WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Being a caregiver for an ill or injured loved one can be incredibly stressful.
Studies show 70 percent of caregivers exhibit signs of depression. So, a growing number of hospitals are trying to do more to care for those who are caring for others, CBS2’s Tony Aiello reported Wednesday.
The snip of a red ribbon officially opened an oasis of serenity at Burke Rehabilitation Hospital in White Plains.
Everything inside the Marsal Caregiver Center is designed to soothe the senses, and calm the worries of caregivers, stressed and concerned for loved ones being treated here.
“In effect, there’s no privacy here when I want to meet with somebody, whatever it may be. So I think it’s going to be very, very important,” caregiver Tom Grace said.
Grace spends ten hours a day at Burke as his wife recovers from a brain hemorrhage. He said he looks forward to using the new center as an on-site getaway.
It offers a window on Mother Nature, a spot to check email and a place to grab a decent cup of coffee.
The center also has two rooms designed for privacy, a place for caregivers to go and be alone, or perhaps with a few others to pray, meditate, talk, or even just to close their eyes.
One is called “Tranquility” and the other “Serenity.”
Importantly, there’s also a full-time social worker to help caregivers cope with the emotional toll of supporting loved ones recovering from serious illness or injury.
“There’s a lot of things. I would say fear for sure, anger, guilt in not really wanting this role that they were just forced into,” Marsal Caregiver Center director Carla Assenza said.
Assenza said the center will offer caregivers support and education groups. The staff includes specially trained volunteers and caregivers, themselves, to share advice and a sympathetic ear.
“Sometimes they just need to vent and share their feelings,” Assenza said.
At a stressful time in a peaceful place.
At least four other hospitals in the Montefiore system offer caregiver centers. The one at Burke is the first in the nation inside a rehab hospital.