Robyn Golden, director of Health and Aging at Rush University Medical Center, and geriatrics expert Dr. Cheryl Woodson discuss, from a health care perspective, caregiving in America with Washington Post Live editor Mary Jordan. (Washington Post Live)

Robyn Golden at Washington Post Live’s Caregiving in America forum in Chicago. (Photo by Ashlee Rezin/The Washington Post)

“It’s such an important thing, and yet nobody gives you instructions when you have a baby and nobody really tells you what to do with an aging parent.

“There is a crisis in caregiving. There are more older adults than there have ever been. Medical science is allowing us to keep people alive who would have died before but they are not alive and healthy. I am always concerned when I hear that a caregiver — a daughter, a son, a niece, a nephew, a spouse — will sit in a physician’s office time and time again and no one ever asks, ‘How are you doing?’ ‘When was your last medical work-up?’ ‘How is your health?’ That doesn’t happen. When I teach physicians, I tell them that asking the caregiver how she is doing is an investment in your patient not ending up in the hospitals. That ought to be on the problem list along with the diabetes and everything else you are investigating, because what’s keeping that person healthy is not you actually, it’s the caregiver.”

-Robyn Golden, director of health and aging, Rush University Medical Center