Respite – what does it mean? For some, it means being able to go to the grocery store, unaccompanied by another who needs assistance or supervision. For others, it means being able to go on a ‘date’ with your sweetheart while knowing a person who is typically provided care and support is being cared for by a capable person in your absence. For others, it’s an opportunity for a parent who has a child with intensive care needs to spend focused time with other family members, including the needy child’s siblings. Respite – the means to allow people who are caregivers to enjoy a break from caregiving and enjoy a varied and interesting life.
Who benefits from respite? Everyone! Respite creates winners – included are the caregiver who reclaims part of his or her life as a non-caregiver for a time, the person who needs care who may establish an ongoing friendship with the respite provider, thus, widening his or her circle of friends, and the respite provider who satisfies an urge to help others while also making friends and (usually) becoming somewhat enriched financially as a result.
The need for respite care knows no boundaries. Age, race, financial status, where a person lives in TN – none of these characteristics that sometimes separate people into separate groups matter. If a person needs a break, respite is available for the asking. Just ask how to get started. Contact the Tennessee Respite Coalition – this statewide group can help. They’re the experts!
-Linda Nutt, TRC Board Member