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TheJill Kagan Interview  (Page 4 of 4)

An Interview with Jill Kagan

Jill Kagan:    Yes, this happens very frequently and I think it is actually among the top three barriers to seeking respite or even knowing what respite is because we do not think about us when we are in our caregiving role. We are so engaged in finding the services and supports that our loved ones need that we never even think to ask if there are services for ourselves. It is not even getting to the point where we identify as a family caregiver so we realize there might be services for ourselves. Again, that is so, so important to be able to continue to provide that care to our loved ones.
Gary Barg:   What do you see as the future of respite support, respite funding, and education for the family caregivers in the United States? Not a big question.
Jill Kagan:   I know we are facing some really economically challenging times for states and our federal government, but I think the issue of family caregiving is just growing by leaps and bounds. With the aging of the baby boomers, with the focus on home and community based services, the desire and the push to provide more services in the community, that this is only an issue that is going to get more and more attention and I believe more and more support. It is the right thing to do, it is quality of life for everyone, but from the perspective of policymakers, we are going to save significant dollars in the long run as well by allowing people to remain at home for as long as possible.
Gary Barg:    It is a win/win situation.
Jill Kagan:     Yes.

Gary Barg:   Hopefully. Go ahead; I am sorry.
Jill Kagan:   I was just going to say we will continue to document the benefits of respite and we are working very closely with professionals, researchers and family caregivers in the field to help us tell the story and keep it front and center.
Gary Barg:   What is the most important tip you would have for a family caregiver?
Jill Kagan:   Do not hesitate to ask for help. Our slogan at ARCH is asking for help is a sign of strength. To reach out to your Lifespan Respite Program or to your State Respite Coalition or to your Area Agency on Aging or your family or the family health information center, whatever exists in your community, do not hesitate to ask for help. It is there, or folks can help you find it if it is not immediately available. There is help out there and we are there to make sure of that.


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