February 28, 2018
The AFCI provides several programs of service to people over 60 years old in our 6-town community – all free of charge. You may have a loved one or a friend who would benefit from one or more of these services; please refer them to the appropriate program. You may also want to assure that the service is there for you yourself at some point in the future. We always need volunteers! You may contact AFCI by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or from our website: www.agefriendlybethel.org. Or contact the person noted below.
For transportation: 824-4444. Rides to local commitments and events - often for a medical appointment, but also for something as simple as a class, shopping or socializing. Rides are dependent on the availability of drivers. Want to be a volunteer driver? FMI: Al Cressy (email@example.com. 824-0508).
The Morning Greeting program provides a daily phone-call service to someone in need. To refer someone to this service OR to volunteer to be a caller: Brooks Morton (firstname.lastname@example.org, 207-381-5991) or Kay Rector (email@example.com, 207-824-3333).
Recreational activities: AFCI Walk the Gym Tuesdays, 1:30-3:00, Wednesdays, 10:00-11:00, Thursdays, 1:30-2:30. FMI: Jackie Cressy (824-0508) or Bob Oickle (576-5104).
For Social and learning opportunities, check the Gem Theater, the Western Mountains Senior College, and the Bethel Citizen’s Community Calendar.
The second of the Gem Theater’s science film series will be on March 2. A pre-film lecture by Dr. Henning Haack from the Maine Mineral and Gem Museum - Meteorites and the Origin of the Solar System – will be followed by the screening of The Martian. FMI: firstname.lastname@example.org or Wade Kavanaugh at email@example.com.
From the Community Calendar - Wednesday February 28th: “Natural Solutions for Wellness,” “My Loved One has Dementia,” Greek Night cooking; Wednesday, March 7: Growing and Arranging Flowers; Thursday the 8th: Soups, Stews and Chowders demonstration.
The AFCI is proud of the programs we’ve been able to put in place to help our community’s aging population. It takes many volunteers to make these projects happen, and we are grateful to all those who perform a number of AFCI functions. Jane and Jim Chandler have been an integral part of the Woodstock community for 42 years. They have both been supporters of the AFCI since its inception, and Jane is the Woodstock representative to the AFCI Council and serves as the Council’s secretary. Contributing her skills from employment at the Androscoggin Home Care and Hospice, Jane also serves on the Communications and Outreach task forces and manages the adaptive toolkit the AFCI purchased through an AARP Community Challenge grant.
“Who are the community members volunteering for the AFCI?” you may wonder. Rosabelle Tifft, who was part of the original Bethel Area Age-Friendly Community Project almost 3 years ago, has contributed a valuable service to our community through her 15-year leadership of the To Your Health program, a public offering of the Western Mountains Senior College. In spring 2015 Rosabelle‘s planning team, with the help of Jackie Cressy, formulated a presentation featuring Atul Gawande’s book, Being Mortal. Shortly thereafter Rosabelle and Jackie presented a second public discussion based on their participation in a meeting that introduced the AARP’s Age-Friendly Community work.
The AFCI has developed our Advisory Council to include a diverse group of people with valuable skill sets and unique perspectives. One such member is Valerie Cole, who is an Elder Services Specialist with SeniorsPlus, Oxford County’s Area Agency on Aging. How lucky we are for her help in understanding the myriad of services available in our community and the opportunity to promote those services! In SeniorsPlus and on the AFCI Council, Valerie fights for the right of individuals to age in place within their own communities.
One of the newest AFCI Council members is Charlie Reiss, owner since 1996 of Bethel Kitchen Designs on Main St., Bethel. Not yet retired and jealous of his available time, Charlie had to be convinced that his 25-year career as a local contractor would lend a unique set of skills to our AFCI work. His experience will prove valuable as he leads a task force on Home Repair. Already, he and local Occupational Therapist Brie Wiesman have spearheaded an important component of our AARP-grant- funded Home Safety project. Soon Charlie will begin some home safety improvements as identified in Brie’s 12 home assessments that were grant-funded.
Do you get frustrated with your smart phone or tablet? Would you like to use more of the features? Telstar students volunteer every Tuesday for FREE Drop-In Tech Help - 2:30-4:30pm in the Adult Ed Office. FMI: 824-2136 ext. 1340.
Two articles caught our eye recently in the Western Maine Foothills publication (https://www.turnerpublishing.net/pdf/WMF.pdf). Community Concepts has received significant funding to expand the capacity of its Central Heating Improvement Program, which provides state- funded grants to repair or replace central heating systems for low-income households. FMI:www.community-concepts.org.
