Church will offer monthly respite program for people with dementia, Alzheimer’s
Abundant Harvest UMC will lead activities at Knowlesville fellowship hall, while giving caregivers a rest
KNOWLESVILLE – A local church in September will begin offering a monthly respite program, offering four hours of activities for people with dementia or Alzheimer’s.
The program is intended to give caregivers a break while also providing socialization and fun for people with dementia or Alzheimer’s.
The Church of the Abundant Harvest needs volunteers for the program, which will provide 1-on-1 supervision for the activities. Volunteers would be needed for four hours, with the 1-on-1 supervision, or they could help in shorter stints with preparing and serving lunch, playing the piano, leading an art program or another activity. The church would also like a licensed therapy dog to be available.
Cheryl Babcock and Ruth Higgins are leading the program for the church.
“This is a need in our county,” said Babcock, who is a retired nurse. “We want to give the caregivers a rest. They are doing it 24-7, 365 days a year.”
Babcock said the church also wants to show love for people who with dementia or Alzheimer’s.
“They say it takes a village to raise a child,” she said. “Well it takes a village to care for those who have gone ahead of us.”
The respite program will be based out the Abundant Harvest’s fellowship hall in Knowlesville. It will be offered the second Wednesday each month, beginning Sept. 8.
The Abundant Harvest is seeking volunteers ahead of the start of the program. There will be a four-training offered by the Alzheimer’s Association of WNY.
Other churches and organizations in WNY offer a similar respite program, including nearby in Indian Falls and Batavia, but this is the first in Orleans County that is affiliated with Alzheimer’s Association of WNY.
Jeanette Carlin, a care consultant with the Alzheimer’s Association of WNY, said the respite programs are needed for many families. There is currently a shortage of home health aides, and those that are available can cost $25 per hour which is too costly for many families.
The program at the Knowlesville fellowship hall will be free.
Volunteers and participants in the program are welcome from all backgrounds. Those interesting in volunteering can call the Church of the Abundant Harvest at (585) 798-1290 or (585) 798-3173 and leave a message with an ideal time to return the call. Or they can email the church at firstname.lastname@example.org.