Senior center to host new support group

The Edison Senior Citizen Center will host a free monthly support group meeting for caregivers, officials announced last week.

The Caregiver Support Group will provide assistance to Edison residents who are caring for family members, such as parents, spouses, children, companions or friends, who are in some degree incapacitated and need help.

"Caregivers provide support to a loved one or family member by assuming additional responsibilities. These may include financial, household, hygiene or health decision making, arranging physician appointments, food shopping, meal preparation or bill paying," said Mayor George A. Spadoro.

"Often, people are thrown into the role of caregiver with little or no time to prepare. While necessary, these additional duties can take a toll on the emotional well-being of the caregiver. The Caregiver Support Group will offer individuals an atmosphere of understanding and support to discuss issues and problems with others in similar situations, and will aid them in finding the solutions and resources needed to assist them in fulfilling this new role."

Discussions will offer caregivers the tools to identify stress and provide ways to reduce its effects; deal with emotional issues, such as the guilt of placing a family member in a nursing home; help caregivers understand the losses associated with caregiving; and provide information about community resources and services.

Guest speakers will provide information on a variety of caregiving topics.

The group will meet monthly at 7 p.m. on March 23, April 20 and May 18 under the direction of a licensed geriatric social worker at the Edison Senior Citizen Center, 2963 Woodbridge Ave. Caregivers and interested family members are invited to attend. Light refreshments will be served. The May meeting, devoted to Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders, will include guest facilitator Eileen E. Doremus, B.A., C.S.W., of the Alzheimer’s Association, Greater New Jersey.

For more information on programs and services available through the Edison Senior Citizen Center or to register for the Caregiver Support Group, call (732) 248-7498.