Also, SeniorsPlus is now accepting referrals for Meals on Wheels. See the newspaper for a helpful description of the values this program offers to eligible seniors; FMI: 800-427-1241.
In recent weeks the AFCI Council has enjoyed visits and substantive conversations with both state and federal legislators or aides. A small group met over coffee recently with Maine Representative Fran Head, who is a long-time supporter of the AFCI. Carlene Tremblay, State Office Representative for U.S. Senator Susan Collins, and Ben Tucker, Regional Representative for U.S. Senator Angus King, traveled to be with us; our discussion was wide-ranging and informative, elaborating on the Senators’ interests and initiatives and noting valuable resources for AFCI efforts.
Maine’s Senator Susan Collins chairs the Senate Special Committee on Aging. Attached to this email is the recent newsletter from the committee.
We were reminded recently that the Bethel Family Health Center has a lending closet for mobility aids that are needed on a short-term basis – such as wheelchairs and walkers.
Pen Pals for Seniors is an interesting program that seeks to create “communities free of senior isolation and loneliness.” FMI: https://www.penpalsforseniors.org/aboutus.
From AARP: beware of impostors who, in the guise of being from a government agency, call to inform people they have won a huge sweepstakes from the Make-A-Wish Foundation, (http://www.aarp.org/money/scams-fraud/info-2017/impostor-scams-sweepstakes-fd.html?)
From a recent comic strip: Dennis the Menace comments to his mother’s guest (“of a certain age”): “Mom says you’re ‘elderly.’ That’s just a NICE way of sayin’ ‘old.’” Cute and funny – but what do you think? What is the best way to refer to my age group: ‘seniors’ ... ‘elderly’ ... ‘old’ ... ‘mature adults’? Let us know your opinion.
The AFCI always needs help! Got an hour? Have some ideas? Want to help implement a project? Please contact us: by email, firstname.lastname@example.org; our website, www.agefriendlybethel.org; our Facebook page, @agefriendlybethel. (Nancy Davis)
January 23, 2018
Happy New Year from the Bethel Area Age-Friendly Community Initiative! We’re proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish since June 2015, but we know there’s lots more we could put into place to make life safer and more interesting for the eldest segment of the community. There are ideas for projects just waiting for the right people to help us implement them. Maybe you have ideas too! If so, let us know through the contact information below.
Have you gone to the AFCI website recently? www.agefriendlybethel.org. Our Resource Directory is on the site; other new items include the AFCI 2017 Annual Report and the most recent information on our projects and programs.
A sincere thank-you to those who have generously donated to support our volunteer driver transportation program. We welcome donations to our general AFCI program or, if you wish, to a specific program. Donations may be sent to “Town of Bethel, ATTN: AFCI, PO Box 1660, Bethel, ME 04217."
The AFCI Winter Walk the Gym program is a great way to fend off this very changeable winter weather! You may join them every Tuesday, 1:30-3:00, Wednesday, 10:00-11:00, and Thursday, 1:30- 2:30.
Here’s another winter opportunity: many people associate Maine Adaptive Sports & Recreation with alpine skiing at Sunday River, but did you know that Maine Adaptive also sponsors an adaptive Nordic skiing and snowshoeing program for people of all ages with disabilities? With trained volunteer guides, the skiing and snowshoe group meets on Friday mornings and explores a variety of trails in the Bethel area. It’s free, and no equipment is necessary! FMI: infomaineadaptive.org or 207 824-2440.
Through the AFCI Morning Greeting Program a Senior living alone can receive a call each day from a “neighbor” to check in on their well-being, thereby lessening isolation, promoting safety, and encouraging new friendships. FMI: Brooks Morton (email@example.com, 207-381-5991) or Kay Rector (firstname.lastname@example.org, 207-824-3333).
Bethel Rescue has plastic sand buckets that can be picked up for free at the Rescue barn on Walkers Mills Road. In the bucket are several “goodies” that should prove useful: a refrigerator
magnet with “Warning Signs of a Stroke,” a refrigerator note with Emergency Contacts and Medical Data that would be useful to rescue personnel responding to an emergency call, an easy-to-use reference card showing the signs and symptoms for heart attacks and strokes. Once you have your bucket, go fetch your free sand that is available for Bethel residents at a sand kiosk located on the left-hand side of the road just beyond the Maine Energy Systems building on 9 Airport Road at the Airport.
