RSVP to continue respite care, expand transportation program | NevadaAppeal.com

RSVP to continue respite care, expand transportation program

Nevada Appeal staff report

Caregivers who provide support for those suffering from intellectual and physical disabilities will be provided much-needed breaks thanks to the Nevada Rural Counties retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP).

RSVP will continue to provide respite to primary caregivers and their adult disabled or elderly family members courtesy of funding from the Fund For a Healthy Nevada and State of Nevada Aging and Disability Services Division.

The service is provided to support caregivers of those suffering from autism, brain injury, cancer, dementia, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's or other intellectual or physical disabilities.

Family members or friends who provide respite for the care recipient are also eligible to participate as volunteers.

RSVP is the only organization in Nevada that provides caregivers with lifesaving regular breaks utilizing Volunteer Respite Workers (VRW) at no charge in the family's home. Donations are accepted; the program turns no one away because of inability to pay.

VRWs receive orientation and training prior to beginning their respite care assignment. They receive a $175 monthly stipend for their commitment of time to the families they serve, plus mileage reimbursement at $0.40 per mile.

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Based upon their care plan and the availability of volunteer resources in the area, caregivers receive essential breaks for four hours a day, two times a week, which enables them to engage in enjoyable activities and attend to their own needs.

The Respite Care Program is part of RSVP's Independent Living programs with a mission to assist low-income homebound seniors, veterans and caregivers to remain independent and in their own homes as long as possible with dignity. RSVP collaborates with family caregivers, volunteers, physicians, social workers and other agencies to form a care-partnership where the care recipient is at the center of the relationship.

Additionally, funds from the Fund For A Healthy Nevada and State of Nevada Aging and Disability Services will help RSVP expand services to include younger persons with a disability, veterans, and seniors who have been on a wait-list.

Volunteers are able to provide transportation services at no charge throughout Carson City and Nevada's rural communities, as well as the ability to drive long distances to access essential services in urban areas which provide the services they need to maintain quality of life and independence. Volunteers utilizing their own vehicles receive mileage reimbursement at $0.40 per mile and donations are gratefully accepted. No one is turned away because of an inability to contribute.

RSVP has been serving seniors for 43 years.

"We are able to help even more people now and can provide persons with disabilities aged 18 and older with free escorted transportation services provided by volunteers. We need more drivers to help us to deliver these services, and we provide mileage reimbursement or offer our vans (when available) to transport those in need," said Susan Haas, executive director and CEO of RSVP. "I encourage volunteers to come forward and help fill the gaps for seniors, veterans and disabled persons who just need a little help to get to their doctor's appointments. If you can volunteer a couple of hours a week or even once a month, you will be providing a tremendous service to your community."

RSVP provides door-to-door escorted transportation services and the emotional reassurance so necessary for our homebound population. This service is for those who may not see well enough to drive themselves anymore or don't have the needed resources to access the goods and services necessary to maintain their independence. Rides are also provided for shopping, to pick up prescriptions, to attend church and socialization.

For a list of volunteer opportunities or for information about qualifying for RSVP services, contact Sandy Severance, program director, at 775-687-4680, ext. 6, or go to http://www.nevadaruralrsvp.org. For information about RSVP's partnership with the Sanford Center for Aging, which offers a geriatric specialty clinic with comprehensive geriatric assessment, chronic care management services, and a support center for elders, call 775-784-4774, or go to https://med.unr.edu/aging.

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