DALTON –Caring for loved ones who are elderly or ill can be a daunting task without help.
There are many affordable services out there for individuals and their families, however, and the public can learn about them at a special Berkshire County Resources Community Forum being planned for Tuesday, June 25, from 5 to 7 p.m. at Sugar Hill, 45 Main St.
People will learn about getting help which they deserve,
Four service providers, namely, Caregiver Homes, Athena Hospice Services of Western Massachusetts, Gentiva and Moments House, formed a panel to discuss services and invited additional service providers to come and share information a well.
“Many Berkshire County residents may not know about the variety of services offered to those in need of help when experiencing illness or caring for loved ones who are ill or elderly,” Pat Haraden, community liaison, of Athena Hospice Services of Western Massachusetts, said.
Often, people fail to stop and think until they are in a crisis situation or need assistance. At such times, decisions are often made hurriedly.
“Sometimes,” she said, “we shy away from services we think we cannot afford without realizing that many services will not cost us anything additional and, in some cases, may even come with financial assistance.”
The result is that many services are not getting utilized or are getting under utilized, Ms. Haraden said and she added, “ People are not getting the help they deserve.”
“This is an informative forum to provide members of the community with knowledge to assist them with care of their loved ones,” said Jeannie Huey, MSN, R.N., and clinical director at Athena Hospice Services of Western Massachusetts.
“This is a great and innovative idea , and I have seen this done in other parts of the state,” Julie Ely, area marketing manager, Caregiver Homes said. “We had this panel once already with our professional networking group, and we realized the best way to get the word out to the public is to invite the public to come and chat.”
Denise Vigna, admissions and marketing, Videll Heath Care, said Sugar Hill hosted the professional networking group and are happy to host it again for the people who actually need the services.
If you or someone you know is in need of services, plan to attend the forum. Reservations for the free panel session can be made by calling Ms. Haraden at Hospice of Western Massachusetts, 150 North St. in Pittsfield. The phone number there is (413) 442-0045.
Coffee and light food will be served at the forum.