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Friday, May 25, 2012

Let's do some Spring Cleaning

Spring has come again and has fulfilled its promise of a new beginning.......................green leaves, blooming flowers, and singing birds. The bright sun of spring encourages us to raise our blinds and throw open our windows to let the fresh, fragrant air into our offices and homes.  In the bright light of the sun, we can easily see the kids' fingerprints, the pets' noseprints and the dust bunnies that went unseen during the dark days of winter.  It is then that spring cleaning begins in earnest.

Spring can also be a good time to do some "Spring Cleaning" in our lives.  Like the fingerprints and dust bunnies, things that have happened to us  can clutter up our minds and prevent us from enjoying our lives to the fullest.  Life is short, and we only get one chance at it, so taking care of ourselves and beginning to remove this "clutter" can greatly improve the quality of our lives.

The clutter in our minds can come from any number of things, and no matter what your clutter might be, there is probably a trained professional out there to deal with it.  If your issues, or the issues of someone you know, stem from domestic violence,  the professionals of the Dove Domestic Violence Program are waiting to help you "clean house" and move on.   Dove serves five counties:  DeWitt, Macon, Moultrie, Piatt and Shelby, with the shelter and main office in Decatur and satellite offices in DeWitt, Moultrie and Shelby.  Piatt County is served by appointment. 

When many people think of domestic violence, they immediately think of physical abuse.  Physical abuse, of course, is devastating.  Emotional or verbal abuse can be even more dangerous and sometimes harder to detect.  Signs of emotional abuse include, but are not limited to:  excessive jealousy which prevents outside friendships, being blamed every time things go wrong,  being cursed at and/or called names,  being isolated from family or friends, having to beg for money and account for every penny your are given, and  having to "walk on eggshells" to prevent confrontations which happen anyway.  Domestic abuse is a pattern of behavior which is intended to keep the abuser's victim under his or her control.  Abusers use their power to control their victim 24 hours a day.  Physcial abuse leaves wounds that heal within a few weeks.  Emotional and verbal abuse can leave "wounds" to our minds that can last much longer.  If you, or someone you know, is suffering from any kind of abuse, please call one of our programs to speak with a trained professional who can help you with your "spring cleaning."  We offer legal advocacy, assistance with orders of protection, intervention with law enforcement and the judicial system if needed, individual and group counseling for victims and their children.  We try to do whatever it takes to assist a victim and his or her family to move on with their lives...........clutter-free and safe.

To contact Macon County or Piatt County, please call 217-423-2238
To contact DeWitt County, please call 217-935-6072
To contact Moultrie County, please call 217-728-9334
To contact Shelby County, please call 217-774-4888

When we are done with spring cleaning our homes, we are free to enjoy the upcoming summer with all of the fun it offers.  When we spring clean our lives, we are able to move on and enjoy our lives in safety and freedom.  We finally become able to be the people we want to be.

Susie Kensil is the Domestic Violence Coordinator serving Shelby County.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Safety Reminder

One in three adults over 65 falls each year.  Less than half tell their doctors, family members, caregivers or friends!  Don't be afraid to ask the questions, don't let your loved one stay quiet.

There are three causes - Osteoporosis, Hazards in the Home and Impaired Vision that can be managed with active prevention.

Osteoporosis -
  • Calcium - Recommended intake of 1,200 mg a day - milk, yogurt, cheese, oatmeal, broccoli, kale, oranges, collard and turnip greens, arugula, white beans,  sardines, salmon, and shellfish, soy milk, soybeans, tofu, sunflower seeds, almonds
  • Vitamin D - used for the absorption of calcium - without sufficient amounts of Vitamin D, calcium is not properly absorbed.  Natural sunlight causes the body to make it's own vitamin D.  Due to medications a loved one maybe taking, getting into the sun may not be an option.  They may need a supplement.
  • Exercise - lifting light weights, doing a physical activity - walking, swimming, yoga, stretching just 15 minutes a day makes a difference in balance and flexibility.

Hazards in the Home - the cause of one-third of all falls
  • Throw rugs - remove them from the home, tack down any loose carpet edges
  • Clutter - remove any items that can be tripped over - store them in bins out of walk space
  • Poor Lighting - have nightlights and motion sensitive lights in all dark areas - halls, bathrooms
  • Unsteady Furniture or Lack of Grab Bars/Handrails
  • Emergency Response System - an emergency button worn around the neck or attached to clothing used to call for assistance

Impaired Vision - can be a natural part of the aging process
  • Poor Eyesight - make sure glasses are being used, keep smudge and dirt free
  • Cataracts and Glaucoma - yearly check ups with an ophthalmologist to detect and correct glaucoma and cataracts before too much damage to the eyes is done
                       
Many falls can be prevented.  Give yourself and your loved one piece of mind by managing the risks involved.

from Silvia Comfort, the DeWitt County RSVP Coordinator

Friday, May 11, 2012

Seniorama!

