Adult Group Respite is an out-of-home respite program offering a change of environment for care receivers, primarily 60 and older, who require constant care but are able to feed, toilet, and transfer themselves. Adult Group Respite provides relief for caregivers, twice a month for four hours, to do errands, meet a friend, or to simply take time to relax and recharge while care receivers enjoy time socializing in a safe and caring environment. A typical day for care receivers includes gentle exercise, brain-stimulating activities, crafts, conversation, a snack and lunch and companion care provide by trained volunteers.
The Adult Group Respite program has grown from being offered in two communities to currently available in Chisago Lakes, North Branch and Pine City. Attendance has grown from providing 368 units of service in 2018 to providing over 1,500 units of service in 2019. The program generates extraordinary community support and volunteer participation. Each care receiver has a volunteer care companion with them for every hour of service. And additional individuals and businesses volunteer food, talent and supplies to further enrich the service.
Service questionnaires are completed with caregivers to help determine if there are additional or unmet needs. Some know nothing of additional services provided by Lakes and Pines, the county or other agencies. For services and needs that fall outside programs available at Lakes and Pines warm connections and referrals are frequent and common.
An additional enhancement in autumn 2019 was a grant made possible by the voters of Minnesota via a legislative appropriation from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund thanks to a grant from the East Central Regional Arts Council. This grant brought three professional artists, with supplies, into Adult Group Respite sessions to teach felt making, painting and printmaking. The art sessions inspired new interests for some participants and renewed forgotten interests for others. One participant enjoyed painting years ago but hadn’t picked up a paintbrush in decades. The painting session inspired finding supplies that had been stored away years ago, buying some new supplies and painting again regularly.
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