Boothbay Region Social Engagement Committee Formed

On January 27th, ten local seniors initiated a group devoted to planning and organizing monthly outings for Boothbay area residents who are in the early stages of memory loss. Under the able guidance of Mark Pechenik, Outreach Director for the Maine Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, the group of volunteers began planning events for this Spring. The goal is to enable a small group (4 to 8) local seniors and their family caregivers to join together for interesting and educational outings at least once a month. The assembled group had a lot of fun brainstorming interesting local outings–from the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, to the Boothbay Railway Museum, Maine Maritime Museum, Miniature Golf, Boothbay Region Land Trust walk, and so on.

The Boothbay Region Social Engagement Committee will meet once a month, on the fourth Friday of each month from 2 to 3 pm at the Community Center. Those interested in joining us as volunteers or as participants are welcome to join us. If you have ideas for local activities that would be a lot of fun for active seniors with mild memory issues, please contact the Coordinator, Patty Seybold at 633-4368 or pseybold@customers.com. This committee is co-sponsored by the People Helping People program of the Boothbay Region Health & Wellness Foundation and the Alzheimer’s Association, Maine Chapter. Our next planning meeting will be held on Friday, February 24th at 2 pm at the Community Center in the Meadow Mall in Boothbay Harbor. We expect our first outing to take place in early April.

Volunteers Wanted for Alzheimer’s Social Activity Group

On Friday, January 27, from 2:00 to 3:00 pm, at the Community Center learn how you can help local people with memory problems engage in social activities. Want to make a real, positive difference in the lives of neighbors and friends living with Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia? Then consider joining the new Boothbay Area Social Engagement Committee. This committee of volunteers will plan and present one to two social activities for local persons diagnosed with dementia and their care partners in partnership with the Alzheimer’s Association, Maine Chapter and the Boothbay Region Health and Wellness Foundation.

Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens offers Therapeutic Horticulture Visits

Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens offers Therapeutic Horticulture Visits

You’ll make it possible for participants to enjoy guided nature walks, trips to the theater, museum tours and other meaningful social activities.

Learn more by attending the Boothbay Area Social Engagement Committee Training on Friday, January 27, from 2:00 to 3:00 pm, at the Boothbay Region Community Center, located at 185 Townsend Avenue in Boothbay Harbor.

To register, please contact Patricia Seybold of the Boothbay Region Health and Wellness Foundation at: pseybold@customers.com or 207-633-4368.

 

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.

 

BRHC Offers Fit, Flexible & Strong: Medically-Based, Tailored Exercise Program

Boothbay Region Health Center is offering an affordable, accessible and unique exercise program designed to help year-round residents become and remain fit, flexible and strong as well as healthier. The six-month program costs $97 to join, but you get $67 back if you stick with the program for 6 months. After an initial fitness and health assessment, Wellness Coach, Mary Baudo will work with you to design a fitness program that is tailored to your needs and your preferences. You’ll be able to choose from many fitness options available on the peninsula, including many free and low-cost options. Once you have your own fitness plan, you’ll keep a log of what you actually do. Then, you’ll meet with Mary and our medical team in three months to evaluate your progress, and again at the end of six months. If you stick with the program, not only will you receive money back, but you’ll see and feel the benefits to your health, flexibility and fitness.

To sign up for the program, contact Mary Baudo at 357-3563. You’ll need to get your primary care physician to fill in a medical clearance form. You can download a description of the program here. You can download the Medical Clearance Form here. Or pick them up at the Community Center.

“The Basics: Memory Loss, Dementia, and Alzheimer’s Disease,” Oct. 12 from 2 to 3:30 p.m.

On Wednesday, Oct. 12th, from 2 to 3:30 pm at St. Andrews Village, Mark Pechenik from the Maine Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association will present a session entitled “Memory Loss, Dementia, and Alzheimer’s Disease.

The program will focus on the symptoms and effects of Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia, including how it affects the brain, as well as causes and risk factors and how people can find out if they have the condition.

More than 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s, including about one in nine people 65 and older. Roughly one in three seniors will die with Alzheimer’s or another dementia, according to the Alzheimer’s Association.

Among the signs of Alzheimer’s are memory loss that disrupts daily life and goes beyond the normal age-related change of forgetting names or appointments but remembering them later.

According to a number of studies, people who had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s felt a sense of empowerment and relief knowing what they were up against. They could also make plans and prepare for the future and no longer felt like a passive victim, according to Pechenik.

For example, said Pechenik, research underscores the benefits of social engagement for people who have Alzheimer’s, to help lessen the isolation and anxiety that is often associated with the disease.

He said the Alzheimer’s Organization is hoping to start a social engagement committee in the Midcoast and would like to work with people in the Boothbay area on that project.

For more information about the Alzheimer’s Organization, go to www.alz.org. This presentation is free and open to the republic but please RSVP by calling 633-0920.