AGE-FRIENDLY COMMUNITYBethel Area ~ Volume 20 ~ September 27, 2016
Ah, September – a great time for renewal! For the past ten months, as the communications arm of the Age-Friendly Community Initiative, I’ve offered a variety of information pieces, and now I’m hoping you’ll help me assess this process.
Do you read the information regularly? If so, where – in the weekly Bethel Citizencolumn, the electronic newsletter that is sent every three weeks, or the printed bulletins that are distributed throughout the towns? If in print form, where do you pick up the bulletins?
Do you know of someone who should be put on our mailing list – either an elderly community member or a caretaker either in this community or from away? What is most interesting and useful to read about and what suggestions do you have for improving this service? I’d love your ideas either by email or phone.
AARP publications: they have a wealth of useful information in them. Do you have any old copies you’d like to contribute? You may take them to the Bethel Library. If you don’t subscribe, feel free to borrow a copy from the library.
A new tip on the importance of sleep… a recent AARP article suggests three “simple fixes for a more restful night: (1) Set a schedule … try to maintain the same sleep-wake pattern all week; (2) Upgrade your bedroom” (new pillows, get rid of the TV, etc.); (3) “Lay off the lights” (turning on a light in the middle of the night may set your internal clock to do the same tomorrow night).
The recent AARP magazine suggests five foods that increase brain health: walnuts, a good source of alpha-linolenic acid; orange juice, with flavonoids to stimulate the hippocampus; shrimp, with omega-3 fatty acids; split peas, rich in folic acid; and asparagus, full of vitamin A, which boosts brain plasticity.
A recent AARP publication highlights “12 Ways the Healthcare System May be Harming You.” It begins with “Wrong Diagnosis,” suggesting that “Doctors don’t just miss weird, rare conditions. They often fail to catch common problems like pneumonia, congestive heart failure and cancer.” Further, it says that you should “understand what your doctor thinks you have… Ask for the medical terminology and look it up at home.” If it doesn’t make sense to you, feel free to ask for a second opinion.
We are happy to announce a number of valuable opportunities for our diverse AFCI audiences.
The Bethel Library will offer two Tech for Seniors programs this fall – 4 free classes. Classes are Wednesdays and Thursdays 4:00-5:00 at the library – first session October 19, 20, 26, and 27; second session November 9, 10, 16, and 17. To sign up, visit the front desk of the library or call 824-2520.
Friday, October 7 at Sunday River, the title says it all: Aging Well Living Well Expo, sponsored by SeniorsPlus. Great food (breakfast and lunch), fascinating workshops on finance, health, exercise, cooking, crafts, and travel (titles like Staying Sharp As You Age” and “Line Dancing with D&D”) – this event has it all, including keynote speakers longtime WCSH-TV weatherman Kevin Mannix and his wife Linda Rota. Tickets are $25 per person; register atwww.seniorsplus.org/awlw or by calling 1-800-427-1241.
SeniorsPlus is offering one-on-one counseling sessions on Medicare choicesduring Medicare's fall open enrollment period. Free one-hour sessions at Telstar High School, noon-5:00 pm on Tuesday October 18, November 1, 15 and 29. Appointments necessary - call 800-427-1241 and tell them you are making an appointment for the Bethel site. If more convenient, you can make an appointment to meet with a counselor at the SeniorsPlus office in Lewiston.
The Gem Theater in Bethel shows movies on Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday nights; for the current list of what’s showing, go tohttp://www.thegemtheater.com/pages/movie-showtimes. The Gem also features many special social and educational events
The Age-Friendly Volunteer Driver program is making good progress in collaboration with Community Concepts. We have found a local Transportation Coordinator who will be working to set up rides through Community Concepts, and our first group of seven drivers will undergo a three-day training program later this month. Beginning on November 1 we hope to be able to provide various age-friendly transportation options, to include free transportation,medical as well as non-medical, to the seniors in our community. More volunteer drivers will enable us to serve more people. If you’d like to volunteer, please contact Al Cressy (824-0508 or firstname.lastname@example.org.)
