“A Friend’s House” is a social day program run by Visiting Homemaker Service of Ocean County, Inc. for those with memory and cognitive impairments due to Alzheimer’s disease, mini strokes, vascular problems or Parkinson’s disease with symptoms of dementia. All attendees have some level of confusion or forgetfulness. All benefit greatly from socializing with peers and reminiscing. The program also provides physical activities in the form of a “Sit and be Fit” exercise program. All activities are designed to stimulate their memories and give them a sense of accomplishment.
A hot meal at noontime is also provided. This provides nourishment to the body so we feed the body and stimulate the mind. Some of our participants do live alone and so, making a hot meal at home can be physically challenging as well as mentally challenging. Plus mealtime provides a wonderful opportunity for
them to socialize with each other. Meals are a strong link to our past and provide memories through sight and smells of the food. Often our participants don’t eat a good meal at home so enjoy these meals as well as the camaraderie of friends at this time.
Currently no funding exists specifically for the provision of meals for our patients. We must rely on grants, donations, tapping into general funds, or incurring an annual deficit due to the shortage of funds. We are currently purchasing our meals locally at a cost of $5 per meal. We have been averaging 25 patients per day (at a cost of $125/day), five days per week at our Toms River facility, servicing
approximately 150 different patients total over the course of the year. A sampling of this past week’s meals include:
• Pea soup, ham salad on rye, potato salad, and jello
• Chicken Francaise, egg noodles, peas, carrots, and Danish
• Salisbury Steak, tator tots, tomato salad, and tapioca
• Western Omelet, pickles, chips and apple pie
• Pepperoni Pizza, green bean salad, and ice cream
$25 provides a meal for one senior for a week
$50 provides a meal for two seniors for a week
$100 provides a meal for one senior for a month
$500 provides a meal for five seniors for a month
$1300 provides a meal for one senior for a whole year
But any amount you can give will be greatly appreciated!!