Trinity Living at St. John’s Provides Much-Needed Respite Care for Adults

By Susan Shinn Turner

They say the journey of 1,000 miles begins with one step. That’s also true in building a new program. You have to start at the beginning.

The Trinity Living at St. John’s began in August with one participant, and Christina Joyce, executive director of Trinity Living Center, continues to meet with local groups to encourage others to sign up. She’s heard from other programs in the state that respite care can be a slow-growing program.

“Once you finally get several people in, it will grow,” she says. “But the starting point is really hard.”

Christina says she will keep making contacts in the community, says that a handful of volunteers are in place and ready to serve participants. “We know there are people who need the service. We just have not gotten anyone else who’s ready to sign up.”

The half-day, group respite program  is designed to offer caregivers a break, while providing loved ones with a wide range of activities, Christina says. The program is for adults ages 60 and older in the early stages of cognitive memory loss, as recognized by family members.

Trinity Living at St. John’s now takes place from 9 am to 1 pm Monday and Thursday, and follows the same schedule as Trinity Living Center. Cost for the program is $30 per day and includes lunch, snacks, and all activities.

For Debbie King and her husband, Mack, both 68, it’s been a godsend. Mack’s mom, Evelyn, 91, has been coming twice a week since mid-August.

“She says she sees old friends that she hasn’t seen in years,” Debbie says, laughing. “We’ve had her for 2 ½ years, and her memory problems are getting worse. We just think she needs some stimulation outside of us. Lord knows we need it.”

Trinity Living at St. John’s visited the CDC, and Ms. Evelyn spent some time with the Sugar-n-Spice class!

On Monday and Thursday, Debbie brings Evelyn over from Mooresville.

“It’s a drive, but it’s worth every mile,” she says. “After six months of having my mother-in-law with us, I wished there had been something like this. It’s very stressful on the family.”

Debbie wholeheartedly recommends the respite program. “I’ve already gone on Facebook and recommended it. For respite care, it’s absolutely the way to go.

Volunteer Monica Thompson agrees.

“It is just a very, very heartwarming program,” she says. “It’s so rewarding.”

Monica, who lives in China Grove, says that she and Evelyn have done puzzles and made crafts together. “She is such a pleasant person, and it’s just awesome. I’m 68, but I think older people are so much fun. I’m really looking forward to us getting more folks, so we can have even more fun.”

For more information about Trinity Living at St. John’s, please call Christina Joyce or Cynthia Hubbard, site manager, at 704.637.3940.


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