(805) 969-0859

Drive-In Halloween Bash @ Friendship Center 10/29

Join us for a Drive-In Halloween Bash on Thursday, October 29th at the Friendship Center’s Montecito location (not Mackenzie Park, as previously stated). The event will take place from 1:00pm-2:00pm in the Friendship Center parking lot at 89 Eucalyptus Lane, Santa Barbara 93108. Guests will remain in their car for the duration of the event but will enjoy the company…

Step by step on how to sign up for the Community Connect Adult Program

  Step 1: -go to friendshipcentersb.org -Click ‘Sign Up’ (circled in red) Step 2: -Press ‘Select’ under description of Individual Membership Level (for Individual membership access only) Step 3: -Review summary of services that come with your membership Step 4: -Create a username & password -Write in your email & contact information -add payment information Step 5: -Click ‘Submit and…

Community Connect Adult Program: Launching October 12th!

On Monday, October 12th, Friendship Center will be launching our first ever virtual membership program, the Community Connect Adult Program (CCAP).  About the Community Connect Adult Program (CCAP):   The Community Connect Adult Program is a virtual program that has been carefully crafted by the Friendship Center team since on-site programs were suspending in March 2020. Two seasons and seven-hundred…

Shine a Light of Hope: A Letter from Executive Director and BOD President

Dear Friend, 2020 will forever be known as the year of one of the most impactful and furthest reaching public health events in history. We have had to pull together, and stand apart. With no stone unturned, we have had to re-think many of our routine habits through a new pandemic lens. In doing so, we have become even more…

Caregiver’s Corner: Sleeping Well

By Naomi Edwards: Good sleep is something that is hard to come by, and with everything going on in the world, a full, restful night’s sleep is something that is few and far between for many. There are countless things that could be interfering with your sleep, but it is clear that without a good night’s sleep, we are unable…

Update to Our Virtual Activity Program

Dear Friendship Center community and beyond, In order to continue to support our seniors safely at home, Friendship Center needs to support our staff. In order to do so, and to best serve our community, we will be transitioning our virtual activity programs into a paid membership program. Starting on October 12, you will need to sign up for a…

Understanding Frontotemporal Degeneration

World Frontotemporal Degeneration Awareness Week September 27th-October 4th, 2020   Resources, text and information provided by: Association for Frontaltemporal Degeneration https://www.theaftd.org/ Alzheimer’s Association https://www.alz.org/alzheimers-dementia/what-is-dementia/types-of-dementia/frontotemporal-dementia   Frontaltemporal Degeneration (FTD) represents a group of brain disorders caused by degeneration of the frontal and/or temporal lobes of the brain. FTD is the most common form of dementia for people under age 60.  …

Fall Fashion Photo Contest!

What: A photo contest to show off the best/ worst/ silliest contents from your fall wardrobe. How: Send the photos to activities@friendshipcentersb.org or text them to (805) 705-4106 When: Send in photos by October 22nd Who: ANYONE, ANYWHERE

Veteran’s Group: Now held virtually!

The struggles of military life are best understood by fellow veterans. Our Veteran’s Support Group provides a comfortable, empathetic, and supportive environment where veterans can express their thoughts and feelings about military experience, life after military and learning or reinforcing coping skills. This virtual class is held via Zoom on the third Thursday of each month from 3:00pm-4:00pm. To access…

The Drive-In Luau was a Hit!

On Thursday, August 27th , Friendship Center held its second ever Drive-In Activity Hour at the Montecito site. The event, which was Luau themed, saw over twenty cars holding roughly forty guests in attendance. Members of our community, most of them being caregivers, brought their senior loved ones to Friendship Center’s tropically decorated parking lot for live yet socially distanced activities while…

Staying Grounded and Grateful during a Pandemic

By Kathryn Cherkas, MIPH None of us are exempt from feeling the stress in our country today. From political tensions and racial injustices to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are all impacted emotionally, physically or spiritually. Coping during this time is particularly difficult for those struggling with underlying mental health conditions, such as PTSD, depression or anxiety. The practice of ‘grounding’…

Save the Date: Drive-In Luau on Aug. 27th!

Join us on Thursday, August 27th from 3:00pm-4:00pm in the Friendship Center Montecito parking lot for a LUAU! Adhering to proper social distancing measures, we invite you to join us for an hour of activities with your loved one from your car. Cars will be spaced at least 6ft from on another and staff, who will be dispersed through the…

August Take Care Totes: Fiesta Edition!

