Respite Care An Alternative for Aging Loved Ones

Posted on

Mar 04, 2016

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One in four Americans will become a caregiver at some time in their lives, and with the rising number of baby boomers reaching age 65; caring for a loved one can become a tedious and overwhelming task.
The demands of caregiving can be extremely stressful especially if you feel you have little control over the situation. Identifying community resources, knowing ones limits and finding help from others are key elements to help minimize the stress.

Two-thirds of caregivers are employed. This is the case for Susan Smith, who has her own business. Susans mother used to help her at work, but as her memory started to fail, finding alternative solutions became a necessity. Susan then discovered The Living Room, an adult day services program offered by the Friendship Centers in Fort Myers. The Living Room is where Susans mother Joyce enjoys fun and companionship. Each day there are a variety of therapeutic activities including games, singing, movies, fitness and live entertainment.

While Joyce is able to interact with her peers, receive nutritious lunches and snacks; the program gives Susan the opportunity to go to work with ease of mind. The fact is she is with her peers and caregivers who understand my Moms unique needs and are trained versus unfamiliar people coming into the home, Susan said.

The Living Room provides respite for caregivers, some who work or who can leave the home and have some time to take care of themselves. Having a break from the 24/7 responsibilities of caregiving is vital. Adult day

services can provide this much needed time during the week while their loved one enjoys the opportunity for peer socialization and stimulating activities. A social day program helps with independence; lessening the need for assisted living at a considerably lower cost.

The Friendship Centers has been providing senior services in Lee County for 36 years. The centers hours of operation are Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. with flexibility. A participant can come one to five days a week on a part/full day basis all depending on the caregivers needs. Limited funding sources may be available to assist with payment options.

For more information call Jill Modell-Dion, at 239.275.1881.

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