The District Exchange (Mason St., Bethel) needs help. Maryvonne Wheeler has been involved in the exchange since its inception 25 years ago, and as manager for 15 years. Many people help keep it going. Would you like to be one? Volunteers occasionally are unable to keep their 2-hour commitment at the last minute, and Maryvonne would love to have a few names of substitutes. You would cover the shop from 3:00-5:00 on a Thursday afternoon; someone at the Exchange would assist you. If you’d like to be on her stand-by list, you may call her at 836-2330 or 890-4214.
The AFCI Advisory Council enjoyed a recent visit from Maine State Senator Lisa Kiem. It was a good opportunity to let the Senator know about the work we are doing in our six communities, as well as to learn what legislative issues she thinks might impact our work in the future.
On January 24, an information session on dementia will be offered at Telstar - free, but registration is required. FMI: SAD 44 Adult Ed. (824-2136-3141) or WMSC bloghttp://wmscollege.blogspot.com/).
Also: Sunday, January 28: Richard Blanco at the W. Paris Unitarian Universalist Church; Tuesday, January 30: Heart & Soul Newcomers’ Night; Wednesday, January 31: Community Supper; Snowshoe Under the Light of the Super Moon; Thursday, February 1: Woodstock-Greenwood Senior Citizens Meeting.
The Maine Council on Aging is sponsoring a week-long free online class on care-giving. Details are at http://awbcaregiving.com/caregivers. If you are taking time out of your life to care for someone you love, you probably already know that care-giving can leave you feeling overwhelmed, burned out, stressed, and depressed. Consider the information, advocacy, self- care and inspiration that this class will provide.
You probably have ideas on how you want to be cared for at the end of life or when you can no longer communicate or make decisions for yourself. You may already have completed a health care advance directive, which includes a living will and health care power of attorney. In it you have listed your preferences for end- of-life care, such as whether you want a machine to breathe for you or simply relief from pain. Even naming someone close to you as a health care agent to convey your wishes may not be enough.
Make sure that your loved ones and doctors fully understand your wishes, regularly review and update your directive, and make the directive easily accessible. If you have not already begun this process, you may get help through your healthcare provider or these websites: www.caringinfo.org or https://mainehealth.org/services/hospital-medicine/advance- directive
The latest AARP bulletin features “Guard Your Memory: New research reveals what works and what doesn’t.” Item 2 suggests that, contrary to common belief, “puzzles and games may help your brainpower – but only when it comes to doing puzzles and games. (Instead – or in addition) Researchers recommend ‘cognitively stimulating activities,’ meaning anything that engages your brain and helps it do new things.” Item 3 notes the most recent research into the effect of aluminum on the development of Alzheimers Disease: we do not need to worry about the miniscule amounts in antiperspirants and cookware.
Perhaps you’re one whose brain already is benefiting from stimulating activity. AARP asks: Do you have a special hobby or lifetime pursuit that means the world to you? Tell us what it is and what makes you so passionate about it in the Online Community.
AARP offers useful information on controlling an overactive bladder, beginning with the simplest: take note of what you drink, change your diet, manage your medications. For more:
Imagine that! Betty White just turned 96. She says the secret to her longevity is vodka and hotdogs – in that order. In addition, though, she says "I know it sounds corny, but I try to see the funny side and the upside, not the downside. I get bored with people who complain about this or that. It's such a waste of time."
The AFCI always needs help! Got an hour? Have some ideas? Want to help implement a project? Please contact us: by email, email@example.com; our website,www.agefriendlybethel.org; our Facebook page, @agefriendlybethel. (Nancy Davis)
December 19, 2017
As the year draws to a close, I’m thankful to be living in this fantastic community and in a state that focuses energy and resources on helping seniors thrive. A recent Maine Calling segment on Maine Public Radio highlighted communities and programs in the state, with a reminder that we are the oldest state in the country. Maine has the most AARP Age-Friendly Communities in the national network, and amongst those 42 Communities, the AFCI was noted as outstanding.
Al Cressy, along with 11 other Maine community volunteers, AARP Maine staff, and 400 others from around the country, attended AARP’s annual Livable Communities Conference in Dallas last month. Al presented a talk on the Bethel area Volunteer Driver Program in the session “The Age-Friendly Journey; From Assessment to Implementation.” Kudos to Al, the task force, and our AFCI program!
The Neighbor-to-Neighbor Volunteer Driver Program offers free local medical and non-medical rides to seniors 60 and over who live in Bethel, Gilead, Greenwood, Hanover, Newry or Woodstock. Please note that requests for all rides, medical and non-medical, should be made at least three days in advance of the rides. For a medical ride, the ride request should be made as soon as possible once the appointment has been made. As always, ride requests are filled pending the availability of our AFCI-certified volunteer drivers. If you need a ride, call our Age-Friendly Transportation Coordinator at 824-4444.
