Walker County residents who serve as caregivers for a family member or friend with a disability or chronic illness now have help.
The Sharing the Care program, an initiative of the Alabama Lifespan Respite Resource Network, is a community effort that brings together a group of volunteers whose goal is to strengthen caregivers by increasing the availability and accessibility to local respite resources. Respite’s goal is to provide a short rest for caregivers. The program’s activities include raising public awareness for respite, training, technical assistance and resource development. Sharing the Care is possible in Walker County through a grant from the Walker Area Community Foundation.
“Being a caregiver can be stressful mentally, physically, emotionally and financially,” said Linda Lamberth, project manager of the Alabama Lifespan Respite Resource Network. Talking to members of the Kiwanis Club of Jasper, Lamberth said, “We work to give caregivers a much needed rest.”
Lamberth said, in addition to the work in Walker County, Sharing the Care initiatives are currently operating in Jefferson/Shelby counties, Dothan, Selma, Montgomery and Mobile.
She said programs in Huntsville and Tuscaloosa are expected to begin soon.
In Walker County, Sharing the Care is hosting a Caregiver Resource Fair at Jasper’s Community Health Systems Activities Center Monday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The event will allow area residents to find out more about respite options. Lamberth said faith-based groups, as well as professionals from home health and the Arc of Walker County, will be on hand at the resource fair.
“We are here to ensure that all caregivers have access to respite services,” Lamberth said. “We want to make those services easily available to the people who need them.”
For more information on the Alabama Lifespan Respite Resource Network and Sharing the Care, call 1-866-737-8252.