Dear Mexican: Recently, I visited a viejecita in an assisted living home. As I'm getting on in years myself, I wondered how I would fare in such a place. Fortunately I like to eat cottage cheese, but I would like some salsa with it, or better yet, an occasional jalapeño en escabeche. Are there places for those of us who like spicy Mexican food? Perhaps you have answered this question already in Taco USA, but I have been so busy lately that I have not yet cracked the cover of my copy.
—Sabor Para Mi
Dear Flavor for Me: Time was when the Mexican could boast that we raza would never join cruel gabachos in exiling our aging parents to senior homes—that we let them live by themselves because mami y papi were tuf enough, or at the most housed them in their golden años in the casas of our youngest sibling because that's what mija was born to do. But Mexicans tend to embrace the gabacho proclivity to abandon the familia the longer we're in the U.S. "Growth Of Racial And Ethnic Minorities In US Nursing Homes Driven By Demographics And Possible Disparities In Options," published in the July 2011 issue of Health Affairs, showed that the number of Latinos in nursing homes grew by 54.9 percent between 1999 and 2008, while the number of gabachos decreased by 10.2 percent. While the researchers blamed poverty and a lack of access to better medical options for the increased rates, maybe all those old gringos are moving out because they don't want to spend their last days living with Mexicans? Anyhoo, the way those nursing home rates are going, Sabor Para Mi, I don't think you have to worry about the lack of Mexican food at your retirement home, but rather cottage cheese—what Mexican likes that cochinada?
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