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Partner Spotlight: The Gathering Place & Memory Matters

Community
April 1st, 2022

At Pine Haven Christian Communities, we continue to strive for the betterment of our aging population within the communities we serve. As part of our vision, we continuously provide services with Christ-centered love, compassion, and excellence for all. We want our residents, families, volunteers, and staff members to feel love, comfort, and peace of mind.

So, naturally, we seek partnerships within the communities we serve with this similar vision, like with The Gathering Place & Memory Matters.

In 2008, The Gathering Place & Memory Matters had four participants and 19 volunteers for their adult day program. Since then, they have continued to grow by providing a one-to-one volunteer to participant ratio. They provided a need for adults and their family caregivers.

What makes The Gathering Place unique?

Leah Zehel, Director of The Gathering Place & Memory Matters, says, “The Gathering Place is a Day Program. We are specifically a “social model” day program for adults with early to mid-stage memory loss. This means we focus on staying active all day!

We keep our brains and bodies active and maintain individuals dealing with memory loss independent as long as possible! A big thing that really sets us apart is our volunteers. They come here with an uplifting spirit, focused on coming to serve our participants.”

Who can attend The Gathering Place?

The Gathering Place aims to engage the hearts and enrich the minds of every participant within their program. They aim to provide the best and most productive day for each participant. Leah says, “Each potential participant must go through an assessment process. They have to be able to actively and appropriately participate in our programming”.

What kind of special programs do you have to offer?

Leah states, “The Gathering Place has lots of special programming. Each day is something different for our participants. From guest musical groups to guest artists, working on service projects for the community, and taking outings!”

Their focus on providing personalized engagement and social opportunities has proven positive results. Their volunteers see positive improvements on a daily basis like social engagement, alertness, increased confidence, and increased attention span.

Who can volunteer at The Gathering Place?

Volunteers are the key to The Gathering Place’s success. They have the opportunity to participate in many areas, including small socializing gatherings to outings to Road America. Their vibrant and active programs are something that volunteers can walk away feeling proud to have participated in.

Leah says, “To be a volunteer, you have to have listening ears, helping hands, and most importantly, positive hearts! We do a background check on each volunteer and provide training and quarterly training with the Alzheimer’s Association. Because of our wonderful volunteers, we can offer a one-to-one ratio of participant to volunteer, ensuring everyone has the best day!”

We value our partnership with The Gathering Place.

Partnering with The Gathering Place & Memory Matters has been a blessing for our residents. For more information on The Gathering Place & Memory Matters, check out their website!

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