Caregiver Respite Service Launched

In 2020, there were more than 53 million informal caregivers in the United States. Defined as those who are not professionally trained or formally compensated, informal caregivers provide care to family, friends, and loved ones. These caregivers face many challenges, including balancing healthcare costs and day-to-day living expenses, navigating and advocating for their loved ones, and mental health and caregiver burnout.

Seeing the need to assist these caregivers, FSR launched Caregiver Respite services earlier this year. Additionally, Kathy Voss, FSR Senior Service Coordinator, completed Care Consultant training and certification through the Minnesota Department of Human Services. Kathy works collaboratively with caregivers in planning, strategizing, goal setting, navigating resources, and addressing caregiver concerns.

In addition, caregivers may request respite visits. Respite provides temporary relief for caregivers, enabling them to take a much-needed break. Providing respite eases the burden of caregiving and helps relieve stress, restores energy, promotes life balance, and prevents exhaustion, isolation, and burnout. FSR utilizes trained volunteers to provide respite visits. Respite may consist of companionship, visiting, light meal prep, watching TV, reading, short walks and generally assuring a loved one remains safe and supervised.

Volunteers receive training and education that explores HIPAA and client confidentiality, boundaries, professionalism, respect, the aging process, case examples, caregiver-centric issues, and dementia education. Once paired with a family, volunteers typically serve 4 – 16 hours a month, although there is no hourly requirements. The time may be spent painting, listening to music, doing puzzles, and socializing in other amazing ways!

Developing caregiver support and respite were also part of the Age Friendly Olmsted County 2022-2025 Action Plan.

Are you interested in becoming a Caregiver Respite Volunteer? Contact or 507-287-2010

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