Interfaith Developing Dementia Respite Center
It is a very busy time at Interfaith with long time Program Director, Karen Foust retiring in December. In November they will be hiring a Program Assistant to work with the new Program Director, Lori Chown. Chown became Interfaith’s Director in July. That isn’t the only change at Interfaith. In 2018 they will begin a new program called Time for You.
With the aging population continuing to grow at an alarming rate more and more families are caring for love ones with dementia. Time for You will provide stimulating activities for individuals struggling with early memory loss or dementia while providing respite for caregivers. The Time for You Respite Center will be open two days a week, four hours a day. With the new program Interfaith will also be hiring a Program Coordinator to manage the daily operations of this program. Both positions will be between 15-20 hours a week.
Interfaith is not new to creating programs. It began in 1989 coordinating volunteers to assist the elderly and disabled in Jackson County. Over the years the programs have grown to include:
- Visually Impaired Program – 1989
- Jackson United Mentor Program – 1998
- Library to Go – 2012
- Groceries to Go – 2013
- New Mother’s Helper and Bear Essentials – 2013
Each program fills a need in our community. “Karen has always been a pioneer in creating new programs,” says Chown. “When we began seeing more and more families caring for loved ones with Dementia, we asked ourselves, how can we help. We knew we had an outpouring of volunteers who are always willing to help and with the many partnerships that Karen has developed, creating a respite center seems like the perfect fit.”
Interfaith will need 5 to 10 trained and compassionate volunteers each week to assist the new Program Coordinator in providing program activities. There will be music and memory activities, games, cooking, bingo, inter-generational activities, and much more.
Interfaith will continue their current programs of assisting the elderly and disabled with grocery shopping, friendly visits, light housekeeping, and transportation, helping them stay in their homes longer.
“That is what makes Time for You such a perfect fit,” states Chown. “It fits naturally with our mission of helping families keep their loved ones in their home as long as possible.”
“Jackson County’s 2016 Community Health Assessment identified access to resources for those with Alzheimer’s and other chronic conditions as a priority,” states Kristi Hanson RN, Jackson County Public Health Nurse. “With the rising cost of nursing homes and the shortage of CNA’s and nurses, more and more families are doing everything they can to keep loved ones at home. Time for You will give them a resource to do just that.”
Time for You Respite Center is a partnership between Interfaith, Jackson County Health and Human Services, Family Worship Assembly, and the Black River Memorial Hospital. The goal is to provide stimulating activities for individuals experiencing memory loss, valuable resources for family members, and a few hours of respite for caregivers.
Interfaith has already received funding to assist with this endeavor. In April they received $1,000 from the United Way to assess the need and development of this program. They have also been awarded a $10,000 grant from the Brookdale Foundation to initiate the program in 2018.
“Interfaith’s board and staff are excited about its role in meeting a community need. With the skills and time provided by dedicated professionals and compassionate volunteers Time for You will be an excellent resource for families who are caring for loved ones with memory loss,” says Karen Foust.
For more information on Interfaith’ s new program, Time for You, or how you can help, please call Interfaith at 715-284-7058.
Jackson County Interfaith Volunteer Caregivers is a faith-based organization helping maintain independence and dignity for health-impaired older adults, people with disabilities and people with special needs.
Interfaith will assist individuals whose needs are not met by other agencies or means while helping them increase independence whenever possible.
407 Main Street
PO Box 354
Black River Falls, WI 54615