On Friday, October 23, the sun was shining brightly on the USC Family Caregiver Support Center satellite office in Rosemead, and life also became a bit brighter for the area’s many caregivers as the center celebrated its grand opening.
Rosemead Chamber of Commerce’s Executive Director and CEO Helen Hua led off the festivities as she discussed the importance of supporting caregivers and how the facility benefitted the community. Assemblyman and Trojan Ed Chau, representing the 49th assembly district, spoke of his personal connection to this project. He explained the challenges he faced as his father’s caregiver over the last few years of his life and the support available as he helps care for his elderly mother.
Representatives from County Supervisor Hilda Solis, Congresswoman Judy Chu, and Senator Ed Hernandez office spoke about this wonderful addition to the community. CC DeGraff of the California Mission Inn discussed how thankful they were to provide a location for this worthy cause.
USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology faculty members and geropsychologist Donna Benton, director of the USC Family Caregiver Support Center, said, “One out of four Americans is caring for some family member informally.” She indicated the importance of having such centers across Los Angeles County because “If the caregiver goes down, then you have two people who are going to be sick”.
David W. Chan, who has been a caregiver for his father Tony T. Chan since 2003, explained how important it was for him to find the caregiver support group. As the eldest and only single child, he is expected to care for his father the majority of the time.
Another caregiver and Rosemead resident, Cheryl Monteleone, spoke about how she has been caring for her mother for the past three years. She expressed enthusiasm for the support she will receive and the opportunity to socialize with other caregivers.
Since 1989, the USC Family Caregiver Support Center at USC Leonard Davis School has placed a high priority on providing support across the continuum of caregiving, including diagnosis, prognosis, services that help maintain the care recipient’s independence and abilities, helping caregivers care for themselves, and manage their own well-being. Supportive services include information, assessment, individual consultations, respite, education, and training. For more information, please visit fcscgero.org.
— Text and photos by Raphe Margolin