Caring for the Caregiver: Darlene Jackson's Community Benefits Story

  Darlene Jackson
Darlene Jackson, a flight attendant and Alpine resident, works a second full-time job of caring for her 87-year-old mother. Like so many busy family caregivers, Jackson is eager and happy to help, but knows she can’t possibly take on the responsibility all alone.

“My husband is a great support, but neither of us are experts at caring for the elderly,” Jackson said. “Fortunately, Sharp’s Senior Resource Center has been a godsend.”

The Senior Resource Centers at Sharp Grossmont Hospital and Sharp Memorial Hospital offer numerous free health education programs and screenings for seniors on a wide variety of topics, including fall prevention, Alzheimer’s disease, medication management and wellness for family caregivers.

Jackson and her mother attended one of the fall prevention classes, which led to a referral to the Balance and Vestibular Program at Sharp Grossmont Rehabilitation. Over the years, they have also attended classes and lectures on caregiving, diabetes, heart disease, colon cancer, eating right, and hip and knee replacement.

“These classes have provided better care and quality of life for not only my family, but for everyone I encounter who may need a little extra help,” Jackson said. “You never know when you’re going to see an elderly or disabled person who needs to reach spaghetti sauce at the grocery store or lift luggage on an airplane. I now feel better equipped to not only help those in need, but to identify and approach them. We’re all going to be elderly one day, and wouldn’t it be nice if we were all treated with the same care and respect?”

Find a Doctor Who Specializes in Senior Care
To find a Sharp-affiliated doctor, search for a San Diego geriatric doctor or call 1-800-82-SHARP (1-800-827-4277), Monday through Friday, 8 am to 6 pm.

For More Senior Care Information
To register for a class, call 1-800-82-SHARP (1-800-827-4277), Monday through Friday, 8 am to 6 pm. To find general information about senior health, read the Senior Health News archive.

For More Information
To learn more about the positive impact Sharp physicians, nurses, staff and volunteers have on the San Diego community, visit Community Benefits Report. To learn more about Sharp's involvement in the community, visit Community Programs and Health Education. To read more stories like this one, visit Community Benefits Stories.