Author Archives: Maryann Long

Coffee party #1 – done!

Today we held our first neighborhood coffee party at Park St Christian Church. It was a great venue, the facilities were perfect for our needs. We are so grateful to the Pastor for permitting us to use their space.

We had 13 people in attendance in addition to several members of our organizing committee. A few had come in response to our email blast, but several saw the flyers we put up. So yay!

Vikki and I did a short presentation and then we took several very good and thought-provoking questions from the audience. There seemed to be quite a lot of excitement and support from them We also recruited a new member to the organizing committee! The only thing we forgot was to take some pictures. Oh well, there’s next time…

Next month we’ll do it again at Christ Community Church, 329 Riverside Dr in Woolen Mills. Come and tell your friends!

Why we need a Village: Example #1

contributed by Helen

My friend L moved here a few years ago to take care of her mom. At the time, her mom was fine but L knew that the family had had several members of her mom’s generation fall prey to dementia. L called me a  few months ago, and asked if we could have lunch and talk through some supports for both her and her mom, since one of L’s issues was that she was seeing behaviors that suggested some memory loss, and she wanted to know what resources this area had for her. She was fighting an uphill battle, since her siblings hadn’t noticed anything wrong and were skeptical of L’s reports. 

As we sat down to lunch L shared some information with me about her own health issues: she had some severe allergies, and some chronic conditions. We talked a little more about some of the symptoms her mom was having, like a recent inability to remember how to find her destination, a local drugs store only a few blocks away, or the way to her husband’s grave, which she typically visited weekly. As we talked about resources such as the Alzheimer’s Association and JABA’s adult day care programs, I asked L, “Does your mother have a  medic alert pendant? Do you? “

L just looked at me as I said, “Two things occur to me. First, your mom should certainly have a medic alert system in case you and she get separated anywhere, or she gets up at night and something happens. But you have some high-risk concerns for yourself, like allergies that require an epi-pen. If your mom is able to help you today, she won’t be able to help you in an emergency much longer. If you are the caretaker, we need to make sure you are well-positioned to be of help. 

“I never thought about that,” she said. Three weeks later, she had a medic-alert bracelet identifying her allergies, as well as medic-alert pendants for herself and her mom. They are practicing using them each month, and have educated their extended family, all of whom live at least 100 miles away, about them. And she is talking with her siblings regularly to help them understand the challenges she sees with their beloved mother. 

In fact, I tell all of my friends and neighbors who live alone that each  should have a personal emergency response strategy. Each one of them is one mis-step away from a devastating injury. Who will know if you have fallen and injured yourself if you fall in the bathroom, trip over a rug and hit your head on the floor, or any of multiple other opportunities you have at home and in your yard for a life-changing emergency? Being prepared is more than the Boy Scout motto!  

Got a chronic condition? Check out this workshop.

Martha Jefferson and JABA present a 6-week series on self-management of chronic disease. Details in the flyer here.

COFFEE PARTY!!

We’re starting out the year with a series of coffee parties in various neighborhoods around town. We want to talk with groups of seniors and/or those who love them about the Village concept and see what will work best for our Village.

We have two already scheduled, and 3 more planned. They are open to all interested. Here are the details:

Party #1 will be on Sunday, February 9 from 2-4 pm at Park St Christian Church, 1200 Park St. in North Downtown.

Party #2 will be on Sunday, March 15 from 2-4 pm at Christ Community Church, 329 Riverside Ave in Woolen Mills.

Parties #3, 4, and 5 are planned for Ridge St, Belmont-Carlton, and Meadowbrook-Rugby-Branchlands, in April, May, and June, respectively. We’ll announce the locations and dates when we have them.

Please come out and join us. No need to RSVP, just come and tell us what you think the Village ought to be! I hope to see you!

Oh, memory.

In yesterday’s New York Times, there was an op-ed that hit so very close to home.

Written by a neuroscientist, it confirms what I have suspected for some time now: Short-term memory is subject to fails at any age. And the reason it takes me longer to call up a recent fact or event is that my brain is overstuffed with some 60 years of memories and, let’s face it, trivia. Totally logically, it takes me longer to look through it all to find what I’m after.

Now if only someone would come up with a safe and effective brain housecleaning strategy so that I could get rid of, say, song lyrics from 1964, while retaining the location where I’ve tucked away my granddaughter’s birthday present, that would be a breakthrough.

Here’s the piece: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/10/opinion/sunday/age-memory.html

Tech for safety at home

I’ve just read about Linksys Wellness Pods. It seems that the days of the “help, I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” style of home monitoring for seniors (or anyone) may be past. See https://www.slashgear.com/linksys-wellness-pods-track-elderly-with-wi-fi-signals-06605210/

These pods (put aside your images of alien visitation B-movies) apparently are to be scattered around your house. They can detect motion, including falls, and also breathing and sleep patterns.

They haven’t come to market yet, but it probably won’t be long. What do you think of these new devices? Would you want this, or is it too much surveillance for your comfort?

The rebirth of Cville Village

Happy new year 2020!

We’re thrilled to announce that our website is now located at cvillevillage.org and has undergone a major redesign to accompany our reignited effort to organize and launch Cville Village!

Look for regular updates to our blog, enjoy reading, leave us comments! Send us a tale of your own or a family member/friend’s experience of ‘aging in place’, or post a link to something that we all might like to read.

You can also find us on Twitter: @cvillevillage