AFSC is a vital resource for the Orange County community. My mother volunteers there and absolutely loves it. I have seen the good work they do on a daily basis and can vouch for how much compassion and love the staff provide to the participants and their families.
ONE OF A KIND – A HIDDEN GEM
I wish, I wish, I had known about Alzheimer’s Family Services Center when my mother was alive; oh how I wish!
My mother died from the complications of dementia in 2011 after a 10-year battle. She was a lovely, high-functioning individual for most of that period.
Two years after my mother died I thought it was time I got out of the house and did something worthwhile. On an Internet search, I found the Alzheimer’s Family Services Center not far from me. I applied to volunteer. During my volunteer interview, with Executive and Director of Volunteers, Aimee Ruiz, I wasn’t sure I was ready to deal with the participants (I broke down and cried) but Aimee came up with an alternative.
After being in corporate for over 30 years, Aimee asked if volunteering administratively might work. I tried it out and love it! I am allowed to help administratively upstairs and I can mingle with our lovely participants anytime I wish. If one has lived with a loved one with dementia or Alzheimer’s, one is gifted in what I call “dementia speak.” We caregivers learn to listen with our eyes and our heart. I love interacting with our participants and it's been healing.
Again, I regret I never knew about AFSC when my mother was alive…oh how she would have loved to interact with others in this community! She was such a social butterfly but wilted away in her residence. I've noticed those with memory impairment decline rapidly without mental stimulation.
In my two years as a volunteer, I have witnessed such love, compassion and positive interaction with our participants and AFSC’s trained caregivers. Wherever I travel in or outside the walls of the Center (game room, singing room, crafts area, outside courtyard, eating area, exercise area, etc.) there is a caregiver at hand or close by. AFSC also has registered nurses and social workers on staff at all times.
I also love the fact the Center has been specifically designed to feel like home while using tools to assist our memory impaired (colored entries, old photographs and memorabilia on the walls, familiar songs, comfortable chairs, etc.). It’s absolutely lovely!
And for those of us who are or were caregivers, there is something at AFSC for us. AFSC offers hope and assistance to “weary warriors” with resources to make caregiving a little easier. They have a plethora of resources to aid everyone on this journey whether your loved one spends the day or not.
Lastly, I will say, given my legal background, it is important I know any organization I am affiliated with, so I’ve done my research. AFSC has been in existence for 34 years and is closely affiliated with Hoag’s Neuroscience Department. They were recently recognized by the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America’s, Excellence in Care, Dementia Care Program of Distinction Award. I think I know where I belong and, if my mother were alive, she would belong there during the day as well.
The organization exceeds excellence in care. The frail population that they serve receive high standards of quality of care as evidenced by earning‘EXCELLENCE IN CARE’ DISTINCTION FROM ALZHEIMER’S FOUNDATION OF AMERICA. Thank you Alzheimer's Family Services Center for providing such unique care to the community at large.
Review from Guidestar
My husband and I had heard about the great attention to care that they provide here with a 1 to 5 staff ratio and enrolled my father in law in there. Unfortunately, he was left unattended and fell and hit his head. We then questioned the care supervisor and found out it was more like 1 to 9 staff to client ratio.
Review from Guidestar
I have been volunteering with AFSC for the past five years. I volunteer weekly with the participants during their activity time and the staff working directly with them . I've been so impressed with the genuine love, care and support they receive from the staff. I have heard feedback from family members who have their loved one in the center and they seem genuinely grateful to the center for all the individual care their loved one has received. AFSC provides a necessary and needed service to those afflicted with Dementia and Alzheimer's disease as well as their loved ones and care-givers
My husband has been a participant at Alzheimer's Family Services Center for two years, and every day I am more and more impressed with this fine organization. The staff is compassionate and professional, and the program is excellent. My husband is happy at AFSC, and the progression of his Alzheimer's has been slowed considerably because of his participation. I am so grateful to everyone at AFSC for helping us as we travel on our Alzheimer's journey.