Our transportation program has become a model for other communities. How lucky we are! The number of rides we can provide, however, depends completely on the availability of volunteer drivers. If you’re interested in becoming a driver, please contact Al Cressy at 824-0508. Remember that drivers have complete flexibility in how many ride commitments they wish to make.
Look for the AFCI Resource Directory displayed for referencing in the six communities. If you wish to have your own copy, you may go to our website - or contact us, and we’ll email you a digital copy. The directory contains information on a wide variety of local and statewide services. Categories are: Churches, Clothing/Thrift Shops, Education, Elder Services, Financial Assistance, Food, Fuel Assistance, Health Services, Legal Services, Libraries, Pet Services, Recreation and Fitness, Social Opportunities, Support Groups, Town Offices, and Transportation.
It appears that winter will be with us for a while. If you’re looking for exercise, here are some ideas. For snowshoeing or hiking on a handicap accessible trail, the Mahoosuc Land Trust’s 11⁄2 mile trail is nice. The 24-7 gym on Bethel Parkway has lots of equipment of all levels. Senior memberships are $10 per month, $25 for 3 months or $100 per year.
And there’s the AFCI “Walk the Gym” program Tuesdays 1:30-3:00, Wednesdays 10:00-11:00 am, Thursdays, 1:30-2:30. No registration is required, and the program is free and open to anyone age 60 and over. Emphasizing the improvement of balance, strength and flexibility, activities include walking at your own pace, optional tai chi and qi gong practice, and “Matters of Balance” exercises.
As part of the AARP Community Challenge grant awarded to AFCI, our adaptive toolkitand accompanying brochure will be loaned out to other Maine communities. This project began recently with a presentation to the Readfield Age-Friendly Committee. The 20 people at their monthly Senior Café were very interested in the tools and Al Cressy’s and Jane Chandler’s presentation. The Toolkit will stay with Readfield for a month, as they work with the tools and share it with more people.
The latest AARP bulletin features “Guard Your Memory: New research reveals what works and what doesn’t.” Item 1 is physical activity, which has been found to be “the best tool we have against cognitive impairment and dementia... Aim to be as active as you can in daily life; that means small actions such as sitting less and taking the stairs instead of the elevator.”
Recently AARP offered tips for unique gifts for grandchildren:https://www.aarp.org/home-family/your-home/info-2017/grandchild-gift-ideas-fd.html.
From the AARP Bookstore: For My Grandchild: A Grandparent’s Gift of Memory.https://www.aarp.org/entertainment/books/bookstore/home-family-caregiving/info-2016/grandmother-grandchild-memories.html
As for me, the older I get, the more I realize how important it is to capture memories. Most of us keep and share photos, but what about stories? No matter how hum-drum you feel your life has been (and I certainly did!), your memories will be important to your kids, your grandkids, and those to come. My son is interviewing me with questions he’s curious about and transferring it to writing. Today’s smart-phones make it easy to record. It’s a special experience for the two of us and will be rewarding in the sharing of the final product. It’s not too late to make it a Christmas present: the promise of future interview sessions.
Anticipating the inevitable holiday culinary temptations, I was interested in AARP’s tips on “How to Halve Your Sugar – and Eat it Too: 10 easy ways to reduce your sweets but keep your treats.” (https://www.aarp.org/health/healthy-living/info-2017/how-to-halve-your-sugar-and-eat-it- too.html)
We hear a lot about security scams these days, and they are real! AARP offers many useful tips and strategies on this topic. At www.aarp.org/money/scams-fraud/info-2017/protect-social-security- number.html?) suggestions for protecting your social security numberinclude: Leave it Home ... When Asked, Don't Tell ... Guard the Final Four.
Freeze ‘em Out. If you place a security freeze on your file at the big three credit rating agencies, ID thieves who have your number can’t get loans in your name, because lenders can’t do the required credit check. To place a freeze, you need to contact each of the three major credit bureaus: Equifax (equifax.com; 800-349-9960), Experian (experian.com; 888-397-3742) and TransUnion (transunion.com; 888-909-8872). Freezes can be “thawed” as needed, such as when you are switching insurance providers.
AARP reviews these current movies: Call Me by your Name, Darkest Hour, Wonder, Mudbound, Murder on the Orient Express, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, Last Flag Flying, LBJ, The Killing of a Sacred Deer, Novitiate, Suburbicon, Wonderstruck, Only the Brave, The Florida Project, The Meyerowitz Stories, Blade Runner 2049.(www.aarp.org/entertainment/movies-for-grownups/info- 2017/weekend-review-fd.html?)
