Caregiver Friend Program - A help for those caring for a loved one
Mercy Care Volunteer Caregiver Friends assist persons who are caring for a loved one by providing respite so the caregiver can get away for a few hours. They also serve as a listening presence so caregivers can express their concerns, their fears, and their questions. They provide information on services in the community that support caregivers and care receivers and help caregivers with decision-making and stress management. In summary, Caregiver Friends accompany caregivers on their journey of providing care to their loved one.
Become a Caregiver Friend
Those interested in becoming a Caregiver Friend must first complete either the Friendship Volunteer Training or the Parish Nurse Training.They then receive 7 hours of training specific to the role of Caregiver Friend. Training topics include:
- Compassionate Caring
- Transitions in Caregiving
- Caring for the Spirit
- Loss and grief
- Caregiving Emergency Planning
Training is offered free of charge, but pre-registration is required.If you are interested in becoming a Caregiver Friend, please contact Sr. Catherine Cummings, Program Director at 518-523-5582 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How a Caregiver Friend helps
A married couple was referred to Mercy Care by their Public Health Nurse for caregiver respite. The husband is caring full time for his wife who has ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease). Mercy Care’s Caregiver Friend stays with the wife several hours each week so her husband, her caregiver, can get out to do errands. Our Caregiver Friend is available to listen to his concerns, offer him guidance, and accompany him on his journey, as he cares for his wife.
A son caring full-time for his mother enjoys having a Caregiver Friend with whom he can share what caregiving is like for him.The Caregiver Friend, who is also a parish nurse, offers suggestions on caregiving which are welcome and make caregiving easier.