FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 1, 2008

CONTACT: M. “Peggy” Salisbury 908-771-5730;
Norma T. Sheld 908-771-5815

 

Union County Observes Older Americans Month
with “A Check-up for Caregivers”- May 15th

Union County Freeholder Chairman Angel G. Estrada and Freeholder Chester Holmes, liaison to RUNNELLS SpecializedHospital of Union County would like to invite caregivers from all over Union County to take part in “A Check-up for Caregivers.”

“On May 15th, to celebrate Older Americans Month and their caregivers in Union County, RUNNELLS Specialized Hospital and Union County’s Division on Aging will present this informational, educational and self-care event,” said Freeholder Holmes. “The special occasion, to be held from 2 to 5 p.m. at RUNNELLS Hospital; a wheelchair-accessible facility at 40 Watchung Way in Berkeley Heights will feature numerous stations, staffed by experts in areas of interest to caregivers in the community. Caregivers do so much for their loved ones while their own needs are often overlooked.”

Interested individuals may attend these ongoing stations:

Questions and Answers – Union County’s Division on Aging staff will be present to answer questions about community resources.

Safety in the Home – A Professional Occupational Therapist will share information on safety measures you can take to decrease dangers in your home. There will be a demonstration of adaptive equipment.

Cooking for Yourself and Your Loved One – A Registered Dietitian will discuss ideas for nutritious yet easy meals to prepare when time is limited.

Learning about Memory Loss – Memory loss that disrupts everyday life is not a normal part of aging. A representative of the Alzheimer’s Association will explore the difference between normal age-related memory changes and abnormal ones that are associated with Alzheimer’s or related dementia disorders, including the ten warning signs of Alzheimer’s disease.

Project Lifesaver – The Union County Sheriff’s Office will demonstrate how this electronic tracking device is used in Union County to locate persons who might wander, such as those with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia-related disorders. Program operation, requirements and cost data will be provided as well as a live demonstration.

Caring for You – Maintenance of your own emotional health when you take on a caregiver’s responsibilities is vital to your well-being and success. Often caregivers compromise their own health while focusing on the needs and problems of a loved one. This can lead to caregiver stress, burnout and sometimes depression. Caregivers may stop at the Social Work Services table to speak with a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and review symptom checklists as a way to evaluate their own emotional well-being; learn suggestions and possible solutions plus resources to address current problems or avoid future issues.

Time is given by caregivers to their loved one’s needs, but do they pamper themselves? Too often the answer is no. Among the tables, talks and demonstrations, caregivers can take a little time for themselves to enjoy the relaxing benefits of the complimentary massage therapy.

The following health screenings will be available:

Body Mass Indicator/Index
Blood Pressure
Hand Grip Strength

“RUNNELLS and the County’s Division on Aging endorse the theme for Older Americans Month, ‘Working Together for Strong, Healthy, and Supportive Communities’,” said Freeholder Chairman Angel G. Estrada. “Union County is holding this special occasion to try to do just that by helping caregivers to remain strong and healthy. This is vital for the seniors they care for and for themselves.”

Refreshments will be available. For information on “A Check-up for Caregivers”
call 1-888-280-8226 or 1-908-527-4858. Directions to RUNNELLS Specialized Hospital may be found at http://www.ucnj.org/runnells, click on Directions.

RUNNELLS SpecializedHospital of Union County is situated on a 45-acre mountain top tract of land in Berkeley Heights with breathtaking, panoramic views of the Watchung Mountains. The facility is accessible from Routes 22, 24, and 78.