My Friend’s Place is a social activity program for people coping with memory loss, dementia or who are socially isolated. It is our mission to provide adults a safe, supportive, and friendly environment that offers life-enriching social and recreational activities, along with respite for their caregivers.
Before “Diane” began attending My Friend’s Place, she had become socially and functionally withdrawn from life as she had known it. No longer could she function well enough to assist with the family business, nor be safely left alone in the house. When her family suggested she visit our day program, Diane was firm in her opinion that she absolutely did not want to do that! She was finally convinced to just try it for one day. Reluctantly, she participated in all activities and began to join in conversation with others in the group.
Diane is a soft-spoken, charming, and witty person. She has struggled with the limits her disease has caused, especially giving up her driving license. She tells us that was a decision she made herself, so there was no ‘battle’ with loved ones about that. She is physically quite able and has attractive features and mannerisms. Her peers at My Friend’s Place accepted her immediately and made her feel welcome, as did the very ‘friendly’ volunteers.
After just one week in the program Diane declared, “I really didn’t want to come at first, but now I love it!” Almost a year later, she repeats this to anyone who arrives at the program for the first time. She not only benefits by attending three times a week, but is now like an ambassador who has a very positive influence on others who may not feel comfortable about joining the group at first.
Diane now looks forward to her time at My Friend’s Place. She is one of the few who attend Memory Joggers as well…another component of our program designed for people in early stages of memory loss. She benefits from the varied emphasis in both programs. Both components address stimulation of brain cells that might otherwise become inactive. Now Diane has a “job” to do 3 days a week; a purposeful way to spend her time and a place to go that is exclusively her time outside the home.
“Success” at My Friend’s Place is defined as living well in the moment. Diane has accomplished this extremely well. She has made social connections, has more energy, and a positive attitude about being away from home where loved ones can be assured she is safe and having a good experience with a non-judgmental peer group.