Resident Honored as ‘Caregiver of the Year’
Matthew Hogan (Editor), Malverne Patch
Photo (L-R): Richard Keidel, Jane Keidel (daughter), Jennifer Cona, Esq., Managing Partner Cona Elder Law. (Credit: Cona Elder Law)
Richard Keidel, 80, and a Malverne resident since 1938, was recently honored as the Caregiver of the Year by Cona Elder Law, a leading elder law firm based in Melville.
During the firm’s annual Caregiver Conference held at Hofstra University Law School, Jennifer Cona, Esq., managing partner at Cona Elder Law, presented Keidel with a $100 gift card, flowers and a certificate. He was chosen out of more than 20 entries.
In an essay submitted by Keidel’s daughter Jane, she paid tribute to her father who is a dedicated and constant caregiver to his wife Charlotte, 80, following her stroke two years ago.
Childhood sweethearts since the fourth grade and voted best couple in their high school yearbook, Richard selflessly attends to his wife’s every need 24/7. He takes care of her feeding, bathing and dressing, does physical therapy with her, administers her medication and more.
When Charlotte was in the hospital or rehab, he was by her side day and night sleeping in a folding chair.
Although this is a daunting situation, Richard understands certain aspects of caregiving, especially when it comes to handling his wife’s medications.
He started his career as a pharmacist and later owned an ad agency specializing in the pharmaceutical industry. But more than that – Richard provides his wife with the love, care and compassion that can only come from a spouse.
According to Richard, he is just happy to take care of his wife at home – where she is comfortable and in familiar surroundings – and so they can continue to be together.
“I keep everything in perspective and always think positively,” Richard said. “Humor is the best medicine.”
Richard tries to make Charlotte’s life as happy as possible by taking her to the park, parades and other excursions by car.
According to their daughter, Jane, who nominated Richard for the award, “My father constantly reminds my mother of the wonderful life they forged and the three successful children they raised. My mother is the fortunate recipient of the most loving care any senior has ever had.”
“Richard exemplifies the selfless dedication it takes to be a caregiver, “ Cona said. “He sets the gold standard in caregiving.”