Monica Ortiz-Suloway

Monica Ortiz-Suloway is an Adjunct Lecturer at The City College of New York Center for Worker Education/CUNY, where she teaches Introduction to Developmental Disabilities, Medical Aspects of Disabilities, and Sociology of the Deaf.  She has an MS in Education from Hunter College/CUNY and is a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor for persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities.  Ms. Ortiz-Suloway is a candidate for a Master’s in Clinical Social Work from Fordham University, in the field of gerontology and bereavement counseling.  Ms. Ortiz-Suloway is fulfilling her clinical hours at an assisted nursing home and palliative care facility.  In an interview with Dolores Urena, an Adjunct Lecturer at New York City College of Technology/CUNY and a graduate student in City College/CUNY’s MA in the Study of the Americas, she describes the challenges of caring for her mother while teaching at CUNY and going to school:

Mom is 85 and she has Osteoarthritis, Osteoporosis, Parkinson’s disease, Dementia, and Depression.  I am 58 and I have been taking care of my mother for 34 years. Because when she was 50 my father died, very suddenly of a vehicular accident, and my mom totally lost it. And although she was in her own apartment I became her caretaker for everything. So, my son is 34, so that is when I started taking care of her, so 34 years ago, when he was a baby.  I have three fulltime home attendants that are with her 24 hours a day.  Otherwise, I would not have much of a life, but still I have their texts and their phones and I am there twice a week. I call her twice a day, every day, and I rely on them for food, the cleaning, and food shopping and keeping an eye on her, because she is what you call a wanderer so if you turn your back she walks out the door.  I do have other her family members but they are not part of my mother’s care management team.  I am the go-to person.


Monica Ortiz- Suloway interview transcript