Taking care of an older or ill family member can be enormously rewarding — but it can be physically and emotionally draining as well. That’s why it’s important for caregivers to seek occasional respite from their responsibilities.
Even a few hours a week to run errands offers those carrying this heavy burden of care the chance reduce stress, restore energy and keep life in balance.
Thank goodness for programs like The Respite Club
at Cordova Neighborhood Church and the volunteers who provide the loving care so needed.
The Club is a drop-in program providing respite care for caregivers and socialization for stroke victims and seniors with memory loss. It is designed to give caregivers time to give some care to themselves to help ward off caregiver burnout.
Located at Cordova Neighborhood Church, The Club has been quietly carrying out this mission for 20 years, providing drop-in care from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday through Wednesdays. A modest $30 contribution is suggested, but if you can’t pay, that’s okay, too.
Every day the Respite Club is open, you can expect to see a dozen or more visitors and volunteer staffing that assigns one caregiver to two clients. There is always something fun to do, whether it is music and sing-alongs, craft projects brought in by a community group, short walks and exercise, intergenerational activities and general social time. Lunch and snacks are served – of course!
The Respite Club has always been something of a hidden community treasure, but it was discovered last year by the Building Leadership Talent (BLT) team at SMUD, which turned its considerable talents to the cause over at The Club.
The group got busy, raising funds and securing grants amounting to over $100,000 to help Respite CLUB build a new outdoor facility for Alzheimer’s patients and caregivers.
The result was The Memory Garden, which transformed an area that was virtually unusable. The beautiful patio also includes wheelchair accessible planters for horticultural therapy. As it turns out, certain plants may help jog memory, while others can actually help improve it.
Rumor has it that when spring finally arrives, some participants will be growing vegetables.
Respite Club does receive support from the Area 4 Agency on Aging, the City of Rancho Cordova Community Block Grant program and Thrivent Financial for Lutherans.
But the soul of any project of this kind always resides in the caring heart and hands of the many volunteers who contribute selfless hours to provide a safe and stimulating environment to those who are suffering with dementia and much-needed breaks to those who are on the front lines of their care.
Dementia affects the minds of its victims and the hearts of their loved ones.
Thank you program director Flora Maloney, and to The Respite Care Club for 20 years of taking care of all those affected by this difficult, difficult challenge.
Congratulations as we recognize Respite Club as the Community Service Organization of the Year.