Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Expert to speak on church and family elder care

ST. PETERSBURG — Marty Richards' elderly aunt read everything she ever wrote. Her Aunt Toni died at 102 as Richards, a clinical social worker with a private practice, was writing a book about what she refers to as "caresharing."

Richards, who helped care for Toni and her sister, as well as her husband's mother, believes caregiving is both spiritual and reciprocal. She will be in Pinellas on Monday to give a lunchtime talk at St. Peter's Episcopal Cathedral in St. Petersburg and for meetings at the Clearwater office of Adult Lutherans Organized for Action. She is on the group's national board.

The Tampa Bay Times recently asked her to answer a few questions about her work.

Q. You wrote the book Caresharing: A Reciprocal Approach to Caregiving and Care Receiving in the Complexities of Aging, Illness or Disability. What is caresharing?

A way to look at relationships between a person who needs care and those who offer assistance to them. … There is sharing back and forth (reciprocity). Everyone believes that they can learn from each other, with the "frail" often teaching the "well" lessons about graceful dependency and interdependence.

Q. Can you give an example of how congregations can support older members and their caregivers?

One way that they can be supportive is to understand that both the caregiver and care receiver have needs and that illness does not keep persons from their spiritual life and needs for self-care. Churches can continue to offer worship and sacraments, albeit simplified, and must keep visiting care partners. Offering educational classes and a place for support groups to meet can be useful.

Q. What has most saddened you in your elder care work?

I would rather talk about what has given me hope. Families can become overwhelmed when their loved one is struggling with dementia or other illness. However, with assistance from others in their congregation or from professionals, they often bring to bear their inner strengths and resources, such as humor and faith, to their situations. Congregations can assist persons to learn that they are not alone.

Q. What advice do you give to families searching for safe, caring nursing homes?

Visit facilities and to use your own eyes, ears, nose and heart to get a sense of a place. Ask questions of staff and listen carefully and get any promises of care in writing, if possible. Check the ratings of that facility. Talk to your network of friends about their experiences.

Q. What advice would you give to relatives who are long-distance caregivers?

Learn about the resources where your loved one lives before you need them. It is often helpful to get the senior information and assistance number of the county they are in. When you go to where your loved ones are, keep in touch with your self-care network — family and friends — at home. Be gentle with others who are doing the hands-on care with your loved one and who live around them.

Waveney Ann Moore can be reached at wmoore@tampabay.com or (727) 892-2283.

. IF YOU GO

Elder Care, Church and Family Together

Program by Marty Richards, noon to 1 p.m. Monday at St. Peter's Cathedral, 140 Fourth St. N, St. Petersburg. Lunch, $5.

Expert to speak on church and family elder care 03/17/12 [Last modified: Saturday, March 17, 2012 4:30am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. In advertising, marketing diversity needs a boost in Tampa Bay, nationally

    Business

    TAMPA — Trimeka Benjamin was focused on a career in broadcast journalism when she entered Bethune-Cookman University.

    From left, Swim Digital marketing owner Trimeka Benjamin discusses the broad lack of diversity in advertising and marketing with 22 Squared copywriter Luke Sokolewicz, University of Tampa advertising/PR professor Jennifer Whelihan, Rumbo creative director George Zwierko and Nancy Vaughn of the White Book Agency. The group recently met at The Bunker in Ybor City.
  2. Kushner to testify before two intelligence committees

    Politics

    WASHINGTON— President Donald Trump's senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner is set to make a second appearance on Capitol Hill — he will speak with the House Intelligence Committee on Tuesday, one day after he is scheduled to speak with Senate Intelligence Committee investigators behind closed doors.

    White House senior adviser Jared Kushner is scheduled to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee and the House Intelligence Committee. [Associated Press]
  3. Rays blow lead in ninth, lose in 10 to Rangers (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Rays manager Kevin Cash liked the way Alex Cobb was competing Friday night. He liked the way the hard contact made by the Rangers batters went away after the second or third inning. So as the game headed toward the ninth, there was no doubt in Cash's mind that sending Cobb back to the mound was …

    Rays starter Alex Cobb can hardly believe what just happened as he leaves the game in the ninth after allowing a leadoff double then a tying two-run homer to the Rangers’ Shin-Soo Choo.
  4. Exhumation of Dalí's remains finds his mustache still intact

    World

    FIGUERES, Spain — Forensic experts in Spain have removed hair, nails and two long bones from Salvador Dalí's embalmed remains to aid a court-ordered paternity test that may enable a woman who says she is the surrealist artist's daughter to claim part of Dalí's vast estate.

    Salvador Dal? died in 1989 leaving vast estate.
  5. Sessions discussed Trump campaign-related matters with Russian ambassador, U.S. intelligence intercepts show

    Politics

    WASHINGTON — Russia's ambassador to Washington told his superiors in Moscow that he discussed campaign-related matters, including policy issues important to Moscow, with Jeff Sessions during the 2016 presidential race, contrary to public assertions by the embattled attorney general, current and former U.S. …

    Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the Russia investigation after meetings with an ambassador were revealed.