October’s Share The Plate Recipient is “ Meeting of the Minds” at the Newark Senior Center. Meeting of the Minds is a guided group experience for adults in the early stages of dementia, Alzheimer’s or any other cognitive impairment. Through their diverse social, mental, creative & physical activities; participants gain improved self-esteem, socialization & a sense of belonging.” The Meeting of Minds program at the Newark Senior Center provides care and social activities for elderly people with some memory loss and often some limited mobility. Participants are often living with their children and have very limited financial means. Many participants cannot pay the very low cost and need “scholarship assistance” which must be covered by donations. Several program volunteers are UUFN members.
Funding for Meeting of the Minds was affected when the state decreased funding to senior centers over the summer. Since then they have had to increase program fees. Since January of 2015 Meeting of the Minds has served 101 individuals as well as providing caregiver respite to their families. While we do try to keep program fees affordable, the financial burden can be too great for families in our community. Every little bit can help lessen the burdens on the families who need this service but cannot always afford the fees.