What Is A Friendship Café?
Senior Connections' Friendship Cafés are neighborhood gathering places for seniors. A nutritious midday meal is served. Seniors enjoy meeting up with good friends and participating diverse activities that assure that seniors remain active and connected to the community while meeting their nutritional needs.
Who May Attend?
Older adults who are:
- Age 60 or older
- Independently mobile and not homebound
- Physically, mentally, and medically independent and able to attend the Friendship Café without assistance
- Living independently in a private residence and are not current residents of an adult care residence, assisted living facility, or nursing home.
What Is Provided?
- Meals: A hot, nutritious meal providing one-third of the recommended dietary allowances (RDA)
- Activities: Seniors enjoy exercise, lectures, health and nutrition education and screenings, and other educational, enrichment, and social activities
- Field Trips: For those who can be accommodated and may include a client-purchased restaurant meal once a month
- Initial Assessment and Periodic Reassessments: For eligibility and access to additional resources if needed
The YMCA's Growing Younger Program at the Friendship Cafes
The YMCA's Growing Younger program, a partnership of the United Way, YMCA of Greater Richmond, Senior Connections and Genworth Financial, provides wellness and arts activities that focus on improving physical, mental and social well-being. The program consists of chair based exercise classes that work on flexibility, strength and muscular endurance. Participants are evaluated through fitness testing and health screenings. The art component of the program is facilitated by Art on Wheels and the Visual Arts Center of Richmond, designed to encourage participants to express themselves, improve fine motor skills and stimulate cognitive growth.
Currently, The Growing Younger program is offered at five cafes: The Cafe at Ruthville Gymnasium Complex in Charles City; The Cafe at Village Presbyterian Church and The Cafe at West Richmond Church of the Brethren, in Henrico; The Cafe at St. John Neumann Catholic Church in Powhatan; The Cafe at Good Shepherd in Richmond. Growing Younger participants must first join the Friendship Cafe Program. See below - "How Do I Get Started?" for more details on how to join.
Is There A Friendship Cafe In My Area?
Click HERE for Friendship Cafe Locations.
How Much Does It Cost?
There is no charge for this service. All participants are encouraged to contribute according to their ability; however, there is no obligation. Donations enhance services for seniors in the community and are voluntary, private, and confidential.
How Is The Friendship Café Staffed?
Friendship Cafés are staffed by a friendly, caring Nutrition Site Manager or Food Service Manager who is trained in proper and safe food service techniques and activity planning.
When Is The Friendship Café Open?
Friendship Café days may vary but generally hours run from 9:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Friendship Cafés are closed on Saturdays, Sundays and major holidays.
How Can I Get There?
Participants can drive themselves, get rides with friends and family, or use one of the transportation providers coordinated by Senior Connections. If available, transportation to the Café nearest you will be arranged by Senior Connections staff after you are deemed eligible through an application process.
How Do I Get Started?
Prospective clients must complete an application. As part of the application process, a Senior Connections' Care Coordinator will make an appointment to meet with the applicant at the Café. At the appointment, the applicant will be reviewed and an assessment completed to determine eligibility for the Friendship Café and other services. Family members may attend the assessment.
How Can I Get An Application or More information?
Please call (804) 343-3000 or write to: SC/CAAA Friendship Cafes, 24 E. Cary St., Richmond, VA 23219
How Do I help?
Consider Adopting a Cafe Today! The goal of the Adopt a Cafe Initiative is to provide individuals and the community the opportunity to support their neighborhood Friendship Cafe by "adopting" a Cafe or becoming a "friend or sponsor" of a Cafe. We hope to raise funds to help provide more exercise, recreation, life-long learning and artistic activities at the cafes. For more information: email Colleen Wilhelm at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 804-672-4497.
Adopt a Cafe Initiative Updates: The Adopt a Cafe Initiative is pleased to announce that the following organizations have adopted a Friendship Cafe for the 2013 calendar year:
- Congratulations to JenCare Neighborhood Medical Center has adopted 5 Friendship Cafes. Thank you for your ongoing partnership and committment.
- Congratulations to CareMore for committing $10,000 to the Adopt a Café Initiative over the next year. Thanks to their generous donation, we can enhance the café experience and provide new experiences for all our participants.
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