Care for the Family Caregiver Initiative Hosts First Panel Discussion

Yesterday, EmblemHealth’s Care for the Family Caregiver Initiative hosted its first Caregiver Panel discussion for Emblem employees. Members of the New York City Partnership for Family Caregiver Corps (NYCP4FC) discussed the challenges associated with becoming a family caregiver, and in an effort to prevent caregivers from becoming care recipients, offered strategies to help manage the stress, frustration and sadness that caregivers often experience.

“I have buried more caregivers than care recipients,” said Gregory Johnson, EmblemHealth’s Senior Advisor for Family Caregiving. As a minister, Johnson has spent many years working to support caregivers in his congregation and has been integral to Emblem’s leadership in the corporate arena for providing family caregiving support and services to employees.

“It [EmblemHealth] is the only company or corporation that I know that really walks their talk with caregiving,” said panelist Sheila Warnock, co-author of Share the Care, and Founder, President and CEO, ShareTheCaregiving.

Family caregivers are known as “silent patients.” They play a vital role in caring for their loved ones, but that can often come at the expense of their own health and well-being. According to an AARP study released in August 2015, there were about 40 million family caregivers in the United States in 2013, 2.2 million of those in New York State alone.

“You’re the backbone of the health care system,” Johnson told the caregivers participating in the discussion. When caring for a loved one, he added, “You have to go through it and it’s our prayer you grow through it.”

Other panelists included Molly Pearl, Intersections International; Cynthia Burke, Friends in Deed; Rev. Marion Gambardella, Spiritual Conditioning for Family Caregivers; Elise Colomer, SAGE; Robin Fenley, New York State Office for the Aging (NYSOFA); and EmblemHealth’s David Flemister, Director, Brand Strategy & Community Marketing.

In November, in honor of Family Caregiver Awareness Month,  EmblemHealth Neighborhood Care will be hosting an event in celebration of family caregivers at each of its four New York City locations — Cambria Heights, Chinatown, Crown Heights and Harlem. In addition, each location will screen the award-winning and Emblem produced short-film, Care. Stay tuned for more information and programming details.

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Care for the Family Caregiver Initiative
Research shows that the challenges a family caregiver faces can increase their risk of developing physical and emotional problems, particularly depression. That’s why EmblemHealth created the Care for the Family Caregiver Initiative more than 15 years ago. As medical treatments advance and continue to increase life expectancies, more and more of us will likely begin caring for family members. At EmblemHealth, we want to keep you from becoming a care recipient. We’re here to support you with information and resources for today — hope and health for tomorrow.

New York City Partnership for Family Caregiving Corps (NYCP4FC Corps)
EmblemHealth is the founder of the NYCP4FC Corps, a group that provides a platform for synergy between government, nonprofit organizations and corporations in response to the growing number of employees who double as family caregivers. Family caregiving is a challenge for all employers as it directly affects corporate earnings, productivity, retention and a company’s bottom line.