Each of our Clubs offers a vibrant community ready to have fun in an inclusive and supportive atmosphere. One of the first questions often asked of our program is, "What's a typical day at the club?" When the members arrive in the morning, we start the day off by serving coffee/tea/hot cocoa and the first 30 minutes or so the members, volunteers, and coordinator chat with one another. It's a great time to get reacquainted. Sometimes a member brings in something to share and talk about like sharing a picture of their grandson and sharing a story or two with everyone.
The rest of the morning may be spent doing a variety of things. One morning it might be an art project, another may be doing crafts, and another may be a game that keeps their brain focused and stimulated such as crossword puzzles or Jeopardy.
We know that our members are often not as active as they could be and we are often asked, "Do you have any formal exercise program?" Although we do not have a "formal" exercise program, each location does some form as exercise. Depending on the individual's abilities, the activities can include range of motion movement, dancing, a walk outside on a beautiful day, or balloon volleyball to just name a few.
Lunch comes next and sometimes the activity beforehand is helping make a part of the lunch menu--like chopping fruit or vegetables for a salad, or making cookies for their dessert.
After lunch, there is usually a physical game to get members up and moving after their meal. Bowling, ring toss, or ping-pong basketball are some of the sports games played by the groups.
The last 30-45 minutes are when the group begins to wind down and the members play dice, card, or board games.
On any given day, interspersed with the regular activities, we may also have volunteer entertainers that come in to provide music or other special programs.
It's common to have family caregivers be unsure whether Old Friends Club is a good fit for their loved ones. There are times we hear, "My loved one doesn't do (crafts, drawing, cards, games, etc.)… is doing crafts and play games all you do?" While these particular activities do make up a large part of the day, a benefit of the small size of the group is that it allows us to individualize activities to meet all interests and levels of abilities. At one Club, through open conversations, it was discovered that some of the ladies enjoyed sewing and working with beads. The program coordinator was able to bring in a sewing machine and jewelry making supplies for added activities to her program.
We have found that individuals are willing to join the group activities even if they may not have shown any interest prior to coming to the Club. In these small group settings, they support one another in their activities and they find enjoyment together.
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.