Huntington Hospital opens caregiver center

Huntington Hospital has completed its 550-square-foot caregiver center inside the hospital’s main lobby.

The center is thanks to a $500,000 gift from the Charles and Helen Reichert Family Foundation. It is available to staff, patients, visitors and community members.

Here, caregivers have a dedicated space in which they can sit and talk with trained caregiver coaches who can offer resources to them as they manage the day-to-day demands and logistics of caring for a sick loved one.

“This center will be a destination for caregivers in our community to find resources and respite when they need assistance.” Dr. Nick Fitterman, executive director of Huntington Hospital, said in a statement.

Initially, the center will be staffed by a social worker, social work interns and volunteer coaches who wll be available on Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The center has three rooms: a quiet room with a recliner chair, a small meeting room and a room with three chairs and a computer.

“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,” Kacey Farber, the center’s program manager, said in a statement.

“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,” Farber added.

Additional amenities include monthly webinars to introduce family caregivers to the need for and importance of self-care, caregiver resources, a stay-in-touch program and various support groups. These groups include a family caregiver support group, a dementia and Alzheimer’s support group, a COVID-19 long-haulers support group and a COVID-19 bereavement support group.

The center is the most gathering space of its kind to open within a Northwell Health facility. The concept first originated at Northern Westchester Hospital 15 years ago,  according to Northwell, and has been replicated at nearly 24 hospitals across the country.




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