Who is OLD FRIENDS CLUB?
Old Friends Club offers Daytime Memory Care + Caregiver Respite
Mission: We cultivate joy in the lives of adults with dementia and nourish their family caregivers’ well-being.
Vision & Values: We connect caregivers with accessible, affordable respite care, giving them peace of mind knowing their loved one is experiencing culturally meaningful connection and belonging in a safe, welcoming group. We value people with dementia as whole human beings deserving of respect, enriching life experiences, and meaningful social connection. Even the most devoted caregivers benefit from regular respite to take care of their own health and well-being and return to caregiving with renewed energy, perspective, and resilience.
Brief History: Old Friends Club (OFC) was founded in 2015 to provide social engagement to people living with dementia, and respite for their caregivers. Our model has proven to be very effective.
A Day in the Life: The Clubs overcome the isolation that comes with dementia. We all love to talk with friends over steaming cups of coffee or tea. That’s how a day at the Club starts. Members gather to hear stories from friends and stir up memories. We relive days of piloting a plane, singing with Sweet Adelines, or breaking a land speed record. (Really!) We delve into creativity, play games, share lunch, enjoy music that gets us moving. While their loved ones enjoy the Club, caregivers have time to recharge so they can return with renewed energy, perspective, and resilience.
Why are we offering an affiliate program?
Old Friends Club fills a gap in memory care in joyful ways. But our previous model was slow-growing, and there is an urgency to meet the increasing needs in our communities.
Why become an affiliate?
In our state, more than 110,000 people now live with Alzheimer’s or other dementias, expected to increase to 270,000 in the next 20 years. Most people with dementia live at home and rely on family for help. In our experience, dementia impacts an average of two family caregivers, so it may actually affect 330,000 Washingtonians now and about 810,000 by 2040.
There are a growing number of early memory loss programs in King County, but when disease progression forces people out of these programs, they have no alternatives. In-home care is costly, at least $30/hour, without the benefits of social or cognitive engagement. In contrast, social daytime respite programs are currently scarce, but they work. We have shown that they improve quality of life for people with dementia and their caregivers in ways that are engaging, affordable, and life enhancing.
The average cost of Old Friends Club is $14/hour, and in-home care costs at least $30/hour, for a savings of $16/hour over inhome care. Old Friends Club, to date, has saved King County families a total of $915,292 in dementia care costs, based on our actual revenue vs. what those hours would have cost families for in-home care.
An overview of the affiliate partner Model:
By design, our model supports each Club Affiliate in adapting the style of their program with the language and cultural values meaningful to their communities. Each Affiliate may want to honor their own artforms and activities, lunch dishes and beverages, ways of spending time together, and more. We’ll collaborate with communities of culture, faith, and identity to help them provide daytime memory care in their own communities in meaningful, sustainable ways.
Caregiver Outreach and Education
Different communities have their own beliefs about dementia and what their role as caregivers should be. Some caregivers experience deep conflicts about feeling the need for respite. Others know they need regular breaks to return fully present to their caregiving role. Some families may not even know what possibilities for daytime care exist. We’ll provide outreach and education materials to Affiliates to help families understand that respite care benefits both the person with dementia and caregiver.
We’ve learned that many caregivers respond to learning about the dual benefits of respite care. They may be resistant to taking time for themselves, but readily see the benefit of program time for their loved ones. Part of the “respite” for caregivers, in our experience, is peace of mind, knowing they’re giving meaningful experiences to their loved one at Old Friends Club. Many caregivers want their loved one to have some activities and get some safe exercise. Others focus on the social benefits of being among friends and feeling less isolated. Part of our partnership with Club Affiliates will be helping them adapt our framework of dementia-friendly activities, games, songs, and art projects to be culturally meaningful for their Members.
FInancial Aspects: Overview
The Old Friends Club model is sustainable and can even generate revenue to each Affiliate Club. While launching 4 sites, annual income from Member fees averaged $60,000 per Club, assuming 10 paying Members at an average of $500/month for 2-3 days/week. This model includes scholarships for families who need them. After expenses for lunch, supplies, and payroll for program staff, net income back to each Affiliate Club can be as much as $12,000 annually.
With the Affiliate model, we’ll provide the Toolkit, outreach materials, training, and ongoing support free to each Affiliate. All revenue from Member fees will stay with each Club. The central office will support itself via fundraising and grants