Author Erica Brown stated in her “Exit Ramp” story “Makes a nice sandwich (generation)” (April 5): “…I watch my parents…struggle with aging and children struggling with adulting….”
She talks about the strain of being part of the “sandwich generation,” assisting both grown children and elderly parents. She closes the column with open questions about who is taking care of the caregivers. “And what or who is inside this sandwich may be a tired, neglected soul, trying to do the best for everyone at the expense of self-care.”
I read the column and immediately identified with it. I am a member of the sandwich generation; I have watched my parents and in-laws age and have tried to assist my grown children as they begin raising their own children. The struggles of seeing parents becoming more vulnerable while fighting to maintain their independence is real.
Fortunately, there is an agency in the community that offers support and resources to assist me through the caregiving process. As president of the board of trustees of Jewish Family Service of MetroWest (JFS), I am keenly aware of all that JFS does to assist people through different stages of life. JFS understands, and its clinicians are experts in local resources and services.
The Care Consultation program, funded by the Healthcare Foundation of New Jersey and United Way of Northern NJ, is a free, telephone-based caregiver service for those living in or caring for a loved one in Morris, Essex, Sussex, Union, and parts of Hudson counties. It services caregivers caring for a loved one 55-plus and assists both the caregiver and the care recipient. Licensed clinical social workers offer guidance and information in finding practical solutions to meet current needs, adjust to changes, and plan for the future. All confidential communication is through e-mail and phone contact.
For those who require more assistance or for those with greater needs, JFS also offers Geriatric Care Management, a concierge care service that is a fee-based, private-pay supportive service providing for the individualized expanding needs of older adults as they age. JFS geriatric care managers monitor evolving psychological, social, medical, physical, and personal needs and coordinate all aspects of care with health-care and other professionals.
I am so thankful that I have JFS as a resource to assist me on my caregiving journey. JFS MetroWest is available to you as well. For more information, visit jfsmetrowest.org or call 973-765-9050.
Jewish Family Service of MetroWest, with offices in Florham Park and Livingston, serves residents of Essex, Morris, Sussex, southern Hudson, and northern Union counties. Call 973-765-9050 or visit jfsmetrowest.org.
Jewish Family Service of Central NJ, with offices in Elizabeth and Mountainside, serves residents of Union County and parts of Somerset County. Call 908-352-8375 or visit jfscentralnj.org.
Both are beneficiary agencies of the Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ.