Editors and Writers
Melanie Haiken - Senior Editor
Melanie discovered how important it is to provide accurate, targeted, usable health information to people facing difficult decisions when she was health editor of Parenting magazine. She has written about health and family-related issues for magazines such as Health, Real Simple, Woman's Day, Yoga Journal, and websites such as BabyCenter.com, WebMD, and the Blue Cross/Blue Shield websites managed by Consumer Health Interactive. Melanie has held positions as Executive Editor at the Industry Standard and BabyCenter.com, and Managing Editor at San Francisco magazine. She has also worked for San Francisco's renowned Center for Investigative Reporting. One of her feature stories won the San Francisco Examiner's prize for investigative reporting. She has a master's degree in Journalism and a B.A. in English, both from the University of California at Berkeley.
Melanie's experience caring for older people began when she volunteered as a young companion at a local senior center. More recently, she has helped care for her father and mother. Melanie is a single mother of two daughters, so she understands the complicated pressures on the so-called "sandwich generation."
Barbara Kate Repa - Senior Contributing Editor
Barbara Kate, a lawyer and journalist, has devoted her career to editing and writing about legal issues for consumers. She’s the author of WillMaker (Nolo), best-selling software that enables consumers to write their own wills, healthcare directives, powers of attorney, and final arrangements. She's also an instructor for AIDS caregivers, teaching about legal end-of-life issues and funeral planning, and she recently wrote the content for a website for those searching for long-term care in California.
Early in life, Barbara Kate forged a deep relationship with her grandmother, who taught her the enduring and addictive skill of knitting. New to California twenty years ago, she sought out friendships with older people -- and found hundreds of them when she became president of the Bay Area Funeral Society, a feisty consumer group aiming to stamp out abuses in the funeral industry. She is the resource to whom friends turn first for advice on dealing with legal and personal care issues for aging parents and disabled spouses and partners.
Paula Spencer Scott - Author
Contributing editor Paula Spencer Scott is the author of Surviving Alzheimer's: Paractical Tips and Soul-Saving Wisdom for Caregivers, and writes our Surviving Caregiving blog. She';s written much of Caring's Alzheimer's and caregiving content, including Caring's Steps and Stages - Alzheimer's resource and the FYI Daily and Self Caring blogs.
Scott has specialized in women's life-stage concerns (baby care, family care, self-care, elder care) from her first job as an editor at 50 Plus Magazine through stints as a Woman's Day columnist and coauthor of health books with doctors at Harvard, UCLA, Duke, and Arizona State. She's a 2011 Met Life Foundation Journalists in Aging fellow, awarded by the Gerontological Society of America and New American Media, and completed a National Press Foundation's Alzheimer's Disease 2012 Fellowship.
In the late 2000's, she lost both her parents, in their 80's, to cancer; her father also had dementia and stroke. "In short order in that phase," she says, "I experienced just about everything that's on this site, from dealing with their illnesses to selling the family home and moving Dad, plus advanced directives, end-of-life planning, hospice, death -- and stress."
Follow her on Twitter @PSpencerScott.
Nell Bernstein, Author
Nell's writings have appeared on Salon.com and in Glamour, Health, Legal Affairs, Marie Claire, Mother Jones, Newsday, O: The Oprah Magazine, Self, Redbook, and the Washington Post. Nell often writes on family issues and the legal system. Her award-winning book All Alone in the World: Children of the Incarcerated was selected as a Pick of the Week by Newsweek, a Best Book of the Year by the San Francisco Chronicle, and a top-ten Book of the Year by the Online Review of Books. Nell graduated magna cum laude with a degree in comparative literature from Yale University and began her career in journalism by helping her freelancer mom edit stories at the kitchen table.
Nell now lives in Albany, California, with her husband, artist Timothy B. Buckwalter, and their young twins. The twins enjoy playing poker for M & M's with their grandfather, and they plan to let him win a hand on his upcoming 88th birthday.
Sarah Henry, Author
Sarah has covered health stories for most of her more than two decades as a writer, from her ten-year stint at the award-winning Center for Investigative Reporting, to her staff writer position with Hippocrates magazine, to her most recent web work for online sites including WebMD, Babycenter.com, and Consumer Health Interactive. Sarah has collaborated on several books, including the popular Dr. Koop's Self-Care Advisor, and her health articles have appeared in a wide range of publications including Modern Maturity, Health, Parenting, Glamour, the Washington Post, and Los Angeles Times Magazine. She holds a B.A. in communications from the University of Technology in Sydney, Australia, where she majored in journalism.
