Respite is something of a hot topic here at Developmental Pathways. It’s not uncommon for our Community Outreach team to encounter disbelief when they tell families they can help fund & connect families to hours, days, or weeks of time off from caregiving. For those unfamiliar with the topic, respite is a break for a primary caregiver. This break could be an hour to meet a friend for coffee or run errands, or a week of camp for their child with a developmental disability. The goal of respite is to breathe new life into the loving people who give their time to care for the needs of others.
The Need for Respite
You may be surprised to learn that many folks don’t know that respite exists. In fact, we often dumbfound families with the variety of ways their loved one can enjoy time away from his or her typical environment. The families we serve told us through surveys that they want more education around respite and greater access to it. So we made it a formal initiative in 2016. We’re also highlighting this need for our 2017 Colorado Gives Day campaign in partnership with The SUN Foundation.
For the next few weeks, you’ll see respite stories highlighted on our blog and social media. We hope you take away several things:
- The life-changing nature of a few hours for caregiver and recipient to be independent of each other
- The incredible work of our community partners who provide respite
- The existing need to make these opportunities available for more families
Introducing the Pinkerton Family
Written by Mom, Camille
We love Adam’s Camp when it comes to respite! Charlie & I enjoy the scenic drive out to the YMCA of the Rockies out in Granby, Colorado. Driving the switchbacks on the way to Winter Park is always a sign that we are getting closer! We always stop at McDonald’s to grab Charlie dinner before heading to the YMCA Camp.
Once we are there, everyone is welcoming. As I check in with the nursing staff to go over Charlie’s medications, he has his picture taken. Then we head over to his cabin. The staff is always super friendly! Charlie has been going for at least one session over the past five summers, so he often knows a friend. He is so excited to get into the groove of camp that he barely even remembers to say goodbye!
The staff really do keep the kids busy. The first night they kick things off with s’mores. In the days that follow, the kids will do white water rafting, the alpine slides, putt putt, archery, canoeing, race cars, and there’s even a talent show! The race cars & talent show are by far Charlie’s favorite part of camp. Staff take pictures daily so we follow all the fun Charlie is having while he is there!
The very first summer I brought Charlie out for a session at Adam’s Camp, I was feeling a little bit anxious. But, once I saw how well the nursing staff paid attention to all of Charlie’s medical concerns & medications, I knew he was in good hands. Now it is pure excitement for us both each time we are headed off to deliver Charlie to Adam’s Camp!
In July 2016, I got Charlie out to Adam’s Camp and then the very next day my husband & I headed to Italy to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary! My dad was there to pick Charlie up at the end of his five day session. My dad even followed tradition and took Charlie to our favorite breakfast café in Winter Park on the way home. Not only did Charlie have a blast, we did too!