more articles like this
The Friendship Center
updated: Jan 21, 2012, 9:15 AM
Founded in 1976, the Friendship Center provides day care and respite for frail
elders and their caregivers who live in south Santa Barbara County from Carpinteria to Goleta. In addition to services for dependent elders, their caregivers benefit from the respite and peace of mind that the center provides on a year-round basis, five days a week. Many of the caregivers are elderly themselves, while others are members of "the sandwich generation," holding down full-time jobs and raising families.
Over ninety percent of Friendship Center's members, whose ages range from 60 to 98, have Alzheimer's disease or a related condition. The day care services prevent or forestall the need for institutional or assisted care, allowing the elders to remain in their homes. At the same time, the respite resulting from day care services for the caregivers of dependent elders is a significant ancillary benefit for the families and community at
A typical day at Friendship Center includes a light breakfast, hot lunch and an afternoon snack, exercise, socialization, word games, reminiscing, listening to stories and specialized classes provided by SBCC. Monthly contributions from each participant are based upon a sliding fee scale.
Over the years Friendship Center's services have followed a national trend, evolving from day services for independent seniors to a full menu of professional psycho-social and physical activities to meet the vastly changing needs of seniors who, because of Alzheimer's disease, stroke, trauma, or mental illness are no longer able to cope independently with normal daily living.
Although Friendship Center primarily serves the memory-impaired senior population, many members have additional health problems such as osteoarthritis, cardiac arrhythmia or chronic pulmonary disease, hypertension, diabetes, vascular disease, Parkinson's disease, hearing deficit or blindness. In addition to the above physical and mental problems, many experience isolation, loneliness, and fear and suffer from depression and anxiety.
The number of adult day centers in the United States has jumped sharply in recent years to keep pace with mushrooming demand for home- and community-based care. According to a survey conducted by the National Adult Day Services Association (NADSA) adult day care centers have grown from 2,100 in 1989 to over 4,000 today.
In 1976 - the year Friendship Center opened its doors - there were fewer than 300 centers nationwide. "The growth of these centers reflects not just the expanding number of people who need this service, but also the widespread preference for community-based alternatives to institutional care for loved ones." said Mary Brugger Murphy, director of NADSA.
"In the United States, family and friends provide about 80 percent of the care to those who need long-term care," added Murphy. "These adult day centers are really partners with family caregivers-but surprisingly few Americans know about this resource in their community."
Heidi Holly, Friendship Center's executive director says, "Because the need is either present or imminent, it's important for "boomers" to be aware of adult day care programs as an option for caring for aging parents".
For more information on the Goleta Center, please contact
Rose Gray, Social Services Coordinator
820 N. Fairview Avenue, Goleta 93117
Phone: 845-7454, Email: email@example.com
1 comment on this article. Read/Add
# # # #