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Southern Georgia Regional Commission

 

My Friend’s House is a program through the Department of Human Services / Social Work Program. It is designed to help families affected by Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. Through its Alzheimer’s Daycare Program, My Friend’s House provides a day program for senior citizens who suffer from Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. It is a free service that promotes social, physical, creative, and cognitive stimulation through such activities as exercise, music, bingo, arts and crafts, hug therapy, laughter, and memory lane, which is a time set aside for participants to discuss important events and people from the past. My Friend’s House is not based on a nursing home setting, but a day program that offers families a resource that can be accessed throughout the week. It provides clients with the opportunity to stay physically active and make friends. My Friend’s House helps both clients and caregivers by easing some of the stress that comes with memory loss. My Friend’s House also offers the Dealing With Dementia Program, which focuses on self-care and stress management strategies for caregivers by changing negative self-talk, enhancing communication skills, reducing personal stress, and managing anger. The program is open to anyone in the South Georgia and North Florida area and lasts six weeks. There are multiple sessions available monthly. Many times, the caregiver begins experiencing health issues due to the stress of their role as caregiver. The guilt, fear, and confusion that many people experience in this role harm them physically and lead to burn out. The Dealing With Dementia Program uses certified instructors to teach caregivers how to take care of themselves so that they can take care of their loved ones. VSU's Social Work Program has sponsored My Friend's House over 20 years. A team of two staff members, graduate assistants, and volunteers from the Department of Human Services/ Social Work, School of Nursing, campus-based Greek organizations, and other groups strives to provide a safe and nurturing environment. My Friend’s House is funded by the Southern Georgia Regional Commission’s Area Agency on Aging and is located at 109 W. Moore St., Valdosta, GA 31602. Contact Jacquelyn Hopkins at (229) 293-6145 or jshopkins@valdosta.edu for more information.

 
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