Caregiver Support makes sure caregivers know they are not alone and that help is available. Help comes from respite volunteers and from learning about resources in the community. Volunteers provide companionship to care receivers who should not be left alone so caregivers can get needed time off.
Often people living with disabilities or memory loss and their caregivers have limited social contact outside their family. Volunteers are welcomed as friends, relationships develop, caregivers begin to cope better with daily stress, and thus the whole family is served. Volunteers are paired with a family and serve 4 – 8 hours a month.
Respite care volunteers offer quality companionship to a person with memory impairment or a disabling condition so that the primary family caregiver (or other informal caregiver) can enjoy a few hours off to attend to their needs. This has several benefits as it gives the primary family caregiver time:
To enjoy other activities like lunch with a friend or a walk around the lake;
To run errands or make appointments without feeling rushed;
To spend time with other family members.
Respite care providers typically provide respite for 2-4 hours weekly or every other week to their assigned family.
Caring for Someone with Dementia workshops are offered quarterly to support respite volunteers, family caregivers, and professionals. The workshop explores behavioral changes common in people challenged by memory impairment, whether from Alzheimer’s, stroke, Parkinson’s, FTD or other disorders, and reviews tips to enhance communication and accentuate the strengths still with in the person with dementia.
The Center for Volunteer Caregiving takes great care to match a volunteer and family. The Volunteer should feel comfortable handling the Care Receiver’s level of functioning. The Care Receiver should feel comfortable and respected by his/her new Volunteer companion.