Lets Talk February 2006
Let’s Talk February 2006
February can often be a bleak month. It is still cold, still dark, roads and sidewalks may be treacherous. One can easily feel trapped at home, lonely and isolated. Inertia and gloom set in. This is a really good time to come to a Let’s Talk group.
PSRC is currently running four Let’s Talk groups. The original groups meet on Wednesday morning from 10:30 to 12 noon at Redding Circle and Wednesday afternoon from 3:00 to 4:30 at Spruce Circle. More recently, we have added two groups of Let’s Talk in English for the growing number of older adults in Princeton who are not native English speakers.
Studies show that a critical component of healthy aging is having a social support network. You need to know that someone cares, and that you have others to care about. Participants in these groups have formed friendships that extend beyond the group, going to meals, plays and movies together. People call each other when someone is ill. Resources and strategies for overcoming life’s challenges are often shared. One person told me recently how important the group was to her when she first moved to Princeton to be near her children because she didn’t know anyone else and the group members became her first friends.
Another component of healthy aging is keeping the mind sharp. Group discussions range as far as the imagination can go. People tell their own stories, reminisce about when times were different, compare journeys through both trial and triumph. Sometimes current events, near and far, are the focus, or a thought-provoking tv show. Other times we enjoy a great laugh over internet humor. One participant often tells me how he felt rather down all week, but he feels much better after the meeting, and another has told us how much attending the group helped her get through the first year after her husband’s death.
The Let’s Talk in English groups help participants adapt to a new culture, building language skills and social connections.
Each of the groups is facilitated by at least one PSRC staff person or volunteer. Our responsibility is to make sure that the coffee and tea are ready, the cookies are plentiful and that newcomers are welcome. It is also our job to ensure that each group is a comfortable and safe place to be and that confidentiality is maintained. For that reason, we like to meet with a new person before they attend a group. We often bring information and resources to share with the group, and we follow up when participants are absent. I have enormous gratitude for what I have learned about aging from my four years of meeting with these groups.
Come join us! If you are interested, please contact Abigail Waugh (252-2362) or Susan Hoskins (924-7108).
Susan W. Hoskins LCSW
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