Our Summer Hours: 10 to 2

Summer is upon us. Our Community Center volunteers get lonely waiting for folks to drop in when the weather is fine and local people are out with their summer visitors or working at their summer jobs. So, to give our volunteers a break, we’re scaling back our summer hours. You’ll find the Community Center jumping and lively from 10 am til 2 pm. And, our evening classes and support groups continue throughout the summer.

Community Center & Jane B. Good Win Awards

At the 55th annual Awards Ceremony of the Boothbay Harbor Chamber of Commerce, the Community Center won the Community Improvement Award for the second year in the row. The Community Center also won the Community Service Award this year. And our Director, Jane B. Good, won the Volunteer of the year award.

Congratulations to Jane and Margaret Perritt and the entire team of amazing Community Center volunteers!

Boothbay Social Engagement Group to Visit Botanical Gardens

The Boothbay Region Social Engagement Committee will be holding their second outing on Wednesday, June 7th. We’ll be visiting the Maine Coastal Botanical Gardens which is located on Barters Island Road in Boothbay. We’ll meet there at 11 am for a 1-hour tour of the Garden of the 5 Senses led by Docent, BJ Dobson, and then enjoy lunches we bring along at tables in the gardens.  Anyone needing a ride or more information about our group and its outings should contact Patty Seybold, 207 633-4368.

The Boothbay Region Social Engagement Committee is a partnership between our People Helping People program and the Alzheimer’s Association, Maine Chapter. These outings are designed for people with early stage memory loss and their family member. Getting together to socialize is an important way to keep us all at our cognitive best.

FREE Climate Change Movie: Wed. May 24th

Join film-maker Andy Burt for a viewing and discussion about her film, Down to Earth. The movie features stories told by Maine climate activists of all ages–people who are working to slow down climate change–each in his or her own way. You’ll also hear from Andy about her Down to Earth Storytelling project and learn how you can contribute YOUR story.

Here’s an excerpt from Mary Gilbert’s movie review:

HOW DO PEOPLE BECOME ACTIVISTS? Are they born that way? ….

Andy Burt, a Quaker from Maine, has made a sensitive, well-planned, and beautifully edited one-hour film, Down to Earth: Climate Justice Stories (http://www.downtoearthstories.org/), in which she interviews a dozen or so earthcare activists about how they became involved in activism and what it means to them.

We see that it takes a certain type of courage to take on the role of “activist,” but the ordinary people in this movie have done it in a variety of ways and over their lifetimes. Some speak of important experiences of nature in childhood; their wish to protect the natural world has always been part of who they are. Some became activists later in life once they perceived the complexity of the world in a more informed way. For some, connections with others drew them in. Some simply had a feeling that “I must do this.” Once across the threshold, they all found an enhanced inner sense of meaning in their lives.

Join us at the Community Center at 6 pm on Wednesday, May 24th to watch and discuss this 1 hour movie.

Boothbay Social Engagement Group to Visit Cape Newagen Alpaca Farm

The Boothbay Region Social Engagement Committee will be holding their first outing on Wednesday, May 17th. We’ll be visiting the Cape Newagen Alpaca Farm which is located at 1020 Hendricks Hill Road on Southport Island, ME. It’s right next to the Southport Public Library. We’ll meet there at 11 am for a 40-minute tour of the Farm and then have lunch at the Southport General Store. Anyone needing a ride or more information about our group and its outings should contact Patty Seybold, 207 633-4368.

The Boothbay Region Social Engagement Committee is a partnership between our People Helping People program and the Alzheimer’s Association, Maine Chapter. These outings are designed for people with early stage memory loss and their family member. Getting together to socialize is an important way to keep us all at our cognitive best.

Kentucky Derby Party THIS Saturday

Join us for our second annual Kentucky Derby Party on Saturday, May 6th. This event is hosted by the Boothbay Harbor Rotary Club and co-sponsored by the Community Center and the Rotary Club. Doors open at 5 pm. Admission is $15 which includes a chance to win the grand prize by betting on the winning horse.

Doors open at 5 pm. The Race, which we’ll be watching on a big screen TV, starts at 6:15 pm. Heavy hors d’oeuvres, Drinks, and a Cash Bar. Awards for the most spectacular hats and race-going fancy dress. This is a fundraiser for the Community Center, and will include a Silent Auction with impressive prizes.

Cognitive Health Tips for Older Adults

Essential Steps for Lifelong Health

Staying mentally engaged is an important aspect of health and well-being for older adults, yet many seniors fall into lifelong habits and stay within their comfort zones. To promote brain health and reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, here are a few worthy activities to help you engage your brain for lifelong cognitive health and well-being.

