RSVP hosting REST Companion training

The Nevada Rural Counties Retired Senior Volunteer Program will soon be hosting a free special training course in Pahrump and generous-hearted residents wanting to make a difference in the lives of others will want to mark their calendars for next Tuesday, July 17, when they can learn all about becoming a REST companion.

The Retired Senior Volunteer Program, better known simply as RSVP, is a nonprofit organization with the goal of assisting frail and elderly people so they can maintain independence and stay in their own homes.

One of RSVP’s most powerful programs is its Respite Program, in which helpful volunteers step in for caregivers, who can then take a moment to themselves and concentrate on their own needs.

Nye County RSVP Field Representative Jan Lindsay said one of the biggest problems for caregivers is that they get so wrapped up in caring for their loved ones they do not focus on themselves, often creating overwhelming stress and even health issues.

Multiple studies have indicated that caregivers who experience mental or emotional strain have a much higher risk of passing away and many die before the person they are caring for.

To combat these statistics, respite programs are an imperative factor. RSVP is striving to ensure all caregivers are given the relaxation and personal time they need to stay healthy and fully able to care for their patient.

Lindsay detailed that the Nye County RSVP currently serves 21 clients with its respite care program but there are many more who could benefit greatly from the service as well. An important factor in expanding its reach is the need for volunteers, those willing to become REST companions and dedicate time to helping their neighbors.

“Adults interested in meeting a crucial need by providing respite, or short-term temporary relief, for caregivers in their community can attend an upcoming REST, Respite Education and Support Tools, training course. Those who complete the unique, interactive training program become REST companions, who provide short breaks for caregivers who are caring for individuals with disability or health care needs. This allows caregivers to step away to exercise, grocery shop, see a doctor or attend a support group meeting,” a news release from RSVP read.

“I encourage all family caregivers and those interested in learning more about respite care to attend this training. The course is a $500 value and offered at no charge, compliments of the State of Nevada Aging and Disability Services Division. This is a great opportunity to learn more about your caregiving role and to be well prepared to care for those in need. The primary caregivers desperately need regular breaks from their caregiving so that they can return refreshed and able to continue their selfless care of another,” Susan Haas, executive director of RSVP said.

The REST Companion course is a formal training class, utilizing standardized curriculum that aligns with the National Respite Guidelines, developed by the Access to Respite Care and Help National Resource Center, according to the release. Training topics include confidentiality, understanding disabilities across the lifespan, planning and adapting activities and establishing a successful relationship with the caregiver and care recipient.

In addition to providing residents with an avenue to explore their drive to help others, those who attend the REST Companion course who are also in the health care profession can count the class as part of the Continuing Education Units. However, those who do want to count the course toward their CEUs, there will be a $15 charge. All others can participate for free.

The REST Companion training will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on July 17, at the NyE Communities Coalition, 1020 E. Wilson Road. Lunch and refreshments will be served.

Anyone interested in attending the upcoming training should contact Lindsay at 775-751-5282 or email to secure a spot. For more information visit

Tonopah REST training

Nevada Rural Counties Retired Senior Volunteer Program will host a REST Companion training course in Tonopah on Wednesday, July 18. The course is free of charge and will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the NyE Communities Coalition Campus, 1 Frankie Street in Tonopah.

To reserve a spot in the REST training contact Karen Caldwell-Weil at 775-687-4680, extension 123 or email

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