September 5, 2018 | Penn News Today

The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania operates one of the country’s few centers designed to ease stress and to show compassion for caregivers with loved ones in the hospital. “In some ways, it’s really a significant statement of who we are,” says Mary Walton, director of the Family Caregiver Center.

Barb Harnly was exhausted.

“It’s a tough job, it really is,” she says. “And I don’t know that you can ever really prepare for it.”

Harnly is referring to the job of a family caregiver.

From Lititz, Pa., Harnly came to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (HUP) for three months last summer while her husband underwent treatment for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, for which he would receive a lung transplant that June. Abruptly, she was saddled with the responsibility of managing his needs, making phone calls, sending faxes—all while trying to maintain her state of affairs at home and, for work, filing paperwork for Family Medical Leave.

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