CONA ELDER LAW HONORS RONNIE SHERMAN, PLAINVIEW, CAREGIVER OF THE YEAR
Cona Elder Law, a leading elder law firm based in Melville, recently honored Ronnie Sherman, 66, of Plainview as a Caregiver of the Year. During the firm’s annual Caregiver Conference held at Hofstra University School of Law, Jennifer Cona, Esq., managing partner at Cona Elder Law, presented Ronnie with flowers and a certificate.
“We selected Ronnie because her caregiving relationship with her mother, Diane Weinshanker, exemplifies the ‘circle of life’ – where mother, Diane, cared for daughter, Ronnie, in an extraordinary way when Ronnie was raising her young children and then many, many years later, Ronnie became the full-time caregiver for her mother,” says Jennifer Cona. “We should all be so lucky and can certainly learn a thing or two about the importance of family, patience and compassion from both Ronnie and Diane.”
When her mom’s eyesight failed her and she had difficulty walking a few years ago, Ronnie paid the bills, did the shopping, laundry and took her mother everywhere she needed to go. Eventually Diane had to go into an assisted living facility followed by a nursing home. Ronnie visited her mom every day and fed her cups of ice cream and Ensure when her swallowing became labored until she died recently at age 88.
Over the years, Ronnie and her mother traded caregiving roles. As a single mom with two small children, Ronnie moved into the upstairs apartment in the two family home 28 years ago so she could be near Diane who lived downstairs. While Ronnie worked as a teacher of the visually impaired at Western Suffolk Boces, Diane took care of the kids.
“I’m grateful to Jennifer for honoring me as a winning caregiver, but I really didn’t do anything heroic,” notes Ronnie. “My mom was always there for me and my children, and I’m saying thank you now by giving her the care that is due her and that she deserves.”
When Ronnie was growing up, her dad, who died suddenly of a heart attack at age 60, owned a gas station. Her mom was the bookkeeper and assisted him in running the business. As kindred spirits, Ronnie’s parents did everything together from boating to riding on a motorcycle.
“Ronnie exemplifies the selfless dedication it takes to be a caregiver,” says Jennifer Cona, managing partner of Cona Elder Law. “But even more than that - she did it with such profound love, devotion and even admiration of her mother. Diane Weinshanker was a feisty one, and Ronnie kept up with her every step of the way.”
Cona Elder Law works with many families and sees untold numbers of caregivers who put their own lives on hold to perform the difficult and often thankless job of caregiving for a loved one. By offering the Caregiver of the Year award, Cona Elder Law recognizes, honors and thanks extraordinary caregivers who go above and beyond the call of duty and give so much of themselves and their lives to help someone in need.
Cona Elder Law is recognized as a leading elder law and estate planning firm on Long Island. The firm was ranked the #1 Elder Law firm by Long Island Business News in 2012. The firm provides creative advocacy and cutting edge planning strategies and has been featured in many publications including: The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Newsday, L.I. Business News, Kiplinger’s, Reader's Digest and many others. Cona Elder Law attorneys are frequent contributors to Newsday’s Act II “Ask the Expert” column and have appeared as guests on WNBC-TV, CNN-fn, News 12, News 55, Channel 21 "Act II With Newsday" and many radio stations including WOR, WCBS AM and WFAN.