“Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.”
That quote, made famous by Helen Keller, captures a factor that has helped the REST program succeed: Teamwork.
As we celebrate REST’s third anniversary, we reflect on the collaboration that has taken place between staff, trainers and REST Companions™ (paid or volunteer respite workers). Our collective efforts – and passion to make a difference – have resulted in more caregivers receiving respite, or short breaks, from their caregiving duties.
Just a year ago, we had 1,129 REST Companions nationwide. Today, we have more than doubled that number: 2,609. In addition, we have seen a 66% increase in the number of REST trainers since February 2015, from 139 to 231. And our program continues to grow.
We measure REST’s achievements beyond numbers and statistics, though. Hearing from caregivers, like Jan Walters, makes our work so rewarding.
Jan is caregiver to her husband, Ray, who has vascular dementia. Thanks to regular breaks she receives from a REST Companion, she is able to enjoy some free time, attending an exercise class, meeting her daughter for lunch or simply running errands.
“Through respite, I can regroup, come back and focus on what I need to do,” Jan said. “It has been a liberating, freeing experience. I appreciate it very much. I am so grateful.”
In the upcoming year, we look forward to seeing the REST program grow as trainings continue across the country, and as organizations implement REST into their programming.
We want to say a special thank-you to our trainers, Companions and supporters who have helped us reach this milestone.
Together we can do so much.
To learn more about some of the accomplishments of the REST program during the past 12 months, read our latest issue of REST Around the Nation.