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Jul. 11, 2019

TOPIC: Patient Stories

Rare Caregiver Respite: Debra’s Story

Posted by Christina Jensen

In May, NORD launched the first-of-its-kind Rare Caregiver Respite Program, designed to enable caregivers to take a much-deserved respite. Debra Barnum, one of the first caregivers to participate in the new program, shared how she recently spent her break.

“I was able to meet and have dinner with one of my Peace Corps friends. We hadn’t seen each other since we left Romania in June 2001! I think Mom enjoyed having someone else besides me around for a while too, so it was good for both of us,” said Debra. “It was such a blessing to know that my Mom was being well taken care of while I was away. Thank you so much NORD for providing this opportunity for me and other deserving caregivers!”

According to Jill Pollander, Director of Patient Services for NORD, “The Rare Caregiver Respite Program allows us to acknowledge the commitment that families and significant make so tirelessly every day by enabling them some time away while ensuring their loved one is well cared for. It’s a thank you we are thrilled to be able to give.” 

Through the program, NORD provides financial assistance to eligible caregivers covering up to $500 annually so that a respite caregiver may be secured to care for a loved one. Potential applicants can reach out to NORD to determine if they meet eligibility requirements. The grant may be dispersed throughout a calendar year or be used in a single award. Examples of what the NORD Rare Caregiver Respite Care Program financial assistance may cover include:

  • Registered Nurse (RN) care
  • Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) care
  • Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) / Nursing Assistant
  • Home Health Aide (HHA)

Debra encourages others to apply for the program. “Sign up! Every caregiver needs respite and NORD is paying a caregiver to take care of your loved one so that you can 

have that respite and not worry about anything!” 

The fund continues to accept additional donations to ensure the program is sustained for years to come. For more information and instructions on how to apply, click here.