Elder Care Resources/FWA - Barry Russell
Administrative Staff Officer III
As a supervisor, Barry Russell has always been sensitive to the work and family needs of his employees and is an advocate of flexible work arrangements. "You can't make someone stick to a strict eight to five schedule. Family issues come up and people need to make adjustments." Then, one and a half years ago, he found himself in the role of caregiver for his mother and stepfather. Both were facing financial difficulties as a result of Alzheimer's disease.
Barry began to use flexible work hours to take his mom and stepfather to doctors’ appointments and attend to their financial matters, which included obtaining a durable Power of Attorney on both. While trying to help them downsize and relocate, Barry realized he needed support in his caregiver role. He became familiar with the services provided by the Elder Care office. After joining the CARE support group, he learned that having two parents to care for at once was rather unusual. Barry found the CARE group so supportive that, when Janice Austin of Elder Care brought up the idea of expanding the CARE groups, Barry suggested starting a group at the Peterson Service building. "I am very close to my staff," Barry said. “I knew there were enough caregivers in this building to make up our own group."
Barry can't say enough good things about the services and support offered by Elder Care. He is very active in promoting Elder Care seminars. "I always tell my staff to attend any seminar they want, and I am very active in promoting everything that Elder care offers. We need to have more supportive voices speaking out for the elderly and their caregivers."