NEW YORK, Nov. 1, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- This November, as the nation marks National Family Caregivers Month, CaringKind, New York City's leading experts in Alzheimer's and dementia care for more than three decades, unveiled an expanded platform of free programs and services to help caregivers as they navigate a difficult and frightening future. This growth builds on the already extensive services the organization provides including high-touch, personal and confidential counseling for individuals and families affected by a dementia diagnosis. CaringKind is formerly known as the Alzheimer's Association, New York City Chapter.
Less than one year after breaking ties with the national organization in Chicago and returning to its roots as a stand-alone, independent charity, CaringKind has dramatically increased its presence in the outer boroughs, while strengthening its 24-hour Helpline and educational services, growing its social work staff, and building new partnerships with cultural institutions.
Among the key new developments are:
INCREASED SOCIAL WORKER STAFF: CaringKind has increased its social work staff by 25%. These compassionate and professional social workers provide in-depth, personalized consultations for individuals and families facing the decisions and challenges associated with Alzheimer's disease and other dementias. They address each family's unique concerns in order to develop a customized care plan.
100% GROWTH IN HELPLINE STAFF: With help available in more than 200 languages, CaringKind's 24-hour Helpline (646-744-2900) is a critical resource for New Yorkers who need to access expert and caring advice 365 days a year. In recent months, Helpline staff has increased 100%, including the addition of a new Respite Specialist. This specially-trained social worker provides help to families who need a break from caregiving responsibilities and access to community respite programs.
NEW EDUCATION MANAGER: Responding to the needs of New York City's caregivers, CaringKind has hired a new Education Manager to expand the breadth and reach of free educational offerings in all boroughs.
MORE HELP FOR THE ASIAN COMMUNITY: A new Chinese Trainer is facilitating dementia care training for professional caregivers, home health aides and family caregivers in New York's growing Asian community, as well as developing caregiver workshops conducted in Chinese.
CaringKind's outreach efforts to the African-American, Latino, Orthodox Jewish and LGBT communities continue to grow as well.
BOROUGH EXPANSION: The addition of a new Staten Island Outreach Social Worker supplements CaringKind's already existing satellite programs in Brooklyn and Queens, where caregivers can access social services, information and referrals, as well as caregiver support and counseling. On the horizon, a Bronx Outreach Social Worker will be on staff by December 2016. In addition, CaringKind offers close to 100 free support groups, workshops and educational seminars for caregivers and people with the disease in all boroughs.
CULTURAL PROGRAM EXPANSION: An exciting expansion is taking place in CaringKind's connect2culture (C2C) Program, which provides programming for people with dementia and their caregivers in art museums and other cultural institutions. These include the Museum of Modern Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Rubin Museum of Art, The Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum and Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, as well as new partners, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden and the National September 11th Memorial & Museum. The program is led by a museum educator and allows caregivers the chance interact with the person they're caring for in an unconventional and often creative atmosphere.
Lou-Ellen Barkan, President and CEO of CaringKind, said, "At CaringKind, we understand that the journey for an Alzheimer's caregiver is not an easy one. Our compassionate and dedicated staff are here to ensure that you do not travel the road alone. CaringKind provides an unprecedented – and expanding – platform of free programs to help you care with confidence."
It is estimated that there are 423,000 informal caregivers in New York State who care for someone with dementia. Sixty percent of employed caregivers cut back on their working hours, take a leave of absence, or have been negatively affected as a result of caregiving.
Other programs that continue to grow include MedicAlert NYC Wander's Safety Program, which provides resources to protect New Yorkers with dementia who wander, and CaringKind's state-of-the-art Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Early Stage Center.
Barkan noted that the current expansion is due in part to generous grant support from the New York State Department of Health.
If you have questions about Alzheimer's or dementia, call 646-744-2900 24-hours a day, 365 days a year or go to www.caringkindnyc.org.
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