Sarah understands the tyranny of distance faced by many adult children caring for their aging parents. Her mother and father are both in their 70s and dealing with health challenges. Although Sarah returns to her hometown regularly, she's grateful that her five siblings -- who include a doctor and a nurse -- live near her parents. Sarah herself lives in Berkeley, California, with her nine-year-old son, whom she hopes will look after her in her old age.
Constance (Connie) Matthiessen, Author
Connie has worked as a healthcare and environmental journalist at the Center for Investigative Reporting, as an editor and writer with Health magazine, WebMD, Consumer Health Interactive, the Washington Post, the San Francisco Chronicle, and BabyCenter.com. Connie's background also includes a B.A. in literature from Evergreen College and an MFA in writing from Warren Wilson College. She has been interested in eldercare issues since shortly after college, when she spent a year caring for elderly people in a nursing home.
Connie, who lives in San Francisco with her three children, considers herself lucky that her parents are still healthy and active as they approach their 80s. They both continue to pursue their passions, including fishing, horseback riding, travel, and spending time with their children and grandchildren, providing living proof that old age -- for all its challenges -- can be a time of inspiration, connection, and adventure.
Camille Peri, Author
Camille has covered health and family issues as a journalist for many years. She was a senior editor at Salon.com, where she was cofounder and editor of the department Mothers Who Think. She coedited two collections of essays, Mothers Who Think: Tales of Real-Life Parenthood, which was a national best seller and received an American Book Award, and Because I Said So: 33 Mothers Write About Children, Sex, Men, Aging, Faith, Race, and Themselves. Camille has also written and edited for WebMD, the Los Angeles Times Magazine, Ladies' Home Journal, Parenting, San Francisco, and Mother Jones, and has been a book editor for Pearson Education. She has a B.A. in American Studies from the University of California at Berkeley.
Camille lives in San Francisco with her husband and two sons. With her children in their teen years and her parents in their 80s, she often feels that she's dealing with the same issues -- driving, safety, scheduling -- with both generations. Her mother survived a heart attack and cancer in 1999, and Camille and her brothers have spent periods providing their parents with round-the-clock care. She recently helped them move into an independent living retirement community, where they have opened -- and are thoroughly enjoying -- a new phase of their lives.
Catherine (Kate) Rauch, Author
Kate has spent more than two decades writing about health for websites and print media, including WebMD, Drugstore.com, the Washington Post Health Section, and Newsday as well as HMOs such as Kaiser Permanente (in the San Francisco Bay Area) and Group Health (in Seattle). Kate holds an M.S. in journalism from Columbia University and a B.S. in cultural geography from the University of California at Berkeley. Kate's degree in geography led her to spend five years working as an archaeologist and anthropologist in Alaska. One of her main activities there was collecting oral histories from Eskimo elders, and she was very moved by the reverence Eskimos have for older people -- the keepers of essential wisdom and skills.
Kate lives in Albany, California with her two children. She is the only sibling of three to live near her 80-something father, enjoying the still developing richness of their relationship as they both get older. Very much a member of the "sandwich generation," she often finds herself driving her son to Little League games one moment, and touching base with her dad about his new pacemaker the next.
Stephanie Trelogan, Author
Stephanie brings to Caring.com a wealth of experience at GeneticHealth.com, where she wrote about cardiovascular disease, and JournalWatch, where she edited content written by physicians for physicians. Her writing for Caring.com is informed by family experience as well as her professional expertise. Older people in Stephanie's family have coped with a variety of stroke- and heart-related conditions, and she recalls an aunt all but sacrificing her own career as an attorney to care for Stephanie's "Grammy and Zadie" for nearly 20 years.
Stephanie holds a master's degree in molecular biology from the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center; at the University of Puget Sound in Washington, she majored in biology and minored in professional writing. Stephanie and her husband (a pulmonary and critical care physician) have two small children who adore their grandparents, who continue to be healthy and active enough to play tirelessly with them.