Touch!

touchThe definition of the word Touch is 1: to bring a bodily part into contact with especially so as to perceive through the tactile sense : handle or feel gently usually with the intent to understand or appreciate 2: to strike or push lightly especially with the hand or foot or an implement 3: to lay hands upon with intent to heal

Can you imagine if you lived in an empty plastic bubble? Imagine you were not able to touch anything other than what was inside that bubble. How boring your life would be. Touch is a powerful gift and doesn’t need to be sexual to be wonderful. Hold your grandmother’s hand, just connect with people physically.
A touch could be just a pat on the back for a job well done or a compassionate touch on the back of someone’s hand that is going through a tough time; it can mean so much. Cuddle on a cold night to keep each other warm. Give a senior a hug for no reason. It might be the only human contact they have that day. Your hands can caress and soothe a loved one. With your touch you can express your love without words. Be thankful you can feel the touch of your loved ones. So reach out and touch someone today. You will be surprised how great it makes you feel!
~Betty Berger
HUG A SENIOR DAY IS MAY 27!

Holiday Events and Fund-Raisers

Happy Thanksgiving to all!!

snowmanWe are having two fund-raisers in December; both are PERFECT for those on your gift lists. First, on December 8, we are hosting a paint night to benefit Seniors Have Dreams Too, Inc. What could be better for someone super special than a personal, adorable snowman painting?!? Come and join us at the Catalyst Art Studio at 88 Center St; Wallingford, CT from 6:30pm-8:45pm. BYOB Tickets are $35/adult and you can register-here

On December 10, The Gift Box,131 Main St; South Meriden, Connecticut will donate a portion of your purchase (from 10-5)! Just mention our name at check out (Seniors Have Dreams Too, Inc) and that’s it! You will be helping grant a wish to a deserving senior without any out of pocket expense.

Come out and support seniors and be the hand that reaches out and puts that wished upon star into their hand.

Happy Holidays!!

Holiday Cheer

thanksgiving-table-1326258The holidays are all about family, but so often seniors are left alone in nursing homes or their families get frustrated and do not know how to include them safely and meaningfully in the holiday season.

There are many blogs, articles, recommendations etc on the internet to help families deal with the holidays in a way that includes their elderly members- here’s one of many from AgingCare.com

Traditions are very important to the elderly, try to incorporate what you can in your own celebrations, listen to their stories, don’t ask…”don’t you remember???” It is possible to have a relatively stress free holiday celebration with some forethought. If your loved one is coming to you, make sure they have enough medication. Have some old photos they can look at. Find a way to include them in the planning- let them chose a recipe, even if they can’t help make it, they will feel included. And, no matter what please don’t sigh when they tell the same story they tell every year about how they spent their Christmas back in the old days, when the snow was 10 feet tall.

For those who don’t know what to get their elderly loved ones for Christmas, one of my favorite ideas is a self made coupon book- a day at the salon; a free house cleaning; dinner out; a concert etc. that they can cash in and have it be honored. Making memories and family. That’s what holidays are all about.

quiltFor those who cannot leave a nursing home or assisted living facility, please bring Christmas and Thanksgiving to them. A home cooked meal with some of their old recipes; hand made gifts by grandchildren; little Christmas trees for their rooms. Maybe even giving up the perfect holiday dinner at your home to bring the family to their cafeteria. And if their roommate doesn’t have family a small gift will go a long way in making them feel loved and respected and, most importantly, not forgotten.

Bring on the Holiday Cheer and spread it over them like a handmade quilt. It will indeed make them feel warm and loved.

 

Teens- Let’s get in those Volunteer Credits!

volunteerWith many high schools requiring community work hours, Seniors Have Dreams Too, Inc has compiled a list of suggestions, that benefit not only the senior community but would benefit the student as well. Not only would it help towards graduation, but possibly instill a deeper gratitude and understanding of seniors as a whole and help them realize that one day they are going to be old. Golden Rule and all that.

Please, feel free to share these suggestions with teachers, counselors, teens that you know. And together, we might bridge the  generational divide. Good school year to all!

teen list.jpg

 

Local Resources for Seniors

couple-lisen-music-1435383So often, seniors and their families have no idea how to access the resources that may help them and that they need. Seniors Have Dreams Too, Inc. is trying to alleviate the helplessness many feel as they try to navigate the maze of agencies.

As we continue to update and expand on information for seniors and families, we’d like to make you aware of some resources we have begun to compile. We are first working on local Connecticut agencies, but will be adding national resources as well.

