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Professor Pearson will speak at Brunel University in West London


Elder law expert Professor Katherine Pearson will give a talk this week titled "Who Should Pay for Mom's Long-Term Care? From Elizabethan England to Millennial America: a Surprising New Life for Family Liability Laws." 

"The answer to this thorny question has life-changing consequences for elders and their caretaking families worldwide," said Pearson, who is using this semester to conduct comparative international research on policies related to protection and care for older adults at Queen's University Belfast as a Distinguished Scholar in residence.

The debate over public funding for home care for the elderly is ongoing in England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. Professor Pearson will discuss the history of elder care funding in the United States with particular attention to Pennsylvania's statutory "filial support" obligations that are increasingly used to secure payment for nursing home costs from adult children. Being legally responsible for an elder's long-term care costs, she notes, is often "devastating" for adult children who are typically struggling to make ends meet and raise their own families.

She was invited to speak by Brunel Law School and the Brunel Institute for Ageing Studies, an interdisciplinary and collaborative gerontology research organization focused on improving the lives of elderly people. Last semester, Professor Pearson completed an interdisciplinary research experience at Oregon state University where she was the Petersen Scholar in Gerontology and Family Studies.

 

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