Highland County Respite Care and Hospice Support Services Provides Caregiver Assistance
Over two years ago, two individuals in Highland County with a shared interest in providing assistance to caregivers noticed a lack of this type of service in the area. Since then, Kathy Solomon and Sharon Hevener have moved forward with the formation of Highland County Respite Care and Hospice Support Services. The non-profit, all-volunteer organization continues to look for ways to serve and provide awareness, including no-cost medical equipment.
Ms. Hevener begins. She says, “Our service is to provide a break for caregivers. And that can be a family member taking care of a friend or a family member, and we offer, usually, a couple of hours a week, two or three hours a week. We can go in, so that they can get out and have some time to themselves. They can go grocery shopping, take a walk, take a nap, but just take some time for themselves if they’re doing a lot of caregiving, and they need a break. Most people don’t know until they have the need, and then they start asking around, but it’s good to know ahead of time that this does exist. We’re here for you.”
Ms. Solomon continues, “We recognize that caregiving can be a very stressful event in a person’s life, and you never know when you’re going to become a caregiver. People can say, ‘Well, I’m not a caregiver,’ but none of us know. In a heartbeat or a phone call, we can become a caregiver, and it can be very isolating. It can be very stressful, and so, we understand that in a rather isolated area like this that folks want to stay at home if possible and be cared for at home, and sometimes the younger generations have moved away or it’s very difficult for them to be here. We do not have a full coverage of a full hospice here, but there is so much that we can do to help people who want to stay at home or who are recuperating from something at home.”
Ms. Hevener adds, “Another part of our service is we provide durable medical equipment for no cost. H.E.L.P., which is an organization in Churchville, they’re a non-profit, have partnered with us, and we can give hospital beds. We always have in stock walkers, wheel chairs, crutches, bed pans, commodes, shower chairs, so a number of pieces of medical equipment that people might need on a temporary basis or some for a long-term basis, and that we provide and deliver and make available.” Ms. Solomon further states, “And we can pick up and deliver the equipment, so it’s easy. The Recorder building, Anne Adams has been very good to us to allow us to store our equipment there, and so we have it set up actually like a showroom. You know, you might not realize what you need, so you could come and look at everything we have, and we just check it out to you and pick it up when you’re through.”
In addition, a seminar will be held in the fall. Ms. Hevener says, “On November the 4th, we will be doing a seminar. There’s no charge. We’re hoping to have people of all ages from Highland County participate in a one-day seminar, and this is on caregiving, and it’s basic caregiving, how to take care of someone who is ill, bedridden, possibly, and how to do that without injuring yourself, and then how to take care of yourself in that, as well as the person you’re caring for.” Ms. Solomon concludes, “The theme of our seminar is built around a quote by Rosalynn Carter: ‘There are only four kinds of people in the world: those who have been caregivers, those who are currently caregivers, those who will be caregivers, and those who will need a caregiver.”
For more information about how to use their services or how to become a volunteer, contact Kathy Solomon at 540-468-3693 or Sharon Hevener at 540-468-3607 or check out the Highland County Respite Care Facebook page.