Caregiver Volunteers Celebrate 10th Anniversary of Alzheimer’s Program in Toms River
The Alzheimer’s Respite Care Program (ARCP) of Caregiver Volunteers of Central Jersey (CVCJ) www.caregivervolunteers.org celebrated their 10th anniversary of dedicated service easing the burden and enhance the quality of life for family members caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease (AD).
Since its inception, ARCP volunteers have served over 300 Ocean County families with 3 to 4-hour weekly visits, giving companionship and emotional support to the individual with AD and the family caregiver. All services are provided FREE, and primarily funded through the Ocean County Office of Senior Services. “Not a day goes by where we don’t receive at least one call for help, there are so many people who are trying to care for a loved one with dementia or Alzheimer’s and they are over-whelmed. We try to ease that burden”, said Valerie Johnson-Greene, ARCP coordinator for CVCJ.
“Coordinating the program is very rewarding,” said Johnson-Greene. Responsibility includes meeting with the clients and families, recruiting and matching volunteers to families, and providing follow-up and support for both families and volunteers. All volunteers participate in an orientation session and attend monthly support meetings with an opportunity to share experiences and learn from professionals in the field of AD. “Our volunteers are at the heart of our program”, continued Johnson-Greene.
CVCJ is a non-profit interfaith agency whose mission is to assist the frail and homebound elderly with everyday tasks enabling them to remain independent in their own homes. All services provided are free. Over 1000 volunteers assist more than 2000 senior citizens each month with transportation to medical appointments, grocery shopping, relief for Alzheimer’s disease caregivers, reassuring telephone calls, friendly/pet visits. CVCJ has two locations serving Ocean County: Whiting, 30 Lacey Road, and Toms River, 253 Chestnut Street. For more information and to learn about volunteer opportunities, call Mary O. Malagiere, 732-505-2273 ext. 211 or visit www.caregivervolunteers.org