The Marks Center for Caregivers
99 Sunnyside Blvd
Woodbury, NY 11797
The Marks Center For Caregivers
The Marks Center for Caregivers
“Without the unparalleled contribution of family caregivers, our formal healthcare system would be completely bankrupt.”
This was the conclusion reached through a recent report from the Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregiving at the University of Georgia and funded by Johnson & Johnson and the Pew Charitable Trusts.
Today’s caregivers are responsible for providing a wide range of assistance to their loved ones, including complex nursing care, cognitive support and care management, both inside and outside the home. The typical caregiver provides an average of 21 hours of care a week, and the number of us taking on this role is only expected to increase due to an aging population and the growing burden of illnesses.
There are many stresses associated with the work of caregiving, and they can take their toll physically and emotionally. The American Psychological Association‘s Stress In America survey showed caregivers report being in poorer health than the rest of the nation, with higher rates of high cholesterol, high blood pressure, overweight/obesity and depression.
To address the growing needs of the caregivers in HCN’s service area, in 2005, Cynthia and George Marks provided a generous grant to create The Marks Center for Caregivers. The Marks Center has a single minded objective: providing assistance to caregivers, so their seriously ill family members have the opportunity to remain in their homes.
Fay J. Lindner Foundation Hope and Healing Center
The Fay J. Lindner Foundation Hope and Healing Center has been supporting Hospice Care Network (HCN) and our programs and services since 1990. The HCN Family Bereavement Program has frequently been the recipient of that support.
Bereavement support and services are an integral part of HCN services. The Family Bereavement Program’s services are one component of the HCN interdisciplinary approach that makes hospice care to terminally ill individuals and their families unique. In hospice care, the entire family is a unit of care. HCN not only provides care to the person coping with illness, but also to the surviving family, friends, and significant others after the death of a loved one.
We develop and provide individualized programs of care and supportive services during dying, death and bereavement that enhance quality of life by addressing physical, emotional, spiritual and social needs. HCN Bereavement Programs serve Queens, Nassau and Suffolk Counties. Bereavement Services are provided to children as young as four years old and adults of any age. No one is refused service even if their loved one was not on our program or they do not have medical insurance.
The objective of Hospice Care Network’s Family Bereavement Program is to help survivors deal with the loss which may be an expected death or a sudden event resulting in the death of a loved one. Each person’s grief experience is different so the need to have both individual and group counseling is important. In addition, each person’s support system varies with some having a strong family network and others who don’t. Therefore, having a program that transitions survivors through the process is extremely helpful.
After completing the group experience, HCN offers the Next Step Program which is more educational in nature but also gives survivors the opportunity to be with others. The newest aspect of the healing process is our social activity programs where survivors are given the opportunity to interact on a social level. Ultimately, if we can help the survivors cope with their loss and find a different path but one that is meaningful, we have fulfilled our mission.
The Miracle Foundation Palliative Care Center
On February 9th, 2011, a new law was enacted requiring physicians and nurse practitioners to offer people diagnosed with serious illness information and counseling on their palliative care and end-of-life options. The Palliative Care Information Act was created not only to ensure that people know all their options, but also to empower them to make choices aligned with their personal wishes and goals for care.
Prompted by this legislation, HCN and the Miracle Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of those diagnosed with cancer, launched a unique palliative care program to address the needs of those not yet ready for hospice care. The Miracle Foundation Palliative Care Center provides physician and nurse practitioner consults in the home or hospital, offering people expert pain and symptom management, referrals to community resources and coordination of care with other medical providers. The aim of this care is to allow people to achieve their goals while remaining comfortable and active.
“This initiative is important because it satisfies an unmet need for families struggling with the next step in directing the care of their loved one,” says Patti Tenaglia, co-founder of the Miracle Foundation. “People facing critical news or uncertainty in their care now have a place to turn, a person who will come to them and guide them through options for treatment and care while providing support and advanced care planning resources.”
According to Denise Albano, nurse practitioner with the Miracle Foundation Palliative Care Center, it is important to first explain palliative care, as most people understand what hospice is but have never heard of palliative care. “Once people understand what palliative care is and what we can offer, they are very pleased with our program,” says Albano. “We have vast resources and a wealth of experience to assist people.”
Albano says, the most important way she helps people is by being a second pair of eyes for their primary physician.
“By following people at home, we can usually catch any healthcare issues at an earlier stage,” she says. “For people with congestive heart disease, I listen to their lungs and can adjust medication before they end up in crisis. For people undergoing chemotherapy, I can assist with nausea and pain control right from the house.” She says she also assists families in decision making and goal setting.