Image via Pixabay by 4clients

Image via Pixabay by 4clients

Make Time for Activities You Enjoy

Pursuing worthwhile hobbies and interests is one of the best ways to keep your mind engaged and promote cognitive health, but many seniors find that even in retirement, the days are shorter than they’d like. If you’re spending all your time keeping up with housework, hire someone to clean your home to free up your time to pursue challenging and enjoyable activities instead.

Hire a local teenager to mow your lawn or a local independent contractor to shop for groceries or run errands. There’s no reason to spend all your time on these mundane tasks if it means you have no time left to enjoy your life.

Engage in Lifelong Learning

WorldHealth.net reports on research conducted by The Mayo Clinic, which found that “regardless of education and work history, people who engaged in challenging mental activities at least three times per week delayed the onset of cognitive decline by more than three years compared to those who did less.”

In other words, participating in mentally challenging activities helps to preserve brain health and cognitive skills, enabling you to stay mentally sharp as you age. If there’s a topic you’ve always been interested in but never had time to learn about, sign up for an online course or in-person workshop.

Find a New Hobby

Cognitive engagement doesn’t have to mean heading back to the college campus; there are hundreds of activities that provide mental stimulation, ranging from knitting to board games, gardening, golfing, volunteering, reading, and much more.

Find something that makes you feel good about yourself, provides a sense of purpose, or entertains you. You’re not limited to formal education or brain exercises; you can pursue anything that requires learning something new.

Increase Socialization

Socialization offers a multitude of cognitive and emotional benefits, from reducing isolation and lowering the risk of depression and addiction to improving brain health. Consider joining a local senior center or seeking out other older adults in your community who share similar interests and plan regular activities or get-togethers.

Join a bowling league, find a golfing buddy, or join a book club or even a quilting or knitting club. You might be surprised to find out how many other people in your local community share similar interests.

Get Adequate Sleep

Sleep is essential for your body and mind, allowing time for rest and rejuvenation. Without enough sleep, you’ll experience fatigue, brain fog, increased stress, and other symptoms.

If you struggle with insomnia, create consistent routines that can help you wind down and give your mind time to relax and prepare for sleep. It’s also a good idea to talk to your doctor if you continue to have difficulty falling asleep. There are several natural remedies and supplements that may help you get better sleep, as well as medications that can help when other methods fail.

Prioritizing your health and well-being is important throughout life, but as you grow older, paying attention to the needs of your body and mind is even more critical for lifelong health and well-being. Keeping cognitive health top-of-mind and intentionally pursuing activities that promote brain health will reduce your risk of cognitive decline, making it possible to maintain memory, mental clarity, and better overall health throughout life.

Submitted by Jason Lewis, Strongwell.org

Valentine’s Day Cookie Walk

EXTENDED HOURS TODAY: 10 am to 5 pm. Pick up some treats for your loved ones!

Give Thanks! Support a Local Senior in Need

#Giving Tuesday is November 29th. Time to stop shopping and start giving back! This holiday season, give forward with your time and/or your treasure to help a local senior citizen or disabled person participate more fully in community life.

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The Boothbay Region Health & Wellness Foundation belongs to the #Boothbay Treasures Collaborative of Non Profits on the Boothbay peninsula. #Giving Tuesday is November 29th–a day dedicated to remember to donate your time and treasure to your favorite non-profits.

As a volunteer to our People Helping People program you can enrich someone’s life (and your own) by providing one needed outing or service per week. Or, as a donor to our People Helping People program you can help defray the expenses required to provide support for local seniors who live on their own and/or don’t drive.

Volunteer Opportunities:

