Elder Network HeartRespite Care Programs: A Network of Seniors Helping Seniors

At Central Minnesota Elder Network, the Respite Care Programs are available to seniors age fifty-five and older and provided by volunteers of the same age. Respite care offers the caregiver a temporary break from the responsibilities of providing care to a loved one.

Our Respite Care Program RN Coordinator completes an in-home assessment to determine the needs and interests of both the caregiver and the care receiver for all respite care services.

All volunteers are screened and trained with the information and tools they need to provide safe in-home respite. This training includes communication and active listening skills, normal aging, dementia, grief, depression and more.

Central Minnesota Elder Network has two respite centered programs offered at a low fee, based on a sliding scale or a suggested donation.

Elder Network HeartRespite Care... In Home

Our Home Respite Care Program is about effectively matching a volunteer with a caregiver who needs respite, or a break, from caring for their loved one. The Respite Volunteer visits for approximately one hour to four hours once a week.

Our Home Respite Care Program offers:

  • The caregiver – support and encouragement through conversation and a temporary break knowing their loved one is safe and secure at home.
  • The care receiver – companionship, support and friendship. Whether this is provided by conversation, reading, playing cards and/or games, listening to music, taking a walk or reminiscence.

Elder Network HeartThe Gathering... Group Respite

The Gathering is a program designed to benefit family caregivers as well as care receivers. As a group respite program, it provides care receivers the opportunity to socialize with others in a fun, friendly and secure setting, and affords caregivers valuable time away for their own leisure activities, tasks and appointments.

The Gathering is staffed by an RN and trained volunteers with a 1:1 or 1:2 staff to client ratio.

Activities include:

  • Lunch with friends
  • Conversation & reminiscing
  • Crafts, table games & cards
  • Gentle physical exercise
  • Entertainment
  • Various other activities that nurture the spirit

Participants should:

  • Be mobile with minimal help
  • Be able to toilet with minimal help
  • Be able to enjoy meals and snacks with minimal help
  • Be able to administer medications independently

The Gathering meets the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of each month from noon to 4pm at Nelson Gables in Alexandria, MN. A donation is requested to supplement the cost of lunch and programming.

Elder Network HeartCaregiver Support

Many family caregivers while voluntarily entering into the role are not necessarily equipped to fully handle their new responsibilities. At Central Minnesota Elder Network, our Caregiver Support RN is trained to support and encourage caregivers in the respite program.

Personalized service provided by a nurse is designed to empower family caregivers with the knowledge, skills, and tools they need to enhance and maintain their role as a primary caregiver. Services provided include:

  • Assessment of the care receiver to determine the level of care needed
  • Assessment of the caregiver to determine support needs
  • Caregiver planning and goal setting as needed
  • Routine follow-up and ongoing support

Who Can Benefit from Our Respite Care Programs?

Caregiving demands can overwhelm even the most well-intentioned and determined caregiver. Our volunteers along with a Registered Nurse Program Coordinator provide respite support to caregivers who are experiencing:

  • Isolation due to the demands of care giving
  • Lack of leisure time to do errands, make appointments, pursue hobbies or attend events
  • Concern about their loved one being safe at home alone
  • A desire for their loved one to have companionship, conversation and social stimulation

We have found that seniors who need support and encouragement to face life's changes and challenges greatly benefit from our respite care programs.

Please contact us for more information.