The Marsal Caregiver Center
When a person experiences a life-changing illness, surgery or injury, it affects not only the patient, but his or her family, friends and support system as well. The average inpatient stay at Burke is about 18 days — roughly two weeks longer than the average stay at an acute care hospital. This additional time spent in hospital care requires a greater level of support from a patient’s family and loved ones, who are an integral part of a patient’s rehabilitation.
Burke Rehabilitation Hospital recognizes how important our caregivers are and the impact they have on the health of our patients. Most family members are not prepared for the intense physical, mental and emotional responsibilities associated with being a full-time caregiver. Up to 70 percent of caregivers have symptoms of depression. Studies have also found that caregivers have diminished immune responses, due to stress related disorders.
The Marsal Caregiver Center is designed to promote the well-being of caregivers through compassionate support and a healing environment. We know that the role of caregiver can be demanding, stressful and lonely.
Burke Rehabilitation Hospital Caregiver Video
*Funded by the generous support of The Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation
About the Center
The Marsal Caregiver Center provides a peaceful oasis where caregivers can go to receive care for themselves, find solace and refuge. It is separate place within the hospital, where the caregiver can step away from the bedside of their loved one and seek much needed support and information. Research has shown that supporting the caregiver can positively impact the health of the patient, family, and the caregiver, him or herself.
The Marsal Caregiver Center is a 1,657 square foot space dedicated to the family members and loved ones of our patients named for donors Bryan and Kathleen Marsal. During Bryan’s stay as a patient at Burke, he saw a need for a space such as the Center for caregivers to be able to find respite and support.
The goal of this program is to improve the hospital experience by providing emotional and practical support to caregivers who struggle to manage the daily challenges of caring for a loved one during their hospitalization and transition to the next level of care. In collaboration with the patient’s multi-disciplinary team, it is our intention to help connect the caregiver to the many programs within the Burke community, as well as the community at large.
Under the direction of Carla Assenza, LCSW, highly-trained volunteer Care Ambassadors provide the supportive assistance needed during what, for many, can be an overwhelming time. The mission of the Center is to enhance communication between the caregiver, the patient and the staff. These volunteers have all been caregivers themselves, and understand first-hand the burden that a caregiver faces. Care Ambassadors provide a listening ear and educate the family and caregivers on the resources that are available in the Center and elsewhere at Burke.
If you are interested in volunteering as a Care Ambassador in the Marsal Caregiver Center, there is an intensive training process. For more information or to apply, please contact Carla Assenza at (914) 597-2826.
Ribbon Cutting Ceremony
The Marsal Caregiver Center ribbon cutting ceremony was held on Wednesday, May 30, 2018. With standing-room only, a program including Burke Rehabilitation and Montefiore leadership, Westchester County Executive George Latimer, and benefactor Bryan Marsal.
Many media outlets attended the ribbon cutting ceremony. Coverage of the day was seen on many news outlets, including CBS News, FiOS-1 News, News12 Westchester, Westchester County Business Journal, Westchester Senior Voice, Examiner News, Patch, and Hudson Valley Post.
The Marsal Caregiver Center offers not only space for respite and peace, but a number of unique offerings and resources:
- Quiet rooms for rest or private conversation
- Large spaces for group discussion
- Conference rooms available to be closed off from the rest of the center
- Kitchenette stocked with healthy snacks and beverages
- Computer stations with access to internet, a copier and charging station
- Books and magazines for reading pleasure
- Educational events
- Assistance from a licensed clinical social worker
- Support groups
- Stress management