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  • Scheduled Driving/Errands. Many of our seniors need regularly scheduled weekly rides/outings to the YMCA, to the grocery store, to activities or meetings they’d like to attend at the Community Center or other places on the peninsula.
  • Rides to Doctors or Dentists’ Appointments: Although we also rely on FISH, some of our seniors still need rides to dental or doctors’ appointments or physical therapy. These are scheduled in advance so you can plan your own errands around them. When you take someone to a doctor’s appointment, you can optionally offer to attend the visit and take notes for the patient and his/her family, so that nothing gets lost. That’s such a valuable service for someone on their own.
  • Visits/Companionship. Nobody likes to eat alone or to be alone all day. Many of our seniors enjoy a weekly visit during which they share fascinating stories of their childhood and their adventures. It’s wonderful to watch someone’s face brighten up as they tell their stories. Some seniors live with family members who can’t leave them alone and need a weekly break to get out of the house and run their own errands, or just go for a walk! You can make a big difference by spending an hour or two to provide companionship for a shut in.
  • Lunch Outings. Many of our members love to have a weekly lunch out. Imagine what it’s like to be at home all day alone! A weekly outing is something to look forward to.
  • Computer and Technical Help. Some of our seniors have computers at home they can’t easily carry to the Community Center for help by the Deck House students who provide one-on-one free computer support on Wednesday mornings. Or, they have difficulties with their TV/cable set ups. If you’re technically competent, offer to lend a hand. We’ll call you on an as needed basis.
  • Laundry Help. Many of our members live in apartments with shared laundry facilities and are two weak to lug their laundry to and from the washer/dryer. A weekly laundry visit can make a big difference in someone’s life.
  • Food Pantry Visits. Some of our members take advantage of monthly visits to the Food Pantry at the Congregational Church. They need rides to and from the Food Pantry and help carrying their groceries into their homes.sos-volunteers-grocery2010
  • Shopping Trips. Everyone needs to get out to run errands occasionally. Many of our members like to go to particular stores in Wiscasset (Ames) or Damariscotta (Rising Tide, Renys, etc.) If these are places you go to occasionally, why not take a new-found friend?
  • Grocery Shopping. A few folks don’t have the stamina to do their own grocery shopping, even in the electric carts that Hannaford provides. So, you can pick up their list and debit card and combine shopping for someone in need with your own shopping. You’ll make a huge difference in someone’s life!
  • Yard Work. Raking leaves, weeding a garden–seasonal tasks in the yard are a burden for someone who is no longer mobile enough or strong enough to take care of these chores. If you enjoy spending an hour or two in the fresh air, consider volunteering for outdoor work.
  • Household Repairs. Handy with a hammer? Not afraid to fix a leaky faucet? So many of our seniors have small odd jobs that need doing but they can’t afford (or the job isn’t big enough for) a professional.
  • Organizing Things. Helping an overwhelmed senior deal with clutter can be a blessing. Unpacking boxes. Sorting through clothing. Downsizing. Many folks need help organizing their paperwork into manageable piles, putting things into folders for family members to deal with. Rearranging closets or attics. It’s satisfying and much easier to do with and for someone else than for yourself!

If you are willing and able to do any of these activities, ideally on a regularly scheduled basis, weekly or monthly, please contact our coordinator, Rachel Tibbetts at 207-841-7748, or email her at rachtibbets@myfairpoint.net.

How Your Donation Will be Used

boothbay-treasuresIf you want to support this incredibly valuable program but don’t want to commit your time, consider a donation. $50 will pay for a month of coordinated services for a low income resident. Our paid coordinator not only matches all the volunteer-provided services to the needs of our members, but also provides a lot of services herself when a volunteer isn’t available.

To donate, go to http://boothbaywellness.org/donations/and check off People Helping People program. Or mail your check made out to BRH&WF, with PHP or People Helping People in the Memo field to:

The Boothbay Wellness Foundation
PO Box 335
Boothbay Harbor, ME 04538

Early Stage Alzheimer’s Support Group Forming

On Friday, Nov. 11th  from 2 to 3:30 pm at the Community Center, there will be an introductory meeting for a Midcoast Maine Social Engagement Program for Dementia and Alzheimer’s Families, facilitated by Mark Pechenik, of the Maine Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association.

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A diagnosis of Alzheimer’s or a related dementia is likely not the life path one envisions. The best way to face this disease is to continue to enjoy life. The Maine Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association has been successful in helping patients with early stages of Dementia and Alzheimer’s design and carry out activities they can enjoy with others. These Social Engagement Programs offer a fun and comfortable way for people in the early stage of the disease to get out, get active and get connected with like individuals through a variety of community-based activities and social events.

Mark Pechenik, the Director of Outreach from the Maine Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association will be speaking at the November meeting of People Helping People on Friday, November 11th from 2 to 3:30 pm at the Community Center in the Meadow Mall in Boothbay Harbor. This event is open to the public and families with individuals who are in the early stages of memory loss are encouraged to come.

Mark will explain how the Social Engagement program works and will teach us how to interact respectfully with people who are experiencing memory loss. He hopes to recruit interested patients and families from the Midcoast Region to start planning activities they’d enjoy doing. This is not intended primarily as a caregiver support group, but rather as a way for those experiencing early stage dementia to keep our brains active by designing programs and activities we will enjoy.

Activities might include going out to lunch together, going on an excursion to a local attraction, sharing memories, writing/telling your life story, sing alongs, walking or hiking outdoors, visiting museums, attending musical events, sharing a favorite hobby, playing brain-enhancement games, exercising together…. The possibilities are endless.

If you, or someone in your family, is beginning to experience memory issues, show signs of dementia, or has been diagnosed with early stages of Alzheimer’s, take this opportunity to take charge of your life and slow down the progression of memory loss and disability by becoming even more socially engaged and active. This program is being sponsored locally by the People Helping People Program of the Boothbay Region Health & Wellness Foundation.