According to the National Family Caregivers Association, more than 50 million people in the U.S. provide care for a chronically ill, disabled or an elderly family member or friend. November is National Family Caregivers Month and to thank and show their support for family caregivers, the Family Caregiver Support Program at Old Colony Elder Services (OCES) of Brockton recently held a “Caregiver Night Out” appreciation event.
Caregiver Night Out was held in the Great Hall at Halifax Town Hall last week and family caregivers were treated to a delicious dinner and pampered with relaxation techniques by the following providers:
· Joanne Salerno of Light Life Massage providing Kriya Massage, Reiki and Energy Bodywork
· Debra Bunszel of Touch The Sole, a Certified Reflexologist and Reiki Master
· Dee Davidson of Simply Soothing Sanctuary, a Massage Therapist and Shambala Reiki Master
· Melanie Cotti of Essential Touch Massage Therapy, a Massage Therapist, Shambala Practitioner and Reiki Master
According to the National Family Caregivers Association, in 2004, there were 650,636 caregivers in Massachusetts alone. That number has grown exponentially, and last year, OCES’ Family Caregiver Support Program delivered services to over 1,250 caregivers, including 11 elders caring for grandchildren.
Those eligible for the caregiver program include caregivers of adults age 60 or older; grandparents and relative caregivers age 55 or over caring for children up to age 18; grandparents and relative caregivers age 55 or over caring for disabled adults age 19 to 59 and caregivers of adults of any age with Alzheimer’s disease.
“Our Caregiver Night Out gives family caregivers a well-deserved, relaxing evening where they can socialize and gain support from their caregiver peers and our agency. They are thrilled to have the opportunity to talk to each other because oftentimes they are so busy caregiving that they become isolated. The hallmark of our program is to make sure that family caregivers know they are not alone,” explained Rochelle Sugarman, OCES’ Family Caregiver Support Program Supervisor.
She continued, “Our Family Caregiver Support Program works diligently to provide one on one assistance to caregivers, guiding them to resources available in the community as well as helping them to plan for current and future caregiving needs. We really offer an exploration of the caregiving journey and information, education and resources that may be helpful to make this process as smooth as possible. We want caregivers to know help is available on an individual basis, through support groups and also through trainings on particular topics such as Caregiving 101.”
To learn more about the Family Caregiver Support Program, contact Rochelle Sugarman at OCES (508) 584-1561.
Incorporated in 1974, Old Colony Elder Services (OCES) is one of 27 private, non-profit Aging Services Access Points (ASAPs) in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. OCES touches the lives of approximately 16,000 people a year. They have 140 employees and operate 20 programs serving elders, their families and caregivers.
OCES serves elders, their families and caregivers in the towns of Abington, Avon, Bridgewater, Brockton, Carver, Duxbury, East Bridgewater, Easton, Halifax, Hanover, Hanson, Kingston, Lakeville, Marshfield, Middleboro, Pembroke, Plymouth, Plympton, Rockland, Stoughton, Wareham, West Bridgewater and Whitman.
The organization’s mission is to provide services that support the dignity and independence of elders by helping them maximize their quality of life; live safely and in good health; and, prevent
unnecessary or premature institutionalization.
For more information call (508) 584-1561 or visit the website at www.oldcolonyelderservices.org.