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)