with the aging population?
McCarron: By 2030, it’s estimated there will be 72.1 million American adults age 65 and over, almost twice the number of 2008. That will place an even greater responsibility on family members to know how to be strong advocates and how to access services for their loved ones or themselves as we're already facing a shortage of health care workers, rising costs of health care and strained services. On top of it all, we seem in this society to have an “anti-aging” attitude which sets us up to be unprepared for the decisions and challenges which often accompany aging. And decisions made in crisis may be expensive, regrettable or both.
Q: You're also very interested in genealogy. When did that first become a hobby for you?
McCarron: It’s funny and also trite but I never had the genealogy “bug” until I left Massachusetts and was living in Alaska. I lived in Anchorage for a bit over 20 years and while there, I became absorbed in doing genealogy research on the computer on long winter nights. It’s been a great hobby. I get bits of history, have come to meet some great people and discovered new family members. And there’s the thrill of hunting down the clues to find just one more person or to nail down the elusive detail.
Q: What are some of your favorite things about Chelmsford?
McCarron: First and foremost, it’s great to be back in my hometown as most of my family lives in or near Chelmsford. Second, I’m enjoying being back in town both for the changes and the perspective of having grown up here. Third, it’s a great place to continue my genealogy research as many of my ancestors lived in Chelmsford and Lowell.