On August 5th, Friendship Center once again teamed up with the Santa Barbara Bucket Brigade to assemble and distribute nearly 130 Take Care Totes to isolated seniors in our community. What to expect in this month’s delivery: a plethora of snacks, beverages, personal care items, activity and art supplies, fiesta knick-knacks, face masks and our fabulous, personally curated activity sheet…

Drive-In Style Activities for Seniors

By Kathryn Cherkas For over 40 years, Friendship Center has been a post in our community for compassionate care for aging adults. Friendship Center’s two sites, one in Montecito and the other in Goleta, offer exciting day programs for adults and seniors to enjoy daily while offering caregivers respite. Since closing our physical doors on March 16th due to COVID-19 precautions, we have had to find alternative…

Where Can I Get a Drink around Here? Keeping Ahead of Dehydration

By Kathryn Cherkas, MPH   Did you know that our brain’s ability to be aware of and respond to thirst decreases as we age? This is an added challenge for caregivers because the one for whom you provide care might not be able to communicate that he or she is thirsty. While doing our best to make loved ones are…

The Importance of Activities for Seniors and Jokes

By Kathryn Cherkas, MPH WHY ARE ACTIVITIES SO IMPORTANT FOR SENIORS? Let’s THINK! Brain stimulating exercises aid in better cognition, reasoning, processing speed, attention span, verbal skills, and working memory. Some of the tools we share through our virtual community verbally & visually, and others are physical, with doorstep deliveries of activity worksheets to members: word puzzles, number puzzles, and…

Food For Friends & Take Care Totes: Friendship Center Shifts to Remote Services

By Justine Sutton for Friendship Center Our Montecito and Goleta sites are home away from home for many seniors with dementia in our local community, providing adult day services with engaging activities, nutritious meals, and compassionate care. With both Centers closed due to COVID-19, we knew we had to do all we can to support our elderly members by alternate…

Bringing Joy to the NOW!

By Kathryn Cherkas Program Manager, Friendship Center Montecito “We may not remember the past or be sure of the future, but we can cherish this bright and shining moment.” ~Anonymous A few years ago a Program team member told me her favorite part of working with our members was “bringing joy to the now.” That really stuck with me, and…

Festival of Hearts photos… enjoy!

Friendship Centers 21st Annual Festival of Hearts

Group of Seniors

The Importance of Caregiver Care

By Naomi Edwards, Program Specialist Friendship Center Montecito One of the most rewarding, yet challenging, jobs in the world is caregiver. Some choose this path, while for others it is chosen for them. When a sudden accident, terminal illness, or other life-altering event strikes, members of the affected person’s care network (family or friends) are called to action to provide…

New Hope for the New Year—Legislation on Alzheimer’s Disease

In 2010, Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias (ADRD) rose to the sixth leading cause of death in the United States, and the fourth leading cause in California alone. While this data, provided by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), brought on fears of the future, the last decade has seen a number of advancements in research and practice…

The Best Present is Your Presence–Navigating the Holiday Season as a Caregiver

By Kathryn Cherkas, MIPH Program Manager, Friendship Center Montecito The holiday season can be a joyous time of year where families get together and celebrate. However, as a caregiver, it can also be a stressful time, full of schedule changes, parties, and relatives coming and going. There are lots of resources out there on ‘self-care for the caregiver’ but we…

Camaraderie and the Commander: the Importance of Socialization for Aging Vets

By Kathryn Cherkas, MIPH Program Manager, Friendship Center Montecito One of humanity’s most commonly shared elements is personal relationships. Friends, relatives, romantic partners, and acquaintances all form a unique network that becomes our community. Veterans are all part of a unique community that few outsiders understand. The bonds between veterans are not just the result of similar career, training, or…

Old Folks Offer New Insights on Film–WISE UP on Aging Helps Hollywood Hear From Real Elders

Authors: Kathryn Cherkas, MIPH, is Program Manager at Friendship Center Montecito, where she coordinates the project; Stuart Greenbaum is director of the WISE UP On Aging initiative and a Governor’s appointed to the California Commission on Aging. Who better to judge whether art accurately imitates life than those with plenty of life experience? So, when Hollywood attempts to fictionalize aging-related…

Culture and Care

By Kathryn Cherkas, MIPH Program Manager, Friendship Center Montecito With humans all so different, eldercare is not a one-size-fits-all kind of business. What works for one person may not for someone else, and an approach that worked before may even be offensive to another. There are many considerations in caring for a dependent adult, but for this article I will…

Fiblets Are Your Friend

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 you find a new way of doing things that works…

Bridging the Generation Gap

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 lobby before going in to meet our seniors. I tell…

For He’s A Jolly Good Fellow–A Father!

