Life as a caregiver is tough — especially if you aren’t being paid for it.
Studies show that the majority of America’s healthcare providers are gratuitous. That means they are uncompensated volunteers, usually family members, who assume the tremendous burden of elder care on their own.
Caring for any senior is challenging, but when the recipient suffers from Alzheimer’s or dementia, the difficulty is almost incomprehensible for anyone who hasn’t experienced it.
Fortunately, MyCentralJersey.com reports that a new resource is here to lighten the load for gratuitous dementia caregivers in New Jersey.
Care2Caregivers is a brand-new helpline for people whose loved ones suffer from dementia. It’s operated by Rutgers University Behavioral Health Care and funded by the New Jersey Department of Human Services. The service just launched in August 2014 and has already helped thousands of people in The Garden State.
When you call Care2Caregivers, the person picking up the phone will have had professional experience in providing care for dementia patients in the past. They offer advice on managing behavior, locating resources, and overcoming challenges. Sometimes they simply lend an open ear or a message of reassurance — a welcome relief for the emotionally overwhelmed.
The calls are confidential and, if you wish, anonymous. They’ve proven very popular so far. Those interested can receive follow-up calls or even get information about local support groups.
It’s great to see an initiative unfold with the potential to make a real and meaningful difference in the lives of New Jersey’s dementia patients and their families. We know how hard care giving can be, so we hope you’ll make the most of this great new resource should you ever need it.