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Director's Message

October 2012 - Documenting Your History

This month we are focusing on making plans for the future “because it comes faster than you think!” All of us would like to think we are immortal, or at least not “old” yet. But we also acknowledge that it takes longer to remember things, that our bodies aren’t the same as when we were 20.
No matter what our age, there are things we can do to prepare for the next step.  We hope we will see you on October 20 at Plan for the Future Day to make the most of the professionals and resources that can help you make the right plans for you and your family.  
We were inspired to include workshops on downsizing and organizing after reading a New York Times article about “possession paralysis” (August 22, 2012) that described the research of David J. Ekerdt into how the sheer volume of our stuff is a barrier to downsizing and moving.  He discovered that 60% of people in the study said they had more possessions than they needed, and they weren’t even very emotionally attached to much of it.  More than three quarters feel reluctant to move because of how daunted they are by sorting through the stuff and less than a quarter had given things to family or charity.  Not dealing with stuff now creates a much greater problem in the future should you need to downsize, or for your children to deal with. 
One way of dealing with the family treasures is to select the best and organize them into a story.   This year several people proudly shared self-published books about their parents or themselves, having carefully collected the family stories and photos that document surviving the Holocaust, prairie life before the automobile, growing up outside the U.S., and more.  Our Memoir class is also preparing a collection of their works.  I  thought about how these stories would be lost without their efforts to preserve them for future generations. 
How many of us have boxes of family photos, letters and other memorabilia in the attic?  Many of them have become anonymous after a generation or two. Wouldn’t you love to know the stories that go with them?  I know how sad it is to realize that it’s too late to document the stories because the people are gone or the memories faded.  I also talk to many people in the waning years of life who wonder what legacy they have left behind, and who have a growing sense of urgency to leave some lasting heritage.  There are many forms of legacy: your story, an invention, service that changes lives.  We all want to be remembered.
There are many ways you can document your history today.  Use whichever one you are most comfortable with: writing, scrapbooking, audio tape, and video. Take some of those family photos and tell what you know about the people in them, the places, the stories they stir up.  Talk about how your life was different as a child than it is now, about key events, favorite places, family legends and values, how you met your spouse, your education/work/travel/play. Where did you collect the mementos? What lessons do you want to pass along to your grandchildren?  You may be surprised how the chain of memories flows.  After recording the highlights, it may also be easier to sort out what is important to keep and what to let go of.  It may be a great way to have memorable conversations with your children and grandchildren. Let them interview you. This is a project that can be worked on over time. It doesn’t have to be professionally done or published.  Start now!  The future is coming faster than you think!
Susan W Hoskins LCSW
Executive Director

Previous Messages

October 2017: HomeFriends Celebrates 30 Years!

September 2017: Annual Report

July/August 2017: Preferred Caregivers: Daughters

June 2017: Cues & Clues

May 2017: Recharging

April 2017: GrandPals Celebrate 20 Years!

March 2017: Multi-generational Households

February 2017: No One Ages Well Alone

January 2017: Help at Home

December 2016: Gratitude

November 2016: Family Caregiving

October 2016: Annual Report

September 2016: Corporate Healthcare

July/ August 2016: Strategic Planning

June 2016: Is Your Home Age- Friendly?

May 2016 Part 2 : We Need Your Help

May 2016 Part 1: Going Solo

April 2016: Volunteering

March 2016: Partners In Caring

February 2016: PSRC's Strategic Plan

January 2016: Hope

December 2015: Gratitude

November 2015: Helicopter Children

October 2015: Is Princeton An Age Friendly Community?

