The Dementia Respite program is one of the most important offerings at the Naples Senior Center at the JFCS. The weekly support groups meet for four hours each session. A steering committee, including full-time Marco Island residents Brian Bremer, Judy Kenney, Shirley Woolaway and Brianne Bremer- Kennish, raised awareness and the necessary funds, on behalf of the Naples Senior Center, over the past year to expand this successful program to Marco Island. The two groups now meet weekly on Mondays and Wednesdays at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church.The program offers older adults who suffer from memory loss enjoyable cognitive stimulation and social and physical exercise in a clinically sound, safe and relaxing environment. The program also provides a break from the constant demand of taking care of a loved one with a cognitive disorder. The program activities include Dakim BrainFitness, chair yoga, art and music therapies, horticulture therapy and more. Brian Bremer introduced the President/ CEO of the Naples Senior Center to the audience, Dr. Jaclynn Faffer, who said, “it all started with a donation of $5,000 from the Marco Island Women’s Club for a Marco Island Respite program.” The rest is history. In December, they began their first Marco Island Respite program, which quickly grew to two offerings per week. “Dementia is a major challenge in everyone’s life,” Faffer said. “We focus on the quality of life of those with dementia and the quality of life for the caregivers.”
The Naples Senior Center, in addition to the dementia respite support program, offers social and educational programs, a food pantry and geriatric case management. There are now eight dementia respite support programs including the two on Marco Island.
Judy Kenney noted that Marco Island should embrace a senior center, in addition to the Assisted Living Center program.
“It is time we take care of our growing number of seniors,” she said.
If you’re interested in having someone evaluated for participation in the program contact Rhonda Eisenberg, LMHC, Geriatric Social Worker, at Naples Senior Center at JFCS. 239-325-4444 or firstname.lastname@example.org.