Camps for Caring
FCA's Camps for Caring will be featured on an upcoming NPR segment slated for broadcast on Monday September 6, 2010 on the Morning Edition program (5 am to 10 am). This 8-minute segment was developed at our June camp where NPR reporters spent the entire weekend in activities and interviews with campers and staff. The program is tentatively slated for air time at 20 minutes to the hour, but we are unclear as to exact time. If you miss the program in its original broadcast, check the NPR archive files. Thanks to the NPR reporters, camp staff and all the campers who made this program possible.
This is the road to Westminster Retreat House in Alamo California where several weekends a year magic happens at our Camps for Caring
Families from all over the San Francisco Bay Area bring their loved ones with Alzheimer's disease and related dementias, Parkinson's, stroke, head injury and other chronic care conditions for a weekend "in the country." This Camp is for them.
Family caregivers, happy in the knowledge that their relative is in a safe, supportive and most of all, beautiful retreat environment, receive the gift of respite they so richly deserve. Time to themselves. Time to reconnect with friends. Time to rejuvenate.
Camp for Caring is multi-generational. All of our "campers" are assigned a volunteer "camp buddy." Many buddies are young teens and adults who come to be with our campers through shared meals, activities and sometimes, just contemplating the natural beauty of the coastal hills and trails.
Other buddies come from corporations who are eager to give back to the community through the camp experience. Most have a caregiving story of their own of a grandparent, parent, sibling or friend. All come away thinking that they have received more joy from the experience than they ever imagined. Many return camp after camp.
The experience for the campers is of shared meals and stories, of activities creative and expressive, of exercise in the outdoors and of new friends and memories made over the weekend. It becomes a family camp if only for a few days a year.
It is a place where you might like to visit, or wish there was room for your loved one or hope it is there when you might need it too.
Vacation is usually not in the vocabulary for caregivers and much less for those who need care. To vacate your routine temporarily, to experience something different and to refresh your soul and senses is not frivolous. It is necessary.
Listen to NPR's broadcast on FCA's Camps for Caring
Camp For Alzheimer's Patients Isn't About Memories
NPR Morning Edition--September 6, 2010
Read more about Camps for Caring on NPR's website.
If you would like to support Camps for Caring—sponsor a camp, a camper or just give what you can—know that our waiting list is long, our campers eager to go and our caregivers hungry for the break.
To donate go to http://caregiver.org/caregiver/jsp/content_node.jsp?nodeid=527.
If you would like more information about our Camps for Caring, contact Michelle Venegas, Family Caregiver Alliance's Director of Programs and Services.
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