Archive for November 2008

Help After the Holidays

Amy

Amy

After working at the North/Eastside Senior Coalition for over 5 years now, I have begun to notice a pattern around the holidays. The first day after a holiday seems to be flooded with telephone calls from concerned family members wanting to know about services in the community. Family members who maybe aren’t able to visit with their parents on a regular basis are often surprised to return home only to find out that Mom or Dad is not doing as well as they thought. Holidays are a great time for family members to check-in to see how senior adults are doing at home. Family members may notice that the home is no longer as orderly as it once was, that Mom is not taking her medications as often as she should, or that Dad is not eating as much and appears thinner. Or families notice how happy their parents were when they had company and want to find social activities for them to participate in during the year. That’s when they call NESCO as they are afraid to return to their own homes again and leave Mom and Dad alone. NESCO case managers can visit with the senior adult and hopefully connect them with services so that they can continue to live independently at home. Family members are thrilled to now have a contact to talk to who will be able to continue checking on Mom or Dad while they themselves are out of town.

Don’t know what things to look for when visiting or how to discuss your concerns? The following link from the Wisconsin Alliance for Family Care Giving offers a checklist of items for family members as well as good advice on how to talk to your parents.

http://www.uwex.edu/ces/flp/caregiving/files/reading_holidays.pdf

As always, NESCO case managers are also just a phone call away and are happy to also answer questions or address concerns….608-243-5252.

Thanks-for-Giving Recap

Rachel

Rachel

On Thursday night the North/Eastside Senior Coalition held its annual Thanks-for-Giving Social honoring NESCO volunteers, and the event was a smashing success! NESCO is blessed with an enthusiastic and dedicated bunch of volunteers. We as a staff, along with the senior adults we serve, are so grateful to have them. From the bottom of our hearts, THANK YOU!

Cortney Doescher-Hino and Breena Wiederhoeft applauded NESCO volunteers.

Cortney Doescher-Hino and Breena Wiederhoeft applauded NESCO volunteers.

These volunteers from Blackhawk Middle School’s Spirit Club enjoyed the evening.

These volunteers from Black Hawk Middle School’s Spirit Club enjoyed the evening.

NESCO Board member Paul Van Rooy led the way to the buffet!

NESCO Board member Paul Van Rooy led the way to the buffet!

NESCO staff members enjoyed the chance to give back to our office volunteers Monika Rieser and Mary Hill.

NESCO staff members enjoyed the chance to give back to our office volunteers Monika Rieser and Mary Hill.

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NESCO so appreciates the volunteers who give of their time and compassion in order to enhance the lives of senior adults in our community. NESCO couldn’t accomplish its work without your support and friendship. On a recruitment note, we are always looking for new volunteers for a variety of projects. If you would like to contribute your time and energy, please contact NESCO at 243-5252 or email us at info@nescoinc.org.

Thanks for Giving!

Home Chores Don’t Have to be a Bore

Breena

Breena

Upon first glance it would seem that the most helpful part of the Home Chore Program is the assistance with housekeeping and yard work that seniors receive from volunteers.  No doubt, anytime your yard is covered with leaves or your driveway is piled with snow or your dishes are stacked up in the sink, it is a relief to know that volunteers are available to help with these tasks that have become more difficult.  And the volunteers, for their part, are willing to do the work.  After all, they signed up to help with a program called the Home Chore Program, which does not beat around the bush: you will be doing chores.

The longer that I work with volunteers and seniors in the program, though, one thing becomes increasingly clear to me.  The housework and yard work that is performed on a regular basis, while ever-important, is often a secondary benefit.  What could be more important than having the carpet vacuumed and the bathtub scrubbed?  Ask any senior or volunteer involved in the program and they will tell you, it’s the companionship!  It is close to impossible to spend time with a person each week or a few times a month and not get to know them a bit.  I have heard delightful stories of volunteers who have come to view their senior match as an adopted grandparent, and seniors who look forward to their volunteer’s visit as if they were family.  While they may not be family, the seniors and volunteers who participate in this program often become close friends.

