St. John’s Respite Program Supports Local Caregivers

“I am excited about this program because it gives me the opportunity to bring joy and happiness into the lives of people living with dementia,” says Amy Gursslin.

For the past few months, St. John’s Dementia Resource Center has been hosting a dementia caregiver respite program once a week and free of charge to meet the needs of the growing local population of those living with dementia and their family caregivers.

The program allows for local caregivers to receive the necessary respite time to avoid burnout, while their loved one with dementia benefits from mental stimulation and socialization.

Amy Gursslin, the newly appointed Dementia Resource Center Respite Coordinator says, “Everyone deserves to have moments of joy. With this program caregivers will be able to have a few extra hours to take care of themselves—whether they are going shopping, running errands, or simply just relaxing.”

Gursslin joins the DRC with 19 years of CNA and dementia care experience. Along with her respite coordinator role, Gursslin is a St. John’s Home Therapeutic Recreation Specialist, which she says will help her in designing engaging programs catered to people living with memory loss.

Weekly activities at the respite program include Bingo, trivia, chair yoga, use of Rendever virtual reality, journaling, bonding with animals, and more.

Gursslin says caregivers can receive much-needed relaxation while knowing that their “loved ones will be engaged in therapeutic activities in a safe and caring environment.”

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