The Barrington Area Council on Aging (BACOA) launched an adult respite program one day a week called “A Day Out” on April 3, 2014. This special program is offered at Lutheran Church of the Atonement and runs from 10 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Atonement provides space, volunteers, and some funding for this unique offering and has committed to partner with BACOA to ensure a successful launch and ongoing support.


Caring for an older family member can be a very demanding and stressful job. Caregivers often find themselves unable to take a break to run errands, get work done or simply recharge and unwind. A respite day program can offer some relief from some of these challenges. Not only does the caregiver get a break, but the person being cared for gets an opportunity to socialize and participate in activities that they might not otherwise do.


The program, the only one of its kind in Barrington, is aimed at persons who have mild cognitive or physical impairments and will provide social, intellectual and emotional support and stimulation—as well as respite for primary caregivers.


Activities include reminiscence activities, board/table games, crafts, physical activity (chair exercises, etc.), discussion of current events, and musical programs or performances.


Who we serve: Participants include people who have early-stage memory loss, or people who have no memory loss, but have other health issues and are in need of socialization opportunities. Because this program is a social model, rather than a medical model, all participants are required to have the ability to toilet, eat, and take medications independently. Participants are screened by BACOA staff to determine appropriateness for the program.


Frequency of operation: In its pilot phase, the program began one day a week running on Mondays only. Currently it is offered every Monday and Thursday as well as the first three Fridays of each month. Hours are from 10 am-2:30 pm. Additional days are possible, if staffing and space is available.


Staffing: A BACOA staff member, who is a licensed professional counselor, directs the program, assisted by specially trained volunteers from Atonement and the Barrington Community.


Costs: Program participants pay $35/day.


For more information or to arrange an interview, please call Pam Pelazzari at BACOA.




Would you like to serve as a volunteer for this program?

If serving as a volunteer for this program appeals to you but you’re not sure you have the background necessary, you may be interested to know that BACOA will train you. You can even choose how often you would like to volunteer. Below is a brief description of the position:


Job responsibilities
  • Assist Coordinator in planning and implementing activities for program
  • Interact with participants and their caregivers by engaging in meaningful conversations
  • Participate in all activities planned for group
  • Accompany group members to the outside door of restroom
  • Verbally assist group members with balance and transfer issues
  • Provide medication reminders when appropriate
  • Communicate/report concerns and issues, such as wandering and/or changes in behavior to Coordinator and other volunteers
  • Provide cues/verbal supervision to participate in activities, toileting, etc.
Skills and Experience
  • Good listening skills
  • Good communication skills
  • Ability to empathize with people who have special needs
  • Sense of humor
  • Enthusiastic attitude
  • Completion of CPR Class
  • Completion of Volunteer Training Session
  • Prior experience working with people with memory loss; (helpful, but not required)
  • Prior experience as a caregiver; (helpful, but not required)


If you are interested in volunteering for this program, please call Pam Pelazzari at BACOA.


To find out more about the Barrington Council on Aging, click here to navigate to their website.

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