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We are Open! Friendship Center Day Program Opens for Full Days

  Like the rest of our community, Friendship Center has seen so much change in recent years. In two short years we have gone from a thriving day program to shutting down, to creating our multifaceted virtual and telehealth Community Adult Connect Program, and to re-opening our hybrid, cohorted day program. Maintaining people’s health and safety while creating spaces for…

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Senior Activities Best Practices Refresher

Rebecca Birotte M.A., Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist and CLC, shared her insights with program staff in December, providing a refresher on the how’s and why’s of effective memory care activities for Friendship Center members. “Activities are medicine,” she said. “That’s my business motto.” Rebecca owns and operates Los Angeles-based Healthy Solutions, a consultancy providing activity and recreation therapy training for a…

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Welcome Associate Director Amy West

Please welcome Friendship Center’s new Associate Director Amy West, M.A. Amy West brings to Friendship Center a 25-year track record of public sector management, most recently as Program Administrator of an Adult Residential Facility at Devereux California, where she was recognized for her skills in problem-solving and collaboration. Amy earned a B.A. in public sector management and an M.A. in…

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Connections Social Program Benefits Minds & Bodies in Early Dementia

Connections Senior Social Program, Friendship Center’s brain-training program, mid-December at All Saints-by-the-Sea Church. As the name suggests, Connections is about connecting, both socially and cognitively. Each three-hour session features socially engaging activities, music, group discussions and light exercise. Connections is geared specifically toward members in the early stages of a dementia diagnosis, with the two-fold goal of challenging the mind…

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Virtual Walking Tour of Friendship Center Enables Off-Site Visits

Prospective members and their families can now take a virtual tour of Friendship Center. Join Heidi Holly, executive director and Kim Larsen, family services manager as they walk through each of our Montecito facility’s recreational areas, while also providing an overview of our Covid-19 safety protocols. Click here to watch the video on YouTube. The video also features images of…

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You’ve Got a Friend in Me: Friendship Center Finds a Way to Stay Connected

by BY STEVEN LIBOWITZ , Montecito Journal Friendship Center serves an often overlooked, but much-needed niche for the aging adult community — providing a daytime home away from home where the dependent seniors can take advantage of companionship and engaging activities. They also receive necessary supervision while their family caregivers receive respite and a much-needed break from the demands of…

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Friendship Center to Roll Out Hybrid Schedule

  As the State of California inches toward a comprehensive reopening plan, Friendship Center members and caregivers will be heartened to know that our own reopening plan has been in the works for months. The new hybrid plan incorporates both onsite and Zoom activities as it transitions toward fully re-opening. “We’re pleased to announce that our plan has been approved…

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One Year in Quarantine: Caregivers Share Trials & Triumphs

  March 2021 marked the one-year anniversary of California’s shelter-in-place orders. While many, clearing the shelves of toilet paper, anticipated an inexplicable increase in bathroom visits, others assured themselves everything would go back to normal in six weeks. No one yet grasped that March 14, 2020 was to begin a full year of masks, social distancing, loneliness and all the…

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Member Spotlight on “Sir” Robert Antonini, WWII Vet & Witty Raconteur

  By Laurie Mason Programs & Communications Coordinator Everyone calls Robert Antonini “Sir Robert,” a moniker he gave himself. “It’s because I’m above and beyond the ordinary,” he jokes, but his self-deprecating manner suggests he doesn’t really believe that. Yet it’s true. At 94, Sir Robert is fit, sharp and always quick with a witty retort. Someone says, “You made…

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