Good News: Edel Caregiver Institute

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - The silver tsunami is here. That's what they call the population shift that happens as the Boomer Generation ages.

That aging has brought new problems which are being tackled by Hometown Heroes, Julius and Danyse Edel.

Joe Johnson says his friend Rev. Rubin Bryant isn't just his righthand man, he's his left hand too. Joe's difficult to understand after his treatments for cancer of the jaw, but the communication between he and Rubin is clear even without words.

"Like any other disease, it just started and took a toll on him," Rev. Bryant said.

Rubin does his best for Joe; handles his medical care, takes him grocery shopping and sees him every day. But that raises an important, unasked question: what about Rubin's health?

"The caregivers suffer more than the patient," Julius Edel said.

"Caregivers are dying 23 more than the care recipient," Jamey Espina, with Hospice Savannah, said.

Danyse and Julius Edel have been on both sides of the care equation.  Their understanding prompted them to establish the Edel Caregiver Institute as a part of Hospice Savannah.

The program is an outreach of Hospice Savannah. It offers education and support to caregivers, even providing someone to stay with their loved one while they get a break as well as counseling and a roadmap to resources.

"Palliative care we didn't know existed," Rev. Bryant said.

The program is a pilot for the nation, but what the Edels hope is that it helps folks right here, right now.

There's no financial threshold to get help from the Edel institute. So, if you know a caregiver who could use a little help, call them at Hospice Savannah.

Copyright 2017 WTOC. All rights reserved.