MSU Extension Hosts Respite Retreat for Caregivers on May 6 – Taking Care of YOU


April 27, 2022

MSU Extension will be hosting a respite retreat for caregivers at the Cottonwood Inn in Glasgow, May 6 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. This retreat aims to provide caregivers a chance to take a break from their caregiving responsibilities and spend a day prioritizing their well-being. Caregiving can be very demanding, both physically and mentally, and this retreat is an effort to allow those individuals to take a day and focus on self-care.

Caregivers can take on many responsibilities and come in many different forms. As defined by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, a caregiver is a person who provides consistent care or assistance to any friend or family member who has health issues or a disability. In Montana, one in six adults are caregivers, and nearly 50 percent of caregivers have provided care for at least two years.

Caregivers may assist with many needs of the individual they are caring for, including finances, household tasks, shopping, bathing, managing medications, and more. These individuals may be providing in-person care, but they can also be assisting their friend or family member from a distance. Almost one-third of Montana caregivers provide care for at least twenty hours a week. This amount of responsibility can cause many challenges for caregivers and even lead to health issues from stress such as depression and anxiety.

The upcoming respite retreat is an opportunity for caregivers in northeast Montana to gather with those with similar experiences and take some time for themselves. There will be four primary areas of focus at the retreat – health and wellness, nutrition, relaxation, and social support. Each of these areas will have an activity that the participants will engage in during the retreat.

One example of an activity the caregivers will participate in is making tasty, healthy mocktails while talking about the importance of nutrition. One of the goals of the nutrition module is to have participants de-stress while enjoying a mocktail of choice and discussing the health benefits of some of the ingredients. Participants will leave with a list of mocktails they can try at home and information on making a nutritious snack a fun and relaxing part of their day.

In addition to the retreat being free to all participants, MSU Extension and the other two sponsors, Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS) and Montana Lifespan Respite, realize that it may be difficult for caregivers to take a whole day for themselves for many reasons, including financial barriers. To alleviate some of that stress, we will give a $100 Visa gift card to all participants to assist in finding someone to care for their loved ones during the retreat. Lunch will also be provided.

If you are interested in attending the retreat or have any additional questions, please contact Roubie Younkin, Valley County Extension 406-228-6241.


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