Recently, they received a $20,000 dollar grant from the Ascension Rotary Club to help lessen the expense of visiting the center.

On Saturday, April 27, Charlie's Place in Gonzales had an open house celebration. Guests could drop by and get a look at the respite center.

The building is an open floor concept and flows from the front to the back, where a garden area is located for relaxation.

Julie Knight, Director of Respite and Training at Charlie's Place, said, "We have a really cool program called It's Never Too Late, or INTL. It's an interactive TV program that our guests can do things on like travel, trivia, board games, and fitness. The fitness videos aren't usually more than thirty minutes long. If they want to do research, they can do that too."

Programs at the center provide cognitive stimulation, as well as social interactions. This allows caregivers to get a break, while those that visit the center may have a more enjoyable experience.

"We do different kinds of therapy. So, for example, pet therapy. We'll have dogs come in and play with the people that are here. We also do crafting, gardening, and art," Knight said.

Recently, they received a $20,000 dollar grant from the Ascension Rotary Club to help lessen the expense of visiting the center. Cost per day is $60 dollars, but with the grant, they can bring it down to around $45 dollars for those who apply to receive it.

"It isn't a membership type thing, either. We usually take people here 2-3 times a week. If a caregiver needs more time to themselves, though, we can work something out with them. It's all based on the needs of the person and the caregiver who comes to us," Knight said.

Offering a program for individuals with early to mild stage Alzheimer's and dementia-related disorders, Charlie's Place also offers the opportunity to eat yummy food.

"We do serve lunch here, but we also celebrate national days. For example, National Cheesecake Day. We would have all kinds of different cheesecake flavors here for everyone to try. We go all out with that," Knight said.

Visit http://alzbr.org/ for more information on the center.

Follow Darian on Twitter @dariangshark.