Caring for an Elderly or Dying Parent: Handling the Issues

Joe_Klein_David_Shankbone_2010_NYCSome of you may be living the difficult challenge in your lives of dealing with elderly, unhealthy parents or others. Recently having made the decision with my husband that it was time to move his mother to a Richmond Assisted Living Facility, we know that the anxiety, pain, stress, and hurt can be overwhelming. Even when you know you have made the best decision for your loved one, it still hurts and the unexpected moments of sadness are unsettling.

Watching my own mother suffer with Alzheimer’s Disease for years and finally succumbing to complications of the disease was unbelievably painful for all of us.

Unfortunately, many of you will also face this dilemma at some point in the future with someone you love. That’s just one reason you may want to attend this upcoming event sponsored by Medarva Healthcare.

Caring for an elderly or dying parent involves many difficult decisions. That’s why Medarva Healthcare has invited nationally known TIME Magazine columnist Joe Klein, author of the “The Long Goodbye” to speak to the Richmond community about his own experiences making healthcare decisions for his parents as their health steadily declined.

Klein will also provide a detailed description of his interaction with the health care system.

Event Specifics

aThe event will take place Thursday, March 21, 7 p.m. at The Steward School’s Lora M. Robins Theatre, located at 11600 Gayton Rd, Richmond, VA 23238.

Tickets to the program are free. However, due to the anticipated turnout and limited seating capacity, registration is required.

Visit or call 804.775.4552 to register for the event, or to obtain more information.

“This is not an easy subject for anyone, but it’s a topic that needs to be addressed more often and by more people,” said Bruce P. Kupper, President/CEO of MEDARVA Healthcare. “With this in mind, one of Medarva Healthcare’s commitments to the community is to stimulate conversations on difficult subjects. The changing health care environment and end of life decisions are two such topics that need to be discussed under the guidance of local experts and those who have personal experiences, which others can learn from. Bringing in a speaker of Joe Klein’s caliber, demonstrates our commitment to doing it right.”


Klein’s article, from the June 2012 edition of Time, is a close-up look at the tough decisions he faced managing the care for his parents in the final months of their lives. He also addresses the partnership that he formed with the physicians of the Geisinger Health System that made this difficult process a little easier.  Knowing what his parents wanted, having realistic expectations, and having realistic physicians created an environment in which the best interests of his parents were placed above all else.

In addition to Klein, the event will also feature Dr. Raymond L.  Spence, Jr., retired pastor of Second Baptist Church, speaking on the clergy’s perspective of end of life decisions; and Laurel (Laurie) Lyckholm, M.D., professor of Hematology/Oncology and Palliative Care at Virginia Commonwealth University’s Massey Cancer Center.

About Joe Klein

Klein is one of America’s leading political journalists, a provocative and probing analyst of events in our nation’s capital and abroad. His weekly column “In the Arena” covers domestic and international affairs ranging from campaigns to healthcare.

A veteran of 10 presidential campaigns, Klein has been praised for his “dogged reporting, a thorough, subtle grasp of issues, and a clear-eyed, compelling style.” He is the rare political junkie who loves the intricacies of policy-making, has extensive sources not only within the US Government but throughout the world, and is at home as much in Damascus as he is in Des Moines.

Klein wrote the #1 bestseller, Primary Colors: A Novel of Politics, as “Anonymous.” The New York Times Book Review called it “one of the best political novels to appear in the latter half of the 20th Century;” it later became a major motion picture.

Klein has written more than 25 cover stories for TIME, ranging from political commentary and analysis to war stories in Iraq and Afghanistan. Since 2010, he has taken road trips across America driving through regions of the country interviewing voters, politicians, and community leaders about the nation’s most important concerns.

About MEDARVA Healthcare

Medarva Healthcare was formed in April 2012 and its roots can be traced back to October 31, 1951 when Richmond Eye Hospital was established.  The Medarva Foundation is part of Medarva Healthcare ( and supports numerous medical care and education programs in Richmond’s community, as well as collaborative ventures with academic institutions, medical organizations and philanthropic groups to fund leading-edge research aimed at achieving important medical breakthroughs. The nonprofit includes Medarva at Stony Point Surgery Center.

For more information about Medarva Healthcare and this program, visit the website.

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Rhonda is the mother of two adult daughters and a grandmother to five wonderful grandchildren – and our only grandmother on staff. She spent 25 years in corporate healthcare managing prenatal and disease management programs. She is the Content Manager for Richmondmom and contributes her expertise as both a mom and grandmother – while sorting out the many opportunities for our valuable advertisers.

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