Category Archives: Newsletters

March 2015 Newsletter

Thank you for your volunteer time helping a senior. I hope you are enjoying the early blooms due to the warm weather. Elder Help volunteers will be having a joint training and discussion with volunteers from another program called Money Management on Thursday May 7, 2015 from 3PM to 6:15PM at the Willamalane Adult Activity Center. A light dinner will be served at 5PM. A flyer is enclosed which describes the training and discussion. Elder Help Volunteers are now eligible to obtain counseling support for up to five sessions with a counselor through an agency called Cascade Health Solutions Direction for Employee Assistance. Employees of LCOG Senior & Disability Services have had access to these supports, but volunteers are now eligible to obtain these supports for helping with issues that are occurring in providing assistance to their senior, especially with grief and loss issues if the senior declines or dies. Call Clarence for more info and these supports will also be discussed at the training on May 7th.

The Senior & Disability Services (SDS) office has changed its name from Senior & Disabled Services so you will notice that change occurring over time in their publications and my references. The office is still a division of the Lane Council of Governments and still has offices in all the same locations. Staff from the SDS office have made some changes in their procedures with volunteers. SDS Senior Connections staff are now asking all volunteers to sign a “Standards of Conduct Agreement” form and a “Confidentiality Agreement” form on an annual basis. So the Senior Connections staff from SDS who works with the client you are assigned to may be calling to meet with you or mail you these two forms for you to sign and return. Please cooperate with the SDS staff and return these forms after you have signed them if you get them in the mail. Previously these forms were only signed by volunteers at the time of the initial training. As a volunteer it is very important to avoid any conflicts of interest with the senior with whom you are volunteering and the Standards of Conduct form specifies these policies. If you have any questions about potential conflicts of interests or confidentiality issues please call and talk with me or with your SDS area coordinator.

The Family Caregiver Alliance/ National Center on Caregiving in San Francisco has an interesting website at; that includes a variety of materials on caregiving by families and the medical conditions that can occur in the aging process.

ElderHealth & Living sponsors and organizes a ten week educational series on memory loss and Alzheimer’s that occurs on Tuesdays from 10AM to Noon meeting at the Good Samaritan Chapel on Hilyard St. in south Eugene and their next series is starting on March 31st. I attended the last series and there were a number of people who spoke about their own experience or the experience of assisting partners with memory loss issues as well as professionals. When helping people with memory loss issues, emphasis was placed on maintaining supportive communication and avoiding communication patterns where the helper was frequently correcting the person with memory loss. The focus was on attending to the emotional needs of the individual instead of on the accuracy or inaccuracy of the verbal statements by the person with memory loss issues. Memory loss will be one of the topics covered at our May 7th training.

Expect to discover something delicious every day… Growing old with grace and health requires a dedication to caring for ourselves as if we were rare and precious, which we are.
—Victoria Moran in Younger by the Day: 365 Ways to Rejuvenate Your Body and Revitalize Your Spirit

I am a strong person but every now and then I also need someone to take my hand and say everything will be alright.

Dear younger me: You will get much better with age.

A person is not old until regrets take the place of dreams.
—John Barrymore

August 2014 Newsletter

I hope that you are having a good summer. Thank you for your volunteer time and commitment to helping a senior. We have three new Elder Help Volunteers: Anne Bowman, Richard Hill, and Bill Howe. We welcome them and appreciate their enthusiasm.

The Eugene Campbell Senior Center is having a neighborhood ice cream social on Thursday August 28th from 5:30 to 7PM that includes live music. The Campbell Center is at 155 High St. Eugene which is north of the 5th Street Market. You do not need to register in advance and you can call (541) 682-5318 for more information.

The Lane Senior Support Coalition will be having a celebration called “A Sweet and Sparkling Affair” on Friday October 3 from 6PM to 8:30PM. The celebration is at the Willamalane Adult Activity Center at 215 West C Street in Springfield and is the annual fundraiser for the group which assists low income seniors in need. The event includes hors d’oeuvre, dessert, and wine tasting, along with a silent auction. To purchase tickets for $15 per person for “A Sweet and Sparkling Affair” which occurs on Oct. 3rd please call 541-686-6212.

