KQED Radio Staff
Silicon Valley Correspondent
From KQED's Bureau in San Jose, Rachael Myrow's mandate is to cover politics, economics, technology and culture in a region that stretches from Burlingame to Edenvale to Fremont. She also covers food and its relationship to health, happiness and public policy, and blogs for Bay Area Bites. Her posting in Silicon Valley follows more than seven years serving as the daily host of KQED's California Report, broadcast on NPR affiliates throughout the state. She has also guest hosted The California Report Magazine and Forum and hopes to continue to do so in the years to come.
Before KQED, she worked for Marketplace and KPCC. In addition to KQED, she files for NPR and PRI's The World.
Rachael's work has won her awards from the LA Press Club, the Radio and Television News Association, the Associated Press Television-Radio Association of California and Nevada, the Radio-Television News Directors Association of Southern California, the Northern California RTNDA, SPJ Northern California Chapter, the San Francisco Peninsula Club Greater Bay Area and a Regional Edward R. Murrow Award.
Stories (247 archives)
With no deaths reported, Sunday morning's 6.0 earthquake centered near Napa could have been worse. Still, around 200 people were taken to hospitals, and the destruction of homes and infrastructure led Gov. Jerry Brown to declare a state of emergency.
While many run from the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, some brave souls are running toward the region to help. Dr. James Appel is one of those. Trained in the Inland Empire at the Loma Linda University School of Medicine, he's been working for Adventist Health International at hospitals in Chad for the last decade. Last week, Dr. Appel flew to Liberia to keep the doors open at Cooper Adventist, a small hospital in the capitol, Monrovia.
Over the last 25 years, the number of assisted living facilities in California has almost doubled. The homes are intended to care for relatively independent, healthy seniors -- but that doesn't describe a lot of the people living in them today. In Sacramento, where regulations haven't changed much in close to 30 years, lawmakers held hearings featuring reform advocates like Aaron Byzak, whose grandmother Hazel died in assisted living. "If somebody parked in my grandmother's disabled parking lot illegally, they'd be fined $450," he told reporters in the state Capitol. "But they kill her, and it's $150."
When families place a loved one in an assisted living facility, there's an expectation that if something goes wrong, there will be consequences. Mistakes will be addressed. Crimes will be prosecuted. But that's not always the case in practice. Recent reports in the media detailed stories of abuse so dramatic, they inspired a round of legislative reform in Sacramento not seen in 30 years. But the proposed reforms come too late for some, like Stacey Siriani of San Diego County.
A lot of us have this idea that when we get really old, we'll die with our boots on. But just as likely there will be a long, slow journey between here and there, one that could take years. Many of us start to realize that's true for our parents when we notice mom is walking with a new shuffle, or dad is mixing up his meds. In the first of a four-part series, we examine the state of assisted living in California.