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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.
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.
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.
It is a win/win situation.
Hopefully. Go ahead; I am sorry.
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?
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.