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Marklund to provide respite care training

Published: Tuesday, March 1, 2016 3:00 p.m. CST

BLOOMINGDALE – People who would like to give the gift of time by providing respite – or short-term temporary relief – for caregivers in their community can learn how by attending one of two REST Companion training courses March 5 and April 30 at Marklund Day School – Ann Haskins Center in Bloomingdale.

REST stands for Respite Education & Support Tools. Those who complete the interactive training program will gain the skills needed to provide care to someone, so their primary caregiver can take a break – whether it's going to the grocery store, a doctor’s appointment, meeting a friend or going to an exercise class.

“REST Companions tell us how satisfying it is to meet such a critical need," Lois Sheaffer, REST program director, said in the news release. “Respite alleviates stress, prevents burnout and builds a support network. It allows caregivers to enjoy some free time. Respite care has become an urgent issue in Illinois in recent weeks. Social-service cuts to respite care, due to the state budget impasse, have resulted in more of our friends, neighbors and co-workers in need of some help. Becoming a REST Companion provides one way to meet their needs and address a timely issue.”

To ensure that caregivers feel confident stepping away, the REST training program uses a standardized curriculum aligned with National Respite Guidelines developed by the Access to Respite Care and Help National Resource Center, the release stated. Training topics include: confidentiality, planning and adapting activities, and establishing successful relationships with caregivers and care receivers.

The one-day course will be held from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. March 5, and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. April 30 at the school at 164 S. Prairie Ave., Bloomingdale. The cost is $50 per person and includes lunch, refreshments and course materials. The Illinois Department of Human Services has approved the REST Companion course for 6.75 Continuing Education hours. All are welcome, with no medical background or prior experience needed.

Respite remains a crucial need throughout our nation, with more than 90 million individuals in the U.S. providing care for an elderly parent, a spouse with healthcare issues, or child with disabilities, sometimes without support, according to Caregiving Action Network, the release stated.

For more information, contact Lisa Esposito, REST program coordinator, at 630-397-5656 or lesposito@restprogram.org or visit www.restprogram.org. REST is a nationally recognized program of Marklund, a nonprofit organization in Geneva and Bloomingdale, that has been serving children and adults with serious and profound developmental disabilities and special healthcare needs since 1954. Visit www.marklund.org.

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