'Just Friends gives them hope'

United Way agency helps combat social isolation

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Jim had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, and following his long engineering career, he needed a safe place to go during the day.

The long-time Columbus resident found Just Friends Adult Day Services. Four days a week, Jim goes to the center to listen to music, play pool, show off his trivia skills and regale his friends with tales from his engineering days.

Just Friends offers adults who are aging with dignity a safe place to go during the day, when they cannot stay alone or need the camaraderie of being around their peers.

The United Way partner agency is one of 17 agencies United Way of Bartholomew County helps support. The agency provides nursing oversight and engaging programming for adults who attend during the day.

Soon after attending Just Friends, Jim found that his symptoms of Parkinson's disease symptoms had decreased drastically.

In the time of COVID-19, where Just Friends is able to open safely with extra precautions; Jim’s doctor told his wife, Patricia that Just Friends is a key part of Jim staying healthy and protected from social isolation.

Adults who attend Just Friends gain community and decrease social isolation. Forty years of research on social isolation proves that older adults die faster and have poorer health than adults who have access to social activities that Just Friends helps provide.

“Just Friends gives them hope,” said Jayme Zobrist, executive director of Just Friends Adult Day Services. 

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