From the Desk of CEO Judy Halper: March 2019
“Understanding and love requires a wisdom that comes only with age.” These are the words of the famous poet, Anne Sexton. With every passing day, I acknowledge their truth more and more. That’s a reflection of my own aging, as well as insight stemming from my role as caregiver to an aging parent. The fascinating thing about this time in history is we are learning in real time what it truly means to live into very old age. It is now considered common for people to live 10 decades and beyond. It calls into question medical protocols, financial challenges, and so much more.
Caregiving is one of the central components of this changing longevity situation. As people live longer, we need to better understand how to provide the care needed to extend and maintain aging minds and bodies.
There is massive amounts of data and anecdotal stories on this topic. A day doesn’t pass where I am not asked professionally how JFCS can help an aging parent or support a tired caregiver. Whenever the question is raised, it gives me an opportunity to share information about all the programs and services JFCS provides to help aging adults and the caregivers in their lives. It also provides an opportunity to talk about the important and necessary self-care that caregivers must do in order to stay healthy, physically and emotionally.
We care a lot about caregivers! That’s why on April 7 we’ll be offering a free conference dedicated to providing tools, resources, and knowledge to all of the amazing, dedicated caregivers in the community—and you know who you are! Our keynote speaker is Dr. Vic Sandler, a well-known and respected physician and gerontology specialist, and first-hand caregiver extraordinaire, who cared for his parents into and beyond old age. Vic’s compassion and knowledge is alone worth your time (and we know it’s precious), but I can guarantee you’ll find the breakout sessions at the conference and the resource fair well worth your attention as well. Be sure to register so we’ll have plenty of materials to go around.
I’m a big believer that taking care of yourself is an act of selflessness. There are many people counting on us. Join us on April 7 and be a part of a community that is experiencing many of the challenges you are. Together we can acknowledge the gifts and challenges of long life, and strengthen our minds and bodies for the journey.