PSS Circle of Care Featured in MetroNY

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A Helping Hand: NYC Agency Provides Assistance to Family Caregivers

by A.P. SINGER

Circle of Care provides in-person, online and by-phone support for those caring for people with dementia.

Today, it’s estimated that more than 250,000 New Yorkers are living with Alzheimer’s disease and other related dementias. More than half continue to live at home, most with a friend or family member providing care. Yet even with the rising rates and awareness of the condition, many family caregivers struggle in finding information, access to services and direct support.

Caring for a loved one is an incredible experience — both burdensome and rewarding — but many caregivers fail to recognize their own needs or seek help, or often feel guilty in doing so.

Enter PSS, a multi-service agency that provides services and caregiver support for older New Yorkers. The agency runs the Circle of Care program, a comprehensive program for caregivers.

“What people often forget about Alzheimer’s disease, is that it not only devastates the person who has been diagnosed with it but it also devastates anyone who has known the person diagnosed,” said Peter Pagano, one of the PSS Circle of Care Directors, on the importance of the agency’s newly expanded services.

Circle of Care’s Caregiver Consultant Hannah Bellinger adds: “Caregivers are both relieved and surprised to hear that PSS Circle of Care is truly a caregiver support program. They expect agencies to provide support to their loved ones and so are surprised that we are here to relieve their own stress and attend to their own needs.”

Among its continuum of services, Circle of Care provides in-person, online and by-phone support groups; training and online resources on caring for those with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia; referrals for temporary respite; and coordination of supplemental services, like transportation and health supplies.

“It’s essential that people recognize the warning signs of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias,” said Katherine Martinez, PSS Deputy Director. These signs include difficulty completing familiar tasks, failing to find the right words, or dramatic changes in mood or withdrawing from social activities.

“It’s even more essential that they realize that help is out there – and that they ask for it, ” Martinez added. Circle of Care can be reached through their toll-free bilingual hotline 866-665-1713 or email at careinfo@pssusa.org.

Carole McFarlane is a former caregiver who received support from the Circle of Care program while caring for her mother, who had dementia. Now, McFarlane is a PSS volunteer.

“I needed help and didn’t know where to turn when I heard about PSS,” McFarlane said. “Thanks to Circle of Care, I could pick up the phone anytime I needed to talk. PSS was always there for me in a timely manner.”

Circle of Care can be reached through their toll-free bilingual hotline 866-665-1713 or email at careinfo@pssusa.org.

PSS Circle of Care Awarded $7.5 Million by NSDOH for Alzheimer’s Programming

 

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Press Release

PSS Circle of Care Awarded $7.5 Million Grant as Part of Governor Cuomo’s Alzheimer’s Caregiver Support Initiative

November 3, 2015

PSS Circle of Care Caregiver Services has been named one of nine agencies in New York State to be awarded $7.5 million each as part of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s $67.5 million Alzheimer’s Caregiver Support Initiative. PSS is one of only three agencies in New York City to receive this funding.

According to the Governor’s office, “the Initiative seeks to develop programs that support the family members who care for the nearly 380,000 New Yorkers living with Alzheimer’s Disease and other dementias . . . and to alleviate the emotional and financial burdens that are unduly placed upon [the one million informal caregivers in New York State] who provide 1.1 billion hours of unpaid care annually. Award recipients will receive $7.5 million over the course of five years to develop programs that support these informal caregivers through evidence-based approaches like care consultations, educational resources, support groups, and respite services. Past evidence shows that these services are vital to reducing caregiver stress and health risks, while also improving the quality of life for Alzheimer’s patients.” “Alzheimer’s Disease affects thousands of New Yorkers each year and takes a devastating toll on both patients and the caregivers,” Governor Cuomo said. “This investment will provide a wide range of support and respite services for caregivers of individuals with Alzheimer’s and similar diseases.”

PSS Circle of Care Caregiver Services has been supporting informal caregivers for over a decade by offering informational services, individual and family counseling, support groups, educational training and respite.

PSS Executive Director Rimas Jasin noted that “PSS’ Circle of Care model works for both Alzheimer’s Disease caregivers and traditional family caregivers. The model was designed to take full advantage of our years of experience providing services to caregivers in Manhattan and the Bronx where our staff have already begun adopting it for our current clients. This grant is an incredible opportunity to provide our own special PSS brand of support to NYC families caring for those suffering with Alzheimer’s Disease and other dementias.”