Seniorama…sounds like a fun, huh?  The 23rd Annual event for the “young at heart” was held last Friday, May 4th at the Decatur Civic Center.  I was lucky enough to get some insights about Seniorama from Joan Meeder, our RSVP (Retired & Senior Volunteer Program) Director.

Q:  What are the positive effects that Seniorama has on the community?
A:  Seniorama connects seniors, caregivers, care receivers and those soon to be seniors, to provide information about products and services they might need to enjoy independent living. Exhibitors include health care providers, social service agencies, and local businesses. This event gives them an opportunity to leisurely explore the numerous exhibits, enjoy live entertainment and refreshments, and have some social time with their peers. It is also an educational opportunity to participant in wellness checks and health screenings that might indicate further medical checks that perhaps will save their lives.

Q:  What is your favorite part about participating in Seniorama?
A:  Observing the seniors having a good time and exploring new ideas at the same time.  It is also an opportunity for RSVP to join with the other Seniorama sponsors (St. Mary’s Hospital, DMH, Sams Hockaday Insurance, Keystone Meadows & Gardens, Ameren, and Herald & Review) to plan an event – together - for the benefit of the community.

Q:  Any highlights from this year?
A:  800 people were in attendance. This was the 23rd year for the event. Tara Nickerson and Tim Dudley, (from the Cromwell Radio Group) our master and mistress of ceremonies, were terrific, and the entertainment was superb. This year we suggested they bring a nonperishable food item to share with a local food pantry; an opportunity for the seniors to give back to their community – and we received a hefty amount of items.

Q:  Any other comments about Seniorama?
A:  It is always enjoyable to see the smiles on the faces of the seniors when they visit the RSVP booth. Sometimes this is the only time I get to see them face to face and to reinforce a BIG thank you for their participation with RSVP. I look forward to the 24th year for Seniorama.

Seniorama is a great asset to the entire community and I’m so glad we have this resource for all of those who are “young at heart”.  Don’t forget to join us next year if you missed it!

Friday, May 4, 2012

"Never Too Old To Play"

Since 1963 when John F. Kennedy was our president, May has been designated as "Older Americans Month," and in 2012 we are still honoring that legacy and following the proud tradition that shows our nation’s commitment to celebrating the contributions and achievements of older Americans. Each year highlights a new theme, and this year’s theme is Never Too Old To Play.

Today, there are 40 million people, or 13% of the population, living in the US that is 65+ and that figure is projected to increase as we experience the aging of the baby boomer generation - the largest in our nation’s history. According to current projections, experts tell us the American senior population is expected to number 71.5 million by 2030.

May is the time we must recognize the diversity and vitality of today’s older Americans. They have lived through wars and many hard times, as well as periods of unprecedented prosperity. They have pioneered new technologies in industry, communications and medicine, and have spearheaded a cultural revolution that won equal rights for minorities, women and disabled citizens. They are living longer and are more physically and socially active than ever before. These remarkable achievements and lifelong participation in our community demonstrate the strength and character of older Americans, and underscore the debt of gratitude we owe to the generations that have come before us that have given our society so much.
We must also remember that today, older Americans are continuing that proud tradition of contributing to our society. As the new generation of seniors become better educated and more financially secure than their predecessors, they are spending more time making significant contributions in our communities. I have read studies that show their interactions with family, friends and neighbors enrich the lives of everyone involved. Young people who have significant relationships with a grandparent or another older person report that these relationships helped shape their values, goals and life choices and gave them a sense of identity and roots.

What is also remarkable, is today’s healthy and active seniors in our community are supporting each other, by volunteering at meal sites and delivering meals to the homebound, acting as escorts and providing transportation to those unable to drive, teaching exercise classes, helping with small home repairs, sharing vital information about available services, and the list goes on. Their energy and commitment to do their part, enhances the quality of life for all and helps to keep others living independently in their own homes for as long as possible.
 
I am proud to tell you that many of these remarkable older Americans in our community are RSVP volunteers. In fact, last year 596 members gave 118,978 community service hours at 83 different nonprofit agencies performing 355 different tasks sharing their skills and talent with the community. These volunteers are examples of the ultimate expression of generosity to their community - because generosity is not in giving of what you have - but giving of who you are.

The annual commemoration of Older Americans Month is our opportunity to recognize the contributions of older citizens, and to unequivocally assure them they are never too old to play or to contribute to their community. They have gained a lifetime of experience, and it is our privilege to join them in providing volunteer opportunities, services, and support that empower them to live quality lives.

Joan Meeder
RSVP Director

To join RSVP and become a part of these wonderful volunteers, please contact us at Dove, 428.6616 or 935.2241 or email us at dove@doveinc.org.