Invitation to Provide the Gift of Presence
Our Health Ministry recognizes that some of our members have a critical need for relief from caregiving. We have parishioners who are serving their loved ones as the sole caregiver in the home. We have parents who cannot have an evening away from home because of child or elder parent responsibilities. Constant caregiving without a break for months or even years takes a toll on the caregiver’s physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health.
A recent article in the News Tribune quoted a study by the non-profit National Alliance for Caregiving. The article states that more than 2.5 million family caregivers who are isolated in homes across America suffer from depression, stress and rapidly declining health. They often have nowhere to turn for help. America’s public health and medical systems are not designed to provide relief from caregiving in the vast majority of families who choose to care for their loved ones at home.
Our congregation will have the opportunity to provide the ‘gift of presence’ to a fellow member who desperately needs respite from caregiving. Having learned about the success that another church experienced when a respite program was established, our Health Ministry is planning to set up a program that will enable trained volunteers to give caregivers a chance to leave home or the bedside for a few hours.
Would you like to give the ‘gift of presence’ to a fellow member? You will not be asked to provide the kind of care that professional or home health workers provide. With some minimal training provided by the parish nurses and others, you will simply be available to talk, play games, or be a companion to the care receiver. This can truly be an act of Christian love and caring for both the care receiver and the caregiver.If you would like to become a volunteer to provide respite care, please download and print this form, or fill out the online form below.
If you would like to request respite care for yourself or someone you know, please download and print this form.
When completed, please place the form in the Respite Care Program collection box in the narthex or the Health Ministry postal box.