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Albany man's caregiving honored by Rosalynn Carter

Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregiving’s National Summit Gala.

Michael Jones accepts the top caregiver award from First Lady Rosalynn Carter in Americus. (Special Photo)

Michael Jones accepts the top caregiver award from First Lady Rosalynn Carter in Americus. (Special Photo)

ALBANY _ Michael Jones of Albany has received the 2013 Family Caregiver of the Year award at the annual Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregiving’s National Summit Gala.

Jones was nominated by the Southwest Georgia CARE-NET for his compassion and dedication to his family.

Gayle Alston, RCI director of community initiatives and Caregiver Support Center, presented the award and described Jones’ caregiving journey as a “marathon obstacle course.”

In 1992, after Jones was honorably discharged from the U.S. Army, he returned home to take care of his ailing parents and support his sister and two children. He worked fulltime at a tire manufacturing job while also providing daily care to his family, including transporting his mother to dialysis and doctor’s appointments.

In 2003, Jones’ father died. Other obstacles following including unemployment when the tire plant closed. He placed his mother in a nursing home when her health worsened, and lost his home when he was unable to find work.

Despite the obstacles, Jones continues to visit and take care of his mother. He still takes her to her dialysis and doctor’s appointments , as well as taking his mother out on dinner dates.

“He is so helpful to the other residents and caregivers at the dialysis clinic and nursing home, he is often mistaken for a member of the staff,” said Alston.

Jones will be honored during a Lunch and Learn seminar on Nov. 14 at the Department of Human Services Building at 200 Oglethorpe Blvd. Lunch will be served. The registration fee is $10 for Family Caregivers and $20 for Professional Caregivers. For additional information, call (229) 432-1124.

Located in Americus, the Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregiving is a division is a division of Georgia Southwestern State University. The RCI was established in 1987 in honor of former first lady Rosalynn Carter, a GSW alumna who serves as president of the Institute’s board of directors, to enhance her longstanding commitments to family caregiving and mental health.