Respites Needed in Northern, Central Nebraska

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LOUP CITY, Neb. Caregivers watching over a loved one need to take a break once in a while. That's why the Central Nebraska Respite Network seeks more providers to serve the area.

Respite specialist, Peggy Jensen, said the goal is to alleviate stress on the families that take care of someone full-time.

"Family life is a little hectic," she said. "And if you go to the doctor and don't want to take your children or your spouse with you, then you get that time to get away."

The group's providers will go to the caregiver's home or meet somewhere.

Christina Nelms and her husband, parents to three boys, sought help from a respite.

"It was just a sigh of relief when we got qualified," Nelms said. "I don't know what I would've done without a little bit of a break as exhausted as we've been as our kids' needs have changed but have still been pretty demanding."

Jensen said becoming a respite can be a paid, part-time job.

"There are a lot more people out there that need our services that actually think they're just doing what they're supposed to do: I'm just being a mom, I'm just being a wife," she said.

She added that she's noticed a lot of children become caregivers when their parents are at work, further mentioning the need for the service.

The Loup City office has two respites who receive the calls and look for providers to cover 45 counties in northern and central Nebraska.
That's why she says the interest from nine people at a training session Saturday in Hastings was a big deal.

"It is huge," Jensen said. "Most of those are from the Hastings area, so we're still looking for people to come a litle farther north with us."

More training will take place in Broken Bow on Feb. 27.