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DAV keeps promise for area veterans needing respite care

Donations are specifically earmarked for Living at Home of Park Rapids Area's (LAH) work with senior veterans and their families, LAH Executive Director Connie Carmichael said.

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Connie Carmichael, executive director of Living at Home of the Park Rapids Area, accepts a $5,000 donation from Jerry Bjerke, DAV Chapter 38 Commander.
Contributed / Living at Home of Park Rapids
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Fulfilling a promise made in 2017, the local Disabled American Veterans (DAV) chapter has regularly donated $5,000 to Living at Home of the Park Rapids Area (LAH).

The chapter recently made another contribution.

Donations are specifically earmarked for LAH’s work with senior veterans and their families, LAH Executive Director Connie Carmichael said. “Most of the funds go to offset cost shares associated with respite care for veterans or their spouses.”

In some cases, it may be used for respite services for a veteran caring for a spouse or a spouse caring for a veteran. Sometimes it is a son or daughter caring for a veteran parent.

“Either way, respite is meant to give the caregiver a break for up to four hours a week so that the caregiver can take care of themselves. This could mean giving them the chance to go to the doctor, buy groceries, have coffee with a friend, tinker in the garage or even take a much needed and deserved nap,” Carmichael explained.

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“These donations also help to provide housekeeping, shopping and errands, and other needed LAH services as volunteer time and resources allow. We currently serve 54 veterans and/or their spouses, which is a little over 25% of our total clients served in any given year.”

LAH is seeking more volunteers for respite care. There is currently a waiting listing of caregivers who need a break once a week for a few hours, she said.

Overall in the past 12 months, Carmichaeld said 72 volunteers have assisted 284 seniors. “The volunteers donated over 3,725 hours of their time and talents and drove over 47,129 miles in service to seniors in our community.”

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