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 Center, is this father. He and his wife, Genie*, now…

Decision Making & Dementia: Supporting Your Loved One To Make Independent Choices

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 we want them to have what we think is best.…

A Case of the Birthdays

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 no exception. That being said, not all “senior moments” necessarily…

A Mother’s Care & Unconditional Love

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. For her, there was no option but to continue caring…

We Love Volunteers! Celebrating National Volunteer Month

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 everyone reading this: Do you have a kind heart that…

Food For Thought

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 too many food choices, forget to eat, or have difficulty…

Music Is Good For Your Health!

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 bring about! A recent study published in the Journal of the…

Self-care: New Year’s Resolution For Caregivers

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 never-ending duties of caring for their loved one at the…

Home For the Holidays

For some, the holidays bring that warm, fuzzy feeling, while for others they are more challenging. Many have high expectations that are difficult to meet, no matter your family circumstances. However, when adult children come home and see parents and other older relatives after time apart, they may discover that their loved ones need more help than they know, especially…

#GivingWednesday

We know you received a lot of appeals from worthy non-profits yesterday on Giving Tuesday. However, Friendship Center provides a unique service, the only nonprofit adult day services program in the Santa Barbara community. Here at Friendship Center, we were busy having tacos this Tuesday. So we decided to make it Giving Wednesday instead. Don’t let Friendship Center be an…

Veterans Support Group Offers Up Compassion, Humor

Carol Metcalf-Roth grew up on military bases with a father who had a 30-year career in the Air Force, serving in World War II and Vietnam. Observing her family’s resilience during his service has informed her therapeutic approach to the work she does with veterans. Carol, a licensed MFT and Military Family Life Counselor, as well as an adjunct professor…

Friendship Center–Honoring Our Veterans

Dear Friends, I am writing today with the story of Earl,* diagnosed with advanced dementia, who has been attending Friendship Center Montecito for over two years. Earl is a Vietnam veteran with PTSD, which is triggered by stress. Often while sitting in silence, he mulls over his traumatic memories and dwells on his frustration at not being able to remember…

Legal Considerations In Caring for an Elder

Caring for an elder loved one brings up many issues that can be daunting. One of these is the legal requirements and recommendations for those in this situation. Should you prepare an advanced directive? What about conservatorship and estate planning? Luckily, there are local and online resources for help with these questions. “As we care for aging loved ones, we…

What Does It Mean To Share The Care? National Adult Day Services Week

Adult day services might be the best-kept secret in eldercare–a way to share the care for a loved one with Alzheimer’s or other conditions requiring supervision and structured activities. But the 3rd week each September has been designated to bring recognition to this highly valuable service. This year, it’s is September 16-22. Through the social contact, nutritious meals, supervision, care,…

WD17 panorama

Wine Down & Big Heart Awards Coming Soon!

  (MONTECITO, Calif.) Friendship Center is putting on its 8th Annual Wine Down & Big Heart Awards on Thursday, September 13th from 4:00 – 7:00 pm. Featuring wine and beer tastings from 12 local businesses, this is an event not to miss. “Our Wine Down and Big Heart Awards is a chance to enjoy a casual event with our supporters…

What Are the Keys to Long Life?

Standard advice holds that in order to live a long life, you need to cut out harmful activities such as smoking and drinking, eat healthy foods, and get lots of exercise. Then again, George Burns smoked cigars and drank all his life and made it to 100. You may have even seen the recent video going around Facebook of a…

Friendship Center Welcomes New Board Members For 2018

For Immediate Release: July 24, 2018 Contact: Gabriella Forrester gabriella@friendshipcentersb.org (805) 969-0859 SANTA BARBARA, CA–Friendship Center is pleased to welcome Hank Postma, Kathy Marden, and Sue Adams to its Board of Directors. ”I am incredibly impressed with the skills and strengths of our Board,” said Executive Director, Heidi Holly. “It is with great pride and enthusiasm that I welcome one new…

Preventing Heat-Related Illnesses This Summer

Summer is upon us, and this promises to be a hot one! While we look forward to the long, warm days for bringing friends and family together and enjoying outdoor activities, we must also make sure safety precautions are in place, particularly when it comes to vulnerable and dependent adults, such as those with memory loss. During hot days, risk…

Brain Training Promotes Cognitive Functioning as we Age

The human brain needs to receive stimulation to encourage synapses and the formation of new connections between brain cells. In other words, cognitive stimulation strengthens the brain. CONNECTIONS, Friendship Center’s brain training program, unites the two major modes of brain stimulation–social activity and brain training. We humans are inherently social creatures, so it is no surprise that social activity helps keep…

Friendship Center Celebrates Older Americans Month

May is Older Americans Month, when we take time to pause and reflect on our senior’s remarkable achievements. Members of the Greatest Generation, whose courage and determination saw us through wars and economic recovery, they are now leaving what may be their biggest imprint on our culture—a new definition of aging in America. They have lived their lives with honor,…

