Tuesday, May 31 , 2016, 2:27 pm | Mostly Cloudy 65º

Friendship Center Celebrates Older Americans Month

By Toni Frohoff and Justine Sutton for Friendship Center |

May is Older Americans Month, and Friendship Center, the only nonprofit adult day services organization in the Santa Barbara area, is a now truly a leader in redefining what it means to get older.

Tracy Cohn
Tracy Cohn

With a newer location, new faces and leading-edge Healthy Aging Programs, at Friendship Center’s two sites, Montecito and Goleta, gone are the days of arranging for a beloved elder — or one’s own self — to simply be “watched over.”

Sharing the Care … With Healthy Aging

Friendship Center has been Sharing the Care since 1976, providing family caregivers with respite from their daily caregiving duties so they may continue to pursue their careers and other commitments and avoid burnout.

But more than just that, Friendship Center has redefined “adult day care” with the overarching concept of Healthy Aging. Members are given the freedom, space and support to enjoy their retirement days in the ways they hoped they could, or at least as close to it as possible.

What Healthy Aging means to different people varies widely — at any age! Some members prefer more restful activities — games, puzzles, reading and chatting. Others want to be more active and participate in lively social activities, beach walks, tai chi, gardening, theater arts or glee club.

Our cutting-edge Connections Early Memory Loss program and Brain Fitness for Successful Aging classes are options for those who wish to address the issue of aging proactively and enjoy keeping their minds as well as bodies healthy and fit as possible. Both are open to all members of the community.

Fresh Face of Goleta

Tracy Cohn is a bright new face at the lovely Friendship Center in Goleta. She handles family services and administration there, including enrollment of new members, outreach to the community and a plethora of other duties that keep her on her toes!

While Cohn is a fresh face here, she is known and loved by many in Santa Barbara for her work as a special education teacher and with traumatic brain injuries for over 20 years. Her approach is experiential and creative, inspiring members to be involved and participate in creative endeavors of their choosing, from cooking to singing to laughter, offering activities that stimulate and support members’ passions for whatever gives meaning and pleasure to their lives.

Support and Complimentary Visit

There is no other opportunity for elders to attend a facility like Friendship Center in the area. From retired physicians and artists to our venerable veterans, people from diverse walks of life will find the opportunity for their lives to truly expand here, with relaxation, regeneration and recreation.

Complimentary tours and trial visits are available. Low-income members’ daily fee can be subsidized through the H.E.A.R.T. (Help Elders At Risk Today) Program, and eligible veterans’ attendance is covered thanks to Friendship Center’s contract with the Veterans Administration. Tri-Counties Regional Center clients also have their daily fees provided for.

For more information, click here. For questions or to schedule a tour, call 805.969.0859 (Montecito) or 805.845.7454 (Goleta).

— Toni Frohoff, Ph.D., is a community outreach specialist for Friendship Center, and Justine Sutton is its grants and development coordinator.

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