Training Aims to Fill Need for More Respite Care Workers
By Sara Kirkley, Weekend Anchor / Reporter - email
Experts say caring for a special needs family member can come with social and health risks.
Hastings Respite Care coordinator Jinx Hackler is looking for care providers to take the burden off local families caring for loved ones with special needs.
"The need is growing all the time," she said. "Today doctors are able to save more people than ever before from some really life-threatening illnesses. They are sent then home with the families."
Hackler said that's when the stress can begin.
"We find out that families can't do it very long without some help," she said.
Enter respite care trainees like Michelle Becker. She attended free training along with more than a dozen others in Hastings Saturday.
"I learned a lot on autism today that helped a lot actually," said Becker, of Hastings.
"This is something that they could be looking at for 20 years or maybe even longer," said Hackler. "They're not aware of what's out there. They're busy making a living, taking care of the kids, taking care of the home. They don't realize what stress is being put on them."
Hackler said the benefits of respite care stretch beyond the household receiving help.
"Our state and our government nationally is learning that it's much more economical to keep a person in need right in their own family, care for by their loved ones, rather than immediately shuffling them off to a nursing facility," she said.
Hastings Respite Care and Nebraska Statewide Respite Network work to bring together care givers with the families who need them. For more information you can contact either of those agencies.
Hackler said there is also financial support for those wanting help.