Bethel Region Age-Friendly Community Initiative
February 1, 2020
ABOUT THE AGING PROCESS - DID YOU KNOW?
1. What I’ve found as a member of the over-70 crowd is that there’ve been a lot of innovations in my long lifetime – a lot to keep up with! Technology, of course, is a big one – laptops, tablets, smart-phones, smart TV’s, for heaven’s sake! And whom do we ask when we need help? Our grandkids.
2. Current research confirms that older adults are happier and feel better to the extent they remain active. It also identifies loneliness as one of the major challenges facing people as they advance in age.
3. One of the top fears of Americans in facing advancing age is the loss of independence when they can no longer drive.
4. Independence is also lost as we become less adept at simple household chores.
SOME AFCI SOLUTIONS - DID YOU KNOW?
1. Attacking the technology gap: Please note the upcoming Digital Team event on February 24 (flyer above). It follows a similar event last week at Telstar that was very successful, and if the event on the 24th does not meet everyone’s need, we’ll pursue other resources in the future. Put it on your calendar (and don’t forget to register early – places are limited). And here are some tech innovations that AARP says are reasons to tune into technology: https://www.aarp.org/home-family/personal-technology/info-2020/new-tech-innovations.html?
2. Loneliness and Exercise: Walk the Gym takes place on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 1:30-2:30 in Gould Academy’s Bingham Gym – warm, well-lit, an AFCI volunteer “on duty,” and plenty of chairs for resting during exercise. It is a drop-in program that continues through April. It’s free and does not require registration – just show up, alone or with a friend, and go at your own pace. You can also bring your music- but you’ll probably be more inclined to chat with other walkers.
Kay and Jim Rector are frequent walkers in the Walk the Gym Program. Here they are closely pursued by Sally Bowden and Drew Webster.
A Tai Chi class follows the Walk session in the gym - 2:30-3:30 on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The new 8-week class begins on February 4 - free, but you must register through the SAD 44 Adult Ed. office (current flyer or https://sad44.coursestorm.com/category/exercise-outdoor-fun or 824-2136, ext. 1340).
3. Transportation: Anyone 60 or older in Bethel and surrounding towns can request a ride for any purpose (within a reasonable distance). Call the AFCI Neighbor to Neighbor (N2N) program at 824-4444; a coordinator will match you up with a volunteer driver and respond to you in a timely manner. Drivers have been vetted and trained (and are wonderful neighbors!). Because it is a totally volunteer program, we cannot guarantee that all requests will be met; however, we have about a 95% or better fulfillment rate. Note that we ask at least a 3-day lead time.
4. Chores: 824-4444 - that’s the number that will connect you not only to the N2N program, but also to the AFCI Handy Neighbor Program, a collaboration between the Telstar Interact Club and AFCI that provides students to perform outdoor chores for older adults. Interact is a well-structured youth-based program sponsored by Rotary International; at Telstar it is under the direction of teacher Tara Pocock. Participating students accumulate Community Service credits necessary to graduate. Pocock has observed that "through these opportunities, students display their appreciation for contributing to their community and enjoy their ability to help community members who need it.”
Do you have a section of your property that needs the snow cleared? Is your driveway (like mine) treacherous with ice? These teens are good shovelers, although their availability is not time-sensitive - i.e., don’t wake up to a big snowfall and expect them to come clear away all your snow. They can treat your driveway with sand or salt, but not to get you out that day. NOTE: at this point, we do not own equipment; the work crew must use your shovels. They can bring sand or salt. So call that number - 824-4444; you’ll be asked to leave a message, and a coordinator will get back to you soon to set up an appointment.
OUR COMMUNITY - DID YOU KNOW?
~ Remember to check Linda Howe’s column in the Bethel Citizen for upcoming events of interest, as well as the Chamber of Commerce website list of events (bethelmaine.com) and the Gem Theater (thegemtheater.com). Of particular interest at the Gem is the opera “Rigoletto on the Lake” on Sunday, February 16 at 4:00.
~ The Western Mountains Senior College (wmscollege.blogspot.com) suggests:
* To Your Health: cardiologist Dr. Daniel van Buren on Thursday,
February 6, 4:30-6:00 at the West Parish Congregational
* Several birding activities and a moonlight snowshoe at the
Mahoosuc Land Trust.
* Writers and Artists Speak Out on Climate Crisis, Thursday,
February 20, 6:30-8:30 at Bingham Auditorium, Gould Academy
(reception following). Featuring poet Richard Blanco and ten
Maine poets (including local resident Lucia Owen) reading their
poems from the anthology A Dangerous New World: Maine
Voices on the Climate Crisis.
~ The monthly Community Supper will be at the Bethel Alliance Church, Wednesday, February 26, 4:30-6:00.
~ Looking for something to do with friends in these cold winter months? The Bethel Library reminds you that they have refurbished the upstairs room to accommodate a number of quiet activities - games, puzzles, computers, and a small conversation nook. No need to call ahead; just show up, alone or with a friend, during regular library hours - and remember that there’s a narrow set of stairs to negotiate! The library is open Monday and Saturday, 9-1 pm; Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday 1-5 pm, and Wednesday, 1-8 pm.
~ Pickleball is offered by Adult Ed. Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 6:30 to 9:00 at Crescent Park School. Participants just need to show up; there is no need to register, and you don’t need equipment. New participants will get instruction and an explanation of the rules.
~ One of the many activities and classes being offered at the Bethel United Methodist Church is chair yoga - Wednesdays from 11:00 a.m. to noon (no end date for this class - as long as there are people who want it). An introductory presentation was given to the Bethel Senior Citizens Club, and a good number of members are enjoying the class. One of those is Sandra Gunther, who says a primary attraction is the enthusiasm of the instructor, Brooke Pillsbury. Sandra has had both back and respiratory problems and says that “I was no longer able to exercise; chair yoga has been wonderful and has improved my health.” No registration is necessary - just show up. You decide to pay what you can, from $5-$15 per session. (See article in the 1/30 Bethel Citizen).
~ Another very popular activity at the Methodist Church is line dancing, taught by Darlene Beck - Tuesday and Thursday mornings,10:00-11:30 a.m. and Wednesdays, 6:00-7:30 p.m., with another class added in March on Saturday mornings. FMI: Darlene Beck (LineDancingWithDarlene@gmail.com).
And, don’t forget – you may request a ride to any of the programs listed above just by calling the AFCI Neighbor to Neighbor Transportation Program at 824-4444!
To contact the AFCI by email: firstname.lastname@example.org; our website: www.agefriendlybethel.org Visit our Facebook page: facebook.com/agefriendlybethel.
Editor: Nancy Davis
Copyright © Bethel Region Age-Friendly Community Initiative (AFCI). All rights reserved.
Thanks for your interest in the Bethel Region Age-Friendly Community Initiative.
Our mailing address is:
Age-Friendly Community Initiative
P.O. Box 833
Bethel, Maine 04217
Bethel Region Age-Friendly Community Initiative · PO Box 833 · Bethel, ME 04217 · USA