Deon Tempfer, who works in the field of senior care, is bringing a program to Norwood next week. The REST — Respite Education Support Tools — program is national training program that offers education and support to caregivers. Tempfer is a trainer in the REST program and says it’s successful at supporting families. The class will be held at the Norwood Community Center on June 26 and June 28 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

“This is a really unique interactive training program,” she said. “People who are caregivers or who want to do it, or receive care … The educational tools help them be confident and successful giving care to adults or children.”

Tempfer completed her trainings to teach REST in Denver. Already, she has a strong background in working with senior populations. She’s worked in home health care previously and specialized in neuromuscular therapy. Locally, she’s taught healthy living classes at Uncompahgre Medical Center, as well as classes on managing chronic disease and also nutrition classes.

Tempfer said people never know how the REST program could assist them, either through caring for an aging parent or ill family member. She said the training will cover communication, understanding challenging behaviors, crisis interventions, coping strategies for the caregiver and more.

Recently, Tempfer taught the REST class in Delta and will also travel to Gunnison to teach, too. She collaborates with Region 10 to distribute the REST information in local counties.

At the end of the training, participants will receive a certification, a bonus she said for those working as a certified nurse assistant. They’ll also get manuals to take home that continue the caregiver education support.

Anyone interested is welcome to attend. That includes folks from Telluride and also Nucla and Naturita — and anyone interested in respite care, palliative care or hospice care. There is no charge for the training, but donations are welcome. Tempfer said ideally, she’d like to have 10 in the class.

For Tempfer the work is exciting, and she said she feels it’s her calling in life to work in the senior and respite field.

“It’s pretty exciting going to the classes and meeting people in different areas,” she said.

According to her, one family is moving to Disappointment Valley with a family member that has Alzheimer’s Disease. Tempfer said her goal is to support that caregiver, so she can find relief and do things like get her hair done or shop for groceries.

“Who knows how this could help? There is stuff for everyone,” she said. “Kids that take care of grandparents, it’s just something that is going to be the way it is. People have to put family in a nursing home in Grand Junction and Montrose, but if we can get respite care, we can get our group together, and give respite care.”

Tempfer said her vision is to have a team of REST certified individuals that could work as volunteers or also on a paid basis, too.

Anyone interested in the class should call her at 970-428-4047.