Our meetings at the Coleman Library in Germantown seem to experience the highest level of attendance. In November and December, we had the Director of WES Health Services, Angela Cooper as our guest speaker at both meetings. The November meeting went so well that she offered to come to the December meeting as we were breaking up that night. That's powerful stuff.
She was a dynamic force with our attendees, 8 in person and 2 on the conference line and she helped us to see what's going on our lives in a different light, better able to make sense of nonsense, as it were. Caregivers have a lot to carry around with them and sometimes find themselves self-medicating to soothe the helplessness, this is the subject we covered and it was powerful.
Please keep checking the schedule for who's speaking so that you can participate in meetings (in person or on the conference line) to pick up some helpful hints and much-needed support. The tiniest tidbit of a suggestion can make a world of difference.
Thank you, Angela, for providing us with your expertise. We'd love to have you out again, whenever your schedule allows.
Sincerely and Respectfully Submitted,
Jean Kirkley, Founder/Facilitator
The months of March, April and May have seen a substantial upturn in membership. We've had four new members from our Coleman Library meetings and two new members from our Wynnefield Library meetings plus a good turnout for our speakers beginning with Ms. Marilyn Dyson , Mrs. Elissa Lewin and Sis. Kind Essence in May. I'm returning to my original format which includes inviting speakers to all meetings to bring us some fresh ideas, resources and solutions to some of the issues you face on a daily basis.
On Tuesday, June 10th at Coleman Library, we'll have a representative from City in the Park, Ms. Megan McCoy at 6 pm. Please come out to gather some information from her.
I'm seeking someone for our June 18th meeting at Wynnefield.
I'm prepping for the AARP Caregiver Event on Monday, June 9 at WHYY. Please come out and join us at 10:00am.
I'm very proud to announce that the North City Congress, North Broad St. Senior Center has invited Boomers 'R Heroes to conduct daytime meetings at their great facility. Beginning Monday, March 24th @ 10:30 am, Boomers 'R Heroes Caregiver Support Group will conduct morning meetings including the senior care center participants and staffers who wish to participate sharing their personal stories and supporting each other. I've had the honor of meeting with Eilene Frierson, Center Director , Diana Hill, Center Counselor and Michelle McMillan, Program Coordinator who have all coordinated the integration of Boomers into the busy schedule at North Broad St. Senior Center.
Anyone who's available to attend a morning meeting is very much welcomed to attend and you'll be welcomed with open arms. Eilene, Diana and Michelle make everyone feel like part of their family.
Boomers 'R Heroes Caregiver Support Group is moving on up!!!
Did we have a fantastic meeting on Monday or not!!!! Yes, yes, yes, we did. We have a coupla fellas as a part of our group now. It was great to hear from them both and then to be able to meet them both at the first meeting they were invited to attend was very exciting. We also had another new member, Ms. J., with whom I've been in touch and she came out last night. Welcome, welcome, one and all. Three of my long-term members were in attendance as well with their input, knowledge and support. The new folks needed to feel how we work and I could see them perk up and listen to the suggestions that came their way. I'm so pleased that Mr. D, Mr. A and Ms. J. mixed in so easily with our group and found helpful hints and support and most importantly found that they are not alone in their caregiver struggles.
Stay strong, my heroes, seasoned and new members alike. You are all my Heroes.
I'm very happy to report that Boomers has had a great month of meetings. Of the three scheduled meetings, two of them produced new members and it's so gratifying to find that folks are finding out about us.
On June 10th in Chestnut Hill (usually at Lovett Library) I was very surprised to have two new members and two of our long-time members in attendance. That was a great showing. I'm happy to welcome V. and A. into our group. They came in ready to share and learn....and share they did. We had a good time with lots of laughs, yep, laughs. V is quite a storyteller and loves to make folks laugh. she even asked me to send notes to all members that they may call her when they need to smile. I couldn't do that, but the thought is great!!!
On June 20th in North Phila. @ North Penn Baptist Church,I was happily surprised when one of my best friends, L. called to say she wanted to come to the meeting with me and I was more than happy for the company, only expecting one other person to attend. Much to my surprise, A came to this meeting, too. She was ready to help someone else. The newest member I'd expected was G and w/her husband (who is the one that she cares for) who is wheelchair bound. She handled him like she was meant just for that job. My Pastor, Rev. Marshall, assisted her with moving him in and out of the building and we all greatly admired her skills and courage. Rev. Marshall sat in on the last 1/2 hour of our meeting and was very moved by the caring and sharing and the fellowshipping that is our meeting. He said that he'd speak more to the church about Boomers as he knows so many who would benefit from what we offer. His sanctioning is what we need to make the group grow at North Penn and the community. G's story is very compelling and her husband, though speech-impaired, told his story, as best he could. G filled in the rest and talked about how she handles things. She's a very impressive woman. To this meeting I bought some precious information, The Nancy's House Caregiver Respite Care Organization, had an opening for one more attendee at the Retreat scheduled for 6/28, so I gave G and A each an application. A was able to attend and I'm waiting to hear from her as she said she'd report all that happened at the next meeting. There was also another member of the group in attendance at the Retreat so in essence, I had two people from my group attending this retreat. That was great news. The second member did call me and talk to me about the weekend and how great it was for her and that she'd met A and that Boomers was listed as a support group referrals during a workshop presented at the retreat.
