What is First Circle Friends?
First Circle Friends is a day program for people with early- to mid-stage memory loss combined with a day of respite for their caregivers. Through agency and faith community collaboration, the program's creative approach assists with the needs of families dealing with memory loss through agency and faith community collaboration.
First Circle Friends sustains support for the memory loss care receiver and caregiver in a community setting through personal and meaningful service to both caregiver and care receiver; well-planned socially and cognitively stimulating days for participants; inspiring and mentoring volunteers to carry out the plans that volunteers create; and respite time, resources and a listening ear for caregivers.
The First Circle Friends respite model is an excellent partnership tool, providing opportunities for social ministry organizations and local congregations to deepen community presence in aging services. It is not designed to be a profit-making business.
Who started First Circle Friends?
First Circle Friends is an adaptation of The Gathering (first piloted in 2000), a program developed and operated by Lyngblomsten. Acknowledgements for funding and creative development go to the ELCA Lutheran Services for the Elderly Endowment, Lutheran Services of America, Thrivent Financial for Lutherans Foundation, and Lyngblomsten.
If you would like to learn more about First Circle Friends, or are interested in purchasing a First Circle Friends license to implement the program, please contact:
Julie Pfab, Director of Home and Community-Based Services