Attending a support group can help individuals share experiences and connect with others, offering much needed emotional support that can be helpful to the recovery process. Support groups provide a safe environment and a forum for attendees to discuss similar issues and concerns.
Bacharach has a number of support groups, providing patients with the opportunity to learn, listen and socialize with others.
Spinal Cord Injury Support Group
September is National Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Month. According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center there are an estimated 282,000 people living in the United States today with a spinal cord injury.
Car accidents, falls, violence, and sports and recreation activities are cited as the leading causes of this type of injury.
Becky McGill, PT, co-coordinator for the Spinal Cord Injury Program and coordinator of the Spinal Cord Injury Support Group said, “The support group provides our members with a great way to explore recreational activities that are still accessible to them; receive education on topics, resources and products of interest to them; meet others who are going through the same challenges that they are and share their experiences with others who may benefit from their knowledge. It also provides recreational activities ranging from adaptive sailing to adaptive horseback riding, bowling, restaurant visits and guest lectures. Members of our group have joined with the Ocean City Swim Club, which is now becoming an integrated team for people of all ability levels. We have an active Facebook page which helps people stay connected. We also send out a monthly newsletter that informs everyone of the agenda for the monthly meeting, plus includes education, resources, and community events.”
Cardiac Support Group
The American Heart Association estimates that 85.6 million Americans are living with some form of cardiovascular disease or the after-effects of stroke. Bacharach’s Cardiac Support Group takes place on the third Thursday of each month and is open to cardiac patients and their loved ones. Each meeting features a presentation by a staff member or guest speaker about cardiovascular health. After the presentation, participants share stories, ask questions, and discuss their own experiences.
Ronn Franceschini, M.Ed, Bacharach’s director of cardiac services explained, “Heart attacks, open heart bypass, valve surgery, stents, peripheral vascular disease and cardiopulmonary conditions are all life-changing events. The monthly support group not only helps to educate patients, it provides the critical support they need as they cope with the emotions that often follow a cardiovascular trauma.”
Bacharach encourages people with sleep apnea to attend a meeting of A.W.A.K.E., a support group for people with obstructive sleep apnea. The meetings take place several times each year. For information call 609-748-5405
Brain Injury Alliance of New Jersey
The BIANJ Cape Atlantic Chapter holds a brain injury support group the second Thursday of each month at 7 p.m. in the Pomona Room of the Hollander Center.
For information call Nutan Ravani 856-589-5797
Pain Management Support Group
The Pain Management Support Group meets the second and fourth Wednesday of each month in the Bacharach Board Room at 6:30 p.m. For information, call Bob Gordon 609-266-1198
Stroke Support Group
Stroke survivors and their families are invited to attend a stroke support group offered the first Thursday of each month from 5 to 6 p.m. at the AtlantiCare Life Center in Egg Harbor Township. For information email Robert Szapor Robert.firstname.lastname@example.org