One high school volunteer, when asked how the program was going, famously replied, “Well, it’s going well, but I don’t really do much.  Mostly my senior and I sit and watch Oprah together!”  When questioned further, the volunteer acknowledged that she also spent time doing the dishes and helping take out the trash, but it was almost an afterthought.  For her and her senior match, the most impressive part of the program was the time they spent together talking and sharing common interests.  Of that, I think Oprah would be proud.  I know that we are!

With Great Power…

Drew

Drew

There are many characteristics and hobbies I am proud to admit I have. I consider myself a pretty serious guy. When I am in the office, I do the best I can to make sure things are running smoothly. But I do love to have a good time. One of my favorite hobbies is reading superhero comic books at Barnes and Noble. I grew up inspired by heroes like Spider-Man and the X-Men. I learned many great lessons about honor, friendship, and the value of doing what is right because it is right. That is how I want to live the rest of my life.

As many of you know, the economy is not doing too well. Money is tight everywhere and 2009 is going to be a tough year for budgeting all of the programs and services we provide for the senior community. We depend on Dane County, the City of Madison, and United Way, but we also depend on donations from you, the public. We are a non-profit organization dedicated to providing senior adult services and activities to help stay involved and active in the community. But that is not as easy as it sounds. It takes money to do what we do, and our staff is dedicated to doing it, whether it is working on case management, senior activities, or community assistance.

We can’t stress enough how every little bit helps. If you would like to make a donation to North/Eastside Senior Coalition, you can come and pick up a donation slip from our office or send a donation to our office at North/Eastside Senior Coalition, 1625 Northport Drive #125, Madison, WI 53704. You can even choose which program you want your money donated to. The programs are Case Management, Cultural Diversity, Home Chore, Nutrition, Intergenerational, Newsletter, and Endowment. You can also make a donation in memory or tribute to someone special.

There are serious problems in this world and it is up to everyone to help out and make a difference, no matter how small. Stan Lee, creator of Spider-Man, created a saying that I believe in to this day: “With great power comes great responsibility.”

Caregiver Support Groups

Cortney

Cortney

Did you know that the North/Eastside Senior Coalition offers two caregiver support groups?  The first is offered on the first Tuesday of every month right here at the Warner Park Community Recreation Center.  It runs from 10am – 11:30am and meets in the Meeting Room.  The second support group meets the first Thursday of the month at Bashford United Methodist Church (329 North Street).  This group meets from 7pm – 8:30pm in the Fireside Room.  Also, if you need transportation and/or respite care, we do offer this at no charge to you!  Our caregiver groups are general discussion and everyone is invited – no matter what type of caregiving is provided. It is a great place to meet others that can related to your situation and a place to discuss feelings associated with the stress of being a caregiver. If you would like more information please contact me at chino@nescoinc.org or (608) 243-5252.

Thanksgiving in Fitchburg

Pam

Pam

African American Seniors of Fitchburg and the surrounding areas: on Friday, November 21, the Fitchburg Senior Center will host their annual Thanksgiving Lunch.  A turkey meal will be served and there will be a performance by Casey and Greg.  If you would like to attend, please call by Tuesday, November 18, to make reservations for lunch and sign up for transportation if needed.  Donations are appreciated for lunch.  We will also have a winter craft project for you to do and take home.  For more information, or to sign up, call the Fitchburg Senior Center (608.270.4294). Read More

If you want to sing out, sing out!

Breena

Breena

I like to sing.  I like to sing in my car, I like to sing in the shower, I like to sing when I’m doing the dishes.  Who doesn’t?  There is something that feels good about singing.  A lot of people that I talk to agree that they like to sing, but only when no one else is around to hear them.  “Do you think you don’t have a good voice?”  I will ask them.  “No, it’s because I am shy.”  Or embarassed.  Or maybe they do think they have a bad voice (which they most likely do not).  Here’s what I think: singing feels good, and if we enjoy it, we should share it. Read More

A New Kind of “Alphabet Soup”: Understanding the Basic Options for Assisted Living

Gwen

Gwen

Many people incorrectly assume that once they begin to require assistance with the tasks of everyday life, they will need to leave their homes and enter a nursing home. While nursing homes may be the best option for some individuals, Wisconsin also has several other options to provide assistance within the community. Some options are privately financed by the individual, and others may have funding available through Medicaid and Medicare in certain circumstances. This article outlines the basic options for assisted living in Wisconsin, and those that provide the highest level of care are listed first. Read More