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Friendship Center Fees Covered for Qualified Veterans

Friendship Center has announced its services and programs are recognized by the Department of Veterans Affairs and qualified veterans can attend the center's day program five days per week with fees fully covered.

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Friendship Center staff can provide assistance with the application process.

“Friendship Center wants the veteran community, their families and caregivers to become aware of this unique offering for the men and women who have served our country,” said Heidi Holly, executive director.

“We know the caregivers of veterans have played special roles in their lives and welcome the chance to support them as well,” she said.

In addition to the regular day program, a variety of daily activities and weekly workshops are available to members, including Connections and monthly Veterans Support Groups.

Connections, an ongoing weekly class focused on brain fitness, is designed to help those in early stages of memory loss to retain cognitive skills, including memory, logic, language and math skills.

Friendship Center’s Veterans Support Group provides a comfortable, empathetic and supportive environment where veterans can express their thoughts and feelings about military experiences, and learn or reinforce coping skills.

Facilitated by Carol Metcalf-Roth, military family life counselor, the group is open to all veterans and takes place 2-3:30 p.m. the third Monday of each month at the Montecito Center.

Friendship Center is licensed by Community Care Licensing as a social model adult day services center.

Its goal is to maximize quality of life by providing social contact, activities, nourishing meals, and supervision for those who attend their program, and respite, support and education for their family caregivers.

The mentally and socially stimulating setting can play a huge role in alleviating participants’ depression, anxiety and PTSD, as well as symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.

Respite for family caregivers is key to prevent burnout and avoid elder neglect or abuse.

Friendship Center started as a pilot program of Community Action Commission in 1976 at Friendship Baptist Church.

It moved to its current Montecito location on the grounds of All Saints-by-the-Sea Episcopal Church and incorporated as a non-profit organization in 1979. The Goleta Center opened in 2011.

For more information, contact Friendship Center, 969-0859 or visit www.FriendshipCenterSB.org.

— Chris Davis for Friendship Center.

 

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