Barry J. Jacobs, Psy.D., named to AARP’s Caregiver Advisory Panel
Barry J. Jacobs,
Crozer-Keystone clinical psychologist and family therapist Barry J. Jacobs, Psy.D, was named to AARP’s Caregiver Advisory Panel.
Jacobs, who is active in local caregiving advocacy efforts, says, “It was a real honor to be offered this position. The members of this panel are leaders in the field and it makes me feel quite honored to be considered as an expert among them,” Jacobs says.
“I was contacted by AARP Public Policy Institute’s Lynn Friss Feinberg, a national expert on family caregiving, and someone I’ve known through the caregiving field for about 15 years,” he explains. “She was looking for a psychologist to serve on the Advisory Panel and suggested me.”
AARP has started a new campaign for supporting family caregivers. A big part of that campaign consists of a new Caregiving Resource Center on the AARP website. As part of that Caregiving Resource Center, a Caregiver Advisory Panel has been comprised of experts on various aspects of family caregiving in order to provide information to AARP members and others.
Jacobs was selected as the psychology expert. “I will be expected to answer questions from viewers over the web probably twice a month; the website has a portal for submitting questions. I will also do occasional web chats,” he says.
His first involvement as a member of this panel took place on September 12 via a live online web chat about the emotional side of caregiving. Answering 20 questions in the allotted hour of time from the AARP office in Washington, D.C., Jacobs says, “It was nerve-racking, actually. It was exciting - my adrenaline was pumping. It was draining and by the time it was done I had felt like I had run a sprint.”
As a member of the AARP Caregiver Advisory Panel, Jacobs has participated in the web chat as well as answered reader questions about caregiving. In his upcoming schedule, Jacobs will write two blogs about siblings and aging parents. These blogs will address when siblings don’t help out/issuing responsibility, and when siblings disagree on what’s best for mom and dad.
Jacobs is a local advocate for caregiving, offering about 40 local, regional and national presentations a year on family caregiving to family caregivers, physicians and nurses, and mental health and social service professionals. “I grew up in a family in which my father had brain cancer while I was a teenager. That is why I became a psychologist focusing on families and illness, I currently help provide care to my aging mother and to my step-father who has Alzheimer’s dementia,” he says.
Being featured in the national spotlight isn’t something new for Jacobs. A published author, he is the national spokesperson on family caregiving for the American Heart Association and an honorary board member of Well Spouse Association. Jacobs has also written an advice column for the newsletter of the National Family Caregivers Association for the past 10 years. Jacobs provides psychotherapy services for individual and families coping with serious and chronic illnesses at the Crozer-Keystone Center for Family Health in Springfield.
AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, with a membership of more than 37 million, that helps people 50+ have independence, choice and control in ways that are beneficial to them and society as a whole.
You can find a copy of Jacobs’ Sept.12 web chat and upcoming blogs at www.aarp.org under Home & Family in the Caregiving tab.