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The Old Friends Club: Social Respite Day Programs

About the Old Friends Club

These community-based social respite programs work to provide reliable, scheduled respite to those caring for a friend or family member living with dementia. Originally started in Carnation, Washington in response to a closing Adult Day Health program, Old Friends Clubs have now spread to four locations in King County. Dementia Support Northwest is proud to expand that service network further, bringing two programs to Whatcom County, with one program in Bellingham, and one in Lynden.


Old Friends Clubs are designed to give care providers worry-free time to be at home, run errands, catch up with a friend, or relax and recharge in order to protect and maintain their own physical and mental health.

A typical five-hour program at the Old Friends Club includes:

  • Low-impact social time to encourage group engagement and support

  • Light physical activities

  • Art and other creative projects

  • Group-oriented games and other forms of cognitive stimulation

  • Lunch, snacks, and light refreshments throughout the day


Other events may also appear in our programming, including guest performers from around our area, including musicians, presenters, and more, as well as some activities facilitated by those groups. Programming is constantly reviewed and updated to make sure it is aligned with the interests and passions of the members.

Who are these programs for?

While the need for respite endures throughout the progression of a diagnosis, Old Friends Clubs do not provide medical services, health monitoring, or medication assistance and are designed around socialization settings. This means that members need to be able to self-administer medications, participate in a small-group setting, and not have difficulties with incontinence.

Program Basics
  • Each program is two days a week, for 5 hours per day.

  • Our social respite programs are built on the same small-group dynamics that underpin support group systems, and cap membership for each program at 12 members.

  • To ensure that scheduled respite is not prevented by an already-full program for the day, program membership is maintained on a monthly-basis, ensuring that your loved one's spot is always saved.

  • Program fees are based on an all-inclusive rate of $18/hour, and billed at the average of 4.35 program weeks per month ($792/month), so program fees are steady month-to-month.

    • Program fees are prorated for partial months for new members, and for December due to DSNW's annual holiday closure.

    • Flat rate membership fees include funds for program supplies/activity costs as well as a daily lunch and snacks.

    • If you carry Long Term Care Insurance, check with the provider to see if day program services are a covered benefit

Current Programs

Lynden Program

9:30 - 2:30, Mondays and Tuesdays

Sonlight Church, Lynden, WA

Bellingham Program

9:30 - 2:30, Wednesdays and Thursdays

Christ the King - Bellingham

How to Join

Limited membership results in the need for an application process that begins with filling out the Initial Inquiry Form, and submitting it along with your contact information to reserve your spot on a program waitlist.


  2. Submit Form and Join Waitlist HERE (you may need to allow pop ups for it to open in a new window)

    1. Your form may also be sent to us via email (, or mailed (2950 Newmarket Street #210, Bellingham, WA 98226)

  3. DSNW's program staff will contact you to continue the application process (early February 2023)

Have other questions about our social respite programs? Give us a call!

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