September 2015: Annual Report

July & August 2015: Family and Community

June 2015: A Gift that Keeps Giving

May 2015: Is 60 the New 40

April 2015: Spring

March 2015: On Being Mortal

February 2015: Mentoring

January 2015: Winter Blues

December 2014 - Leaving A Legacy

October 2014 An Age Friendly Future

September 2014 Annual Report

July - August 2014

June 2014 - Romance After 50

May 2014 - Your Virtual Estate

April 2014 - Memory and Forgetting

March 2014 - Aging in Community

Observational Stay

February 2014 - Family Caregiving

January 2014: Attitudes about Aging

December 2013 - Giving

November 2013 - Healthcare Marketplace

October 2013 - Annual Report 2013

September 2013 - Total Brain Health® Fair

July - August 2013 My cat, My Father and Me

June 2013 - Age Friendly Communities

May 2013 - Navigating a Changing HealthCare Landscape

April 2013 - Becoming Visible

March 2013 - Navigating Life’s Transitions

February 2013 - Partners in Caring Princeton

January 2013 - Men as Caregivers

December 2012 - The Safety Net

November 2012 - Going Solo

October 2012 - Documenting Your History

September 2012 - A Journey of Transformation

July - August 2012 - Gratitude & Moving

June 2012 - Diversity

May 2012- Aging in America


March 2012 - Patient-centered Care

February 2012 - Can you Spare an Hour?

January 2012 - Challenges & Opportunities

December - Are you Prepared for Emergencies?

November - We need YOU!

October - Chocolate for Memory

September- Looking Back and Looking Forward

July - August 2011; Ageism

June 2011 - Accessibility

May 2011 - Paper retention

Knit Wits, April 2011

Lessons and Legacies, March 2011

Independent Living February 2011

Home Safety January 2011

Witness to my Life December 2010

Elections, benefits and open enrollment November 2010

Retire in 3D!

Strategic Planning September 2010

Am I Old? July 2010

Memory Clutter June 2010

Aging In America May 2010

Volunteering April 2010

Spirituality March 2010

Estate Planning February 2010

Encore Careers January 2010

Hiring Home Care December 2009

Annual Giving by Sharon Naeole November 2009

Flu Pandemic 2009 October 2009

Healthy Memory, Healthy Mind September 2009

A Personal Perspective on Caregiving July/August 2009


Wei Ji: Crisis, Danger and Opportunity April 2009

Write your own obituary March 2009

Hobbies February 2009

Hope and Vision in Challenging Times
January 2009

Medicare Changes 2008: Take A Look! December 2008

Scams, Frauds and Rip-offs November 2008

Engaged Retirement: Beyond Financial Planning October 2008

September 2008 Caregiver Dilemmas

Finding Rhythm and Purpose July/August 2008

Spring Cleaning II June 2008

V + OA = ER (Volunteering + Older Americans=Engaged Retirement)May 2008

Spring Cleaning April 2008

Have You Had the Talk Yet? March 2008

Get Moving with FitRhythms™! February 2008

My Condolences January 2008

Advocacy December 2007

What Are Social Services? November 2007

Sensitive Topics October 2007

Plan for the Future September 2007

The Up-side of Aging Summer 2007

Volunteering June 2007

Strategic Plan May 2007

National Conference on Aging: Let's ReThink Aging April 2007

Brain Health March 2007

Resiliency February 2007

Transportation January 2007

Season of Giving December 2006

Medicare Part D November 2006

April Hill McElroy October 2006

Civic Engagement September 2006

Change June 2006

White House Conference on Aging May 2006

Hearing Loss April 2006

GrandPals March 2006

Lets Talk February 2006

Eldertopia January 2006

Hoarding December 2005

Annual Report: November 2005

Are You Prepared? October 2005

Planning Ahead October 2005

Watch Your Language September 2005

Medicare Part D Summer 2005

Sue Tillett June 2005

The End of the Journey May 2005

Clutter March 2005

New Dietary Guidelines February 2005

Transitions January 2005

Funding December 2004

Caregiving November 2004

Civic Engagement with GrandPals October 2004

A New Look September 2004

Safe Driving Summer 2004

Food Safety June 2004

Communication June 2004

The Challenge of Giving Care May 2004

Seniors On The Move April 2004

Depression March 2004

McGreevey February 2004

Medications January 2004

Random Acts of Kindness December 2003

Civic Engagement November 2003

Reverse Mortgages Oct 2003

Emergency Preparedness, Jan 2003

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