Willing Hearts, Helpful Hands
Willing Hearts, Helpful Hands is comprised of a community-based, volunteer network of caregivers who provide in-home respite services. The volunteers step in for family and informal caregivers in an emergency or on a recurring basis.
Parker Jewish Institute for Health Care & Rehabilitation
For over 100 years, Parker Jewish Institute for Health Care & Rehabilitation has been an innovator in the design of specialized programs to meet the needs of older adults. For more than a century the Parker Jewish Institute has served the health care needs of older adults and their families. With a 1,000 staff and volunteers, the program is a constellation of inpatient programs and as well as a comprehensive array of highly regarded community services that help seniors maintain their independence in their own homes. The programs serve a broad spectrum of seniors, from those who require total care or are home-bound to those who are active and mobile.
Parker Jewish Institute is comprised of a 527-bed skilled nursing facility which offers a comprehensive system of post-acute, short-term rehabilitation, and nursing and medical services. The Institute also offers a diversified network of outpatient services including an adult day health care center, home health care, a hospice program, and an Alzheimer center. The range of programs makes it possible for patients to move within a network of services geared to each stage of recovery, including services within the home.
New Hyde Park, New York
How does it work?
Older individuals, particularly those with dementia, rely on informal care or care provided by family and friends. The goal of the program is to improve the quality of life for family caregivers, by engaging volunteers from the broader community to provide respite services for caregivers via "caregiver circles". By "sharing the care" these "caregiver circles" assist participants to remain in their home, in their community and with their friends and families.
Volunteers bring their unique skills, talent, training and life experiences to provide relief to family caregivers. Trained volunteers provide a wide array of respite services from social visiting, errands, assisting with meals, telephone reassurance and assistance with shopping. Volunteers are matched with caregivers for a minimum of 3 months. Interviews, training, orientation, photo identification, references, and background check are required of volunteers. In addition, a commitment of 30 minutes a week for a minimum of three months is required.
Why is it successful?
Family caregivers play a vital role in providing care to adults living with serious illnesses, chronic conditions, and disabilities. Studies conducted at the Institute have found that people with moderate dementia have been able to defer nursing home placement by nearly a year when their family members receive caregiver support (respite) services, have someone to talk to, information about available resources and ongoing support. Respite care is an essential part of the overall support system for caregivers by providing a temporary relief from the routine activities of caregiving.
For more information: www.willingheartshelpfulhands.org