Living and walking amongst us are heroes. You may not see them or notice them, but every day, they put their capes on and set about their mission: to serve as a caregiver to their loved one with a disability. But even heroes need a break at times, and that's where the respite staff at Paladin Inc. comes in, donning that caregiver cape for however long is needed.
"I'm so thankful to have this respite service. I don't know what I would do without it," said Angela McBride, parent, and caregiver.
"I like everything about their respite services. I don't know what I would do without it. I love our caregiver and it's very good for my brother," said Marie Wicker, caregiver.
For many parents and guardians, taking a break can be difficult and they may worry about whether their loved ones are being well cared for. The staff at Paladin are expertly trained to care for the individuals they serve and have a passion for providing quality care. To ensure excellent care, Paladin maintains a profile for each participant, making sure that staff knows as much as they can about the person for whom they will be caring for.
"The gathered information allows us to learn a little more about the individual we are going to care for, their likes and dislikes, food preferences, everything that will make that person and staff member comfortable," said Tina Orr, Respite Manager.
Such attention offers parents and guardians peace of mind.
"Paladin is a lifesaver. They are so dependable. We give them a schedule, can rely on them, and know they won't cancel," said Tom Biel, parent, and caregiver. "We can have confidence that they will take good care of our son and that he'll be safe. We have the utmost faith and trust in them. It's so nice to be able to count on Paladin and know that they will have quality people who will take care of our son and help him have a higher quality of life. It means so much to us."
"It gives me peace of mind to know that these services are available. If I needed to go somewhere or had a health issue, I could rely on them to take care of my son," said Evelyn Poston, parent, and caregiver.
Respite services are important for the participants, as well. It gives them a chance to socialize, learn new skills, and gain a sense of independence. From going to the library to teach reading, to taking individuals to the store to practice money and math skills, the respite staff at Paladin is ready to help participants work toward their goals.
"We also encourage individuals to advocate for themselves, to speak up, make their own decisions, greet people, and be a member of their community. It's important to learn these skills early on so that, as they age, they have that independence and can do things for themselves," said Susan Boyer, Program Manager at Paladin, Inc.
It gives individuals a sense of belonging and community.
"Respite services let our son get out and see much more of the world. He can be with other people and make friends. We want to give him the highest quality of life, which includes getting out and making friends while experiencing other opportunities," Biel said.
Of course, the services also offer a much-needed break for the caregiver, allowing them to take care of themselves or other members of their families.
"It's good for both of us to have a break. He needs to have a social life and I'm also a very social person--this way I can go out, volunteer, and be among people, and so can he. When you live with somebody and care for them, they need a break from you as well. There are so many pluses for both of us," Wicker said.
"Respite services are so needed for families. Any parent needs an outlet, especially those who have a child with a significant disability. It makes them a better parent," Boyer said.
Caregivers can call and arrange for respite services whenever they need it. Respite staff can come to the home, take an individual out to the store or out to eat, whatever the person and/or family may want. The respite home in Michigan City also offers daily activities where caregivers can arrange for their loved one(s) to spend some time with others. No matter the need, Paladin works hard to fulfill it.
"We work with the families to see what their need is and then try to accommodate them as well as we can," Boyer said.
"We discuss everything with the parent/guardian, from medicine down to the television shows that their loved one enjoys. We make it as home-like as possible so that the parents, and the individual, can be as comfortable as possible while their loved one is away," Orr said.
For our everyday heroes in need of a break, Paladin, Inc. certainly comes to the rescue, providing their loved ones with quality and safe care. And when our heroes are ready to put that cape back on, they are refreshed and ready to embrace the day.
"Respite is about giving the primary caregiver time to do things that they normally wouldn't be able to do and give them the time needed to recharge," said Jessica Young, Children's Services Program Manager.
For more information about Paladin, Inc. and the many services they offer throughout La Porte and Lake County, visit their website at http://www.paladin.care/ .