Remembering Bette Boutwell

Remembering Bette Boutwell, Bette show participating in music therapy

We are sad to say that Bette passed away on January 8th. She was 89, and we at Helping Hands Respite Care enjoyed her presence and participation in our Adult Day Services program since 2013. Bette had a very sweet nature and was always aware of others around her – she wanted to be sure that everyone she met felt comfortable.  We would also see her patting the hand of someone sitting next to her or offering words of encouragement to one of her friends at the center.

It was a real pleasure to have served Bette and her family, and an honor to be recognized as the organization to receive donations.  To make it easy for friends and family the button below will open an online, secure donation page.

If you feel more comfortable sending a check, our address is also listed below. Please be sure to make a note that your gift is in Bette’s memory so we may acknowledge you and notify the family as well.

Helping Hands Respite Care

201 Hillside Court

East Lansing, MI 48823


Holiday Break Highlights at Breaking Barriers Today

What Do You Do on Holiday Break, When You Need A Break Too?

Our numbers increased over the holiday break and it was great to see the kind of fun and interaction that is possible when we have a great combination of participants, care providers, and volunteers. The Breaking Barriers Today program is continuing to grow and we are very excited about the possibilities of having even more volunteers in the mix. It was also nice to know that the families of these very special participants had an opportunity to attend to their holiday preparations confident that their loved one was in good hands …helping hands.

Holiday Break Highlights: Playing Games

Holiday Break - Playing Games
Sharon our new volunteer has been extremely helpful during our holiday/winter break time! She was helping the crew prepare to play Sorry and Xzavier was in the background playing some beats! They all were having a lot of fun!

Holiday Break - Playing a game of Sorry





Anita, Tony, & Sharon playing Sorry. Anita was helping with shuffling the cards and placing them onto the board. This was actually the first time seeing Anita be willing to sit for a period of time to play a board game.



Holiday Break - Parachute Play

Everyone playing Parachute popcorn and loving the bright colors/breeze from the parachute. Clients had a great time, however what isn’t shown here is that Anita would want to run around in the gym and Jimmy loved his walker so much, he would be a little speedster!


Holiday Break - Jimmy the speedster in his walker

Jimmy has been very much a speedster in his new walker! Loves every minute in it!


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Blaine hanging out in the gym and decided to pose for a picture with Daniell. Blaine is one of the newer participants.

Holiday Break - Jonathan tackling some blocksStephanie observing Jonathon figure out how to put blocks together. He was very determined!

Holiday Break - Artistic block building








Ruth was very focused on building herself a kingdom made of Legos. She’s very artistic, even with arts and crafts!


Holiday Break Highlights: Making Music

BBTXzavier piano5 [1205]Xavier loved the keyboard and the music that it was playing. Xavier playing some beats with Stephanie the care provider!


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Ruth was a participant during summer program! She came back for a few days during break. The keyboard has been a highlight itself. Ruth loved playing different tunes on it. She loved it!

Holiday Break Highlights: Taking a Relaxation Break


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Jonathon just relaxing at the moment with his sensory board! Sometimes it’s just good to relax from school on winter break!

Holiday Break Highlights: Lunchtime

BBT Lunch9 [1209]A few participants were watching a movie with Sharon the volunteer. They are taking a liking to having a new friend to hang out with and Sharon enjoyed making new friends too!

Sierra was preparing lunch with Anita helping & Ally was hanging out with Lucy, Tony, & Xzavier while Jon, he was in charge of watching everyone lol! Lucy is one of the recent addition to the BBT Program!

Staff Profile – Jane Rogers, RN

Nurse Jane at Helping Hands Respite taking blood sugars to compare with health history.Nurse Jane Rogers, Adult Day Services program

In my role as the Adult Day Services nurse passing medications, assisting with breathing treatments, checking blood sugars and vital signs every day is part of my daily routine. This allows people with various disabilities to receive the medical support they need. At the same time this allows them the chance to socialize and participate in activities. This routine serves to increase participant’s independence and self-worth.

I am a compassionate advocate for the people that visit Helping Hands Respite Care’s Adult Day Services (ADS). I feel a commitment to act in their best interests.  Open communication with families is so important. When I observe physical or mental changes, talking with the families and listening to their input with empathy and an open heart is a priority. Listening helps me understand what is causing the changes in their loved one. In addition, I listen to the challenges that they, as caregivers, face in order to offer better support.

Caring for a loved one with declining abilities and dementia can be very isolating. I am so mindful of the fact that the family caregiver needs the support we offer in the form of respite care. But beyond that respite care of their loved one, I make it my mission to make sure that the family caregiver is given the time to share their concerns and to be heard. It is important to me that they don’t feel that they are alone.

At Helping Hands Respite care we believe in a culture of excellence. This involves respect for, and value of, an awesome team of professional caregivers. In the Adult Day Services program I work alongside Alison, the ADS supervisor, to model, teach and guide our professional caregiver team to care for our program participants with compassion and skill.  By creating that culture of excellence we know this allows the families the respite time they deserve.

Jane Rogers has been a nurse for 40 years and has served in her capacity as the ADS program nurse since 2012.  She helps us to continue a long tradition of maintaining a nursing presence in our program. This program was founded in 1983 by a group of nurses. 

10 Signs of Caregiver Stress

This list of 10 signs of caregiver stress comes to you from the Alzheimer Association.  At Helping Hands Respite Care we often see or experience these signs first hand. It is heartening to know that we provide the means for families to get temporary relief from the stress they feel because of their responsibilities as a caregiver.

If you experience any of these signs of stress on a regular basis, make time to talk to your doctor.

1. Denial about the disease and its effect on the person who has been diagnosed. “I know Mom is going to get better.”

2. Anger at the person with Alzheimer’s, anger that no cure exists, or anger that people don’t understand what’s happening. “If he asks me that one more time I’ll scream!”

3. Social withdrawal from friends and activities that once brought pleasure. “I don’t care about getting together with the neighbors anymore.”

4. Anxiety about the future. “What happens when he needs more care than I can provide?”

5. Depression that begins to break your spirit and affects your ability to cope. “I don’t care anymore.”

6. Exhaustion that makes it nearly impossible to complete necessary daily tasks. “I’m too tired for this.”

7. Sleeplessness caused by a never-ending list of concerns. “What if she wanders out of the house or falls and hurts herself?”

8. Irritability that leads to moodiness and triggers negative responses and actions. “Leave me alone!”

9. Lack of concentration that makes it difficult to perform familiar tasks. “I was so busy, I forgot we had an appointment.”

10. Health problems that begin to take a mental and physical toll. “I can’t remember the last time I felt good.”

To learn more about respite care and the Adult Day Services (ADS) program at Helping Hands Respite Care, contact Alison Sarkozy

Source: Alzheimer’s Association