Respite Home – Breaking Ground in Blair County

Respite Care is a much needed and foundational service for those dealing with long term care situations for people with intellectual disabilities or other long term needs. Family members, friends and loved ones often find themselves needing personal time for life tasks and time to relax and rejuvenate. By definition, Respite Care Services provide short-term relief for primary caregivers. It can be requested and utilized as needed in daily units for up to 30 days per calendar year. Respite Homes provide a safe place to bring people receiving care so that their long term caregivers can truly get some respite.

It is a personal choice to care for family members at home and one that comes with a lot of daily effort. However, those who make that decision are blessed with so many rewards. Family members and caregivers repeatedly state that the daily joy and benefits definitely outweigh any issues. That said, it’s critical that caregivers also care for themselves.

One thesis by Emily N. Kowal out of Ohio State University explains that this care creates increased demands – due to the nature of this long term commitment.

“In 2011 it was found that as many as 71% lived with a family member. With the demands that aging puts on familial caregivers, there is a need for increased support (Williamson & Perkins, 2014). A great responsibility is placed on families as both children and parents age: future care becomes a huge concern. The need for individual and family support increases and physical, emotional and financial needs become harder to meet as both the individuals with disability and their caregiver age (Parish & Lucwick, 2005).”

Due to increasing needs, construction has begun on a Respite Home in Blair County that will be operated by Skills of Central PA, Inc. This home will be located at 1002-1010 Beale Avenue, Altoona, PA.

At Skills of Central PA, it is part of our daily mission to support those caregivers. Our companion services, community participation support and older adult day services provide programs throughout the life of a participant. These programs place emphasis on achieving personal fulfillment, fostering independence in making life decisions and interacting with peers.

Skills’ program areas offer a variety of group activities including community event participation, hobby exploration and health maintenance related activities such as nutrition and exercise. We offer a range of choices for each person to participate in activities appropriate to their age and interests. We operate in an environment that stresses respect, dignity and safety for all the people we support.

“We believe that The Blair County Respite Home will provide much needed comfort and support for families making the choice to care for their loved ones at home and for families providing lifesharing services. This is just part of the foundational care that provides a continuation of services we are proud to be part of,” states Skills CEO Becky Aungst. “We are excited that the ground has been broken, and look forward to our grand opening.”

For more information on this and to follow the progress, contact Cathy McFee at (814) 949-4800 EXT. 890.