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 An Interview with Olympia Dukakis (Page 1 of 2)

An Interview with Olympia Dukakis

Olympia DukakisOlympia Dukakis is an Academy-Award-winning actress, a trained physical therapist and a very caring soul, who has been a caregiver for her husband and her close friend, Jessica, a formerly vibrant dancer and actress who suffered from excruciating bone pain caused by cancer. She is also a tireless caregiver advocate.

Editor-In-Chief Gary Barg sat down with this truly fearless caregiver who is working to make a difference for those in pain.


 

Gary Barg: As someone whose father experienced excruciating bone pain while living with multiple myeloma, I am really grateful for your work with bone pain awareness.  I think itís hard for family members to truly understand that level of pain.
 
Olympia Dukakis: Right. You donít have to live with it. You can reach out and find other solutions. Maybe there is some pain, but there are also solutions.  I think that today, without being too critical of the hospitals, you really have to take your health into your own hands. Get as much information as you can. People do make mistakes and are overworked; there are a lot of things that can happen when you donít have access.  I think this is an opportunity to get access to improve the quality of life.
 
GB: We always say that the caregiver should become a member of the loved oneís care team. Caregivers must be able to provide information to other members of the team and be heard and be respected for it.
 
OD: I always say that whenever a person gets sick, they need advocates. Itís very hard when you are dealing with the fear and the pain, and all the options and all the side effects. So you really need one or even two advocates. My husband had been very ill and I felt frequently that I had to be his advocate, challenging this doctor and that medicine. I felt it was really important because he was overcome and he was frightened. He had a brain aneurism. The person who is ill often canít think. He or she canít even figure out whatís the next thing to do for themselves. So somebody has to be around, and I think that caregivers are the ones who can do that. They are probably the ones that will have to make the call.

 

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