AGE-FRIENDLY COMMUNITYBethel Area ~ Volume 23 ~ November 29, 2016
A few weeks ago the community was treated to a concert in the Gem Theater auditorium. Performed by a few professional instrumentalists and many volunteer singers and instrumentalists, it featured Richard Blanco’s 2013 inaugural poem, “One Today,” put to music by local composer Tom Davis. For those who were unable to attend the concert, which included several other uplifting works, both original and well-known, it is now possible to access the concert on the local access TV Channel 11 or streamed atwesternhillsaccesstelevision.com (click on Watch Live TV option). Anyone wishing to purchase a DVD of the event can either email email@example.com or go through the Adult Ed office (824-2136 Ext. 1340).
“Giving Tuesday” is a national movement founded four years ago to counteract the season’s focus on buying and commercialism. The movement has mobilized tens of millions of dollars toward deserving nonprofits and will be celebrated in Bethel on Tuesday, November 29. For a full list of events, visit https://www.facebook.com/events/203407850068371/. Note especially the 3:00-5:00 Poetic Bethel: Craft Talk and Discussion with Richard Blanco.
Four people from our Bethel Area Age-Friendly Community Initiative recently participated in the Caregiver Conversations event at Sunday River. It was a wonderful day of shared learning, with many perspectives offered on the issues facing family caregivers and the existing (and potential!) support systems and services in our communities.
A leading local provider of information and services for caregivers is Seniors Plus, with a local office in Lewiston (seniorsplus.org, 1-800-427-1241). Check out their many services, including caregiver support and Alzheimer's education and respite.
Are you a family caregiver? It’s a tough job, and often caregivers can benefit from a support group. Karen Jordan Paul has offered to pull together such a group in our area. FMI:firstname.lastname@example.org.
To serve a variety of other needs in our area, Community Concepts is a valuable resource (community-concepts.org, 743-7716, Market Square in S. Paris). Among their services is fuel assistance; their website notes that “The Low Income Heating Assistance Program (LIHEAP) serves Oxford & Androscoggin counties, providing assistance for income eligible households to offset the rising costs of home energy, whether you have wood, electric, gas or oil heat. The benefit is paid directly to client’s fuel vendor of choice.”
Another Community Concepts service is transportation programs. We are fortunate to be partnering with them on our new Volunteer Driver Program. If you are an over-60 resident of Bethel, Greenwood, Newry or Woodstock, you may call 824-4444 to talk with our coordinator, Kay Larson, and request a free ride – at least three business days ahead - to medical or other appointments.
The Telstar tech-help program has restarted! On Mondays and Tuesdays, from 2:30-4:00, two High School students are available in the Telstar Adult Ed office for drop-in technology help. With or without an appointment, you may bring your device-related problems, and they can probably help you.
Discouraged with these shorter days and colder weather? Continuing (or beginning) a fitness routine makes a huge difference! The 24-7 gym on the Bethel Parkway has a wide range of machines available, and senior discounts are great: $10 a month or $25 for three months. FMI: 824-4766.
And a new free program for all adults aged 55 and over in the greater Bethel area! Thanks to a partnership between Gould Academy, the Age-Friendly Community Initiative (AFCI), and the Bethel Recreation Department, the Bingham Gym will be open every Tuesday and Thursday from 1:30-2:30. Walk (gym-type shoes) in this well-lit, warm space, and bring an iPod/iPhone, and earbuds if you like walking to music. While the focus will be on walking at your own pace, there will be guest leaders who will offer exercise tips and instruction in qi gong, walking meditation, and the use of light weights, depending on the interests of participants. Suggestions for other activities are welcome.
The program began on November 29 and will continue on December 1, 6 and 8 before taking a break and commencing on January 10. FMI: Jackie Cressy (email@example.com, 824-0508)
AGE-FRIENDLY COMMUNITYBethel Area ~ Volume 22 ~ November 8, 2016
We are excited about our new Volunteer Driver Program that has just begun! Residents of Bethel, Greenwood, Newry or Woodstock who are over the age of 60 may call 824-4444 to talk with our coordinator, Kay Larson, and request a free ride – at least three business days ahead - to medical or other appointments. She will arrange with Community Concepts to find someone from a pool of trained and vetted drivers. It is anticipated that as the program gets underway, it will expand to other populations and other trips. We are pleased to offer this program, and we will be looking for ways to make it as tailored as possible to meet the needs of our local residents. There’s still time to register for the Caregiver Conversationsevent at Sunday River on Thursday, November 17 (http://agefriendly.community/crossborderconversations OR207-592-9972). Sponsored by the Tri-State Learning Collaborative on Aging (TSLCA), the event will provide conversations among care partners (those who care for family members or friends), community providers, researchers, policy experts, and municipal business and community leaders.
Together they will address such questions as: How can employers better support family caregivers? How can communities become more "dementia friendly"? How can communities develop volunteer respite and care programs? How can we start conversations about dying? How can we best prepare for our deaths? How can we build new models of facility care that are local and person-centered?
Registration is $30, and scholarships are available. If you choose to join TSLCA (free), registration is only $25, which Includes a continental breakfast and deli lunch.
Online information and support for caregivers are available athttps://act.aarp.org/iheartcaregivers/ andhttp://www.aarp.org/home-family/caregiving.
Another excellent resource is our local SeniorsPlus; Some excerpts from their information: “As a caregiver, you may be so focused on your loved one that you don't realize that your own health and well-being are suffering. Have you been
Take care of yourself, and here are some tips:
New research has shown that volunteering for at least two hundred hours per year (four hours a week) dramatically lowers blood pressure in older adults. With fewer natural opportunities for social interaction, seniors gain important social connections through participating in volunteer activity. There are many volunteer opportunities in our area!
It’s the tenth anniversary of the WMSC Senior College Players, and something special and unique has been planned. Don’t miss it at 7:00 pm on both November 18 and 19 at Gould Academy’s McLaughlin Auditorium.
FMI on any of the above: firstname.lastname@example.org, 381-1110.