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From The Editor
An Interview with Kathy Greenlee
Kathy J. Greenlee was appointed by President Barack Obama as the fourth Assistant
Secretary for Aging at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and confirmed by the Senate
in June 2009. Ms. Greenlee brings over 10 years of experience advancing the health and independence
of older persons and their families.
Assistant Secretary Greenlee served as Secretary of Aging for the state of Kansas. the Long-Term Care Ombudsman
in Kansas, and the state’s Assistant Secretary of Aging. She also served as Chief of Staff and Chief of Operations
for then Governor and now Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius.
Gary Barg sat down with Assistant Secretary Greenlee for a wide ranging conversation about the role and needs
of the family caregiver.
Gary Barg: We
were so happy that you were able to join
us at the Fearless Caregiver Conference
in Port St Lucie, Florida this past
December. You mentioned that after
hearing the family caregivers in the
morning Q&A session, you threw out your
speech and spoke extemporaneously. I was
wondering what you heard from the
caregivers that prompted you to do that?
There was one woman who was caring for
her loved one, who stood up and was in
tears about the struggle and the
isolation. That seemed to be a thread,
because after she did that, another
woman in the audience physically got up
and reached out to her and said, “I was
isolated, I was you and I am not
Tapping the Wellspring of Time and
By Dr. Marie DiCowden
Being a caregiver makes demands on
your body, mind and spirit. Failure to take care of
ourselves results in a failure to be able to care of
Caregivers commonly explain that there never seems
to be enough time. Ironically, though, the more we
take time to take care of ourselves, the more time
we will have for what we need to do for ourselves
and for others. If you don't believe it, let me
suggest you consider an experiment...continued
Hiring Private Duty Home Care Workers:
Why Work through an Agency?
By Rona S. Bartelstone, LCSW, BCD, CMC
One of the greatest long-term needs
of older adults and those with chronic illnesses is for
in-home, custodial care services. These workers are
often referred to as home health aides, certified
nursing assistants and custodial care workers. These
in-home workers make it possible for people with
functional limitations to remain at home in a
comfortable, familiar environment...continued
What to Look for in a Nursing Home
Use the following checklist to assist you in assess nursing homes. If
possible, both the caregiver and care recipient should be involved in the
decision making process. The more an older person participates in the
planning process, the easier it will be to adjust to the new environment....continued
I have been taking care of my dad for five years. He has
Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s and had a stroke. In the
beginning, I would leave work and go straight to his house,
only to find out from neighbors that he had been trying to
get into parked cars. I know he was looking for his car. He
also was found on the highway after leaving his girlfriend’s
side for a moment. We found him three days later at the
hospital. That’s when I decided to move in and leave my job.
I have exhausted all my money and wonder why I have done
this. I know I promised my dad I would never put him in a
nursing home. His girlfriend left to stay with her daughter
in Florida and then passed away from emphysema. Never told
my dad because he never asks about her. It’s sad because he
does not know what is going on. He does not wander now that
his mobility is getting worse. He fell on Mother’s Day when
the aide was trying to get him out of the bathroom. His
knees are real bad. I don’t know if I should still make him
walk the short distance to the bathroom, but I don’t want
him to be completely bedridden.
Does anyone take care of someone that is totally
bedridden? I need suggestions on how to take care of him in
that way. He has the hospital bed and air mattress. I am
just so afraid if he stays in bed more he will start getting
bed sores. I know it will eventually happen as he is getting
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