The Lane Senior Support Coalition wishes to thank the following sponsors of “A Sweet and Sparkling Affair”.

Presenting Sponsor:
Willamalane Park and Recreation District
Platinum Sponsor:
New Horizons In-Home Care
Gold Sponsor:
Trillium Community Health Plan
Silver Sponsors:
Patient Care Advisors, Noble Senior Living Referrals, Waddell and Reed, PacificSource Health Plans, Live Able Home Design, and the firm of Thorp, Purdy, Urness, Jewett, & Wilkinson
Bronze Sponsors:
Pacific Continental Bank, Long Term Care Associates, Directors Mortgage, and ElderHealth and Living
Food Providers:
Cornucopia, Fred Meyer, Churchill Estates, Sweet Life, and the Lane Community College Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management Department
Wine Provider:
J. Scott Cellars

The Lane Senior Support Coalition (LSSC) is a non-profit organization that works in partnership with Senior & Disabled Services and supports Meals on Wheels and Senior Meal sites. The LSSC also supports an Emergency Support Fund that assists low income seniors throughout Lane County with one time services or products not available through other resources (such as assistance with medical co-pays or products, utilities, minor home repairs).

When I came to town I was amazed to learn that Eugene’s first airport in the 1930’s and 1940’s was in the area south of 18th Street and east of Chambers where Jefferson School and the Boys and Girls Club are now currently located and that Springfield had an airport in the area where the Springfield WalMart is now located. If you or your senior has memories of these original local airports please let me know and I will share your stories.

With the hot weather please make sure that you and the senior you volunteer with drink plenty of fluids so that you stay hydrated. Enjoy the rest of the warm summer days.

You are not wealthy until you have something that money cannot buy.
—Garth Brooks

When you are good to others, you are best to yourself.
—Benjamin Franklin

Love stretches you heart and makes you big inside.
—Margaret Walker

Worrying does not take away tomorrow’s troubles, it takes away today’s peace.

Be kind to everyone, especially yourself. When you are grateful for both the peaks and the valleys of your life, you no longer allow fear to overwhelm you.

June 2014 Newsletter

As summer arrives with strawberries, blueberries, and the welcome addition of fresh greens and vegetables, we thank all the Elder Help volunteers for their time, commitment and support to their senior.

The summer festivals are starting with the Art & the Vineyard Festival at Alton Baker Park on Friday 7/4 to Sunday 7/6 starting at 11AM each day. This is sponsored by Maude Kerns Art Center and goes to 7PM or later each day for $7-$9 per person. On Sat. July 12 from 10AM to 3PM the Springfield Summer Fair is occurring at Island Park in Springfield and is only $1 per person or a donation of canned goods.

Plan ahead for attending a celebration called “A Sweet and Sparkling Affair” on Friday October 3 from 6PM to 8:30PM put on by the Lane Senior Services Coalition. It will be at the Willamalane Adult Activity Center on C Street in Springfield and is the annual fundraiser for the group which assists seniors in need. Future newsletters will provide information on how to purchase tickets for this fun evening.

For a change of pace let’s try some trivia from the Suddenly Senior website section on epic senior trivia.

  1. What was the name of the princess on the Howdy Doody Show?
    1. Princess Moonshadow
    2. Princess Sacajewa
    3. Princess Summerfallwinterspring
  2. What year was the first commercial microwave introduced and what year was the first countertop microwave for the home introduced?


  1. c. Princess Summerfallwinterspring;
  2. The first commercial microwave in 1954 was the Raytheon Radarange that was five feet high and weighed 750 pounds. Amana introduced the first countertop microwave for home use in 1967.


Joan Chittister in her book “The Gift of Years: Growing Old Gracefully” (2008) ends each chapter with a reflection on both the blessings and burdens of the topic.

Regarding success: The blessing of real success lies in the fact that sometime in life we come to the point where we never overemphasize any one side of it. Instead we come to live easily and fully in all aspects of life.

