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Feb 5, 2008

Nursing Home News -- February 2008


This month you will notice a LONG list of activities, and we encourage you to pick at least one and participate, because there should be something for everyone!  Do you like music?  Come on out to the Percussion Group on Mondays at North Florida led by retired music teacher Gretchen Grigsby—or join us for the Valentine Serenade at University Place.  Do you like poetry?  Check out the Reaction Reading group with Vi Asmuth at Park Meadows.  This month’s session has already passed (February 1st) but mark your calendars for next month (March 7th)!  And you will find many more activities listed below, including a fishing trip!

Speaking of marking your calendars, you will notice the date for this year’s Bingo-a-thon below—more details to follow in next month’s nursing home news.

Finally, we want to call your attention to two special events directed at all Friends Across the Ages volunteers: our second “Strategic Planning” session, and also the Volunteer Training Session scheduled for later in the month.  If you’d like to help us dream about the future of Friends Across the Ages, we encourage you to attend the Strategic Planning session (or contact us to find out other ways to participate).  If you’d like to meet other volunteers and sharpen your skills as a volunteer, we encourage you to attend the pizza social/training session.

So there really should be something for everyone!  There’s never been a better time to get involved in Friends Across the Ages and show the residents at the nursing homes how much we love them in a month that celebrates love.  J



Volunteer Ruth Hazen has been doing manicures for the residents at University Place almost every Tuesday for the past twenty-five years, but she has finally retired from her weekly visits (she’s only 87, after all!).  We have been looking for someone to carry the torch forward for her, but have not identified anyone as of yet.  If you or anyone you know would be interested, please contact us.  Ruth will be happy to show the ropes to a new volunteer.  She always saw it as a special way of helping the residents to still feel beautiful because, after all, they are beautiful!


Mondays, 10:30-11:15pm –Percussion Group-- Friends board member Gretchen Grigsby has developed a “Rhythm Circle” which allows residents to play drums/other rhythm instruments and express themselves musically.  About eight or nine residents will be participating in the program at North Florida Rehab and Specialty Care each Monday at 10:30PM, for the next six Mondays (through March 17th).  If you’d like to participate, feel free to contact us or stop by NFRSC some Monday and be part of the action.  Gretchen welcomes other volunteers but says you will be required to participate!  J  All the drums have already been purchased but you would be welcome to contact us if you have some other percussion instruments you’d like to bring or donate to the group. 

Friday, February 8th, 1PM – Arbor House Valentine Delivery – A group from Arbor House, a local home for single mothers and their babies, will be visiting Parklands Nursing and Rehab to distribute home made valentines.  While this event is not open to other volunteers, we just thought you might like to know it is happening.  Contact us if you’d like to know more about Arbor House and how to support it.


Monday, February 11th, 2:30 – 4PM -- Casino Time! – A monthly event at Parklands Nursing and Rehab.  At 2:30 there will be a bingo game.  Once we are finished with Bingo, we really up the stakes and move on to Blackjack!  The residents will be playing for “Bingo Bucks” and prizes.


Monday, February 11th, 7 – 8PM – Valentine Serenade – A group of us will be traveling the halls of University Place and sweeping the residents off their feet with sing-a-longs like “Let Me Call You Sweetheart” and other favorites…or at least we’ll try to sing well enough that we don’t break their hearts! J  Any voice will do—come join us!  We’ll meet at the back entrance to University Place at 7PM (the front doors are locked in the evening, so drive around to the back of the building). 


Tuesday, February 12th, 11:30 – 1PM – Chili Cook-Off – Friends Across the Ages will be participating in this event held at Haven Hospice on 39th Ave.  Last year over 20 Chili recipes were entered and winners were chosen in various categories.  Tickets are $5 at the door and you get all the chili you can eat!  It’s a great lunch so bring your friends and coworkers.  The event is organized by SPICE (Special Projects Interagency Council for the Elderly) and the proceeds this year will go to a special project by local law enforcement to educate seniors about safety issues.  Thanks goes to Keri Shinn for making the official Friends chili.  Keri is the reigning champion in the “Healthy/Vegetarian” category, so be sure to check out her entry this year (and remember to vote for her! J ).


