The following article ran on the Daily Herald’s website on 10/2/15. To view on site, click here.

“The information was very thoroughly presented and easy to understand with great tips. I would recommend this training to others, even if they are experienced respite workers. The materials and training were excellent.” Judy Wierman, REST Trainer™

Anyone interested in meeting a crucial need in their community by training respite care workers and volunteers, can attend any of two upcoming REST (Respite Education & Support Tools) training sessions:

• Nov. 5-6, at St. Alexius Medical Center, 1555 Barrington Road, Hoffman Estates, Ill.

• Nov. 18-19 at Metropolitan Family Services, 222 E. Willow Ave., Wheaton, Ill.

Both sessions run from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. each day and include lunch and refreshments.

Those who complete the originally designed course become registered REST Trainers, who can then teach an eight-hour REST Companion™ class in their own communities. REST Companions provide a critical service: respite – or short-term, temporary relief – for family caregivers, caring for an ill or disabled loved one, so they can run errands, exercise, spend time with friends or simply grocery shop.

“Respite is so important because some days are more difficult than others,” said Despina Kyriazes, who receives respite care from REST Companion, Shirley Protis. “Family and friends can’t always help. I don’t know what I’d do without Shirley. She is an angel on earth.”

Today, more than 67 million individuals in the U.S., like Despina, provide care for an elderly parent, spouse, or child with disabilities for at least 20 hours per week, sometimes without support, according to Caregiving Action Network.

“REST Trainers tell us how rewarding their work is, knowing they are making such a positive impact on their community by training REST Companions,” said Lois Sheaffer, REST program director. “So many caregivers provide intensive, ongoing care in the home. Being able to step away to refresh and recharge – even just for a couple of hours a week – can mean so much to them.”

“We welcome anyone interested in getting involved,” Sheaffer added. “A medical background or training experience is not necessary to become a REST Trainer.”

The REST Train-the-Trainer program can be customized to reflect an organization’s vision and needs. In addition, all REST training materials are available in English as well as in Spanish for bilingual trainers.

For information on REST, contact Lisa Esposito, REST program coordinator, at (630) 397-5656 or lesposito@restprogram.org or visit www.restprogram.org.