And their “9 Top Holiday Oscar Movies”: Darkest Hour, Lady Bird, Coco, The Shape of Water, Tonya, Star Wars: the Last Jedi, Downsizing, the Post, Molly’s Game.(https://www.aarp.org/entertainment/movies-for-grownups/info-2017/best-holiday-oscar-movie- picks.html)
AAA senior driver adjustments for safety: http://newsroom.aaa.com/2017/11/90-percent-senior- drivers-dont-make-vehicle-adjustments-can-improve-safety/
Information from AARP on Alzheimers and glucose levels:https://www.aarp.org/health/brain- health/info-2017/alzheimers-glucose-levels-fd.html?
The application for the new national Veterans Identification Card is now available online, making it easier for former members of the military to take advantage of discounts and other benefits: https://www.aarp.org/home-family/voices/veterans/info-2017/new-veterans-photo-id-card-fd.html?
For a summary of the year’s AFCI activities, read the attached document, the AFCI 2017 annual report. We always need help! Got an hour? Have some ideas? Want to help implement a project? Please contact us: by email, firstname.lastname@example.org; our website, www.agefriendlybethel.org; our Facebook page, @agefriendlybethel. (Nancy Davis)
November 10, 2017
The AFCI is pleased to welcome the sixth local town to the Age-Friendly Community movement. Welcome, Hanover! With its new representative to the Council, the current AFCI Council members are: Al Cressy, Chair (Bethel rep), Nancy Davis, Vice Chair; Jane Chandler, Secretary (Woodstock rep); Peter Musso, Jr.,Treasurer (Greenwood rep); Anita Clark (Newry rep); Lise McLain (Gilead rep); Shirley Powell (Hanover rep); Valerie Cole; Charlie Reiss; Barbara Schneider; and Maryvonne Wheeler. What a diverse, talented crew!
We’re always fine-tuning how we keep in touch with you and have recently decided not to continue the print copy of our monthly newsletter (that’s the brightly colored tri-fold pieces). We suspect that folks are more likely to keep in touch through the Bethel Citizenor this digital newsletter. If you know someone who’s not on our email list and would like to receive the monthly electronic newsletter, please contact us (information below).
There will still be display racks in public places; instead of the colored newsletters, they will contain two other items which will not change frequently: a teal blue 5x8 inch flyer with AFCI updates and a 3x6 inch laminated rack card/bookmark. Soon we will be distributing our print Resource Directories around the communities. Unfortunately, they are not for general distribution, just for reference in public places (which we’ll publicize as we get them out to the sites). The directory has been on our website for some time now. *The AFCI Neighbor-to-Neighbor Volunteer Driver Program is now offering free local medical and non-medical rides to seniors 60 and over who live in Bethel, Gilead, Greenwood, Hanover, Newry or Woodstock. Medical rides must be requested at least seven business days in advance, and non-medical rides at least three. Ride requests are filled pending the availability of our AFCI-certified volunteer drivers. If you need a ride, call our Age-Friendly Transportation Coordinator at 824-4444. We are looking for more volunteer drivers, particularly those living in Gilead and Woodstock, to join our initial group of 13 drivers for local, non-medical rides. If interested, please contact Al Cressy at 824-0508.
The initial period of our AARP Community Challenge grant is about to wind down, but most activities will continue. A core feature of the 3-pronged Home Safety Program is a comprehensive set of adaptive tools to aid with everyday tasks. These have been on display in a variety of community venues, and there will be many more opportunities for citizens to “play with” the tools. Printed brochures contain details on purchasing individual tools.
A second feature of the project has been the Home Assessment program, designed to bring consultant services to home-owners in our original five towns, assessing both the resident’s strength, flexibility and general fitness, and any safety risk factors within the home. Ten assessments have been scheduled and funded, and we have just allocated money to conduct two more for residents in Bethel, Gilead, Greenwood, Hanover, Newry and Woodstock. These assessments are performed by a State-licensed Occupational Therapist. To apply, contact Occupational Therapist Brie Weisman at 364-7056.
Another feature of the Challenge Grant: watch for more information on free home smoke detectors provided by the Red Cross through local fire departments.
Under the sponsorship of the AFCI, Gould Academy, and the Bethel Recreation Committee, the “Walk the Gym” program has begun for the winter season. No registration is required, and the program is free and open to anyone age 60 and over. Emphasizing the improvement of balance, strength and flexibility, activities include walking at your own pace, optional tai chi and qi gong practice, and “Matters of Balance” exercises. Come to Gould’s Bingham Gym any of these times: Tuesdays 1:30-3:00, Wednesdays 10:00-11:00 am, Thursday s, 1:30-2:30.
