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Roseville, Calif.- After recognizing an unmet need in the community, Sutter Auburn Faith Hospital and Sutter Roseville Medical Center created a Recreation and Respite Program (R&R) to address a lack of supportive services for family caregivers. The program is now operated in partnership with Seniors First, and is designed to offer a change of pace and sense of independence to seniors with physical or memory impairments, as well as provide support for their caregivers.

Seniors First provides programs and services benefitting older adults, including reliable transportation, nutritious meals and socialization to improve the health, safety and overall well-being of Placer County senior citizens and disabled individuals. The Recreation and Respite program is funded by Sutter Health and staffed by Seniors First coordinators and volunteers that focus on providing a safe environment and activities for adults with memory impairments while also providing free time and community resources for caregivers.

“Our goal is to keep seniors independent and thriving, while also supporting those that primarily take care of them” said Joni Trykar, Seniors First program director. “Our programs are designed to provide a supportive and engaging space that prevent isolation and caregiver stress.”

With 65 percent of caregivers at risk of becoming seriously ill*, a significant focus of the R&R program is to ease the stress of the caregiver. The Recreation and Respite program allows caregivers much-needed time to complete every day activities such as grocery shopping while knowing their loved ones are in good hands. The program also provides caregiver support group meetings where caregivers can gain referrals and make community connections.

“My mother loves to come here,” said Diana Shaban, an Auburn caregiver who assists her father in caring for her 80-year-old mother. “She feels like she is with family and it allows me to have a few hours to myself a couple of days a week. I also attend the caregiver support meetings that provide valuable resources for my family and our needs.”

Sutter Health launched the program in 1993, and officially partnered with Seniors First to provide the R&R program for seniors with physical or cognitive impairments since October 2015.

“The Recreation and Respite program is important to Sutter Health because we see the value in providing recreational, social and educational activities for seniors in our community,” said Holly Harper, community benefit manager at Sutter Health. “We enjoy the collaboration with Seniors First and are happy we can provide this engaging and beneficial program together.”

The R&R program provides exercise, games, art and group discussion Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at two separate locations, for $50 per day. Scholarships are available for qualifying participants.

Auburn: Seniors First, 12183 Locksley Lane, Suite 108, Auburn, CA 95602
Recreational program: Tuesday and Wednesday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Caregiver support program: Third Fridays from 1 to 2:30 p.m.

Lincoln: Twelve Bridges Library, 485 Twelve Bridges Drive, Lincoln, CA 95648
Recreational program: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Caregiver support program: Third Thursdays from 9 to 10:30 a.m.

All Placer County seniors living in Western Placer County are eligible for Seniors First services, including the communities of Roseville, Rocklin, Lincoln, Colfax, Auburn and Granite Bay.

For more information, to volunteer or to support Seniors First, please visit www.seniorsfirst.org or call 530-889-9500.

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