Transitions January 2005
Transitions: “The one constant in life is change.”
January is the month of new beginnings, of reviewing the past year and envisioning changes for the coming year. I think we borrow from the Jewish tradition on this concept, albeit on a different calendar.
Transitions are rarely easy. There is often a lot of anxiety as one contemplates a major change, weighing the pros and cons and trying to predict into the future what the implications are of the change. However, these are often the smoothest transitions, when one has a feeling of exercising options, has had time to prepare, and has lined up the necessary support systems of family, friends and others. Certainly the toughest transitions are those that catch one unaware, without preparation or any choice in the matter. Change often brings new challenges, whether they be a new environment to get used to, new people and resources to discover, new routines. Change often also brings unanticipated surprises and opportunities.
Almost a century ago, Arnold van Gennep studied rituals and coined the phrase “rites of passage.” He identified three stages: separation, transition and incorporation, still relevant to understanding life changes. In the first stage, one is separated from the old and familiar in a period of loss. The middle stage is a neutral or limbo phase between old and new. Last, when the inner adjustments have been made, there is an acceptance of the new reality (1). Please call our Transitions staff if you need assistance navigating a life transition.
January will bring change at PSRC this year, as Nancy Arnold and Kathy Keating Iola are both moving on. Nancy has decided to retire from her position as Activity Director to enable her to devote more time to family, travel, and volunteering in the community. We are excited that she is choosing to do some of that volunteering for PSRC, so we don’t have to say goodbye. Kathy has accepted a position as administrative assistant at the Cambridge School in Pennington. Nancy and Kathy have both been with PSRC for five years. They have been deeply dedicated to the work of PSRC and have contributed in many creative ways.
One result of this transition is the ability to redefine job responsibilities. We will now have a full-time Activity Director, who will oversee all classes and activities at the Suzanne Patterson Building, do publicity and the Mature Princeton bulletin, and manage scheduling of the building. We will also have a part-time Bookkeeper. We have been interviewing candidates and have selected Carol King as Bookkeeper and Maureen Tyler as Activity Director. They will both start in January. You may already know Carol from Nassau Presbyterian Church, Glenmaryl Woolworks or 10,000 Villages, and Maureen from Merwick where she has been Recreation Director. Please stop by the office to meet and welcome them.
HELP MAKE A COMFORT QUILT
Do you knit or crochet? Not sure what to make or have trouble with the intricate patterns but want to keep your hands busy during the long winter months? We want to try to assemble a comfort quilt to give to someone who needs it. Use your scrap yarn to make 6” squares and then bring them in to us at either location. When we have enough collected, we will stitch them together into a lap blanket. Volunteers to help with the assembly are welcome. If the idea takes off, we will continue.
PSRC wants to thank all the volunteers who helped Flu Shot Day go so smoothly and who helped make the Holiday Party such a lovely event.
Thanks to RBCDain Raucher for their contribution to support the live entertainment at the Princeton Cotton Club event on January 15. This event is a fund-raiser for the PSRC social service programs and we want the whole community to turn out for some good listening, dancing and socializing.
We also thank PNC Bank for their contribution in support of the Caregiver Resource Center and the Caregiver Conference in November.
Johns Hopkins University recently did a study on the effect of a program called Experience Corps, a volunteer service program for older adults to work with students in 3 urban Baltimore schools. The volunteers gave 15 hours of service per week for the duration of the school year. At the end of the year, students in all 3 of the schools showed improved reading skills and better classroom behavior, as compared to the 3 control group schools. The volunteers reported feeling stronger, had fewer falls and improved social contacts. (Reported in NCOA )
U.S. Surgeon General Carmona has issued a supplement entitled “The 2004 Surgeon General’s Report on Bone health and Osteoporosis: What it means to you.” It can be downloaded from www.surgeongeneral.gov or by calling 1-800-866-728-BONE. 10 million Americans over age 50 have osteoporosis, while another 34 million are at risk for developing the disease, which can affect both men and women. Recent studies indicate that anyone over age 50 should increase Vitamin D intake to 400 IU per day.
Family caregivers often spend thousands of dollars out of their own funds for things not covered by Insurance. Caregiver marketplace offers nearly 1000 goods and services such as nutrition supplements, incontinence products, home modification equipment. Enrollees can get cash back or discounts on products bought through the Marketplace. Go to www.caregiversmarketplace.com or call 1-866-327-8340.
IS IT ALZHEIMER’S?
The Alzheimer’s Association has developed a checklist of common signs of Alzheimer’s Disease. For more information call the Association at 609-514-5346.
1. Memory Loss-forgetting recently learned information
2. Difficulty performing familiar tasks-such as meal preparation or a hobby
3. Problems with language-forgetting simple words, substituting unusual words. Handwriting may be hard to understand.
4. Disorientation of times and places-forget where they are or how to get home
5. Poor or decreased judgment-making poor choices
6. Problems with abstract thinking-not able to calculate numbers, generalize
7. Misplacing things-putting things in peculiar places
8. Changes in mood and behavior-sudden mood swings
9. Changes in personality-confused, suspicious, fearful, dependent
10. Loss of initiative-loss of interest.
Early diagnosis is important for appropriate treatment and care. New medications can slow the progression and assist mental function in the early stages.
Susan W. Hoskins LCSW