The local scene in the Pioneer Valley is full of activities that relate to the art of living (and dying) well during the senior years. Let me tell you about a few exciting developments:
The Amherst Senior Center has a wonderful part-time nurse on staff. Lisa White provides treatments, education and referrals and is at the Center on Mondays from 10-12 and from 12:30-2:30 and on Thursdays from 1:30-3:30p.m. Please call 413-259-3257 for further information.
The Dementia Initiative founded by Eleanor Wakin, and situated at Cooley Dickinson Hospital in Northampton, is working to create “a continuum of support for dementia patients and their caregivers.” Read about more about the initiative at: http://www.cooleydickinson.org/dementia-initiative
Joanna Brown has written a beautiful work describing her own experience of caring for others. Her book Caring for Dying Love Ones: A Helpful Guide for Families and Friends fairly bursts with useful information. My favorite section so far is “Taking the Temperature of the Caregiver.” Having been a caregiver for both of my parents as they were dying, I know how important it is for the caregiver to pay attention to his or her own well-being. This is a book for those who are caregivers and for those of us who are, or will eventually be, care recipients. You can find the book at http://www.amazon.com/Caring-Dying-Loved-Ones-Families/dp/0981982018/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1296361617&sr=1-1
Psychologist, Sara S. Wolff’s book Vital Aging: Seven Years of Building Community and Enhancing Health is next on my list. It tells the story of the women in a group that Dr. Wolff led. Since I once saw Dr. Wolff in therapy myself, I know what a gifted therapist she is! I can’t wait to read about her insights and the women’s experiences.
Last, but not least, Janet Bunce, CSA, is a wonderful local Certified Senior Advisor working at Eldercare Training Associates in Amherst. Janet is a care coordinator with lots of information to share. If you think she can be of help, call her at 413-253-6918 or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org