December 2018                                                               

REST partners with Bloomingdale Township in Illinois to provide a respite pilot program to serve caregivers. Learn more.

REST is an evidence-based respite-training program. See our published study.

Gain a strong command of the ten core competencies of respite. Take the REST Essentials online course. See information .

For information, visit:
or contact:
Lois Sheaffer
National Director of REST, at 630.397.5655 ,  
Kelly Fitzgerald, National Training Development Manager, at 630.397.5658,


REST is booking Train-the-Trainer events for 2019. See a list of our latest courses here.
State Updates

Congratulations to Ivonne Rodriguez, our REST Trainer of the Quarter !  Ivonne, the Program Operations Coordinator at Unicorn Children's Foundation, is a REST Trainer and Master Trainer. Ivonne trained the most Companions this quarter, and was very involved in putting together the state's first respite summit. Ivonne continues to find innovative ways to use REST to help caregivers in her community.

Children's Services of Palm Beach County is hosting a Train-the-Trainer course on Jan. 31-Feb. 1 , in Boynton Beach. Limited scholarships are available. See details.

National Director of REST Lois Sheaffer was the keynote speaker at the Statewide Respite Conference on Nov. 15,  at Florida Atlantic University, Jupiter. The event brought together caregivers and respite stakeholders from throughout the state to share creative strategies and discuss ways to improve respite care options in Florida. See photo here

New York

A REST Essentials course took place on Nov. 10 and 17 , at Greece Baptist Church, Rochester, through the New York State Caregiving and Respite Coalition.

Ulster County Office for the Aging will host a Train-the-Trainer course on Jan. 9-10 , in Kingston. Scholarships are available for New York residents. See details.

Researchers from the University of Georgia, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and the University of Rochester are collaborating on a research study to better understand caregivers' experiences with respite. They will interview caregivers in western and central New York who are currently using or have recently used respite services. Learn more here.


The first REST event in the state will take place on Jan. 23-24 , at Mt. Calvary Lutheran Church, San Antonio, through Voice of Care.  See information.


Eleven individuals completed a Train-the-Trainer course on Nov. 28-29 , in St. Louis Park, through the Minnesota Board on Aging.  See a photo from the event here.

Four individuals completed a Companion class on Nov. 10 , at Northwoods Caregivers. Those who completed the course can now provide in-home respite care for clients and their families.  Northwoods Caregivers provides other services, as well, including transportation to medical appointments, grocery shopping assistance, and homemaking services.

A U.S. News and World Report article, "Minnesota Resident Volunteers as Senior Companion," included comments from REST Companion Gail Sumerfelt , program coordinator for the Senior Companions Program at Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota. See article here.

A Respite Q&A visit will take place on Dec. 11 , at Woodbury Baptist Church, through Lyngblomsten.  The agency needs volunteers for its daytime group respite program, called The Gathering, and its in-home respite program. The visit will include a brief overview of available respite and volunteer opportunities and a chance to observe The Gathering in action. Participants will be encouraged to take future Companion classes and provide respite care for caregivers.  Learn more.


James Glaser, a REST Companion through the Nevada Rural Counties RSVP program , recently won the "Caregiver for a Veteran" award, presented by the Nevada Caregivers Coalition.  Each November, during National Family Caregivers Month, the coalition pays tribute to exceptional caregivers in seven different categories, and recognizes an outstanding business or agency that goes above and beyond to support employees who are caregivers. See a photo.

Steven Nichols recently began serving as respite program director for the Innovations Project - Java Music for Rural Respite , through the Nevada Rural Counties RSVP Program. Java Music is a research-based activity group program, which focuses on peer support - residents helping residents.  The program has a variety of components, including themes, photography, music, readings and the talking stick, which make for a highly participatory group.

The annual Nevada Rural Counties RSVP Program Volunteer Recognition, Christmas & Holiday Celebration will take place on Dec. 14 , at the Carson Nugget, Carson City.  Learn more.


Five individuals completed a Companion course on Nov. 15 , through Middleton Council on Aging


A two-part Companion course took place on Nov. 29 and Dec. 6 , in Escanaba, through Upper Peninsula Commission on Area Progress


A representative from the Colorado Respite Coalition, which recently hosted a Train-the-Trainer course, discussed the challenges caregivers face, and the ways the coalition can help, during an interview on KUSA 9News in Denver.  See the interview here.


Bloomingdale Township Supervisor Michael D. Hovde, Jr. and the Township Board of Trustees recently honored the REST Program and other inaugural recipients of funding from the Bloomingdale Township Community Mental Health Board. Thanks to the funding, REST will be able to create a respite pilot program to serve caregivers living in Bloomingdale Township.  See a photo here.

Voice of Care recently held a REST Essentials course for disaster early responders. Eight individuals are now prepared to set up respite events in host churches to care for people with disabilities as their loved ones arrange for the assistance they need during the crisis.


Seven individuals completed a Companion course on Oct. 20 , at Daybreak Adult Day Health Care, Yuma, through Western Arizona Council of Governments.  


Through the "Helping States Support Families Caring for an Aging America initiative ," the Center for Health Care Strategies will work with Alabama and four other states to develop policies or programs to support family caregivers and address the challenges of an aging population. Read more here.

"Saluting Family Caregivers," a caregiver forum, took place on Nov. 15 , at the Tuskegee Senior Citizen Building, to celebrate National Family Caregivers Month.  The South Central Alabama Development Commission - Area Agency on Agency, and Tuskegee Senior Citizen Program sponsored the event.


Congratulations to Na Hoaloha for winning the Na Lima Kokua Award for Volunteering Excellence , during the 2018 Hawaii Pacific Gerontological Society Conference. The awards went to organizations, individuals and businesses that have enhanced the image of aging or have promoted the field of gerontology. See a photo here.


More caregivers in Montana will receive respite services , thanks to a three-year federal grant through the Administration for Community Living. The funding will provide training for family caregivers, providers and volunteers; create a respite registry of trained individual caregivers, and increase outreach efforts. Read more.


The Arkansas Lifespan Respite Coalition  is conducting a Respite Needs Assessment Survey, to demonstrate the need for respite services in the state, and to assist in efforts to promote the development of a statewide respite and crisis care system. If you live in Arkansas, click  here  to take the survey.


Care for Caregivers took place on Nov. 30 , at the Temple Church, Nashville, to recognize family caregivers during National Family Caregivers Month. The Tennessee Respite Coalition and the Temple Church hosted the annual event, which included speakers, brunch and pampering activities for caregivers. 

REST Program | (630) 397-5655 |
164 S. Prairie Avenue
Bloomingdale, IL 60108