Our staff consists of trained volunteers and student interns from Siuslaw High School. These students are hand selected from the Health Occupations and Alternative Education programs. Participants receive a multi-generational approach to socialization and memory care during Coffee Club. Our diverse board, ranging in age from 31 to 71, is made up of working people from the community as well as retirees. We even have a yoga instructor who provides monthly TLC for care givers through our guided relaxation event!
Upon hearing that the Memory Care Respite Center of Florence might close, Juels made it her mission to save and revitalize this organization for our community. Knowing firsthand what a difference this service had made in her mother's life, she was determined not to let it fall to the wayside. "Attending Coffee Club is the highlight of my mother's week." After just a few weeks of attending Coffee Club, Juels noticed significant cognitive gains with her mother who had been diagnosed with early stage Alzheimer's. She knew it was vital to provide this service to other families in need.
Juels, a former public school teacher, is a literacy specialist with a M.Ed. in Educational Leadership emphasizing English as a Second Language instruction. Juels currently works as a yoga teacher using yoga as a tool to heal the body and volunteers as our Board President as well as our Executive Director.
Soon after volunteering at the Memory Care Respite Center of Florence, Judy knew this was where she needed to be. "From my first day at Memory Care, I felt the satisfaction and pleasure of interaction with the participants and other volunteers. I knew we were making a difference in the lives of these folks."
Judy's mother lived in a long-term care facility in Eugene for several years and Judy visited her mom on a very regular basis, thoroughly enjoying the time she spent with her mom and her friends. She realized the importance of socialization, sharing stories, games, jokes, and music with these folks. After Judy's mother passed away, she continued to visit her new friends at the facility, starting a reading group where she read to them and then led conversation based on the stories read. Saddened by the thought that the Memory Care Respite Center of Florence was in danger of closing its doors, Judy jumped at the chance to be part of the group dedicated to keeping it open. Her background as a teacher and Middle School principal gives her the opportunity to use her people skills to work with a different segment of society, one she has grown to admire and love.
Program Development Coordinator
Clarissa witnessed the effects of caregiving within her own family as her grandmother was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease when Clarissa was nine years old. She grew up talking, cooking, painting finger nails and laughing with her grandmother as the disease progressed and her father struggled to find support services within the community.
Clarissa currently works as a speech/language pathologist serving clients in the Florence area with memory loss and other cognitive impairments. She volunteers on our board as Vice President and with her M.S. degree in Communication Disorders and Sciences, provides training for our volunteers at the center. "I'm so excited to support this organization. I believe caregiver respite and social opportunities for those affected by memory loss are hugely important community services."