Presbyterian Senior Services (PSS) is expanding a vital program supporting the caregivers of New York City's elderly. And it is inviting the members and friends of Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church to get involved.
"We have received major funding for 2016 for our Circle of Care Caregivers Services program," said Rimas Jasin, executive director, during a special appearance on Dec. 20 at FAPC. "What this might mean for you is that you have an opportunity to change someone's life."
A Circle of Care provides services to New Yorkers in all five boroughs who have family members suffering from Alzheimer's Disease or another dementia. Many caregivers need information, resources and referrals to help them ensure that their loved ones receive the best care. Caregivers also need support in dealing with feelings of despair, depression, anger, frustration, anxiety, grief and exhaustion.
The Circle of Care program provides consultations, support groups, and training to help those who care for an ill, frail or disabled loved one. The family caregiver or the recipient must be 60 years of age or older.
Jasin asked members and friends of FAPC to share information about the Circle of Care program with those who would benefit from it.
"One in every 19 New Yorkers is a caregiver to someone with some form of dementia," he said. "Chances are you know someone or will meet someone who is struggling with this in their family."
Jasin also said PSS is eager to provide workshops on Alzheimer's Disease and family caregiving to corporations, associations and other major employers in the New York City area. Contact [email protected] if you are interested.
With its Circle of Care program, Presbyterian Senior Services (an FAPC mission partner) is helping to fulfill an important need among New York City's growing elderly population.
"According to a the Institute of Medicine, a division of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, unpaid caregivers provide 90 percent of long-term care for the old or disabled," the New York Times reported in September. "Like old age itself, the job arrives unbidden and with little in the way of guidance, to be managed more than mastered. The RAND Corporation estimated last year that Americans spend 30 billion hours annually caring for older relatives and friends, with most of them juggling caregiving along with jobs, families and other demands on their time."
PSS is a multi-service agency with eight senior centers that serve more than 1,000 people every day. PSS also provides senior apartments, caregiver support, volunteer programs, intergenerational programs (such as mentoring) and other services. Its Coming of Age program assists New Yorkers ages 50 and older to prepare for the next chapter in their lives.
Ten years ago, PSS and another FAPC mission partner, West Side Federation For Senior and Supportive Housing (WSFSSH), partnered to create the Grandparent Family Apartments. This residence is the first of its kind in the U.S. built for grandparents raising grandchildren. FAPC was a major funder of this innovative project.
According to the AARP, 4.5 million children are living in grandparent-headed households nationwide. In New York City, approximately 84,000 grandparents are responsible for the grandchildren living with them. The Grandparent Family Apartments is home to 55 grandparents and 90 grandchildren, with co-located intergenerational support services.
FAPC has been integrally involved in Presbyterian Senior Services since the organization was founded more than 50 years ago. FAPC member Josie Lawrence is a member of the PSS board (a number of other members have also served), and in 2013, PSS honored FAPC's Meals on Heels program with its prestigious Maggie Kuhn award for service to the elderly.
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