disabled senior

You may know a friend or business associate who regularly provides care to a loved one who has a disability or healthcare need. Although rewarding, caregiving can be demanding and stressful. Caregivers need help. Respite care—a short break given to a family caregiver by someone else who provides care to a child or adult with special healthcare needs—can be a welcome solution.

The REST program – an evidence-based respite-training program –  provides the skills and tools needed to provide quality respite.

To help create a network of individuals who are trained in providing quality, compassionate respite care,  we developed REST–Respite Education and Support Tools–a unique educational program.

  • It is a professionally designed ‘Train-the-Trainer’ course that provides respite education to those who will then go out and train others to be REST Companions™, also known as respite care workers or providers.

The ‘Train-the-Trainer’ course is an intensive, interactive two-day program which provides new trainers with materials they need to conduct their own trainings. Representatives from senior services and healthcare organizations, Area Agencies on Aging, faith-based organizations, adult daycare, or other social service organizations are eligible to receive this training and then share this information among their own communities.

Since launching in 2013, REST has Trainers in 29 states and Canada to date.

REST also includes two other training options:

  • REST Companion training course, an eight-hour course that provides education directly to people who serve care receivers one-on-one.
  • REST Essentials™ training course, a four-hour program that prepares volunteers or paid respite workers to provide respite in supervised group settings, such as adult daycare, drop-off or camp programs.

Each program is interactive and highly detailed in order to prepare individuals to care for people across the lifespan, who have chronic healthcare needs or disabilities.

Partially underwritten by a private grant, this program was developed by a team headed by Lois Sheaffer, National Director of REST, and a Master Trainer. Having been involved in respite since the early 1980s as a respite worker, respite program manager, and respite worker trainer, she maintained a leadership role in the Illinois Respite Coalition and is a member of ARCH, the national respite coalition.

REST programs can be customized around any organization’s requirements, provided at their facility or an off-site location and delivered in one- or two-day formats.