Being awarded this grant enhances PSS’ role as one of New York City’s leaders in caregiver services with a special focus on Alzheimer’s and dementia care. PSS’ recently expanded Caregiver Services Department has already positioned PSS for a city-wide expansion. This grant will enable PSS to add at least 20 new full-time staff, growing PSS by more than 50%, and making our programs available in all five boroughs.

Alzheimer’s Disease is the most common form of dementia and the number of cases in New York State is expected to increase from 380,000 to 460,000 by 2025. More than half of New York’s Alzheimer’s patients live at home, and 75 percent of those who do, live with a friend or family member who provides care. PSS will be playing a leading role in addressing one of this country’s greatest health challenges – the care of those with Alzheimer’s Disease.

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About PSS: PSS Circle of Care Caregiver Services is a program of PSS, a multi-service agency founded in 1962. PSS now encompasses eight senior centers, two senior and intergenerational residences, an extensive network of family and kinship caregiver services, the Young Adult Success Program (YASP) connecting kinship young adults with mentors and programs to empower their success, and Coming of Age NYC to help New Yorkers 50+ live with passion and purpose. For more information please visit www.pssusa.org and like us on Facebook at Facebook.com/pssnyc.

Grandparent Family Apartments designated a generations united Program of Distinction

Press Release

Grandparent Family Apartments designated a generations united Program of Distinction

Designation serves as the U.S. benchmark for intergenerational programs.

(New York, NY) – PSS/WSF Grandparent Family Apartments is proud to have been designated a Program of Distinction within the intergenerational community by Generations United. 

Presbyterian Senior Services has been a pioneering leader of kinship services since the early 1990’s when it held support groups at its senior centers for grandparents raising grandchildren.  Its innovative PSS/WSF Grandparent Family Apartments, one of the first residences for kinship families, opened in 2005. With the Grandparent Family Apartments as its hub, PSS now provides kinship caregiver services in three boroughs of NYC.

 “We are very excited about receiving this recognition on the building’s 10th Anniversary,” states Rimas Jasin, Executive Director of PSS.  “Our work over the last ten years has allowed us to develop many best practices in intergenerational programming.”  Co-founder Laura Jervis, Executive Director of West Side Federation for Senior and Supportive Housing (WSFSSH) which manages the building, recalls “the day the first family moved into the GFA, six years of pioneering and challenging work came to fruition.  It was worth every minute of our hard work and continues to be a source of great pride.”

PSS Deputy Director Katherine Martinez adds that ““the populations that the PSS/WSF Grandparent Family Apartments serves are extremely high need. Without their grandparents, most of these children would be in foster care. Despite sudden funding cuts a few years ago, PSS has not abandoned its families and continues to provide outstanding, innovative programs to our kinship families.”

 “We congratulate Grandparent Family Apartments for earning this distinction and for their dedication to intergenerational practices,” notes Donna Butts, Executive Director of Generations United. “The Program of Distinction designation is the U.S. intergenerational community’s ‘seal of approval’. The application and review process are rigorous. Achieving this recognition is a major accomplishment and says a program employs best practices and effectively serves the surrounding community.”

Generations United launched the Program of Distinction designation in 2010, with support from New York Life Foundation, to recognize excellence while celebrating the rich diversity among intergenerational programs.  This year, six intergenerational programs from across the nation earned the distinction. Joining Grandparent Family Apartments are Elder Service Partner Program at Messiah College Department of Human Development and Family Services; Intergenerational Place, Permanence and Shared Social Purpose at Bridge Meadows; Opening Minds through Art at Miami university Scripps Gerontology Center; The Intergenerational School; and TimeSlips Creative Storytelling – Creative Trusts.

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About PSS/WSF Grandparent Family Apartments: PSS/WSF GFA is a program of PSS, a multi-service agency founded in 1962.  PSS now encompasses eight senior centers, two senior and intergenerational residences, an extensive network of family and kinship caregiver services, the Young Adult Success Program (YASP) connecting kinship young adults with mentors and programs to empower their success, and Coming of Age NYC to help New Yorkers 50+ define their next chapter.  For more information please visit www.pssusa.org and like us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pssnyc

 

About Generations United: For nearly three decades, Generations United has been the catalyst for policies and practices stimulating cooperation and collaboration among generations, evoking the vibrancy, energy and sheer productivity that result when people of all ages come together.  We believe that we can only be successful in the face of our complex future if generational diversity is regarded as a national asset and fully leveraged. www.gu.org.