STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — Caring for a family member with dementia leaves little time to focus on personal wellbeing. Circle of Care, a city-funded non-profit, is charged with making that easier.
Support is available to anyone caring for a person with Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease or any type of memory loss or dementia. And, though consultants help with the details of care, it’s not case management. The focus is on the caregiver, said Jennifer Sanchez, a care consultant for Circle of Care.
“As the illness progresses, it gets really hard to take care of them,” Sanchez said. “We offer respite. We offer emotional support, education and counseling to families.”
Three years ago, the organization got $7.5 million from the New York City Department of Health. Services offered include individual counseling, joint enrichment, wellness and educational workshops. The funding also offers MetroCards to those who have transportation issues.
“The bulk of the work is actually getting people to accept the help,” Sanchez said, “to realize they don’t have to do this alone.”