You At Your Best

June 2017 • Mental Health

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20 | YOU AT YOUR BEST | NWADG.COM/YOUATYOURBEST JUNE - MENTAL HEALTH | SATURDAY, MAY 27, 2017 Caregivers are family members or paid helpers who regularly look after a child or a sick, elderly, or disabled per- son. They account for 16.6 percent of the United States population, or 39.8 million Americans. Among them, caregiver burn- out is a common occurrence. Caregiver burnout is defi ned as a state of physical, emotional, or mental exhaustion that can sometimes be accompanied by a fl uctuat- ing attitude. If a caregiver is experiencing burnout, they can go from being positive and caring to negative and unconcerned. They may experience a range of mental health problems including fatigue, stress, anxiety, and depression. If a caregiver is struggling with burnout, it can result in the person they are looking after not receiving the proper care. Village House, of Bella Vista, is help- ing remedy caregiver burnout by provid- ing respite care (a period of rest or relief) with their adult day program. Village House is a 501(c)3 non-profi t program providing social, recreational, education- al activities, and care giving for partici- pants. The program's goal is to maintain and enhance the quality of life for both the participant and the caregiver. "Overall we provide assistance and supervision for adults who have some type of disability," stated Village House Director Sara Scott. "It could be anything from a stroke, de- mentia, developmental disabilities, blind- ness, or deafness. Really, what we do, is we provide a respite care to caregivers who need a break. Whether just for their own mental health or because they have a career or a family for which they are also responsible." The participants' mental health is also benefi ting from the program at Village House. According to Scott, "Socializa- tion amongst seniors is so important and it's something that they can't get a lot of places because of their circumstances. By allowing them to come here and be able to interact, engage, and socialize with other adults who also have some life changing illness or condition, it enhances their qual- ity of life." Activities at Village House include games, educational programs, music, crafts, and daily exercise programs. The program is designed to maximize the abil- ities of each participant and has on staff a certifi ed dementia practitioner, certifi ed nurse assistants (CNAs), and life enrich- ment professionals. "Our goal is to pro- vide an atmosphere for adults with special conditions to be able to engage in activi- ties that improve their quality of life while also providing respite care for caregivers," added Scott. "I would say it is a 50/50 split. We're for the clients just as much as we're for the caregivers because it's just as important for both parties." Since Village House is a non-profi t or- ganization, it relies on the generosity and donations of groups and individuals to continue to function. Currently, the pro- gram can serve up to 30 clients per day. Village House has a capital campaign going on right now to raise the funds to pay for a remodel. Once the remodel is complete, the program will be able to ac- commodate up to 50 clients per day. "A lot of the churches donate money to Village House. I'm just blown away from all the support from the community," noted Scott. The Bella Vista Courtesy Van, which has an offi ce in the same building as Vil- lage House, was created to provide trans- portation for Village House clients. They do provide transportation for other people as well, but if you are a Village House cli- ent and they are bringing you to Village House – it is a free service. This also helps alleviate some of the stress for the caregiv- er. Village House will celebrate its 30th anniversary in 2018, having been open since 1988. The adult day program is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, and is located in the lower level of Highlands Crossing Center at 1801 Forest Hills Blvd., Suite 206, in Bella Vista. For more information about the program, con- tact Village House at (479) 855-4449. Village House is located at 1801 Forest Hills Blvd., Suite 206, in the lower level of the Highlands Crossing Center. Offers Respite for Caregivers BY SARAH HANEY NWA DEMOCRAT-GAZETTE

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