The Western Mountains Senior College is sponsoring a Shared Heritage Potluck on Tuesday, November 14, 12:15-1:30 at the Moses Mason House in Bethel (see details in the November 9th Bethel Citizen).
WMSC also presents the Senior College Players’ annual performance – Friday and Saturday, November 17 and 18, 7:00 pm at the Gould Academy Trustees’ Auditorium.
The Methodist Church (Main Street, Bethel) is offering a series of Healthy Eating Classes the second Tuesday of every month. The first one, on fruits and vegetables, is Tuesday, November 14, 11:00am-1:00 at the church on Main St., Bethel. Free and open to the public. FMI: 824-2328.
Upcoming events, as noted in the Bethel Citizen’s Community Calendar: W.P. Congregational Church Open Mic, Veterans Day Celebration, Winter Farmers’ Market, Turkey Supper, The Gem Theater, Special Bethel Town Meeting.
Recently the NPR show “On Being” held a fascinating extensive interview with Atul Gawande, author of “Being Mortal.” www.onbeing.org/programs/atul-gawande-what-matters-in-the-end-oct2017.
We always need help! Got an hour? Have some ideas? Want to help implement a project? Please contact us: by email, email@example.com; our website,www.agefriendlybethel.org; our Facebook page, @agefriendlybethel. (Nancy Davis)
* But wait – your very own copy! Attached is a pdf file of the Resource Directory. Feel free to use it as you wish.
October 5, 2017
The AFCI is always trying to improve our communications and interactions with the community. We are aware that a sizable portion of our audience is not comfortable with digital communication. We welcome any suggestions from you, our digital audience. And – please – if you have family members, neighbors or friends who are not receiving emails or can’t access our website, pass along any information you feel they might benefit from.
Attached are two flyers you might pass along. One announces a new AARP-grant-related program we’re offering for FREE home safety assessments. The other is a simple update on current AFCI programs.
The AFCI is making news. I was recently a panelist at two different state-wide conferences in Augusta, sharing our progress in the five community initiative serving Bethel, Gilead, Greenwood, Newry and Woodstock. In a few weeks, Allen Cressy will be a presenter at the national AARP Livable Communities conference in Dallas.
In a nationwide competitive Challenge Grant sponsored by AARP national, our initiative was awarded a sizeable grant which has permitted us to begin work on the AFCI Home Safety Program. The Congo Craftsmen have made wooden display racks, and we have begun a traveling exhibit of the wide variety of adaptive tools. Our local visits allow us valuable conversations with members of the public. In addition to an exhibit and conversation at the Whitman Memorial Library, we have visited the Bethel Senior Citizens luncheon, the Bethel House, and the Great Maine Outdoor Weekend; we also have plans for the Aging Well Living Well Expo on October 6 and the Community Supper on October 25. We are eager to meet with other groups; contact us if you’re interested.
The AFCI now offers two rides programs, free for over-60 residents of Bethel, Gilead, Greenwood, Newry, and Woodstock. Call Transportation Coordinator Kay Rector (207-824-2444) for rides to medical destinations through the Community Concepts/VDP (Volunteer Driver Program). Call the same number for non-medical destinations within the 5 communities, through the new AFCI N2N (Neighbor to Neighbor) program, which has just begun.Recently I watched Atul Gawande on TV – what an inspiring person! You may remember that it was his book “Being Mortal” that inspired our AFCI endeavor almost three years ago. That book – as well as many other age-related books specially selected by AARP – is in a collection and available to check out at theBethel Library.
Did you know that the AFCI has an exhibit of brochures from local service agencies? It is now at Bennett’s Auto Shop and in the future will continue moving around our communities.
Friday, October 6 is the tenth annual Aging Well Living Well Expo sponsored by Seniors Plus – 8:15 am-4:00 pm at Sunday River. The AFCI will be there with our Adaptive Toolkit. And Saturday and Sunday, the 7th and 8th, is the Fall Festival at Sunday River. On Saturday the 7th: the Woodstock-Greenwood Parade of Lights and the Celebration of Fall in Hanover. Tuesday, October 10: Harvest Dinner Dance; Wednesday, October 11, Senior Citizens Club Meeting; Thursday, October 12, “Be Safe in Your Room,” a To Your Health program of the Western Mountains Senior College.
The Mahoosuc Heart & Soul program is still gathering stories from community residents; let them know why you live here, what you value about your community, and what, if anything, you’d like changed. FMI and to either be interviewed or volunteer as an interviewer or story-listener, contact Cat Ingraham (firstname.lastname@example.org, 207-590-0541).
