North Side Overnight Respite Care Opens

New service will help caregivers of elders and adults with disabilities.   

Family caregivers will get a valuable new resource when St. Ann Center for Intergenerational Care opens its  Overnight Respite Unit at its north side Bucyrus Campus, 2450 W. North Ave.  Beginning Friday, Dec. 6, overnight respite will be available on weekends for frail elders, or those with dementia, and adults with cognitive or physical disabilities.

“We’ll take very good care of your loved one, so you can get a much-needed break from the physical and emotional demands of caregiving,” said Sr. Edna Lonergan, founder and president of St. Ann Center.

Lonergan said reliable respite support is crucial for caregivers planning a business trip, medical procedure or vacation, and noted that St. Ann Center’s south side campus has operated a successful overnight respite program for 12 years.

“Caregivers have been asking us for this help, and we’re thrilled to provide it,” she said, explaining why St. Ann Center is opening the Northside service.

The Bucyrus Campus overnight respite will initially be open on weekends, from Friday night through Monday morning, and expand as demand increases, until it operates seven days a week year-round, as at the Stein. St. Ann Center also offers daycare services for frail elders and adults with disabilities at both locations.

The new unit features nine bed and-breakfast-style rooms with a cozy, homelike feeling. A large gathering room offers a fireplace, large flat-screen TV and nook for reading and playing games;  fresh-cooked breakfasts, lunches and dinners will be served in the dining room. Guests can also enjoy a whirlpool bath, with bathing assistance.  Hallways showcase “African-Americans in Our Community,” artworks created by Milwaukee High School of the Arts students.

Neaver C. Walters, director of the new respite care unit, is a registered nurse with experience in hospitals, senior communities, the county’s psychiatric crisis unit and a Milwaukee Police Department district station office, and whose Milwaukee roots are on the Northside.

“Many caregivers are unaware that respite care exists, let alone in their own neighborhood. We want them to know St. Ann Center is here for them, that we understand the demands placed on them, and that we’ll treat their loved ones with empathy and kindness,” Walters said.

The cost will vary, depending on the level of care needed. St. Ann Center accepts private pay and payment assistance from Family Care, Community Care, Care Wisconsin, IRIS, Department on Aging and more.

Information on how to apply for overnight respite care can be found online at StAnnCenter.com/respite. To set up a personal tour, call 414-977-5079, or email dtaylor@stanncenter.org

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