And for more information on any of the above: Nancy Davis, 381-1110,email@example.com
Bethel Area ~ Volume 19 ~ September 5, 2016
Help the Age-Friendly Process! Remember to contact the following if you have ideas. To become a volunteer driver for the enhanced transportation system that is being developed: Al Cressy (firstname.lastname@example.org, 824-0508). About a system of checking in with participating seniors on a daily basis: Kay Larson (email@example.com, 824-3333) or Brooks Morton (firstname.lastname@example.org, 381-5991). On how best to use the Gould Academy gym for senior activities: Sarah Tucker (824-2669,email@example.com) OR Jackie Cressy (824-0508, firstname.lastname@example.org.
WMSC Fall. With the fading of all the summer fun and sun comes the beginning of the Western Mountains Senior College fall term. As always, membership is an annual fee of $25, and most classes are $20. You may “test” the WMSC experience by taking your first class without being a member, but paying the full tuition – and of course, you may join at any time. In addition, there are many public programs and events that are free and open to the public and non-members.
WMSC Registration. Course bulletins have just gone out, and you can access general college information (no current class information) on the WMSC websitehttp://sad44.maineadulted.org/western_mountains_senior_college). For up-to-date news, course descriptions, registration information, and much more, visit the WMSC blog, which is updated weekly (http://wmscollege.blogspot.com/).
The Annual Meeting and Potluck Dinner (Wednesday, September 7, 5:00-7:00, WP Congregational Church) is a wonderful way to find out more about the college, meet people, and sign up for membership and/or classes. You may also stop by the Telstar Adult Ed. Office to register or download a registration form from the blogsite and mail it in.
WMSC Classes. All classes are taught by WMSC members who have experience and expertise to share. If you’d like to be as smart as your device (smartphones and computers), you might be interested inMaking Digital Devices Work for Us, which meets on Monday mornings beginning September 19.
Or you may wish to learn about the Androscoggin Esker and Glacial Landscape; that class meets on Wednesday mornings beginning on September 14. There is also a public (free) Down Home Maine program on the same topic, as well as a field trip. Making Your Personality Work for You, Drawing and Painting, Senior College Players, Creative Writing, and Great Decisions – a wealth to choose from.
WMSC Public Programs. Throughout its 14 years, WMSC has upheld the importance of serving the community through a wide variety of single-event presentations or discussions that are open to the public and free of charge. The “To Your Health” program works in collaboration with the Bethel Family Health Center and MSAD#44 Continuing Education to present health-related topics; the one on October 6th is entitled “Dementia Conversations.”
There are several “Down Home Maine” programs during the fall term, beginning September 8; all feature presentations by community members with rich and varied talents, skills and adventures. “Brown Bag Lunches,” by contrast, allow participants to have informal discussions around a pre-announced topic – over their bag lunches. The first one is scheduled for October 18. Very special this term will be a performance of an original musical work set to Richard Blanco’s inaugural poem.
Accessible Walking Trail. Mahoosuc Land Trust, in conjunction with the Age-Friendly Community Initiative and Maine Adaptive Sports, has applied for a grant to build an accessible trail on the Valentine Farm Conservation Center on the North Road. Mike Cooper is designing the trail to meet USFS guidelines for wheelchairs and strollers and walkers. It will include several viewing areas, accessible benches, a picnic table, and a fitness portion for all abilities. With grant approval, the trail will be built in 2017. Be watching for progress updates!
Maine Outdoor Film Festival. Another terrific community resource: the Gem Theater and its special movies and events. There’s one coming up on Thursday, September 15. Kicking off the Great Maine Outdoor Weekend and co-hosted by Mahoosuc Pathways and the Gem, a 6:00 social hour and 7:00 movies will all be covered by a $10 fee. A variety of short films will be offered by the Maine Outdoor Film Festival, whose mission is to “celebrate the active outdoor community and inspire expression,” featuring the work of Maine film-makers, bringing outdoor-related film festivals to Mainers, and supporting youth in the outdoors. FMI on any of the above: Nancy Davis (email@example.com, 381-1110).