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The Rosalynn Carter Interview (Page 1 of 4)

An Interview with Rosalynn Carter

Rosalynn CarterMany things have changed for family caregivers in the past 25 years, but one thing has remained constantóthe enthusiasm, creativity and leadership Former First Lady Rosalynn Carter provides to the ongoing efforts to improve the lives of family caregivers. Mrs. Carter is president of the board of the Rosalynn Carter Institute for Human Development, which was established in her honor in 1987 and is presently celebrating its 25th anniversary. The instituteís mission includes promoting the mental health and well-being of individuals, families, and professional caregivers; promulgating effective caregiving practices; building public awareness of caregiving needs; and advancing public and social policies that enhance caring communities.

Mrs. Carter spoke with Editor-in-Chief Gary Barg about her life as a family caregiver and the ongoing work of the Rosalynn Carter Institute.

Gary Barg: Congratulations on the 25th Anniversary of the Rosalynn Carter Institute.

Rosalynn Carter: Yes, itís exciting.

Gary Barg: Itís a milestone, especially in caregiving. When we started in the mid nineties, you were one of the few lights out there talking about the caregivers and their needs.

Rosalynn Carter: I think we were one of the very first. When we started, we had the idea and then I called a lot of organizations, 36 or 37, like the American Cancer Society, Lung Associationóthe different diseases; but also the American Nurses Association, American Medical Association and other professionals. Nobody was working on it, but they all said we needed it.

Gary Barg: Could you talk a little bit about the goals of the Rosalynn Carter Institute?

Rosalynn Carter: Our main goal is to reduce the burden and depression among caregivers, and try to help them have some quality of life. What we want them to do is to take care of themselves; because if caregivers donít take care of themselves, the quality of the caregiving is diminished. But also, besides that, we work on policy efforts. We have programs across the country. We work with different organizations and world corporations.

 

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