After a two-year hiatus caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Wesley Respite Center will resume its free, weekly programs starting Thursday, March 24, at First United Methodist Church, 1101 Bluebonnet Drive in Marble Falls. It starts at 9:30 a.m.
Allie Bennett, the center’s program director, believes providing respite for the family members and caregivers of adults battling mild to moderate dementia is a way of giving back.
“The families are always so thankful (for our services),” Bennett said. “It makes a big difference in the lives of the caregiver and patient, but really, it benefits the entire community.”
The Wesley Respite Center was founded 10 years ago as a ministry of the church but is open to all denominations. The goal is to offer respite, which Bennett defines as “an interval of relief for the caregiver,” to those who provide daily care to dementia patients.
During each weekly session, guests participate in a structured four-hour program consisting of themed activities, music, chair exercises, a hot meal, and games such as bingo, dominoes, and balloon volleyball. All activities are tailored to the abilities of the participants.
“Everything we do is failure free,” Bennett explained.
Upcoming planned activities include painting flower pots to celebrate the arrival of spring, science experiments, and Dog Appreciation Day, during which a therapy dog will visit.
Upon being accepted, each guest will be assigned a volunteer who will assist them during the four-hour program. This step ensures each participant feels comfortable throughout the time period.
“It’s all about building relationships,” Bennett said. “It helps (our guests) feel secure and safe.”
Caregivers and program guests must participate in an interview process before being accepted into the program. Those wishing to participate in a new client interview should contact Bennett at email@example.com or 512-639-2295.
Program eligibility is contingent upon the participant’s ability to walk, eat, and use the restroom on their own.