I want to make Michigan nurses aware of a program that is offered right now through Area Agency on Aging. It is called the GIFT program, which stands for Giving Individuals Free Time and its focus is providing relief or preventing caregiver burnout. I'll quote from an article by Diane Carlson from Area Agency here:
To encourage caregivers to take time for themselves, the Area Agency on Aging is launching a new program next month we're calling Giving Individuals Free Time (GIFT). The GIFT program offers respite for caregivers -- personal time to take care of other commitments or just to relax and recharge. Respite from the regular caregiving responsibilities is what the GIFT program is all about.
GIFT offers three types of respite care: in-home care (having a trained professional come to your home to care for your loved one while you're away for a few hours); adult day services (taking your loved one to a group program in a home-like setting where activities and care are available); and overnight respite (in an approved facility outside the home where up to 24 hours of care is available).
There is NO cost for this program and there is NO income qualification requirement. Receipients are invited to make a donation, but they are not required to. If you know an elderly person, or someone who cares for an elderly person, who needs some respite, please give your local Area Agency office a call and refer them. They will be given vouchers that they can use from local care providers. They arrange the date, time, and hours. Its a very flexible program.