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The Veranda Respite Program

The Veranda provides a time of nurturing respite care to allow family caregivers much-needed time for themselves. Clients participate in activities geared at their level in a safe, supportive, and non-threatening environment. A nominal fee is charged per day for the respite program. If a client’s financial situation is of concern, a scholarship may be applied toward the cost of a client’s care, if eligible.
All volunteers complete a minimum of 12 hours of training. All of The Veranda staff members and volunteers are vetted and annually participate in trainings to utilize best practices in care of senior adults with dementia and their needs.
Since it’s possible that not everyone can benefit from or tolerate the structure of the services we offer at The Veranda, consultations are held with the family prior to their loved one joining the program. In some cases, an individual’s participation or involvement in our service may actually be detrimental to himself/herself or others. It may require more specialized services than are available at The Veranda.


Veranda Ministries has launched “Veranda’s Hidden Heroes,” an online caregiver support group connected to the Veranda’s Facebook page. The online support group is a closed group, which means that only those who are members of the group can view, read, submit posts or comment on posts. People can request to join the group, and their request will be reviewed by the group administrator before approval is granted.

The goal of this online support group is to provide a forum where caregivers—in various stages of the caregiving journey—can directly interact and encourage one another, ask questions, communicate and learn from each other. The Veranda still hosts a monthly support group at its facility. This online support channel is simply another resource for our families.



You can find Veranda Ministries on Facebook by visiting

Once you have “liked” the Facebook page, locate the Groups tab in the page’s left-hand column to find the “Veranda’s Hidden Heroes” group page. (See the photo below!) Then request to join. The request will be reviewed by the administrator before approval.

If you have any questions about the programs and services offered by Veranda Ministries, please do not hesitate to contact the office.


Rev. Toni Clay is a counselor and serves as director of grief support for the “Hidden Heroes” grief support program.

The world is changing rapidly and with it, the timeless values of caring for our loved ones. Hidden Heroes are people who have experienced the journey beside a loved one or friend who has received a life-altering/debilitating diagnosis. Hidden Heroes are witnesses who show we can make it through the challenges of such an arduous and painful journey. Each has a story, perhaps very much like your own. All have known the challenges that threaten to bring us to our knees. I have long said, “Experience trumps opinion.” Whether through hope or in fear, we may earnestly believe we know what to do and how it will all play out, but it seldom looks or feels as we envision or pray it will. 

 When navigating the journey of caregiving, the issues of grief, loss and closure are but a few of the things that change us. In such times, when even breathing is hard, the caregiver often is in need of a caregiver. A particular comfort emerges when connecting with others who have walked through similar circumstances as our own. 

 It is the mission of Hidden Heroes and Veranda Ministries to offer a helps-based support drawing on our own experiences. Hidden Heroes have a story. They, too, know what it feels like for life to be completely absorbed into the care needs of another. Some have experienced that challenge for weeks, others for years. And because we do know, we are dedicated to helping others by opening our eyes, ears and hearts in compassionate support for others who are in such a season. 

 We all may have great empathy for another, but no one truly knows the journey until they must actually walk it out. It is then that the value of the experience over opinion is revealed. We offer the “knowledge of experience” in support of fellow sojourners through grief support, compassionate accompaniment and practical emotional care for caregivers and their families.

Rev. Toni Clay
Grief Support – Hidden Heroes Team

Veranda Ministries

In-Person Support Group

Veranda Ministries hosts a monthly support group at its facility. It is geared toward our Veranda families and anyone who lives in the Sumner County area. We are there to support each other in the daily care journey for those living with dementia. We hold this support group on the second Tuesday of each month at our location so families can participate while their loved ones are involved in our respite program’s activities. On some occasions, members of the grief support program may join our group as we all work through the different stages of grief.

Caregiver Conference

The conference helps family members and other caregivers utilize biblical principles, best practices in dementia care and presenters who are leaders in the field of dementia care. The conference is designed to equip caregivers with knowledge and support that helps them cope with the physical and emotional toll of the stressful life situation of caring for persons living with dementia.

Dementia and End Of Life Doula Program

Veranda Ministries offers dementia and end-of-life doula programs. Each type of program features specially trained individuals who provide emotional, physical, and educational support for families and their loved ones who are nearing death. Their purpose is to answer questions about what to expect in the dying process and help turn the tough situation.