Phil Sheridan is a founding member of our AFCI Transportation task force and a dedicated volunteer driver. He and his wife Chris relocated to the Bethel area three years ago to be closer to family. They find life in Newry to be quieter, with a slower pace than Mansfield, MA, their previous home. Retired from a career in food service distribution, Phil was eager to contribute that experience to our Rides program. In that capacity, he particularly values meeting new people and helping out in a small way. Phil enjoys skiing and outdoor activities with his two grandsons.
You probably know Al Cressy – or at least have seen him frequently in the local news as the Chair of our AFCI and of the AFCI Transportation Task Force. Al and his wife, Jackie, were the spirit behind the 2015 conversations around our community’s service to its older adult population and particularly their ability to remain in their homes and community as long as possible. The couple moved to Bethel 20 years ago and ran the Rivendell House B&B in Bethel until 5 years ago. Al’s previous career as a systems engineer and program manager developed valuable skills of great benefit to the AFCI. He is serving, or has served, on practically every organization in Bethel: the town‘s Planning Board, Comprehensive Plan Committee, Appeals Board, and Budget Committee. Additionally, he has held volunteer positions in the Appalachian Mountain Club, the Chatham Trails Association, the Bethel Area Chamber of Commerce, and the Bethel Historical Society. The community is lucky to have such an ardent advocate for age-friendly interests!
At the recent story-telling event at the Gem Theater, Ann Nicholson eloquently told of “learning to be a good blind person” as an adult. Last week’s Bethel Citizen told of her involvement with the AFCI Morning Greeting Program. Ann moved to Bethel with her husband, Tom Davis, in 2012, from a very different city environment. In the years since, she has come to love this very special home. She views the Morning Greeting program as a wonderful way to not just check on people who may benefit, but also to reduce feelings of loneliness. Ann describes her Morning Greeting experience as “lovely” and in keeping with her perception of Bethel as not just a community, but a family. Know of someone in our community who may appreciate a daily check-in call? Contact Brooks Morton (firstname.lastname@example.org, 207-824-2679).
Have you “played with” the AFCI Adaptive toolkit? This is a display of tools for home use, including kitchen helpers and aids to facilitate vision and manual dexterity. Many of the tools are for sale at Brooks Bros. Hardware, and a take-home catalog notes other retailers where they may be purchased. The toolkit is on display at the Bethel Library until June 6. You may visit during regular library hours: Monday 9-1 pm, Tuesday 1-5 pm, Wednesday 1-8 pm, Thursday 1-5 pm, Friday 1-5 pm, Saturday 9-1 pm.
By the way, know an easy way to find information like library hours? It’s in the AFCI Resource Directory. You can find the directory on our website (www.agefriendlybethel.org) or you may contact us to receive a pdf file (email: email@example.com).
FOR THE ALMOST-RETIRED: The AFCI is for you, too. Are you beginning to think about the years ahead of you – perhaps many of them – and how your life might change? You may have some questions or ideas to test out. You may have observed your neighbors and friends who either have or have not figured out ways to live a different but very rich life. We will begin to feature some of those ideas. Want to suggest questions? Send them along (contact information below).
Tai Chi for Arthritis and Falls Prevention will continue on an informal basis July 10-August 28 - every Tuesday 9-10am at the Maine Adaptive Sports building at Sunday River. It is a drop-in class, and you are welcome to come whether you have taken a class previously or not. This will be a great opportunity to see if Tai Chi will be helpful for you. Free – led by Karen Reilly and Jackie Cressy, certified Tai Chi Sun style instructors.
A wonderful outdoor recreation opportunity: the Mahoosuc Land Trust’s Valentine Farm Trail is a 1.2 mile universally accessible loop with a crushed gravel surface. Meandering through woods and alongside fields offering views of the Androscoggin River, it is perfect for people of all ages and abilities.
The Mahoosuc Land Trust offers a wide variety of interesting presentations and activities; for their summer and fall “Outdoor Opportunities” schedule: https://mahoosuc.org/summer-group-walking- and-hiking-opportunities. You may want to join the Weekly Walking Group: “Our conversational pace walking group will meet every Tuesday night (see weekly schedule) at 5:30 pm and provide a friendly volunteer guide.” See the website for more details or call 824-3806.
Remember the wonderful local resource we have in the Workout 24-7 gym on the Bethel Parkway. Seniors – and there are many of us – can join for $25 per month or $100 per year – such a deal!
From the Community Calendar, Friday, May 18th: Greenwood Farmers’ Market; Saturday the 19th: Bird Walk at Valentine Farm; Monday the 21st: Create a Pollinator Garden; Thursday the 24th: Low Commotion.
More from AARP on phone fraud and how to avoid such scams: https://www.aarp.org/money/scams-fraud/info-2017/no-talk-phone-scams.html? Some new fraud techniques: a phonecall appearing to be from your land- or cell-phone exchange; a call from your own
telephone number; the “one-ring rip-off,” which entices you to return the call; be aware especially of these exchanges: 268, 664 and 876.
AARP has a new podcast series on how to avoid popular scams like the grandparent scam. To access the podcasts: https://www.aarp.org/podcasts/the-perfect-scam.html?
We hope Mothers’ Day was enjoyable and meaningful to you – perhaps it opened up precious memories. A recent AARP article suggested the “best ways to celebrate Mother’s Day when you are care-giving or mom's in a nursing home” (https://community.aarp.org/t5/Caregiving/What-are-the- best-ways-to-celebrate-mother-s-day-when-you-are/m-p/1998948?). The ideas are certainly good reminders for any time: “Think about her quality of life - what fills her tank the most? What is most meaningful to her? ... Take her out - any kind of an outing can be uplifting. Whether it's out for a meal (be sure she can handle the logistics and not tire too easily), a movie, a ball game, a walk, a garden or a cup of coffee, an outing is a memory-maker... Get her some of her favorite movies on DVD, and watch them with her. Something that makes her laugh is always good, or something that she can sing along to!” Watch for more tips to follow.
Contact the AFCI: by email, firstname.lastname@example.org; our website, www.agefriendlybethel.org; our Facebook page, @agefriendlybethel. (Nancy Davis)