FAIR LAWN - The holidays are extra tough on caregivers but one local agency, Visiting Companions & Caregivers of New Jersey, has the answer, not to mention a great gift idea that can last the whole year.

"We work with families who do not want the stress of caregiving but want to see their loved ones thrive outside of the nursing home," Kelvin Akpovwa, a registered nurse, said.

Akpovwa is the vice president of service development for Visiting Companions & Caregivers of New Jersey, 21-00 Morlot Ave., Fair Lawn.

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In a recent survey conducted by Alzheimer NJ, findings were no surprise: New Jersey residents are stressed by their caregiver responsibilities. 

  • Women caregivers outnumbered men, with 33% of women and 25% of men serving in that role. 
  • Alzheimer’s is taking a toll on New Jersey caregivers’ lives. More than four in five (85%) said that caring for someone with Alzheimer’s disease has had a negative impact on their emotional health. Women are hit harder than men, with more women (42%) than men (31%) saying it has affected their emotional well-being “a great deal.”
  • Family relations are also put under pressure. Overall, 72%, or nearly three in four, said their family relations are strained by caregiving, with that concern being voiced fairly equally across all age groups.
  • One of the contributing factors to caregiver stress and strain is the amount of time it takes, in addition to normal daily tasks. The survey shows that 51% of caregivers spend more than 20 hours per week on caregiving activities. Overall, 27% devote more than 40 hours per week toward caregiving activities.

Akpovwa said his company offers a "unique service called Assisted Living at Home" and called it "the only care program in this part of the state that relieves the family caregiver's stress."

The program works as follows:

  • There are no minimum number of hours required to receive services from the agency.
  • They can begin services within four hours of the first phone call so there is no waiting for care.
  • Clients pay for the type of care they truly need--only--that is why the around-the-clock care companionship rates range from $9.95 to $13.95 per hour.
  • The dementia clients are guaranteed they will never be cared for by someone they have never met and there will not be a different face or a different caregiver each day.
  • All clients receive a free membership to the Caregiver Relief Network, the sole global platform that promotes caregiving as a gratifying experience. www.CaregiverReliefNetwork.com.

Visiting Companions & Caregivers of New Jersey Facebook page: 



Akpovwa said there is a 24-hour phone number, as well: (201) 300-6565.