Reimagine Aging News: June 2015

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In The News

CEO Deb Taylor’s monthly column, which is published in many Minnesota newspapers, focuses on how we can Reimagine Aging to better serve seniors and their caregivers. The most recent newspaper column is available here.

If you know of a caregiver or older adult who would benefit from Senior Community Services' many supportive programs and services, please encourage them to contact us. They can stay connected with us by doing three things: 'LIKE' us on FACEBOOK, 'FOLLOW' us on TWITTER, and subscribe to our monthly e-newsletter here.

Know someone with home maintenance needs? 
 

Chore services may be purchased through Senior Community Services' 
HOME store.

Soothing Senior Grief

Life brings different rhythms - different timetables - for each of us. We lose dear loved ones, we grieve, we face changes - diminished mobility, an end to driving the car, maybe a different place to live after decades in the long-time family home.
 
Often, stressors push down on us as we give up the familiar, the comfortable, the sense of control. We may start feeling diminished and depressed. Isolation sets in and home may suddenly feel like a prison rather than a sanctuary. The morning glance in the mirror may reveal new lines or drooping in places that didn't droop before. Self-pity is a very human  first reaction, but consider turning the issue on its head instead. 
 
Why not celebrate your years and experience. An acquaintance once talked about putting on her 'reverse glasses' to look at life from a new perspective, through new lens so to speak. Suddenly, you're running into time. Things are going right. It's not your fault. You can't lose. You've got plenty of energy. Everything is so easy. What new opportunities will today bring?
 
In other words, embrace aging. Learn to appreciate yourself and what you have to offer. We can all befriend another and be a blessing. Acknowledge your imperfections because no one is perfect. Accept your limitations; if you can't run the mile in under six minutes, then embrace the beauty of a slow stroll on a beautiful morning. Enjoy the quiet times. Celebrate impermanence; if everything was permanent, nothing would change. It's never too late so create a list of things you'd like to still accomplish and set out to do them. Finally, rather than dwelling on regret and the things you can no longer do, focus on what you can do. Live vitally, and be sure to laugh often and maintain a sense of humor. It helps you maintain perspective. And soon the doom and gloom will bloom into something healthier.

If you are a caregiver, your selfless service to help another may sometimes feel like a sacrifice. One caregiver said it helps her to think of caregiving as adjusting rather than sacrificing. Adjusting seems more like a sideways shift rather than a loss of something, she explained."
 

You're Never Alone
No matter the challenge or struggle, help is always available. Every day, Senior Community Services helps seniors and caregivers find the right supportive services to improve daily living. We help them connect with local senior centers where joy, fun, and fellowship are everyday experiences rather than loneliness and isolation. We help with household chores that may be impossible for them to manage, find affordable healthcare insurance, help them manage care, and reduce burdensome medical debt that taxes limited and fixed incomes.
 
The challenges are here to stay. Roughly 10,000 people, on average, are turning 65 every day for the next 15 years, according to the federal government. So needs will only grow.
 
A little focused expertise - applied properly - can make a world of difference. It's quite a prescription for living in the later years. And when we take steps to enhance daily living, we Reimagine Aging, not only for a growing number of older relatives, friends, and neighbors, but for all of us.    

Sincerely,

Deb Taylor
Chief Executive Officer 



You make a difference every day in the lives of seniors.   


 

For years, Emma - a widow in her 90s - was a devoted caregiver for her husband, actively participating in the Eden Prairie Caregiver Support Group facilitated by Senior Community Services' Senior Outreach & Caregiver Services. Once Emma's husband died, she no longer needed caregiver support and was able to live independently without additional support for herself. 

But, she again connected with one of our social workers after she injured her back while doing housework. She needed help with housekeeping and home-delivered meals.

During the home visit to assess her independent living skills and needs, the social worker helped Emma fill out paperwork to receive low-cost homemaking through Senior Community Services' Household and Outside Maintenance for Elderly (HOME) program. The staff also provided her with different options for home-delivered meals, and encouraged her to obtain a physician referral for in-home physical therapy to ease her back pain. 

Emma was grateful. But she became tearful as she described another challenge, the macular degeneration that has affected her life for four years. A once avid reader, Emma has greatly missed this activity, a huge emotional loss for her. Senior Outreach & Caregiver Services staff was able to provide help from several organizations to assist with her reduced vision, including State Services for the Blind and the Eden Prairie Library outreach service. A resource worker from Vision Loss Resources was contacted for a home visit to offer Emma specific suggestions and reading aids.

Just a few months later, Emma is receiving homemaking services from HOME and, enjoying home-delivered meals. The physical therapy has eased her back pain. And Emma is happily reading again, enjoying the large print books provided by the library. 

Emma is grateful. Thank you.


"I see the issues firsthand, and Senior Community Services staff and volunteers do an excellent job, they're good stewards." 

  

                     ~ Ted Field, Donor

Ted Field understands seniors better than most. His orientation started early. Back in 1961, when Ted was a 7th grader, he worked part-time as a janitor in a nursing home his father operated. Ted loved seeing and visiting with the residents. Now, Ted operates Remax Results Senior Services Group, helping older adults buy and sell their homes. His work enables him to be a counselor and friend, too. "I often see the need for senior services in the homes I'm in. And frequently, I offer them guidance so they can remain in their home a bit longer," Ted says.
 
Years ago, a client bragged to Ted about Senior Community Services. "She told me that she was able to stay in her home longer because of the support she received from Senior Community Services." Ted was interested. He served on the HOME program's fundraising committee and did volunteer yard cleanup work for senior clients. "It was so fulfilling, I loved it," Ted explains.
 
Ted happily continues to financially support Senior Community Services. "I see the senior issues firsthand, and Senior Community Services staff and volunteers do an excellent job, they're good stewards, too."

 

Thank you for making a difference in the lives of seniors.


 
Honor a friend or loved one with a tax-deductible gift to Senior Community Services.Your gift of $35, 
$60, $150 or an amount of your choosing will make life better for low-income seniors who 
need help maintaining independence.

You may give securely online at www.seniorcommunity.org 
and click on Support.
 
Checks may be mailed to: 
Senior Community Services
Attn: Development 

10201 Wayzata Blvd. Suite 335
Minnetonka, MN 55305

Stay Connected With CareNextion


Are you caring for an aging loved one? Stay connected to caregiving from anywhere with www.carenextion.org. This free and secure online tool strengthens support networks through centralized coordination of care, task assignment and journaling.

You can also access helpful resources. Visit www.carenextion.org for more information or to speak with a staff person call 612-770-7005.

The Reimagine Aging Institute is the public awareness arm of Senior Community Services as we reach out to the community via the news media.  Through the Institute, we illuminate aging issues of broad relevance for seniors, their families, and Minnesota communities.

Visit the Institute's web page here.  And be sure to watch for media stories of interest to families with older loved ones and friends.

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