Responding to an urgent need to serve the boroughs of New York City, CaringKind is on the ground in the neighborhoods of the communities we serve. With six satellite offices including those in Chinatown, Flushing Queens, The Bronx at Montefiore Medical Center and one in Yonkers, as well as two locations in Brooklyn; Gravesend/Sheepshead Bay and Williamsburg, we are reaching out to individuals and families close to their home.
With a key focus serving the Chinese speaking community in Chinatown, the Spanish speaking community in the Bronx at the Montefiore Medical Center, and the Orthodox community in Brooklyn, funded by the Sephardic Home for the Aged Foundation, we are targeting our services to be relevant and especially meaningful to those populations. In Brooklyn, we have already partnered with Zicharon and Sephardic Bikur Holim, who have generously provided space for our staff member heading the program there.
Our commitment to diversity and outreach is demonstrated by our expanded presence. We are offering one-on-one consultations, support groups and education workshops about dementia directly to the families of those struggling with the complexities of caring for someone with dementia.
Highlights from A Brooklyn Social Work Case
Susan was referred to CaringKind by a social worker, at Sephardic Bikur Holim in Brooklyn, for help with her parents. Her father had been recently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and her mother had a number of medical issues, including visual impairment. Susan needed guidance on how to persuade her parents to stop driving and to get a home health aide to assist with household maintenance and meal preparation.
When Susan first met with Adina, CaringKind’s social worker in Brooklyn, she discussed her own difficulties in accepting her father’s diagnosis. What made it even more challenging was that the neurologist who examined her father never scheduled a follow up with the family to discuss the results of the medical testing. Susan took matters into her own hands and called the doctor, only to receive the devastating diagnosis over the phone. This same physician only agreed to make a follow up appointment four months later. Understandably, Susan felt lost having this news with nowhere to turn for information or support. She also grappled with deciding whether or not to tell her parents about her father’s diagnosis.
Adina helped Susan understand the implications of the diagnosis and encouraged her to learn all she could about the disease. Accordingly, Susan attended our Understanding Dementia Seminar for Family Caregivers as well as our Annual Meeting where experts in the subject of Alzheimer’s and dementia discussed new and novel innovations in diagnosis. Susan was so inspired by all that she learned from her meetings she encouraged her siblings to participate in CaringKind programs as well.
Several family meetings ensued where Adina met with both siblings as well as their mother. It was at this session that Susan felt safe and comfortable enough to share the news of her father’s diagnosis with her. Upon hearing the information, her mother was understandably distressed. Adina provided the emotional support she needed to process the news. By the end of the session, Susan was able to have a productive discussion with her mother about driving and obtaining household help.
With a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease or any dementia, acceptance of a diagnosis is an ongoing process with much to learn and adapt to. When working with many members of a family, each person will go through acceptance and denial at varying times. Through Adina’s professional guidance and compassionate care, they were able to gain the knowledge and strength to get through their terrifying ordeal. And, Susan, her parents and her siblings know that they can contact CaringKind at any time to manage the practical and caring aspects of their lives while receiving the emotional support they need.