AARP says that “We love caregivers, and we want to put them in the spotlight. So if you have a family caregiving story, tell us about it!” And AARP promises to “give you a $50 gift card as a thank-you — because your story matters.” Find out more at https://act.aarp.org/iheartcaregivers/?cmp=EMC-DSO-NLC-RSS-CAREGIVING-CGINCENT-CTRL-073117-P7-
The Ken Burns 10-part series on the Viet Nam War was recently aired on Maine Public Television. You may access the programs athttp://mainepublic.org/post/vietnam-war-documentary#stream.
AARP reminds us that “With credit-reporting firm Equifax revealing that hackers may have stolen financial and consumer data on at least 143 million customers in the U.S., it’s quite possible that your personal information — including birth date, Social Security number, driver’s license and address — could fall into the hands of criminals.” Read the AARP advice athttp://www.aarp.org/money/scams-fraud/info-2017/equifax-cyber-attack-data-breach-fd.html
Remember the days before computers? Do you (as I do) still own atypewriter? A new film, California Typewriter, stars Tom Hanks, who owns 250 typewriters. Another aficionado is historian David McCullough, who says typing “has a tactile sensation to it that I think is part of our humanity.” (http://www.aarp.org/entertainment/television/info-2017/documentary-explores-typewriter.
To contact the AFCI by email: email@example.com; our website:www.agefriendlybethel.org. Visit our Facebook page: @agefriendlybethel. (Nancy Davis)
September 7, 2017
The AFCI has begun an ambitious Home Safety Project; you’ll be hearing about other features of it in the coming weeks. The first piece is our purchase of an impressive collection of adaptive tools for home use, including things like kitchen helpers and aids to facilitate vision and manual dexterity.
The tools were carefully researched and selected by Mary LeConey, Occupational Therapist, and Jane Chandler, Registered Nurse, both with Androscoggin Home Care and Hospice. A special catalog will list how you may purchase these tools, including locally.
As part of the education and awareness feature of our program, we’re displaying the tools collection this fall. In several public get-togethers, an AFCI member will show the collection and catalog and encourage conversation about age-related issues.
The first such opportunity will be at the Bethel Area Senior Citizens meeting/luncheon on Wednesday, September 13. This will be followed by other get-togethers, including the October 6 Seniors Plus Aging Well, Living Well expo at Sunday River and the Alliance Church’s Community Supper in October.
Hooray! We’ve finished the Resource Directory for our website! But maybe you haven’t even visited our website ... there’s a lot of good stuff on there; go see for yourself (www.agefriendlybethel.org)! And now our feature item is ready for consumption. We’ve worked hard to compile a guide to services available to seniors (and others) - most in our area, but some are statewide. On the website click on the “Resources” tab and then “Directory of Services.” We developed it because of suggestions from our community survey two years ago, and we think it will be of great use to community residents. Be sure to tell us if we’ve forgotten any category or if information needs to be updated. The directory is primarily an online service, and we will be updating it as frequently as possible. While there will be a few printed copies available as resources throughout the five communities, they will not be distributed (and won’t be as up-to-date).
End of summer = produce galore! If you have excess produce, you may take it to Nabos on Main and Mechanic Streets in Bethel; Amanda will put it out for people to take (and you may take some too) and get it to the Food Pantry on the appropriate days.
A few upcoming events: on Friday, September 8, several interesting events, including an Introduction to Reiki for cancer patients; Saturday, September 9, Alder River Grange potluck dinner, ceramics workshop, Kickoff for CROP (Communities Respond to Overcome Poverty; Sunday, September 10, Garden to Gourmet with Anna Sysko; Tuesday, September 12, dinner dance at Jackson-Silver Post 68; Thursday, September 14, Maine Outdoor Film Festival at the Gem Theater.
Learn about the Grandparent Scam from AARP at http://www.aarp.org/money/scams-fraud/info-2017/scam-victim- profile.html? You might be a typical victim if this describes you: “Predators know that I am conscientious about my family's safety and well-being. That's what they are counting on when they call me up with the grandparent scam. That's the one in which someone who has learned enough details about me, perhaps through a hack of my email account, makes a convincing call posing as a grandchild in distress and begging for a quick cash drop. I'm also a prime target for the IRS scam, in which a convincing letter or phone call warns me of arrest or ruinous fines unless I send money to settle a tax debt. Even if I smell a rat, I might follow through to avoid jeopardizing my family.” Do not respond to such requests!
