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