Respite care brings temporary relief to primary caregivers from the continuing demands of someone with special needs. Although caregivers oftentimes take care of a loved one it is a draining task and they cannot simply expand their energy and strength to provide the care they would like to give. Therefore, it is important for them to take some time off in order to replenish their own reserves.
The Respite Care Volunteer will be matched with clients based on their experience level as follows:
Level 1 – Supervision
On this level a volunteer would be considered a companion for a certain amount of time while the client’s caregiver is taking care of herself/himself. The volunteer may interact with the client on a social level (i.e. play games) or assists in getting small items (i.e. tissue, TV remote control, etc.) when client has a hard time getting up. In some cases where memory loss influences the client’s life a volunteer may make sure that the client will not wonder off and leave the house. There should be no direct hands-on work as a Level 1 Respite Care Volunteer. No client transportation or dispensing of medications!
Level 2 – Standby
A Level 2 Respite Care Volunteer may do all the things a Level 1 Volunteer does, but may provide the client with more physical support like getting in and out of a wheelchair in order for the client to be able to get to and use the bathroom. The volunteer will not perform hands-on duties that include tasks such as personal hygiene (including bathing, helping to go to the bathroom, getting dressed or similar tasks). It is simply to help a client get around the house when needed. No client transportation or dispensing of medications!
Level 3 – Specialized Care
A Level 3 Respite Care Volunteer is an individual with professional training and experience like a nurse or similar qualifications. This is due to the severity of a client’s special needs and these needs cannot be met by simply supervising or standing by. A Level 3 Volunteer’s tasks will be more hands on like helping a client use the bathroom, getting dressed, being fed, etc. Dispensing of medications is only allowed if it is crucial for the client to take it while their caregiver is on Respite Care and only if prepared and clearly labeled by caregiver. No client transportation!
- Nurse/RN or similar professional experience for Level 3 only (proof necessary)
- Have reliable transportation: if driving have valid driver's license, current auto insurance coverage and a safe driving record