The AFCI is working hard to address issues that either are, or will be, confronting all of us as we age in our communities. To learn more, visit our brand-new website: www.agefriendlybethel.org.
We recently managed a very successful AARP-sponsored shredding event in town.
In recent weeks the AFCI has been represented three times at the State House. Al Cressy participated in a three-person panel at the State Legislature’s Aging Caucus, during which he made a presentation on the Initiative’s volunteer driver program. Rep. Fran Head, who was among those participating in the caucus, offered some very complimentary words about Bethel’s age-friendly initiative. Al offered testimony in support of bill LD 1248, which provides for much-needed funding of volunteer driver programs such as ours. Please contact Representative Head (824-2114) indicating your support of this important piece of legislation.
Al Cressy and Nancy Davis participated in the Age-Friendly Communities Day at the State House. It afforded the opportunity to acquaint legislators with the age-friendly work being done across the state, as well as valuable conversation with other communities in the network. AARP testified on two bills in the afternoon: against LD 1581, which repeals the AccessAble Home Tax Credit , and supporting LD 1406, which increases prescription drug price transparency.
Thursday, May 18, 12:30-4:00 at the Norway Savings Bank – a consultant from Seniors Plus is available to answer questions or concerns.
Other local reminders: Friday, May 19: Greenwood Farmers’ Market. Saturday, May 20: Spring Healing Psychic Fair; Texas Hold’em. Sunday, May 20: Benefit Fundraiser; Fiddle Jam; Friday Fish Fry. Tuesday, May 22: Men’s Cancer Support Group; Telstar High School Annual Red Cross Blood Drive.
We recently attended a wonderful movie, Born in China (G). From frigid mountains to the heart of the bamboo forest, the brilliant filmmaking follows the adventures of the majestic panda, the savvy golden monkey and the elusive snow leopard. I highly recommend you see it, now at the Gem Theater.
Low-cost cat care (rabies vacccine, spaying and neutering and a wellness visit) available to Income- eligible cat owners. FMI: the Animal Welfare Society (773-6221).
Mahoosuc Heart & Soul is a two-year program that attempts to involve all community members, focus on what matters, and plan for long-term improvements.
FMI: http://www.mahoosucheartandsoul.org/news.html. Our local program is managed by a group of volunteers and program coordinator Catherine Ingraham, who ask: What do you love about this community? What is important for the future of this community? The questions are posed in a number of places that invite your responses - in bars and restaurants, the Gem Theater, and other public places. Visit their Facebook page to see some of the responses to date. To become involved in gathering stories from fellow community members or to offer your own story: firstname.lastname@example.org.
An AARP study asks “Should I Ask a Second Opinion?” http://www.aarp.org/health/conditions-treatments/info-2017/second-diagnosis-saves-lives-fd.
A 2015 Harris poll of Baby Boomers found that 91 percent of them felt that attending music concerts was an important part of leading a fulfilling life. We are lucky that our area offers its share of these live musical opportunities – of all varieties – and some of us participate ourselves. Several local residents sang Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony recently with the Portland Symphony Orchestra, and others sang Bach’s Mass in B Minor with the Maine Music Society Chorale and Orchestra. Still others sang women’s barbershop with the Mollyockett Chorus, under their new director Simon Smith of Bethel. And many community members enjoy playing in - and listening to - the Mahoosuc Community Band.
“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” This C.S. Lewis quote was cited at https://oam.acl.gov/index.html in honor of Older Americans Month. It advises elders to: “Know Your Rights, Stay Engaged, Strive for Wellness, Explore New Things.” Suggesting that seniors Age Out Loud, it notes the Administration on Aging website Eldercare Locator for information on a wide range of topics.
Try this neat little quiz at WebMD about what happens as your brain ages. http://www.webmd.com/brain/rm-quiz-your-aging-brain?ecd=wnl_spr_050317&ctr=wnl.
And what can you do about it? For one, you may subscribe to AARP’s Staying Sharp (aarp.org), and play such games as Split Words. You’ll also find tips for improving your brain's ability to shift gears and adapt to new information: stroll amid the beauty of nature, eat berries with deeper hues, stay active and exercise. Research has found that regularly drinking a cup of green tea could help strengthen your memory – but the best: chocolate may offer sweet benefits for your brain.
To read AARP’s discussion of the new House healthcare plan: http://www.aarp.org/politics- society/advocacy/info-2017/fate-of-health-care-bill-with-senate-fd.html?
AARP suggests that “You speak to your loved ones every day. But do you talk about important decisions in the future? Get options and ideas on the best way to talk about the important wishes of your loved ones through this unique interactive video.” https://aarptek.aarp.org/start-the- conversation?cmp=EMC-DSO-NLC-RSS-CAREGIVING
AARP noted Mothers’ Day with an inquiry into “Best Advice From Mom.” A few: “Slow down and embrace it all... Tomorrow is another day. Everything looks so much better after a good night’s sleep. If you can’t say something nice, think harder... Do something good for someone else every single day, and don’t tell anyone you did it.” For other “pearls of wisdom we’ll never forget”: http://www.aarp.org/home-family/friends-family/info-2017/best-advice-from-mom-