Action News Now reporter obtains fellowship
CHICO — Julia Yarbough of Action News Now was selected as one of 15 journalists for the 2020 Journalists in Aging Fellowship Program through the Gerontological Society of America and the Journalists Network on Generations.
While applying for the fellowship, Yarbough had to submit a proposal of the stories she wanted to cover.
She will do a two-part series. The first part will be about Gov. Gavin Newsom’s Master Plan for Aging. This will be a followup to a story she produced last year. The second part will be about senior care facility operations during the pandemic. For it, she will talk to an elderly couple that was in the same facility as her mother, one of whom is an epidemiologist.
The first part is set to air at 5 and 6 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 15, then again later in the day. It will also be on the actionnewsnow.com.
Her newscasts are meant to inform viewers of the realities of family caregiving, she said. She spent the last five years caring for her elderly mother.
“I was actually sitting with her in her room for her last few days of life. She was unresponsive at that point,” Yarbough said. “My mom was in lockdown, so I lived that and experienced what that’s like to be cut off from your loved one.”
As a fellow, Yarbough was able to attend a Gerontological Society of America virtual conference with experts ranging from doctors to researchers to caregivers.
“I spent a lot of time doing preparation plans knowing that my mother was getting older, and I thought that I had everything figured out,” she said. “Even with that much planning, there were so many things I didn’t know or didn’t realize I would be facing in terms of giving her care, finding care that was affordable, understanding how all the insurance coverages work.”
She is currently in the process of creating her own informational website about caregiving, keepingitrealcaregiving.com. It’s not live yet, but she says it will be soon.
“Part of the drum I beat all the time, it’s not a fun topic. It’s not a sexy topic. But it’s something I want people to start thinking about early,” Yarbough said.