On June 29, Wynnefield Meeting, there was no meeting due to lack of attendance. Oh well. Can't when them all.
Here's praying that July is great, t
I was nervous about the upcoming meeting in Wynnefield as it was the first to be held at this location. The staff is welcoming, friendly and helpful. My guest speaker, Kimberley Johnson of Phila. commission on Aging, was first to arrive which gave us time to get acquainted then our Heroes arrived one at time...we had Sharon (yaaaaaay) who gave us an interesting insite into the Jewish culture....Then Ms. L came in and much to my surprise we knew each other from a temp-job I'd had this past fall (small world) and she was encouraged to attend by another Hero Belinda (yaaaay). So we had 3 heroes, a guest speaker and myself. Pretty good group for a first time setting. Kimberley was prepared with a lot of good information and patiently repeated it for each person as they arrived. Basically, PCA offers a Seniors Helping Seniors volunteer program where folks 55+ can volunteer to help folks in the city systems for 20-40 hours a week and receive a stipend. It's good to know there are ways to get help that is already screened, evaluated and trained. Check the RESOURCES PAGE for contact information. She requested to come out to another meeting soon and you know I'm happy about that. We had to be out by 8:00, but all was good. We closed with a prayer that everyone was happy to participte in, including the library guard. Ms. L, Belinda met me at TGIF afterwards and enjoyed each others company talking regular girl stuff and sipping a nice cocktail which ended evening ona great note. TGIF...even though it was Wednesday night :)
My Dear Heroes,
The month of March has been very good to BOOMERS 'R HEROES and continues to be so. The meeting at North Penn on Thursday night was wonderful and very revealing. We had 3 ladies attend from North Penn and a sweet young lady from the community who found us on the website, names Samantha. She had an awe-inspiring story to share and we learned what a sweet spirit she is. This means there are 3 new members. My fellow church members were very open while sharing their personal stories and we are encouraging each other to touch more people in the community to come out and participate. We discussed how important this format is to the women of the community and why we need to reach out and bring our women together, not just the caregivers but the young women who are need of a guiding hand in this harsh environment we find ourselves living in these days.
Thank you Heroes for coming out on Thursday to share yourselves with us and we look forward to getting together again next month with even more people involved. I discussed the possibility of changing our meeting nights to a more open time where possible members are not involved in choir rehearsals and meetings. I'm checking on it to see what we can come up with. One of my Heroes and had once suggested having a meeting at her home as she a caregiver within her home and it would provide a working atmosphere for those in attendance. I
Ms. Dawn Thomas was gracious enough to accept my last minute invitation to address the Mt. Airy meeting again on 3/11 and this turned out to be the best meeting of the year, thus far. We had 4 new members attend by phone and in person. Thanks to you all for coming out and sharing your individually inspiring stories. We had a problem with the Library, again, this time with no notice, they'd booked a second meeting in the room I'd been using for a year now, once a month and then I was asked to moved downstairs for this meeting. Boomers had already convened and we were not moving because they were wrong in the way things were handled. In the end we shared the conference room and we each had a great meeting. A little cooperation goes a long way. The librarian called a couple of days later to apologize and go over some other reservations that may be a problem where we rearranged a meeting to avoid problems. I'm happy to continue at the Lovett Memorial Public Library. It's been a great location for us.
The meeting had 7 attendees and our speaker which gave us a great group and lively discussions.
Thank you all for your support. We look forward to seeing you all soon.
Dear Heroes, Friends, & Family,
Please excuse my negligence of the blog. I have been a bit preoccupied and now I;m back. I've begun a new job, brought a newer car and developed a relationship since January 2nd and have been a little off the regular track. I'm writing this from my friend's house as a matter of fact :) I need to catch up on some blogging.
MEETING OF FEBRUARY 11 - MT. AIRY:
We had Dawn Thompson, Journey's Way, address our group. That night we had 3 members in attendance and we had a lively discussion about the needs of caregivers and their patients and services provided by Journey's Way. There are so many services available for the seniors and their families.
There was a little problem in that we were not in the conference room but on the main library floor, in the corner. It got a little noisy with the teleconference line open that means the speaker is turned up so that the caller can get all the information and be involved...well, let's say, it was lively.
We had a good meeting and I'm glad we got to meet Dawn.
Thank you for your input and support.
MEETING OF FEBRUARY 21 - NORTH PENN
Meeting was not held due to lack of attendance that night. So I thought...It turned out that a person who'd contacted me actually came out but we missed each other. That was a misfortunate situation and will not happen again.
What a great meeting we had last evening at the Lovett Memorial Library. Christian Brancs of Moravia Health was our guest speaker and was very much involved in our lively discussion. We spoke of Alzheimer's and dementia issues and experiences with their loved ones. We also spoke of difficulties with diabetes, prosthetics and stubbornness of father to learn to use the prosthetics. She's encouraged to seek HHA for her dad to We learned a lot from each other and were eager to share what little knowledge we have.
Thank you for coming out and sharing. Thank you Christian for the information about Moravia Health.