East Brunswick Senior Center holds support group for caregivers

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Zinkevych

EAST BRUNSWICK– The East Brunswick Senior Center is offering a way to build camaraderie while offering caretakers a space to share their experiences.

“The Caregiver Support Group is a safe place where individuals that care for someone, whether it be a spouse/partner, parent, child or any loved one, can come and speak openly and confidentially without judgment while feeling heard, validated and supported,” said Danielle Micale, director of the East Brunswick Department on Aging.

Micale said the group was spearheaded by the department’s former assistant director and licensed professional counselor, Sharon Reilly-Marosy.

“[Reilly-Marosy] devoted over 25 years of service to the East Brunswick Department on Aging prior to her retirement the end of last year. We have continued her legacy with numerous support groups, one of which is the caregiver group,” Micale said. “Our new counselor and licensed marriage and family therapist, Marisol Meza, and/or I continue to lead the group.”

Micale said the group was created due to the increasing number of those providing care for loved ones. AARP indicates there are more than 1 million caregivers in New Jersey providing more than a billion hours of care for an estimated economic value of over $13 billion.

The group usually meets the first Wednesday of every month from 2:30-4 p.m. at the East Brunswick Senior Center, located at 3 Civic Drive. A prospective attendee must currently be a caregiver to attend.

Meza also leads a Hope and Healing Support Group for those who have recently lost a loved one.

“Local caregivers should consider joining the group to gain information, education and resources, as well as stress management and relaxation techniques. Most importantly, the group assists caregivers with feelings of validation and hope while helping to decrease anxiety,” Micale said. “Individuals may be nervous at first to share their personal issues and feelings, but they can also just come to listen and once they feel more comfortable they may want to discuss their own thoughts and experiences.”

For more information on all of the department’s groups and programs, visit www.eastbrunswick.org/content/202/251/default.aspx or call 732-390-6896.

Contact Vashti Harris at vharris@newspapermediagroup.com.