October 24, 2019

I’ve run family support groups for people caring for someone with dementia and/or Parkinson’s disease for many years.  The group composition has always included people of all ages and not distinguished by category; i.e., spouse, parent.  There has been a shift to young...

January 13, 2019

Before this year’s December holidays, members of the support group I run talked about how they were going to celebrate.  Most said it would be low-keyed, close to home but festive.  That was an important key.  Holidays are a time to side-line caregiving duties long eno...

April 24, 2018

After this group member’s father died she sent me a note.  There were several passages that even today, 2 years later, struck me as important.  One has to do with the importance of a support group, exercising your voice in a group and how a good facility can make a fam...

November 29, 2017

Holidays bring out the best and worse in caregivers and people who have experienced a recent lost.  The inclination may be to spend holidays in a dark room, chase people away with “bah humbug” or worse, refuse to have a part in the festivities.

We can’t be happy all the...

July 17, 2017

I visited my client Virginia a few days ago at her assisted living.  She was in the dining room at her table.  I sat down and said hello to her and then to the other person at the table.  “My name’s Berger - you can't forget my name, just think of HAMberger, “he said w...

June 16, 2017

I leave networking meetings with one “take-away”: it’s personal.

There are a few people that look interesting but by the end of the meeting, one, maybe two stand out.  My criteria? Genuine, honest, knowledgeable and a good sense of humor.

A few years ago, I was in the au...

May 8, 2017

Sometimes after particularly notable support group meeting I summarize them and send to the group.  Below are examples of a few:

9 March 2017

Hello All - our meeting last night was most interesting and veered off into unexplored areas. M gave us a comprehensive picture o...

April 9, 2017

We know that dementia can turn a sweet person sour and angry and an angry person quiet, compliant.

March 22, 2017

A few years ago I started working with a woman with mild cognitive impairment.  I didn’t know it at the time, but I was witness to the actions of a power of attorney, George M, lawyer, making decisions contrary to the explicit wishes of his client, putting me in an unt...

March 7, 2017

Losing someone to a long term chronic illness can stretch families to the edge; you watch the gradual loss of capacity and at the same time take on increased responsibilities.  It’s easier when the ill person handles their losses with grace and even humor; harder when...

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May 8, 2017

February 9, 2017

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Ruth Rothbart-Mayer, LCSW, C-ASWCM


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Individual Psychotherapy & Elder Care Coaching

14 Fairway Ave, West Orange, NJ 07052

14 Fairway Ave, West Orange, NJ 07052

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