Saturday, February 16th, 9AM – 12PM – Strategic Planning Session – The Friends Across the Ages Board of Directors, along with other interested volunteers and supporters, will be conducting the second of two strategic planning sessions to help guide the future path of our organization.  The last time we did a similar strategic planning was five years ago, and it was very productive.  If you’d like to be involved, please reply to this email and let us know!  You don’t necessarily need to have attended the first session to attend this second one, or to help out in some other way—especially by giving us your input or helping us gather input from other volunteers, nursing home residents and nursing home staff.  This session will be held at Barr Systems.


Tuesday, February 26th, 7-8:30PM  Volunteer Training Session / Pizza Social –  The first thing you need to know about this event is that there will be FREE PIZZA!!! There are two main purposes to this event, which we hold usually once a year in the fall and in the spring.  First, we want to give all the volunteers from the various nursing homes a chance to meet one another.  Second, about once a semester we generally offer a training session, which is highly recommended for all new volunteers, especially one-to-one volunteers.  But everyone who would like to learn something or participate in the discussion is welcome.  So, for the first half hour or so we’ll have pizza available and we’ll all just chat informally.  Then we’ll get to the training session, in which we will talk about communication skills, and well as other elder care related topics.  We’ll also spend time answering questions from our new volunteers.  This event will be held in the conference room at Barr Systems; please contact us for directions.  If you plan to attend, please reply to this email so we’ll know how many people to expect.  [note: If you would like to become a one-to-one volunteer, please let us know so we can meet with you individually at our office first.]


Wednesday, February 27th, 10AM - ??? – FISHING TRIP!  Do you like fishing?  Do you know anything about fishing?  If you answered yes, we may need your help, because we know very little about fishing, yet we intend to take some nursing home residents from Parklands Nursing and Rehab fishing this day.  The wheelchair-accessible buses will be taking us out to a fishing spot near Hawthorne, FL.  We have been told that anyone over 60 or disabled doesn’t need a fishing license.  The kitchen at Parklands has promised to cook up any fish we catch (don’t expect that to be many).  Only one thing is for sure – the trip will be a true adventure.  So all you brave souls, reply to this email for more information.  The date and time of this trip is subject to change due to weather, and ability to get transportation.


Thursday, February 28th, 3-4PM -- Birthday celebration – Help us wish a happy birthday to all residents of Parklands Nursing and Rehab with birthdays in February. Meet us in the dining room where we will have singing and cake. Volunteers are needed to help gather the residents together, serve the cake, sing, clean up, etc.  Do you play an instrument or have some other talent?  We are always looking for new entertainment for the party – let us know!



And looking ahead…

Friday, March 7th, 2:30PM – “Reaction Reading” -- Lead by board member Vi Asmuth (also known as M. Violet Asmuth, Ph.D.), this event will be held at Park Meadows.  Residents will be invited to participate in a program that consists of choral reading of poetry.  The group reacts with active participation, knowledge, opinions, feelings, and imagination.  Vi did a study monitoring the results of this small group program in three nursing homes in the Fort Myers/Cape Coral area. One facility liked the program so much that she continued leading groups there for five years.  If you find this topic interesting, you are welcome to come out to participate.  This is a monthly event, held the first Friday of each month.


Save the date…


Saturday, April 19th, 2-6PMBINGO-A-THON!!!  Mark your calendars now (come on, we know you have a calendar somewhere… dust it off).  Look for more details in the March “Nursing Home News”—or contact us if you’d like to learn more.  This is our big annual celebration for nursing home residents and volunteers, and we will be looking for at least 50 volunteers to participate! 





Remember, be sure to check above to find out the nursing home at which an event will be held.  Directions to all the nursing homes can be found at:

All events are open to everyone (children are welcome at most events, please inquire). If you've never been to a nursing home before, feel free to reply to this email and let the coordinators (Steve and Allison Blay) know what events you'll be attending, so they will be looking for you. You can also call them at 381-1117. 



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