Shared by Joanne Peskowitz

Tell us about your role at JF&CS and how you got here.
I am a Care Manager with Your Elder Experts. About 10 years ago, I was looking for a new job and decided to call some people I knew in the social work field. I had been acquainted with Karen Wasserman, the Director of Care Management at JF&CS, through professional and social circles, so I called her to see if she knew of any leads. Serendipitously, Karen excitedly told me that JF&CS was hiring for a full-time Geriatric Care Management position.

Karen invited me to come in and speak to her and Senior Service director at the time, Marsha Frankel, and the rest is history.

10 years later, here I am! I love working at JF&CS. I have such wonderful colleagues. Plus, Karen has been the best supervisor I have ever worked for. She runs a good ship without micromanaging us.

A Geriatric Care Manager, or what is now called an Aging Life Care Professional/Expert, is someone who helps older adults to assess their care needs, come up with a care plan, and help carry out that plan.

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Well, as a girl growing up in the sixties and seventies, there were few women athletes and women's basketball was barely existent in high schools and colleges. Even so, my goal was to play in the NBA, like Ann Meyers did briefly.

Do you have a favorite quote and why?
I have two. The first is from Eli Weisel, "For the dead and the living we must bear witness." One thing I learned back in social work school is often there is not much we can do to help a person except sit and listen to them. I find that bearing witness to others' struggles and triumphs is not only rewarding, but it is what connects us to each other. To me it is one of the most important things I do as a social worker. If there are no witnesses, it almost feels like our experience did not happen.

The next is, "Things are the way they are when we understand them, things are the way they are when we do not understand them." This quote has helped me to accept what is, and that I simply do not have control of some (many) things. I also say the serenity prayer a lot, "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference."

What is your favorite city in the world?
I have not traveled the whole world so this may change in the future. Right now, I would have to say that it is a tie between New York City and Jerusalem. NYC because of the diversity of people and things to do and see. And Jerusalem because it has the new and the old, it holds sacred space for many people of faith, Jewish, Christian, and Muslim.