Working to insure that all caregivers receive the respite and support they need

We welcomed 8 new REST Trainers in Binghamton hosted at Binghamton University.
Erika Merkel, BU student
Sallee Decker, Care Manage for ALL
Robin Esposito, Care Manager
Cathy Caputo, BU student
Sue Spencer, Broome County Faith In Action
Doris Green and Sharon Cackett, REST Master Trainers
not pictured:
Diana Reyes, Care Manage for ALL
Patty Wallace, retired educator
Shelly Spinelli, Broome County Office of the Aging
Also: Kim Evanoski, Binghamton University, Trainer and host extraordinaire

Learn about REST

REST trainings are offered at no cost to organizations interested in providing respite for caregivers through community-based volunteer programs.  NYSCRC is funded with a federal grant for Lifespan Respite awarded by the Administration on Aging/Administration for Community Living to the New York State Office for the Aging.
Statewide trainings are being generously supported through the New York State Office of the Aging, AANYS and LiveOn NY. This funding is time limited.
REST trainings are also funded by The Finger Lakes Geriatric Education Center/University of Rochester Medical Center to the following counties: Allegany, Cayuga ,Tioga, Tompkins, Cortland, Chemung, Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Ontario, Orleans, Seneca, Schuyler, Steuben, Tioga, Tompkins, Wayne, Wyoming and Yates.  
Any organization, person or faith community in the state can access Train-the-Trainer programs as a way to provide evidenced informed training for volunteer respite programs.
We are seeking host sites in August, September and October.
We are also seeking four additional master trainer candidates.
Contact Doris Green at 
Schedule of Train the Trainer and Respite Companion Trainings  




Inspired by the incredible success of the faith based drop off respite centers in Erie County, which boasts 10 respite opportunities for caregivers and their loved ones with early stage dementia, the New York State Caregiving and Respite Coalition is encouraging faith based communities and higher education institutions to consider establishing a volunteer  based respite program that would meet the need for caregiver respite right in your own backyard.


We would like to know if there are any programs in the state that we are not aware of.  Or, if your organization is interested in developing a Drop In Respite Center, please let us know.  Click here to email us


Check out the awesome things happening around the state. 


Western New York Alzheimer Caregiver Partnership opens its first Drop Off Respite Center


Ribbon Cutting mark official opening if WNYACP's first faith-based respite collaboration.

The Western New York Alzheimer's Caregiver Partnership (WNYACP) and Valley Chapel Free Methodist Church in Wyoming County recently celebrated the grand opening of and ribbon cutting ceremony fir its free, monthly respite program for person's with Alzheimer's and other dementia.


Caring Hands and Hearts is the first of several faith-based respites planned in Western New York under the WNYACP grant initiative.


Free and open to the community, Caring Hands and Hearts utilized trained volunteers who provide fun, supervised activities which keep loved ones purposefully occupied while their caregivers take a much-needed break. The service fulfills WNYACP's mission to "prevent caregiver burden and burnout" and improve the lives of caregivers and the lives of their loved ones.


The faith based respite is one of the many services available through WNYACP.

For more information about other assistance available to caregivers in Western New York, please visit


The WNY Alzheimer's Partnership is funded through a New York State Department of Health grant.


WNYACP was one of the first organizations to invest in REST Train the Trainer for their staff.


Congratulations on your opening. Here's to hoping there are many more to follow!

Home Away From Home-Drop in Respite Center
Fully  staffed by SUNY Geneseo student volunteers ...
An Awesome Model!
NYSCRC Mini Grantee receives additional funding from the Florence M. Muller Foundation to sustain the program

This summer we were able to hold our first series of summer respite sessions. The summer version of the program runs once a week, on Wednesdays from 12-3pm. The program is being held on the SUNY Geneseo campus and is supported by 9 student volunteers who come every week. Each volunteer received training from the Alzheimer's Association before becoming a volunteer. We have 7 participants who regularly attend and deeply enjoy the program. The caregivers are thrilled to have continuation into the summer. Each day we offer a variety of activities such as chair exercise, themed craft projects, trivia, and celebrations of national days.

In addition, the program received good news regarding sustainability recently. With financial support from the Florence M. Muller Foundation and the NYSCRC mini-grant, we will be able to hire a Program Coordinator to continue this important community program. 

