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Crone enjoys new position, location with commission on Aging

May 01, 2006|by MARLO BARNHART

HAGERSTOWN

As she continues to settle into her new surroundings and her new job, Linda Crone said working with older people has always been a good fit for her.

Crone is a veteran of more than 15 years with the Washington County Commission on Aging Inc. which is now operating out of Hagerstown's Aspiring to Serve Community Center on West Franklin Street.

"We have the whole fourth floor here," Crone said. The smell of paint and new carpet was still apparent in the spacious setting - a far cry from the cramped quarters at the Alexander House in Public Square.

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A tour group passed by her office as she spoke, showing that there is a lot of public interest, not only in the site but in the expanded services available to seniors.

"I always wanted to be a nurse," Crone said. Over the years, she discovered that all her jobs have been tied together with a common thread - working with older people.

Growing up in Romney, W.Va., Crone remembers listening to the stories told by her mother's parents who lived with her and her family. "There were always the stories," Crone said.

Crone is the program manager of the new community-based care division. Most recently she was the program manager for personal and senior care and the family caregivers programs.

Now all of those are combined with the Medicare waiver and housekeeping programs to create her new job description.

Part of Crone's new mission involves overseeing ROSE, a three-year grant program which stands for Respite Outreach Support Education. Aligned with Alzheimer's Association, ROSE is striving to provide free training for caregivers.

And while that training is going on, the grant pays for respite care so the caregivers can take advantage of that training which is often four hours long or even all day, Crone said.

"People want to stay in their own homes where they are happiest and that's what we do here," she said.

Working with Crone is Ruth Brown, who is administering the ROSE program and has already contacted a number of churches, eyeing the possibility of setting up day-care programs for Alzheimer's sufferers.

With her long experience dealing with grandparents, Crone has also seen the implementation of a grandparents support group where those who are raising children - other than parents - get together once a month at Covenant Presbyterian Church.

"It's up and running," Crone said, noting that she facilitates the meetings which are every first Tuesday from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Crone's home church. A field trip to Discovery Station is planned for the May 2 meeting.

A registered nurse trained at Hagerstown Community College, Crone has worked at Washington County Hospital, Washington County Health Department, HomeCall and the Department of Social Services.

Crone and her husband, Don, are the parents of three children and have four grandsons. When she isn't working or spending time with her family, Crone likes to swim at the YMCA and give time to her church.

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