(Courtesy of JFCS) Even before the pandemic, many family caregivers felt overwhelmed by their responsibilities to their sick spouses or parents. Jewish Family and Children’s Services’ (JFCS) well-established Wolff caregiver program has continued to provide support to caregivers of loved ones with Alzheimer’s or dementia, no matter the circumstances.
The program was generously instituted by Ilene Wolff and the Wolff family, in memory of her in-laws, Sam and Nina Wolff. “When my mother-in-law became ill… we, like many caregivers and families, were isolated and did not know where to turn… JFCS did not yet have a program in place for caregivers, so in Sam and Nina’s memory, we wanted to help organize support and services for other families in the same situation,” Ilene said. In 2017, the program expanded to include providing respite to caregivers by assisting with funding for home health aide services and information on other related programs. Support groups for caregivers continue to meet three times a month, now virtually.
COVID-19 and the consequent lockdown and social-distancing guidelines have imposed extra stress on caregivers, virtually isolating them from family members, medical professionals and home health aides. It has been mentally and physically grueling for many, and JFCS is committed to providing some relief.
A follow-up to last year’s in-person event, this year’s Zoom event, titled “Taking Care of You During Challenging Times,” took place on July 27 and was met with great interest. Nancy Siegel, MA, an educational consultant, spoke to caregivers about the importance of self-compassion and self-kindness and offered short and easy-to-do mindfulness tips and exercises.
JFCS will continue the monthly Zoom series until the end of 2020. Topics include: “Healthy Cooking for Caregivers,” “Spirituality During the High Holidays” and “Positive Psychology.” Stay tuned for more information on the next Wolff caregiver Zoom session, which will take place on August 26. For any questions, call 201-837-9090 or email [email protected]
For more information, visit www.jfcsnnj.org or call 201-837-9090.