The Gathering (group respite)
A day of stimulating activities for those with memory loss and respite for caregivers
The Gathering provides a day of stimulating activities for those experiencing early- to mid-stage memory loss, and gives five hours of respite to caregivers who desire a break.
The program is offered through Lyngblomsten Community Services, and in collaborative partnership with more than 20 churches across the Twin Cities, seven of which provide the facilities and host The Gathering.
Each program site meets 2-4 times per month and accommodates a group of 8-10 participants (person experiencing memory loss). There is one volunteer for every participant.
The caregiver and the person they care for will meet a Gathering staff professional for an assessment prior to enrollment.
A Day at The Gathering
- The Gathering is staffed by dedicated volunteers specially trained to understand the distinctive needs of people experiencing memory loss.
- Volunteers greet participants upon arrival at 10 AM and together enjoy interesting activities and socializing until 3 PM.
- Following a nutritious lunch, participants are involved in an afternoon of activities which helps them remain active and engaged.
- Typical activities include: music, games, light exercise, simple woodworking, painting, polymer clay projects, as well as discussion groups (reminiscing, sports, history, etc.), special guest speakers and more.
The Impact of The Gathering
This video was shown at the 2016 Lyngblomsten Charity Golf Classic fundraiser in August that raised funds to support caregivers and The Gathering.
Betsy Hoffman, The Gathering Team Coordinator
Funding for The Gathering is provided through grants and by the generosity of individuals who make financial gifts to the Lyngblomsten Foundation. The Gathering is also funded in part by the Older Americans Act Title IIIE National Family Caregiver Support Program in partnership with the Metropolitan Area Agency on Aging.