Regarding memories: A blessing of these years is to realize that our memories of both the sad and the happy, the exciting and the secure, the successes and failures of life are meant to guide us down these last roads with confidence.

Regarding fulfillment: A blessing of these years is the equanimity that comes from knowing that none of the side roads of our life were really wasted. The truth is we learned something invaluable on each of those roads.

Regarding dreams: A blessing of these years is the power to dream and the freedom to bring the voice of reflection, of reason, of feeling to the penetrating awareness that comes from having been wrong and setting out to right it.

To be kind is often more important than to be right. Many times what people need is not a brilliant mind, but a special heart that listens.
—Barb Schmidt; Peaceful Mind, Peaceful Life

Opportunity is missed by many people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work… Genius is one percent inspiration & 99 percent perspiration.
—Thomas Edison

Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing.
—Mother Teresa

Among its other benefits giving liberates the soul of the giver.
— Maya Angelou

May 2014 Newsletter

Spring is here and the blossoms are blooming. The days are getting longer and it is great for the sunset to be after 8PM. Everyone who helped others get through the ice and wind storms that brought down many tree limbs is appreciated for the support they gave.

Thank you for showing up and being there as a volunteer and for being a support to your senior. I am including a recruiting flyer with this newsletter and feel free to post it anywhere where others may see it. If you know of others that may be interested in Elder Help please give them my information as we need new volunteers.

For those seniors who may have lived in the area for many years there is a historical talk and video called “A Look Back at Eugene” at the Petersen Barn Community Center in northwest Eugene on Monday July 7 at 12:15PM that may be of interest. Registration is needed & you can call Petersen Barn at (541) 682-5521 for more info. The film & discussion are free & there is a Barnies Barbeque starting at 11:30AM prior to the film which is $3.00 and must also be registered for separately. They provide the main dish & beverage and you bring a salad or desert for the BBQ.

I will share some of the interesting websites that I have found relating to seniors and if you have favorite websites please let me know so that they can be shared., a website from Cleveland Ohio, has sections on funny jokes, stories, songs, and poems as well as jokes of the week. They also have a section on puzzles, brain teasers, and mind expanders.

A sample of the jokes from seniors posted at the site includes:    “Old is when you are cautioned to slow down by the doctor instead of the police” and “You know you are a senior when “getting lucky” means you found your car in the parking lot after wandering around”.

Suddenly Senior has a good section called epic senior trivia that has multiple choice questions like:

  1. In the 1950’s if you had a flat rear tire on your auto to change it you often had to remove the:
    1. Necker knob             b. Curb feeler, or            c. Fender skirt
  2. Way before the Nike Air Jordan shoes, what was a child’s shoe of choice?
    1. a. Buster Brown            b. PF Flyers                             c. Dunkers
  3. 3. Tinkertoys date back to when?
    1. a. 1914                           b. 1949                          c. 1963


  1. C-Fender skirts were attached to the rear fenders and covered half the wheel to streamline the car; (Necker knobs used to be part of the auto steering wheel prior to power steering
  2. B-PF Flyers were produced by BF Goodrich as the Posture Foundation insole beginning in the 1930’s and were very popular
  3. A-Tinkertoys date back to 1914.

There are a number of poetry books that are focused on the aging process but the most prolific writer of poetry focused on seniors appears to be Judith Viorst who lives in Washington DC and has the following books of poetry:

“Suddenly Sixty and Other Shocks of Later Life”; “I’m Too Young to Be Seventy and Other Delusions”; and “Unexpectedly Eighty and Other Adaptations” the last one published in 2010. If any of the seniors or volunteers in Elder Help would like to share a poem that they have written with others I would be happy to try and include it in a newsletter.

Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy. They are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.
—Marcel Proust, French writer

If we make our goal to live a life of compassion and unconditional love, then the world will indeed become a garden where all kinds of flowers can bloom and grow.
—Elizabeth Kubler-Ross

I feel the capacity to care is the thing that gives life its deepest significance.
—Pablo Casals, Spanish musician

If you lose the power to laugh, you lose the power to think.
—Clarence Darrow