Respite program seeks assists
It’s early morning, I am making my daily to-do list, and I wonder how am I going to do everything I need to do – grocery shopping, trip to the pharmacy, quick visit to see my new grandson – and still provide care for my aged parent. It is a dilemma that I am faced with all the time. What do I do?
The above scenario, or one similar, plays out over and over again in Johnston County. More than 11 percent of our population is over 65. Many live at home with family caregivers, and some live by themselves with significant support from family, neighbors and friends. There is a need in the community to provide respite care for the family. Respite care provides a temporary break from the exhausting challenges faced by family caregivers. It strengthens the ability of families and caregivers who provide these in-home services by providing a block of time away from their primary responsibility of care.
Based on this community need, First Baptist in Smithfield has established the nonprofit Adult Respite Care program, whose aim is to provide four hours of respite care twice weekly for up to 12 seniors. The program began Aug. 5 in First Baptist Ministry Center at 202 S. Fourth St. in Smithfield and operates Mondays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The cost is $25 daily and includes a snack and lunch. During the four hours that seniors are at the center, they are engaged in activities designed to stimulate them, including games and crafts, music and light exercise. To ensure that each senior is adequately cared for, the ratio of volunteers to seniors is 1:3.
What can you do to help? We need your help spreading the word about the program to people who might benefit from it. Program attendees do not have to be a member of First Baptist Church; they could be your neighbor, friend or even yourself. If you know of anyone who might be interested in the program, or know anyone interested in volunteering, call the church office at 919-934-9771 or email Sherri Fox at email@example.com. We also need lots of volunteers, and the volunteers need to be able to commit to a four-hour block of time at least once per month.
Lastly, if you or your business is looking for a worthwhile cause to help support, please let us know, as we will be establishing a plan where persons and businesses will be able to sponsor or give scholarships to attendees for varying periods of time. Again, contact the church office for details.