CenterLight Health System and Friends of CenterLight Launch Virtual Caregivers’ Support Group

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Sessions Developed Exclusively to Support the Caregivers and Families of Teamcare PACE Participants

virtual caregiver support group

Virtual caregiver support group.

We created this group to provide a safe place for caregivers to share their feelings and experiences and to get practical tips and advice to make their lives better.

Reaffirming its commitment to its participants and their families, CenterLight Health System and the Friends of CenterLight Foundation announced the launch of a virtual support group to help address the unique challenges faced by the caregivers of its program participants. CenterLight Health System operates Teamcare, New York’s largest program of all-inclusive care for the elderly (PACE).

According to a 2020 study on caregiver health by the AARP, nearly 4 in 10 caregivers consider their caregiving situation to be highly stressful (36 percent rating stress 4 or 5 on a 5-point scale). Additionally, caregivers who use social media more often report feeling alone, suggesting that in-person social interaction outside of the caregiver–care recipient relationship may be important to prevent social isolation.

“Caring for an older loved one with complex medical conditions or cognitive decline can be exhausting, isolating and lonely,” says CenterLight Chief Executive Officer, Tara Buonocore-Rut. “These challenges have been magnified by the ongoing pandemic. We created this group to provide a safe place for caregivers to share their feelings and experiences and to get practical tips and advice to make their lives better.”

Facilitated by a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, groups will meet for a series of five sessions. The first group met on Tuesday, April 6 from 7:15 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. and end on Tuesday, May 4.

While the sessions will begin with a discussion of a given topic, the group will offer the flexibility to explore other topics, according to the needs of the participants, explains facilitator Laura Himmelstein, LCSW, CHTP. “My priority will always be to serve the needs of the group during that session. Based on the group’s feedback, we may explore such topics as caregiver burnout, isolation, coping skills, managing difficult behaviors, loneliness, depression, self-care, family dynamics and conflict resolution.”

A Commitment to Older Adults and Caregivers
Visit http://www.centerlightteamcare.org/caregivers to learn more about how Teamcare can help ease the burden of caregiving by helping families care for their loved one’s healthcare needs via a multidisciplinary, team-based approach.

“If you are the caregiver of a CenterLight participant, we want you to know that we’re here for you,” says Buonocore-Rut. “You’re not alone.”

About CenterLight TeamCare
CenterLight TeamCare, a program of CenterLight Health System, operates 14 locations throughout New York City, Westchester and Nassau/Suffolk Counties and empowers older adults to continue to live independently, at home and in their communities. Providing culturally sensitive care to thousands of New Yorkers daily, CenterLight staff speaks 26+ languages and dialects, including Arabic, Albanian, Chinese, Creole, English, Korean, Hindi, Punjabi, Russian and Spanish. CenterLight TeamCare develops individualized care plans, which are carried out by a dedicated interdisciplinary team (IDT) of doctors, nurses, physical therapists, nutritionists, recreational therapists and other professionals working in concert to provide care as unique as the richly diverse participants enrolled in the plan. Learn more at http://www.centerlightteamcare.org.

About Friends of CenterLight
The Friends of CenterLight Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charity dedicated to improving the lives of CenterLight participants by helping them to maintain their health, well-being and autonomy in environments that honor their individual needs, values and preferences. Learn more at http://www.centerlight.org/foundation.

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Lisa Cesarano
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