Now showing at WMSC, Telstar:
The AFCI Adaptive Toolkit
(fascinating aids for everyday tasks – and catalogs with purchase information)
Stop in Room 133 after a class or come for an AFCI chat on
Tuesday, April 10, 12:15-2:00
The AFCI exists because of the passion of a small group of people in 2015 - people like Kay
Rector, who feels that “’aging in place,’ in a culture where inter-generational living in the
same household is
the norm, takes a concerted effort to make happen.” A Bethel
resident for most of the past four decades, Kay has helped the AFCI in a variety of ways,
including as Transportation Coordinator for the AFCI during its start-up year. She now
serves as Chair of the task force that is developing a Morning Greeting Program, matching
volunteer callers with people who wish to receive a check-in each morning. It is hoped
this program will help to lessen isolation, promote safety, and encourage new
There’s lots of energy in the AFCI task forces, and recently we honored them with a special event. One of our valued contributors is Bob Oickle, who serves on the Exercise and Recreation Task Force. Bob and his wife Marilyn moved to Greenwood 21⁄2 years ago, looking for an old house to preserve and attracted to the natural beauty of the area and its outdoor recreation opportunities. Bob had a long history with the YMCA – as CEO in Connecticut and, since retirement, interim CEO in Maine, and his personal interest in physical activities and helping others reach their health goals makes him a perfect fit for this task force! Join Bob on Wednesdays at 10 a.m. to walk the gym at Gould.
Another of our valuable AFCI volunteers: Barbara Schneider became involved with the AFCI through its Transportation Task Force because she recognizes the need for seniors and people with disabilities to have better access to transportation options in Western Maine. Barbara now serves on the AFCI Council and brings her experience in the non- profit sector to the group. A former attorney in Portland and an outdoor sports
enthusiast, Barbara is now the Executive Director of Maine Adaptive Sports & Recreation, which offers year-round adaptive sports and recreational programming for people with disabilities.
And in this slow-moving spring, I wonder if Nurrie Caviness is sorry she moved to Bethel to escape the heat of Florida. In the “very snowy” (her words) two years since, she has become involved in our community in a variety of ways, including learning to snowshoe. The AFCI Communications task force and the Outreach task force benefit from Nurrie’s fresh perspective from her two decades of working with nonprofits and their research for funding. Program Chair of the Western Mountains Senior College and a volunteer for the Mahoosuc Land Trust, Nurrie says that “Working with the greater-than-50 crowd is stimulating and educational and has introduced me to loads of very nice new neighbors. Her work with AFCI and other organizations is a reminder that there are many meaningful ways to contribute to our community. If you need suggestions, contact your favorite organization or the AFCI.
So many opportunities for activities in our area – learning, social, recreational, and volunteer. An extremely valuable partner in the community is the Western Mountains Senior College. AFCI is really pleased with one of its newest initiatives, discussed a few months ago when two AFCI volunteers visited the Bethel House (on Main St.) with the Adaptive Toolkit. Karen Mills, a member of the WMSC Program Committee and instructor, was there; since then she has been making regular monthly visits, taking a crafts project for Bethel House residents to do together. One of those participants, Rhonda Mitchell, says that this offers residents a wonderful opportunity to sit down and chat, laugh, and share memories and that “we all love Karen.“ Karen expresses the same affection for her new friends and is grateful for the many donations of crafts materials from WMSC members and others.
Note that on Monday, April 11, there will be a free presentation by Valerie Cole (SeniorsPlus): “Helping Parents as they Age” - health and safety issues, challenges, best options for providing support. (details in the Community Calendar and FMI: Adult Ed, 824-2136, ext. 1340).
Also from the Community Calendar, Tuesday, April 10-May 15: Gardeners Growing Healthy Communities; Thursday, April 12: “Finding Newfoundland”; “Distressed about Stress” from WMSC To Your Health; “Stories of Kindness in Bethel” from the Mahoosuc Heart & Soul Program; Friday, April 13: “Oh, My Stars!”
Help on Taxes for low- to moderate-income filers, especially those 50 and older: the AARP Foundations Tax-Aide Program. The nearest office is the Norway Memorial Library. FMI: aarpfoundation.org/taxaide, 888-227-7669.
A recent AARP bulletin suggests “The 7 Worst Things You Can Do to Your Heart” (https://www.aarp.org/health/healthy-living/info-2018/heart-attack-stroke-prevention- tips.html?). They are: “You sneak a smoke... you skip your walk ... you snarf an extra cookie ... you eat dinner out of a box... you shun your veggies ... you lose your cool ... you overdrink.”
Did you know about these two new security measures against identity theft? The government has begun issuing new Medicare cards with Medicare Beneficiary Identifiers (MBI) instead of Social Security numbers, FMI: https://www.aarp.org/health/medicare- insurance/info-2017/new-medicare-id-cards.html? Also new: three major credit cards will not require signatures to transact purchases. Using the imbedded chip as more reliable identification, the elimination of signatures will improve security. FMI: the March edition of the AARP publication.
“With headlines trumpeting the rising rates of Alzheimer’s disease diagnoses ... it’s easy to get that distressing feeling that a misplaced coffee cup or forgotten dry cleaning might mean that you (or a loved one) are sliding inevitably toward an Alzheimer’s diagnosis. But ... while the disease is the most common cause of dementia, or cognitive impairment, late in life, it’s not the only one.“ That is from a recent article from AARP, which offers several other possibilities, including medications, depression, or alcohol abuse. FMI: https://www.aarp.org/caregiving/health/info-2017/conditions-mistaken-for-alzheimers- disease.html?
(https://www.aarp.org/health/healthy-living/info-2018/healthy-aging-tips-advice.html?) AARP suggests how to be “Healthier and Fitter at 60+. The secret: tweaking a few daily habits.” I might skip giving my face an ice bath to start the morning, but other tips include loading protein into breakfast, taking fitness breaks (or at least standing) every few hours of sitting work, and “Instead of replaying bad memories, bring the good stuff into focus. We can train our brains to emphasize positive memories.” “Beef up your brain” by not vegging out after dinner in front of the TV, but stretching your brain with something like knitting, woodworking or puzzles. But the best news: eat dark chocolate, which helps lower blood pressure, choose healthy fats like olive oil and avocadoes.
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)