What is Just Friends?
Just Friends is southeast Indiana’s only daytime assisted activity center for adults who are socially isolated or live with chronic illness. We provide an engaging and safe place that enhances dignity, uniqueness and independence for adults who are aging with challenges and provide balance for caregivers. Our vision is to provide an enriched quality of life while aging.
Every day we preserve independence and improve aging in place by eliminating social isolation through individualized daily activities, inclusive physical exercise, delicious food, nursing and social work coordination, transportation, and authentic community. We improve the lives of older adults and encourage positive relationships with their caregivers by promoting independence while living at home instead of a nursing home.
Located in Columbus, Indiana, our small nonprofit organization serves Bartholomew, Brown, Decatur, Jackson, Jennings, and Johnson counties.
Who comes to Just Friends?
Just Friends Adult Day Services serves adults who crave socialization, learning, hands-on activities, and exercise, and their families who have errands to run. Some participants come purely for our authentic community and others have diagnoses like stroke recovery, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and/or diabetes. Most of our participants are older adults, and 30% live alone.
To see our anti-discrimination policy, click here.
Why do people come to Just Friends instead of getting in-home caregivers?
Just Friends provides more than a safe place for adults to be during the day. We provide community, robust activity options, licensed nursing and social work care, free meals, and transportation. We are co-located within Mill Race Center, a gym, and Physical and Occupational Therapy.
Many people attend Just Friends to exercise. The World Health Organization recommends older adults who are inactive or have physical limitations still benefit from low to moderate exercise. Just Friends offers at least 2 physical games and 2 walks each day.
Social isolation decreases life expectancy and increases your chances of ending up in the hospital. Studies have shown that “providing person centered care that includes personal preferences may alleviate loneliness in long-term care residents” (Andrew and Meeks, 2018). Another study notes “The loss of memory is a barrier to social relationships, whereas an involvement in arts, crafts, and music reduced feelings of loneliness (Moyle et al., 2011).”
Caregivers get better respite if their loved one attends Adult Day Service. A 2009 study reported the more a caregiver’s spouse attended a day program, the less burden the caregiving spouse experienced. This was not the case for in-home services.
How much does it cost?
Are you a Veteran? The Indiana Veteran’s Administration covers the cost of Adult Day Services for many Veterans.
Are you on Medicaid Waiver? Contact your Care Manager at Thrive Alliance and ask if Adult Day Services can be added to your plan.
Do you have long term care insurance? If so, Adult Day Services may be covered in your Long Term Care Insurance plan.
Just Friends also accepts private pay. We know having a chronic illness is costly, which is why we have a sliding fee scholarship scale of $10 to $20/hour depending on your income and expenses.
What does a typical day look like?
Just Friends recognizes that each person has unique abilities and interests. That’s why each person has their own customized activities. We offer hands-on activities like bingo-size, washer toss, daily walks, wire sculpture, baking, and cognitively stimulating activities like trivia, name that tune, and finish the sentence.
This person-centered approach increases independence and gives participants meaning and purpose. One participant remarked “I’m 75 and never knew I liked sewing!” She is now making pillows for her 14 grandchildren.
How do I convince my loved one or their caregiver that they should try Just Friends?
Any kind of change – even good change – is hard. If you think your loved one or their caregiver would benefit from Just Friends, give us a call. Our Family Care Coordinator would love to talk about your specific situation.
Is Just Friends a nonprofit?
Yes, we are a 501c3 designated charity. We rely on donors, grantmaking institutions, and our Local United Way to provide high quality and affordable respite and community. The average cost to serve a participant is currently $37 an hour. Nearly all of our participants can only afford to pay $10-12 an hour.
Want to learn more? Click here to see our 2020 Annual Report.