Summer Update by Jessie Gyr, Program Coordinator

Jessie will be leaving the program this year, she has done a wonderful job growing the program and supporting the mission.  Jessie is a capable and passionate person, we at NYSCRC wish her the very best as she goes out to take on the world!

Parma Baptist Church in the News


Parma Baptist church, opened the first drop off respite program in November of 2016 Monroe county under a mini grant from NYSCRC.


see the video here


In 2009 Erie County opened a Drop In Respite Center for people diagnosed with early stage Dementia under the direction of Lisa Rood. With the support of Erie County the program now has 10 drop in Centers located in area churches and senior centers throughout the Buffalo area. Erie County provides a $1000 start up grant for programs meeting minimal requirements, written approval by the host site, one piece of marketing material and one confirmed program participant.

Each of the Centers provides 4 hours of programming per month.  All allow for caregivers to drop off their loved one who has a dementia diagnoses.  The Centers are independent of one another, yet offer similar programming at each site.   Programs are staffed completely with amazing volunteers, all Centers strive for a 1:1 match with "Guests"

"Give Them a Break"  Caregiver Respite 


Under a mini grant from NYSCRC - Faith In Action - Steuben County opened a Drop In Respite Center at Hornell Baptist Church in September 2017.  The Center has two sessions per month, allowing caregivers 8 hours to tend to their own needs and get a break from the responsibilities of caregiving


 See our blog page at NYSCRC.ORG for a message from the Director


Program Details 

Funding Opportunities

Brookdale Foundation - Relatives as Parents Program
Seed Grants Available for the Creation or Expansion of Supportive Services to Grandparents and Other Relatives Raising Children

The Brookdale Foundation Group has issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the creation or expansion of supportive services to grandparents and other relatives raising children. Up to 15 programs will be selected to receive a seed grant of $15,000 ($10,000 and $5,000 respectively), contingent upon progress made during year one and potential for continuity in the future. On-going technical assistance will also be provided. Any 501 (c)(3) or equivalent not-for-profit organizations can apply. The RFP proposal and guidelines can be downloaded by visiting our website:

Upcoming Events
NYSCRC Annual Conference - October 2nd and 3rd
Desmond Hotel and Conference Center - Albany

Monday October 2nd - Caregiver Simulation Experience 1 - 4 pm. 
Come and experience an interactive roll play designed to increase awareness and empathy for caregivers. Great for professionals and  students alike. Plan on joining us for a interesting and eye opening experience!

Tuesday October 3rd - "Understanding and Effectively Engaging Caregivers"
Morning Keynote: Dr. Larry Force PhD. - Mount Saint Mary College
Afternoon Keynote: Melanie Funchess - Mental Health Association of Greater Rochester

National Lifespan Respite Conference,  October 11-13 in Huntsville, Alabama 

Research  and Resources

Alzheimer's Disease
New Curriculum: A Public Health Approach to Alzheimer's and Other Dementias

The Alzheimer's Association, as part of a cooperative agreement with CDC's Healthy Aging Program, and in partnership with Emory University's Rollins School of Public Health, have developed a new curriculum on cognitive health, cognitive impairment, and Alzheimer's disease. This curriculum describes the role of public health in addressing the epidemic of Alzheimer's disease and other dementias. The curriculum has four modules including a discussion of Alzheimer's disease as a public health crisis, the basics of Alzheimer's and other dementias, the role of public health in mitigating Alzheimer's disease, and dementia capable systems and dementia friendly communities.
Improving Support for America's Hidden Heroes: A Research Blueprint
RAND Corporation - 2017
Millions of unpaid, informal caregivers provide support that allows service members or veterans with disabilities to live in a home setting. To improve support for military and veteran caregivers, researchers constructed a blueprint, using available research on caregiving for adults and children with disabilities, including the 2015 ARCH Research Agenda for Respite Care: Deliberations of an Expert Panel of Researchers, Advocates and Funders. More studies are necessary to examine how military and veteran caregiver needs are evolving, how programs are working, and how caregiving affects various groups. The blueprint can serve as a guide to prioritizing and facilitating future research.

To learn more, call




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