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You Be the Judge

Oct 2, 2007

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Michel Martin

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The great thing about being a solo host: being the voice of the show. The bad thing about being a solo host: being the voice of the show when your voice sounds like hell. ... Which is my way of saying: I KNOW my voice sounds lousy today, but what can I do? This is only the second time in my career I have been close to losing my voice. So, yes I've been working the lemon tea, Cold-EEZE, Ricola, cough syrup ... I have been working it all.

You be the judge of whether I should have called Lynn Neary's cell phone this morning to ask her to fill-in.

Sigh.

...But I didn't want to miss anything! Like the chance to speak with Robert Thurman. He was the first American to be ordained as a Buddhist monk. He's no longer a monk, but he is one of this country's foremost authorities on Buddhism. We were also happy to speak with Aung Din, a former political prisoner in Burma/Myanmar. We wanted to talk about why the monks are so prominent in this pro-democracy fight.

Then, on to Justice Clarence Thomas. I was a White House Correspondent covering the George H.W. Bush administration — Bush 41, as it were. I was at home at 10:00 one Sunday morning when a WH contact called to "give me a heads up" that something was afoot with Thomas' nomination.

And you know the rest. Or, maybe you don't. One of the interesting things about stories like this is how quickly the facts, as we understand them, fade from memory. Thomas' new memoir, My Grandfather's Son, it has to be said, comes like a bolt out of the blue. Why now? It seems like ripping a scab off an old wound. Plus, Thomas has a reputation for being very concerned about protecting his privacy, very hostile to the media. That's why we were so interested to hear what Thomas' friend, Armstrong Williams, has to say about this book and his Thomas' interpretation of the events that brought him where he is today.

I have to say, as a person who covered the Hill-Thomas hearings, that it is a fascinating read, especially his accounting of his early life. We also invited author Kevin Merida to the table. His biography of Thomas, co-written with fellow Washington Post staff writer Michael Fletcher, adds some interesting context. Merida writes about things that Thomas does not. I hope you're intrigued. We're going to continue to follow this story, if we can add value ...

And, finally, more on Eldercare. Hear more practical advice from our experts. One of our guests, Dr. Marion Somers, mentioned that she's a geriatric care manager. We thought you might like to know more about what that is. Here's an excerpt from Dr. Somers' book:

Hiring a Geriatric Care Manager.

If you're a long-distance caregiver, you may wish to hire a geriatric care manager to do a weekly follow-up ... Each geriatric care manager has unique strengths and a special knowledge base, so someone you hire might have additional training, education, and experience. Below is a list of services that can be provided by most geriatric care managers.

1. In-home assessment
2. Institutional or hospital assessment
3. Hospital visit in case of emergency
4. Recommendation and implementation of adapted equipment
5. Organize financial information
6. Organize insurance information
7. Make the home elder safe
8. Arrange meal service
9. Hire cleaners, handyperson, assistants.
10. Streamline all medications
11. Improve appearance
12. Bring entertainment into the home
13. Serve as the communication hub for the family
14. Understand government entitlements and services that are available
15. Arrange travel to family events, social gatherings
16. Interview and hire aides and other home-care personnel or medical specialists
17. Monitor an elder on an ongoing basis
18. Recommend and arrange a higher level of care as required
19. Crisis intervention
20. Improve quality of life

Tomorrow, a major treat. Hint: major diva ... one of her names means brown in Spanish.

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