When Steve Kessler's wife was moved from an acute-care hospital into a rehabilitation hospital following a severe stroke in 2005, the feeling of relief that Barbara would survive was quickly replaced with overwhelming anxiety over the huge unknowns that remained. Would she be able to keep working—or take care of herself, for that matter?
"These are the basic questions I honestly did not know," Kessler said. "As a caregiver, no one sat down to explain it."
That added to the stress and loneliness Kessler felt during the 2½ months his wife was at 150-bed Burke Rehabilitation Hospital in White Plains, N.Y., just a 10-minute drive from their house. The family has stayed in touch with Burke, and were part of a team that championed the addition of its new family-caregiver resource center, a quiet, spa-like space on the hospital's first floor where loved ones caring for Burke's patients can rest, recharge and meet with volunteers trained to address their questions and concerns.