Although the list is just a start it does cover a variety of services that come with links for individual towns and covers essential needs such as housing resources, transportation services and home meal delivery, in addition to others.

Our seniors deserve advocacy in these and other areas and their families need this information to care for them, coordinate services and have a place to start to look at options that they need to consider.

Here is our current list. We welcome any feedback as to what resources you and your families need and will work to compile a comprehensive resource list. Feel free to leave a comment, or contact Melinda Lancaster at m3ml@hotmail.com with your suggestions. Together we can provide you with a starting place for your needs to be met, as an individual and as a family.

You can access any of these links by going to-here

State Dept. on Aging

List of Council of Aging by Town

Senior Citizen’s Guide to Connecticut

Housing Resources for Seniors

Home Delivered Meal Agencies

Senior Ride Programs

Dept. of Social Services Long-term Programs

National Cholesterol Education Month

Taken from the CDC website:

September is National Cholesterol Education Month

Too much cholesterol in the blood is one of the main risk factors for heart disease and stroke—two leading causes of death in the United States. One way to prevent these diseases is to detect high cholesterol and treat it when it is found.

What is cholesterol?

Be heart healthyCholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance that your body needs. But when you have too much in your blood, it can build up on the walls of your arteries and form blockages. This can lead to heart disease, heart attack, and stroke.

There are two kinds of cholesterol: high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and low-density lipoprotein (LDL). HDL is also called “good” cholesterol. LDL is called “bad” cholesterol. When we talk about high cholesterol, we are talking about “bad” LDL cholesterol.

Seventy-one million American adults have high cholesterol, but only one-third of them have the condition under control.1 September is National Cholesterol Education Month—a good time to resolve to get your cholesterol screened.

What role does screening play?

Screening is the key to detecting high cholesterol. Because high cholesterol does not have symptoms, many people do not know that their cholesterol is too high. Your doctor can do a simple blood test to check your cholesterol level.

The National Cholesterol Education Program recommends that adults aged 20 years or older have their cholesterol checked every 5 years.2

You may need to have your cholesterol checked more often if any of the following statements applies to you:

  • Your total cholesterol is 200 mg/dL or higher.
  • You are a man older than age 45 or a woman older than age 50.
  • Your HDL cholesterol is lower than 40 mg/dL.
  • You have other risk factors for heart disease and stroke.3

Although the number of people who said they were screened for cholesterol within the previous 5 years increased from 73% to 76% from 2005-2009,4 only a handful of states have met the 82% Healthy People 2020 objective, and disparities in getting screened persist.5

How can you prevent or treat high cholesterol?

Make therapeutic lifestyle changes by

  • Eating a healthy diet. Avoid saturated fats and trans fats, which tend to raise cholesterol levels. Other types of fats, such as polyunsaturated fats, can actually lower blood cholesterol levels. Eating fiber also can help lower cholesterol.
  • Exercising regularly. Physical activity can help lower cholesterol. The Surgeon General recommends that adults engage in moderate-intensity exercise for 2 hours and 30 minutes every week.
  • Maintaining a healthy weight. Being overweight or obese can raise your cholesterol levels. Losing weight can help lower your cholesterol.
  • Not smoking. If you smoke, quit as soon as possible.

Be sure to follow your doctor’s instructions and stay on your medications, if prescribed, to control your cholesterol.

For more information, resources and links see the original post on the CDC website.

A Life’s Journey

road-to-dreams-1557734Life is but a road, it seems. We travel from one end to the other, choosing different paths, but still it always leads to an end. And what can be said about such a journey? Was it smooth, grass lined, rocky, mountainous? Was it a gravel road or dirt? Perhaps, for most, it was all of those at times. And we hope that as we end our journey that it is gentle, with the scents we love most upon the air, that we can walk arm in arm with someone those last few miles. We hope that we are not forgotten and left to walk those miles alone. And still, though aged, perhaps worn with care and a life full of hardship, we dream.

We always dream, for Hope is such a driving force in the human heart. Even as our steps falter and our eyesight dim, we dare to dream, though we may need a hand to reach out and guide us. And that dream, whatever it may be, is not faded with our eyesight, nor does our soul falter in its Hope.

Seniors Have Dreams Too, is here to be one of those guiding hands. A hand that reaches out to lift up a heart made weary from unanswered dreams and yet still holds on. All of YOU can be a guiding hand as well. Remember, one day it will be you rounding the last bend looking for someone’s hand to help and guide you. Reach out to the elderly in what way you may, lend them an ear and listen, take them for a ride down memory lane, find time for the elderly in your life. Make a dream come true.