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posted: 3/26/2014 1:40 PM

New respite day program offers 'A Day Out'

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Submitted by Barrington Area Council on Aging

Caring for an older family member can be a demanding and stressful job. Caregivers often find themselves unable to take a break to run errands, get work done or simply recharge.

A respite day program can help with some of these challenges. Not only does the caregiver get a break, but the person being cared for gets an opportunity to socialize and participate in activities that they might not otherwise do.

BACOA will launch "A Day Out," an adult day respite program, offered at Lutheran Church of the Atonement in Barrington on Thursday, April 3. The program, the only one of its kind in Barrington, is aimed at persons who have mild cognitive or physical impairments and will provide social, intellectual and emotional support and stimulation -- as well as respite for primary caregivers.

In its pilot phase, the program will be offered one day a week, from 10 a.m.-2:30 p.m. If demand increases, an additional day could be added. Activities will include reminiscence activities, board/table games, crafts, physical activity, discussion of current events, and music. Program participants will pay $35/day; the number of participants will be capped at 12.

Participants will include people who have early-stage memory loss, or people who have no memory loss, but have other health issues and are in need of socialization opportunities.

Because this program is a social model, rather than a medical model, participants will be required to be able to toilet, eat, and take medications independently.

BACOA social service coordinator Bonnie Scherkenbach, MS, will direct the program, assisted by specially trained volunteers, both from BACOA and from Atonement. Scherkenbach has more than 15 years experience working with dementia patients, and coordinates several of BACOA's support groups.

The pilot phase of the program has received generous support from Atonement, as well as from Wheat Ridge Ministries and from Robert and Kim Albrecht.

To apply for the program and for more information, call Bonnie Scherkenbach at BACOA at (847) 852-3890.

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