AARP quotes a new poll finding that the vast majority of patients between 50 and 80 years of age don’t talk to their health care providers about the cost of the medicines being prescribed for them or about whether less costly alternatives are available. Patients are urged to open this conversation with their doctors, as healthcare providers are often able to suggest lower-cost drug options. http://www.aarp.org/health/drugs-supplements/info-2017/physicians- lower-prescription-drug-costs-fd.html?
AARP celebrates male caregivers through a series of videotaped stories; visithttp://www.aarp.org/home-family/caregiving/info-2017/celebrate-male- caregivers-studios.html? Also of Interest are several Caregiving Guides: First-Time Caregiver, Long- Distance Caregiving, and Caregiving at Home.
AARP notes that although the death rate from cancer in America is down 25 percent since 1991, the one type of cancer that is rapidly increasing is thyroid cancer. Find out more at http://www.aarp.org/health/conditions-treatments/info-2017/thyroid- cancer-rates-increasing-fd.html?
To contact the AFCI by email: firstname.lastname@example.org; our website:www.agefriendlybethel.org. Visit our Facebook page: @agefriendlybethel.
August 10, 2017
The AFCI Exercise, Safety, and Morning Greeting Task Forces are all developing programs and would love to have more community members helping in their work (see our contact information at the end). We recently received funding from the Maine Community Foundation to support both our Transportation program and our Outreach mission. The Transportation Task Force has a popular Volunteer Driver Program through which local residents over 60 years old can get a free ride to medical appointments. Rides are dependent on the availability of drivers and must be requested 3 business days in advance of your need. Call Transportation Coordinator Kay Rector at 824-4444. The new Neighbor to Neighbor Program (N2N) has just started, allowing transportation within the communities for multiple needs and activities.
A wide variety of skills would help the Communications and Information Team produce its array of promotional and educational pieces. The summer recreation program has been successful; be watching for news of the fall and winter walking program.
Remember to consult the Community Calendar; coming up: Friday, August 11, the Da Ponte String Quartet at the First Baptist Church, Paris. Sunday, August 13 – American Legion Post 81 Annual Picnic; Mahoosuc Community Band Annual Concert. Wednesday, August 16 – Waterford Summer Breakfasts. Thursday, August 17 – “Rugs: 1790 to 1850” Program and Workshop at the Moses Mason House; Faith and Film at the Gem Theater.
We hope you saw our display at Mollyockett Day: a collection of intriguing tools especially designed for seniors who have lost some agility and might welcome help in simple household tasks. In the next few months we will be bringing that display to groups and exhibiting it in the communities.
As part of the Mahoosuc Heart & Soul program, Bethel’s favorite poet, Richard Blanco, presented a community event where he read from a work in progress, hoping to inspire listeners to “think about our connection to the Bethel area.” In addition to being the 2013 inaugural poet, Richard is a civil engineer, and he explained that “As an engineer, I specialized in community planning.” What terrific insight Blanco brings to the table.
‘Tis the season! Remember that you can take any excess produce from your flourishing garden to Nabos on Mechanic Street, Bethel; those who want/need produce may take some.
Here’s a tough one: what age is “old?” AARP recently asked millennials to define “old age” and to demonstrate what “old” looks like. Then they introduced them to some real “old” people. You can watch the young people’s astonishment to learn that aging is not about decline - it’s about growth. http://www.aarp.org/disrupt-aging/stories/ideas/info-2016/what-is-old-video.html?
AARP lists 20 ways to save hundreds of dollars – things like: buying glasses online and asking for open-box items (like computers). Lots of other simple ideas at http://www.aarp.org/money/budgeting-saving/info-2017/how-to-save-hundreds-of-dollars.html?
AARP notes advice for minimizing your danger of getting tick-borne diseases(http://www.aarp.org/health/conditions-treatments/info-2017/tick-borne-heartland-virus-fd.html):
Mollyockett Day is Saturday, July 15, and we’ll be there! Our big AFCI logo banner will point you to our table, where there will be several items of interest. We’re featuring an age-friendly toolkit that we are planning to purchase and display in our communities. We have a new AFCI glossy bookmark and are asking your opinions on various of our projects. Come check us out! Also featured at Mollyockett Day will be the official launch of “Mapping Murder” by Newry’s own William Andrews. The AFCI summer exercise program is in full swing will continue through the summer. FMI on swimming: Bob Oikle (email@example.com, 576-5104). FMI on horseshoes: Eliza Barnes (firstname.lastname@example.org, 824-3703). Be sure to consult the Bethel Citizen’s Community Calendar for lots of other fun summer activities in our area. Thursday, July 13: “Mornings at the Museum”; July 14-15: Bethel Library Book Sale.