Increasing Resilience and Overcoming Caregiving Stress

By Luciana Mitzkun Stress is bad for all of us. Stress is particularly bad for you, if you are caring for a loved one with dementia. Many caregivers notice when they themselves become affected with loss of memory, and they wonder about it: Is dementia contagious? Definitely not, but the stress associated with caregiving may be what is behind their…

Festival of Hearts coverage in Noozhawk, by Rochelle Rose

For the 19th year, the Friendship Center celebrated its signature special event — the Festival of Hearts — on Saturday with a “Queen of Hearts” theme from Alice in Wonderland lore. Held a few days before Valentine’s Day at The Fess Parker DoubleTree Resort, the festival featured a sit-down luncheon, a social hour with Fess Parker wines, and musical entertainment…

Journaling Your Journey

Written by Luciana Mitzkun It is difficult to keep track of day-to-day events, news, appointments, and health care needs. Even more so when you are experiencing memory loss. Most people in this position become copious note-takers. They write all pieces of information they find important on pieces of paper, sticky notes, calendars, and bulletin boards. Some use computers or smartphones…

Evacuation Preparation Tips for Families with Dementia Patients

In light of the Thomas Fire, our thoughts and concerns are with the countless families affected by this tragedy. We are also reminded of how California’s preparedness can play a significant role in minimizing the impact and casualties of this large fire (the largest in California’s history!). Californians are not unfamiliar with natural disasters. Most of our households have evacuation…

Helping Santa Barbara Residents Prevent Fraud

Santa Barbara residents have recently seen a sharp increase in numbers of financial fraudulent cases lately, a trend that tragically seems to affect the rest of the country as well. Fraud perpetrators are criminals, scheme artists who prey on human vulnerabilities common to most of us. They specially target seniors and those living with any sort of cognitive impairment. Most…

The Queen of Hearts’ Tea Party!

 Click the photo for a slideshow of FOH images by David Harlow MEDIA COVERAGE Thank you for falling down the rabbit hole to Wonderland, and for your support for the 19th Annual Festival of Hearts Saturday, February 10, 2018 All proceeds from the event support our HEART (Help Elders At Risk Today) Program, subsidizing the cost of adult day services…

Fidget Quilts Now Available to Friendship Center Members

Presented by Quilters Guild of Santa Barbara and Goleta, CA In August 2017 the Quilters Guild of Santa Barbara and Goleta, CA presented members of Friendship Center adult day services with 52 beautiful fidget quilts. Each one of these quilts is a unique piece of art. Each quilt has its own theme and its own personality. Every quilt is equipped…

Art Programs Bringing Joy to Friendship Center Members

Our art department is in full swing! Friendship Center has a rich history in promoting healthy aging through a variety of programs, including those utilizing creativity and artistic expression.Among our members we’ve had renowned artists with critically acclaimed work, and students developing their own artistic practice in a loving and encouraging space. Here, seniors gather to practice skills in painting,…

Regarding Intimacy – Love in Times of Dementia

Regarding Intimacy – Love in Times of Dementia By Luciana Mitzkun PRINTABLE ARTICLE Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of progressive dementia often have a profound impact on spousal relationships. While one spouse gradually becomes a care receiver and the other a caregiver, the very nature of their bonding ties begins to change. Couples normally enjoy activities together, such as a…

Art program for people with memory loss and their care partners

ART TALKS is the creative space where people affected with mild memory loss paired with their partners come together to advance memory and communication through participation in art workshops. ART TALKS stimulates communication, promotes socialization, and protects against isolation. Additionally, it provides a nurturing environment where people develop skills and encouragement for achieving their optimum levels.  Please contact us to…

Vets Helping Vets, by Rebecca Lee Moody

Friendship Center is approved by the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA). Healthy-aging programs for our veterans and their families include Adult Day Center, Veterans Assistance, Brain Fitness Programs, Respite Care, and Support Groups.  Full Article 1st page 2nd page

Minimizing the Risk of Falling

We may take walking for granted, but we are not born with the ability to walk. Learning to walk requires a lot of practice, taking a long time before a child walks with confidence. Walking requires navigation skills, coordination of muscles and balance, and precise brain management of incoming and outgoing messages to the appropriate muscles. Any breakdown in this…

Gift Certificates now available!

Give the GIFT of TIME Friendship Center gift certificates are now available! Present a caregiver with the Gift of Time, and we will provide much needed respite from caregiving duties. Gift of Time is now available for $95. Send me the Gift of Time: By MailBy EmailI will pick it up af the office   This gift certificate offers an…