- Susanne Rossi
In a nutshell:
Each person is a Member of the Club, valued, respected and appreciated
The Clubs are small, 10-12 Members on any given day
We meet in comfortable, familiar settings (e.g. fellowship halls)
We stick together -- letting each person shine and share their strengths with others
We're all Members
Program participants are welcomed as Club Members, fostering a sense of belonging. Each person is seen and heard and knows they are valued.
Keeping it small
By keeping the Clubs small, we can meet each member's needs and interests which is critical to keeping them engaged and active. A larger group can often be overwhelming and overstimulating at times which may contribute to a members stress or confusion. Our small groups also encourage friendship, allowing members to 'know' each other, even if they don't always remember names. This is why we call our programs a 'club' and not a center. Time and again, we see members come out of their shell, even when we've been told that 'they won't like talking to others' or 'they don't say much to other people'. Once the member settles into the routine, it is amazing to see them open up to their new-found friends.
Making it familiar and friendly
Sometimes the destination itself may cause reluctance and created a negative attitude to participating in social activities. I learned long ago that the idea of going to a Senior Center is not for everybody and for some it may feel like 'it's for old people', or attending a program at a long-term care facility felt like going to a hospital or created an incorrect assumption that they are going to be left behind for good. Old Friends Club holds programs in the local community and typically partnering with local churches who share in a community mission. The environments are usually fellowship halls or youth centers which are inviting, comfortable, and familiar for members. These gathering places provide a natural, welcoming place where club members can easily relate with fun and friendship.
Because the groups are small, we are all together most of the day. This lets the strengths of each member shine, and allows people to care for one another. We all need this. There are times when it makes sense to gather around opposite ends of a table to accommodate interests or abilities, or maybe a smaller game or puzzle, but we still enjoying that camaraderie of being together.
These are the key differences and why Old Friends Club is a vibrant and complementary option for extending your loved one's care at home. We can discuss your family's specific situation with you to better understand your needs and how Old Friends Club will benefit your loved one. Feel free to contact us through our website, phone, or Facebook.
Do you know a family who might benefit from joining Old Friends Club? Share this blog post, our OFC Facebook page, and our OFC website with them. They can contact us by phone or on our Old Friends Club Contact Us page.
Search for frequently asked questions at our OFC FAQ page.