• Aug2019

    By Kathryn Cherkas, MIPH Program Manager, Friendship Center Montecito If you are caring for someone with memory loss, you have surely made changes in your household as you embrace this new reality. And as we all know change is the only constant in life, more are sure to come. When

  • Jun2019

    Program Manager and proud aunt Kathryn enjoys sharing her nephew with Friendship Center members when he comes to visit! By Kathryn Cherkas Program Manager, Friendship Center Montecito When groups of young people visit Friendship Center, be they children or teenage students, I gather them for a little “pep talk” in the

  • May2019

    Dear Friends, When you hear “father,” do you think of taking in 20 foster children over 25 years, many of them teenagers? … adopting seven of them in addition to three biological children of their own? How about putting them all through college? Ben*, 85, a member at our Montecito

  • By Kathryn Cherkas, MIPH Program Manager, Friendship Center Montecito In caring for someone with cognitive impairment, it’s hard not to go into “control” mode and do everything for them. It could be because we are not used to watching our spouse, parent, or other loved one make less-than-perfect decisions and

  • Apr2019

    By Kathryn Cherkas, MIPH Program Manager, Friendship Center Montecito Everyone experiences memory loss throughout their lives, from forgetting the name of a new acquaintance to misplacing an item. As we age, however, forgetfulness becomes more worrying. Our aging bodies experience changes in a number of ways, and cognitive functioning is

  • Dear Friends, In 1969, Lorraine* was a single mother with two teenage sons, working nights as a waitress. When asked by a co-worker to babysit his newborn infant for a night, she agreed, but the man did not return the next day and Lorraine was left with the baby boy.

  • Mar2019

    Today’s blog post, celebrating National Volunteer Month, comes from Montecito Program Manager, Kathryn Cherkas, MIPH. People often ask me about volunteer opportunities at Friendship Center, quickly following with ‘But I don’t play an instrument’ or ‘I might be too shy’. What I say to them, and want to stress to

  • Food For Thought

    03/01/2019

    According to the Alzheimer’s Association, people with Alzheimer’s or other dementias do not need a special diet. As with anyone, eating a well-balanced, nutritious diet is important for overall health. However, regular, nutritious meals may become a challenge for people with dementia–as cognitive function declines, they may become overwhelmed with

  • Feb2019

    Enjoying music–whether at parties and other events or at home–can lead to improved mood, cognitive performance, and memory functions for those with dementia. And singing or dancing along, rather than passively listening to music, can bring even greater rewards. Click here for an amazing video showing the transformation music can

  • Dec2018

    New Year’s Resolutions–a common concept in our culture, with many vowing to break habits they see as negative. For those devoted to caring for a loved one at home, however, the most important resolution they can make is for their own self-care. Too often, caregivers get caught up in the