Huntington Hospital has created a new center to help support caregivers.
Huntington Hospital said Tuesday that the Reichert Family Caregiver Center, a 550-square foot space, will operate in the hospital lobby. The center was funded by a half-million donation from the Charles and Helen Reichert Family Foundation.
The center will be staffed by a social worker, social work interns and volunteer coaches Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. It has three rooms: a quiet room with a recliner chair, a small meeting room and a room with three chairs and a computer. It will provide space for caregivers to talk with trained caregiver coaches who can offer resources to them as they manage the day-to-day demands of taking care of an ailing person.
“Huntington Hospital is extremely proud to open the Reichert Family Caregiver Center, which is available to staff, patients, visitors and our community members,” said Nick Fitterman, MD, executive director of Huntington Hospital. “This center will be a destination for caregivers in our community to find resources and respite when they need assistance.”
“Trained volunteer coaches and a social worker will meet with family caregivers one-on-one to provide emotional support, assess their concerns and needs and guide them toward appropriate resources in the community,” said Kacey Farber, LMSW, program manager. “For instance, if a loved one is in the hospital or recently discharged, we can maintain contact with the family caregiver to provide ongoing support.”
It also offers monthly webinars to introduce family caregivers to the importance of self-care, caregiver resources, a Stay in Touch program and various support groups. Those include a family caregiver support group, Dementia and Alzheimer’s support group, a COVID-19 Long Haulers support group and a COVID-19 Bereavement support group.
It is the latest of several such centers that have opened at Northwell facilities including the Charlotte and Roger Blumencranz Patient Services and Caregiver Center at North Shore University Hospital, the Caregiver Center at Glen Cove Hospital and the Caregiver Center at Peconic Bay Medical Center. The Ken Hamilton Caregiver Center at Northern Westchester Hospital, which opened 15 years ago, originated the concept of caregiver centers and its model has since been replicated at nearly two dozen hospitals nationwide.
“The home caregiver is the most important person to the patient and is often someone who sacrifices so much to care for their loved one,” said Charles Reichert. “Offering emotional and practical support to caregivers is critical, and we feel grateful to help make this support a reality for those in our community.”