January 23, 2015

Rebecca J. James, Graduate Assistant

VSU Opens My Friend’s House to Community Jan. 26-Feb. 6

VALDOSTA — Valdosta State University welcomes the community to visit My Friend’s House and learn more about its programs and services designed to help families affected by Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. The doors will be open to the public from noon to 5 p.m. every weekday from Monday, Jan. 26, to Friday, Feb. 6. 

Through its Alzheimer’s Daycare Program, My Friend’s House provides a day program for senior citizens who suffer from Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. It is a free service that promotes social, physical, creative, and cognitive stimulation through such activities as exercise, music, bingo, arts and crafts, hug therapy, laughter, and memory lane, which is a time set aside for participants to discuss important events and people from the past.

“My Friend’s House is not based on a nursing home setting,” said Dr. Dorothy Dye, executive director. “The Alzheimer’s Daycare Program offers families a resource that can be accessed throughout the week, and it provides clients with the opportunity to stay physically active and make friends. We help both clients and caregivers by easing some of the stress that comes with memory loss.”

My Friend’s House also offers the Powerful Tools for Caregivers Program, which focuses on self-care and stress management strategies for caregivers by changing negative self-talk, enhancing communication skills, reducing personal stress, and managing anger. The program is open to anyone in the South Georgia and North Florida area and lasts six weeks. There are multiple sessions available.

“Many times the caregiver begins experiencing health issues due to the stress of their role as caregiver,” said Darlene Myers, program coordinator. “The guilt, fear, and confusion that many people experience in this role harm them physically and lead to burn out. The Powerful Tools for Caregivers Program uses certified instructors to teach caregivers how to take care of themselves so that they can take care of others.”

VSU's Department of Social work has sponsored My Friend's House for 15 years. A team of five staff members, graduate assistants, and volunteers from the Department of Social Work, School of Nursing, campus-based Greek organizations, and other groups strives to provide a safe and nurturing environment. 

My Friend’s House is funded by the Southern Georgia Regional Commission’s Area Agency on Aging. It is located at 109 W. Moore St.

Contact Dr. Dorothy Dye at (229) 293-6146 or ddye@valdosta.edu for more information.

On the Web:




Valdosta State University’s 2013-2019 Strategic Plan represents a renewal of energy and commitment to the foundational principles for comprehensive institutions.

Implementation of the plan’s five goals, along with their accompanying objectives and strategies, supports VSU’s institutional mission and the University System of Georgia’s mission for comprehensive universities. 

Special initiatives such as the Department of Social Work-sponsored My Friend's House help the university meet the following goals: 

Goal 1: Recruit, retain, and graduate a quality, diverse student population and prepare students for roles as leaders in a global society.

Goal 2: Increase financial support for the institution.

Goal 3: Promote student, employee, alumni, retiree, and community engagement in our mission.

Goal 4: Foster an environment of creativity and scholarship.

Goal 5: Develop and enhance Valdosta State’s human and physical resources.

Visit http://www.valdosta.edu/administration/planning/strategic-plan.php to learn more. 


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