Photo by Past Time Club
Pastime Club re-opening in August
Story By Georgina Fernandez
Local News Published 07/15/2021 5:30PM, Last Updated 07/21/2021 2:35PM
Minocqua - According to the National Alliance for Caregivers and AARP Public Policy Institute, around 53 million American adults were unpaid caregivers in 2020.
"When you are taking care of someone who has memory issues or any type of dementia, that's a 24-hour-a-day job and they don't get a break," said Rebecca Johnson, the program director for Pastime Club.
Now, these caregivers are going to be receiving extra support from the Northwoods community. Starting next month, the adult day care program Pastime Club is re-opening and will be ready to welcome back those participants struggling with dementia. The re-opening will give those caregivers a long-awaited break.
"I've done four assessments so far and you can see that they are just tired," Johnson said. "'Like can someone help?'" Johnson said.
The program runs Monday and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. During that time individuals get to participate in activities such as memory games, stimulation activities, and physical exercise, and caregivers get a four-hour window of much-needed Me time.
"Being able to get your nails done, or go to the grocery store, or go fishing for an hour. When those individuals are with us, those caregivers can take a break during that time," Johnson said.
Johnson says that time away is critical for both the caregivers and their loved ones. A survey from AARP Public Policy Institute reports that 40 percent of caregivers felt emotionally stressed.
"This opening is more important than ever because of the burnout," Johnson said. "If you look at statistics, elder abuse is on the rise. I'm not saying it's on purpose, but you can only do so much in a day."
Johnson hopes that in the future they will be able to expand the program's hours and provide needed support to the community.
"If a caregiver is burned out, nobody is there to do that for them or help. So then people needing care goes without," Johnson said.
Those wanting to get involved can visit their website for more information.