In 2019, a team of community members and local non-profit organizations came together to plan an event to educate our seniors and their family members about key issues they will need to address to ensure that elders are healthy, connected to the community and well-prepared.
The first Changing Aging event took place at the Boothbay Region YMCA and gave community members the opportunity to meet with local non-profits that serve seniors to learn about services that were available. In addition, attendees learned about how the brain functions as one ages, how to stay healthy and “age in place” and how to leave their loved ones with a final gift by getting their affairs in order so that when they pass away, their wishes are known and can be easily followed.
As has been the case with many planned events over the last several months, we had to be creative and look for a new way to provide this important information to our communities due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The second annual Changing Aging took place Oct. 5-9. It featured a week’s worth of television programs produced by LCTV and also aired on BRTV. Spectrum Generations spoke about programs available in this area and local law enforcement did two shows about how seniors can avoid being targets of scams. There was a cooking show, a talk about palliative care, an exercise discussion and a presentation on how to assure that your loved ones are well-prepared to follow your wishes when you die.
There have been many thousands of views of our Changing Aging programs thus far, and you can still view the programs by going to LCTV’s archives. While we missed seeing our friends and meeting new people in 2020, we are thrilled that the programming has been a success.
I would like to take a moment to thank all of those who participated in the shows, including: Karen Kleinkopf of the FARMS program at CLC YMCA, Todd Brackett of the Lincoln County Sherriff’s office, Nate Miller, Karen Wiswell, Jennifer Fortin, Dave Cornforth and Sara Grant of Spectrum Generations, Lori Ann of the LincolnHealth’s Palliative Care Program, Jason Warlick of the Damariscotta Police Department, Robin Maginn and Lauren Ober of the CLC Y and Boothbay Y Health Initiatives programs, Alison Russell of the Alzheimer’s Association of Maine, Stephanie Field of Maine Behavioral Healthcare, Jason Guest of Hall’s Funeral Homes, and Melissa Whitt of Whitt Law. Thanks as well to Marva Nesbit and John Martins who hosted shows.
I also want to recognize those who were a part of the planning process: Cathy Cole, Lori Ann, and John Martins of LincolnHealth, Cindy Sullivan of Spectrum Generations, Lauren Ober and Lisa Micntosh from local YMCA’s and special thanks to Brooke Alley from LincolnHealth who organized all the meetings and gift bags. In addition, a big thank you to the LCTV team of Larry Sidelinger, Dave Sven and Tyler Davis who worked tirelessly to put this series together. Thanks as well to Jon Trees from BRTV for airing the series in the Boothbay region.
Our team has put together a bag of information that includes a step-by-step guide that can be used to prepare ‘Your Final Gift.’ To receive one, please call the LincolnHealth Community Education Department at 563-4269.
We hope that things are different next fall and that we can connect personally with our seniors at our third annual Changing Aging event. Until then, thank you all.