By Dawn Todd, Respite House Supervisor
We love our young people who visit the Respite House! Just as important are the families who utilize our services in order to take a much needed break (respite) over an occasional weekend.
We know it is not easy for caregivers to entrust their loved one to our care without worrying or having some anxiety. Sometimes the stress and tension can be seen in the caregiver’s face and body language as they come through the door and proceed with the weekend “check-In.” The amazing part of this journey however, is seeing the caregiver’s “smile and restful look” as they return for “checkout.” The caregivers see all is well with their loved one and how much they have enjoyed their stay away from home. Those same care giving parents/guardians gladly notice the art projects, baked cakes and talks about the singing and dancing, as well as the many other happenings such as playing outside in the park and taking walks along the trails that surround our welcoming “Respite House.” There is a sigh of relief that only proper “respite” could bring month after month of visiting.
Apparently, our true mission becomes clear to our care giving families when they start to realize everyone deserves and needs a break now and then. From the countless cumbersome responsibilities along with the daily draining environment of providing for loved ones with special needs and timely requirements, respite care naturally becomes a win/win. The children/young adults benefit from the mini reprieve while socializing with others who also are creating new and building lasting friendships with each other, and at the same time, their care providers are able to have that well deserved break.
For more information or questions about the Helping Hands Respite Care’s Respite House, please contact our office at 517-372-6671 and ask for Supervisor, Dawn Todd (Ext. #106)
Breaking Barriers Today celebrated its first full month of service on July 8, 2015. The new program running smoothly, is located within the Gier Community Center. It provides an opportunity to serve more participants and their families, with more hours, more programming and community enrichment.
This program is an alternative to the limited hours of the former After School Program, and answers the need to provide activities and stimulation for those individuals who may have aged out of special school programming. State law limits attendance in the special school settings after the age of 26. “This Breaking Barriers Today program can serve individuals, with varying skills, from age 13 to 50. It really answers a critical need for those from 26 to 35,” shared Program Supervisor Elizabeth Krumm.
The first weeks of the program have been about becoming acclimated to a new environment which is rich with things to do and places to be…a gymnasium, a dance studio, an art room, a game room that doubles as a dining area, and a quiet area for reading and resting. The Gier Community Center also has several acres of outdoor play space. “There has been a learning curve in becoming comfortable with the flow of people from place to place and to see those organic opportunities to interact with other visitors to the community center.”
The participants are also looking forward to getting out into the community. On the calendar for July is a tour of the State Capital building, and a trip to a Lugnuts Baseball game. These are activities that would simply not been possible in the former location and program.
“I want to thank all of our families for their patience as we work out the details. We are dedicated to making Breaking Barriers Today a quality resource for more members of the community who may have a need,” said Krumm. “We know that we have to walk before we run, but it is so exciting to have the space to run!”
Families interested in learning more about the Breaking Barriers Today activity program should contact Elizabeth Krumm at email@example.com