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Affordable, Innovative, Non-Profit, Adult Day Program Supports and Nourishes Clients and Caregivers
Call (425) 681-9776

Old Friends Club was established by Executive Director Karen Koenig who was recently awarded a Service Recognition Award by the Washington State Association of Senior Centers. She was recognized and celebrated for her immediate and compassionate response to those families in need of memory care when Sno-Valley Senior Center had to close its long-running Adult Day Care Program in 2015.

 

As the former Program Coordinator for that program, Koenig was familiar with the population, community and members who had been served or given their support over the years. She gathered and motivated a small staff and collection of volunteers to create what is now Old Friends Club, a member-based social day program which focuses on strengths, respect, choice and fun, and encourages Club Members to interact and care for each other.

 

Family Caregivers are also supported with time for themselves and free resources to navigate the sometimes difficult journey of caring for someone with dementia.  Old Friends Club has recently expanded to four locations and is accepting new members.

Founder & Executive Director Karen Koenig

Locations

Kirkland   

Meets at Lake Washington United Methodist Church

(Rose Hill) 7525 132nd Ave NE, Kirkland, Wa 98033

Days: Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays

Hours:  9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Carnation   

Meets at Tolt Congregational Church

4851 Tolt Ave, Carnation, WA 98014

Days: Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays

Hours:  9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Sammamish   

Meets at Pine Lake Covenant Church

1715 228th Ave SE, Sammamish, WA 98075

Days: Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays

Hours:  9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Bellevue    

Meets at Holy Cross Lutheran Church

4315 129th Place Southeast, Bellevue, WA 98006

Days: Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays

Hours:  10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

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Susanne’s deep respect and compassion for people living with a chronic illness, such as Dementia, and their families, makes her a quiet yet powerful advocate for them.

For over 40 years, Susanne has worked in all aspects of healthcare, including over 20 years as the Director of a non-profit agency serving families caring for someone with a neurological condition.  As a Family Therapist, Susanne provided counseling, education, and support to family caregivers and their loved ones.

 

Susanne finds working with Old Friends Club members and their caregivers especially rewarding, believing that “those living with Dementia, and the families caring for them, have so much to teach us, sharing their lives of wisdom and joy, and strength and resilience.  I feel privileged to be a part of their journey.”

 

Susanne holds a BA in Business & Human Resources Management and an MA in Counseling.  She has been a Geriatric Care Manager, an Activity Director, and a Washington State Assisted Living Administrator and currently sits on the Sno-King Counties Long-term Care Advisory Council.

Director of Programs and Caregiver Support

Susanne Rossi

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Joan began working with this population more than 25 years ago, with a majority of those years as an activity coordinator for the Adult Day Health program at Sno-Valley Senior Center in Carnation. Perhaps because of her vast experience with this population, she has developed a very accessible style and creates a comfortable welcoming environment allowing members to feel at home very quickly. She is also the creator and designer of “Shake Loose a Memory,” a game using dice and cards that encourage memory in a social setting without the social pressure. Joan says each day brings new experience and that she continues to learn from each member. “Each one of us is unique in our personality and what we have personally lost to dementia,” she says, adding that she thinks everyone needs to respect and be respected for both.

 

Joan is always working to help members connect with themselves, their past and present, and with each other. “The day most special to me is when someone recalls a memory… and they are able to share their story with a group of friends.” She says it’s nice to see everyone listening, while some are remembering their own experiences and might even chime in to create a group discussion—people who may not be able to do that often or in any other situation. She says, “That’s a great feeling!” We have great feelings about Joan, too.

Program Coordinator, Carnation, WA

Joan Wheeler

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Prior to joining Old Friends Club, Lori worked at the Sno-Valley Adult Day Health Program for 14 years.  She received her Bachelor’s in Nursing from the University of Washington and was a labor and delivery nurse for many years.

 

Lori embodies OFC’s core values of joy, trust, friendship, compassion, fun, autonomy, empathy, and respectful communication.  She feels that “Every club member I’ve had the privilege to work with has left an indelible mark on my heart and my life.  I am touched by their extraordinary stories and the courage they display each and every day. I am astounded by the humor that shines through despite their losses, their determination, their compassion for others, their forgiveness of faults and, most of all, their friendship.”

 

Lori is also passionate about her family which, in addition to her husband and two sons, includes her father, a dog, and five cats.  She absolutely loves hiking, backpacking, and anything to do with the outdoors.

Program Coordinator, Sammamish, WA

Lori Fillion

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Mary loves encouraging people to find joy in daily living and helping them maximize their full potential. She is thrilled to be a part of the Old Friend’s Club team because they share the same vision of creative engagement and respectful care for families living with dementia. Mary brings a wealth of experience to OFC. She has served as a US Army medic in Germany, earned a BA in Graphic Design at SDSU, has her CNA credential, and is a certified independent Positive Approach Care trainer with Teepa Snow, a leading expert in dementia care.

 

Prior to joining OFC in June of 2018, Mary worked with a Seattle based homecare agency for 3 years, followed by starting her own homecare business with her husband. Mary feels fortunate to have discovered what she enjoys most is engaging seniors in fun and meaningful activities.
          

Mary was born and raised in Iowa, is married and has four children. Being a lifelong learner, when she is not creating fun & interesting things to do with Old Friends Club members, she might be quilting, dancing, singing, traveling, hiking, making art, or hanging out with her family while contemplating which class to enroll in next.

Program Coordinator, Bellevue, WA

Mary Hong

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Originally from England, Susie brings over 10 years’ experience working with Dementia and related cognitive disorders.  Passionate about working with seniors, Susie recently received her Certificate in Gerontology from the University of Washington and, at the same time, found Old Friends Club.

 

Susie finds the best thing about working at OFC is the “ability to give each member the opportunity to participate in enjoyable and meaningful activities while also respecting their dignity and level of ability.  Everyone gets that one-on-one attention and I can tailor activities to each person’s specific interests and know that they are having fun.  There is never a day without laughter and smiles…and those smiles are what make my job so rewarding.”

 

When not creating activities full of joy and laughter for OFC, Susie enjoys travel, languages (she has a degree in French), running, yoga, and spending time with her husband and her 2 children—and their dog, Claude.

Program Coordinator, Kirkland, WA

Susie Matthews

Our Mission:  

Old Friends Club cultivates joy in the lives of adults with cognitive challenges and nourishes the well-being of family caregivers.

Mailing Address:  P.O. Box 2472, Kirkland, WA 98083

Phone:  425-681-9776

Email:  welcome@oldfriendsclub.org

 

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