Category Archives: Activism

Our Intergenerational Music Program Featured as National Cutting Edge. Newspaper and TV

Collington is now the Poster Child for Intergenerational programs!

Samantha Flores and Collington are the featured story (with photo of our auditorium) in The New York Times reporing on a newly issued report on inter generation initiatives for seniors.  The story begins.

When Samantha Flores wasn’t taking classes at the University of Maryland for her master’s degree in cello performance this past academic year, she could often be found hanging out with a bunch of 80-somethings. Ms. Flores, 28, along with another music student, was participating in a new artists-in-residence program at Collington, a nonprofit retirement community in Mitchellville, Md.

As the article reported:

Marilyn Haskel, a 72-year-old resident of Collington involved in selecting the students, said the young people often invited fellow music students to practice on the grounds, resulting in pop-up concerts. With no family nearby, Ms. Haskel said, “it was delightful for me to sit down and have conversations about their careers and what they’re planning.”

When residents learned that Ms. Flores didn’t have a car, they often drove her to campus. Ms. Flores struck up close friendships with many of the residents, including one she met in September who had recently been given a brain cancer diagnosis.

“We bonded over Bach,” she said, engaging in lengthy conversations about him. When the man died in February, Ms. Flores played a piece he had requested at his funeral: Bach’s “Sarabande: Suite for Solo Cello No. 5 in C Minor.”

“I promised I wouldn’t cry, but you can’t help that,” she said. “It was a very emotional moment.”

The trigger for the article is a new report from Generations United and the Eisner Foundation survey of 180 intergenerational programs.

That report itself cites a Harris Poll that found:

[P]lenty of support for programs that bring diverse age groups together to fend off loneliness. Ninety-two percent of Americans believe intergenerational activities can help reduce loneliness across all ages.

Moreover,

A strong majority of Americans (94 percent) agree that older people have skills or talents that can help address a child’s/youth’s needs and 89 percent believe the same about children and youth addressing the needs of elders. More than four in ve Americans also say if they (85 percent) or a loved one (86 percent) needed care services, they would prefer a care setting with opportunities for intergenerational contact rather than one with a single age group. Americans were also clear that age segregation is harmful, finding that almost three quarters (74 percent) agree that “programs and facilities that separately serve different age groups prevent children/youth and older adults from benefitting from each other’s skills and talents.

Given all that is now happening in this field, way beyond music, we will need to keep innovatintg to stay in the lead — another major task for our strategic planning process.  Indeed, onsite child care was an idea that came up frequently in the process.

P.S.  One little thing I would like the photo committee to do is take on making a set of before and after photos of our residents, showing the huge impact grandchildren visits have on us.

P.P.S.  The TV version is on WJLA, here.

 

 

The Potential for Clinical Trials at Collington

As we move forward with our repositioning of health care at Collington,  of necessity the potential of Collington as a research location has taken a big of a back burner – but only for now.

This New York Times article is a timely reminder of how us seniors are often forgotten when it comes to clinical trials:

Salt matters to geriatricians. It’s associated with conditions many older people contend with, particularly high blood pressure, but also swelling and heart failure.

Though doctors frequently urge older patients to reduce salt in their diets, it’s not clear how much reduction is necessary to improve health, or even how much salt most people actually consume.

“There’s a lot of controversy, but that’s why we need the data,” said Dr. Covinsky. So he read on, until he reached the paragraph explaining that the study used “randomly selected, nonpregnant participants aged 20 to 69 years.”

He did a double-take. Once again, the population probably most affected — older adults — had been left out of an important study.

“How is this possible? Unacceptable!” Dr. Covinsky protested on Twitter. “I can think of no good rationale for this exclusion. This has got to stop.”

Indeed, I have been told by researchers that it is hard to recruit seniors for trials.  This may be for a variety of reasons, lack of trust, fear of the unknown, inconvenience, failure to understand modern protocols and informed consent.  As the Times adds:

Starting next January, [NIH] grant applicants will have to explain how they intend to include people of all ages, providing acceptable justifications for any group they leave out. The agency will monitor investigators to make sure they comply.

Moreover, there are often problems with exclusions of research candidates who have multiple medical conditions (like almost all seniors.)

This has all led to the idea that Collington may indeed be a perfect research partner.  We have many scientists here, and many with experience with statistics, data, and research protocols.  We are an easy to reach population, and we are also racially diverse — another important consideration.  Moreover, we might be able to help enroll and provide services associated with the research to those in the community.  (In particular, fear of not being helped with other conditions is a major deterrent to certain categories of patients.

So, as we move forward, lets keep this is mind.

Salt, anyone?

p.s. Dorothy Yuan adds the following thoughtful comment.

You have absolutely right that we have an ideal population for clinical trials.  I can already think of many parameters.  First, the age bracket is quite limited.  Second, living conditions are similar.  Third,  access to minimal  medical care is generally available.  Forth, although the daily menu provides a lot of choices it is still rather limited in scope. Fifth, and most important, easy access for researchers to do follow-ups.
Whereas these conditions are not suitable for all areas of study.  For example, salt intake will be rather difficult since we don’t prepare our own meals.  However, we would be ideal for many other studies.  
All we need is a way to advertise our availability. 

 

The Hats We Wear

Collington women have shown us the way of the world just by sharing their hats.  From an Admiral’s hat to traditional nurses caps to hard hats to church hats to pussy hats, this year’s Women’s History Clocktower Exhibit displayed our unique places in the world.   Colorful and diverse and observed and commented by residents and visitors alike the exhibit was changed out some, mid-month to accommodate all hats donated.  Fun and fascinating and successful!  Whatever shall we do next year???

Hope you enjoy the pictures.

Hats w1Hats w2Hats w3Hats w4Hats w5Hats w6

Collingtonians at the March for Our Lives, 3/24/2018

Here are some of our residents who traveled to downtown Washington to support the hundreds of thousands of young people protesting gun deaths in America, and to demand sensible gun control actions from politicians.

 

 

Photos submitted by Marilyn Haskel and Dorothy Yuan and Nadine Hathaway

Additional photos –

 

Meet Today’s Women Musicians​

In keeping with Collington’s celebration of Women’s History Month, I promised to speak with our artist in residence, Samantha regarding a music program.  We met and that was that!  She corralled 5 of her friends (local and out of towners) to educate and perform for our community.  The packed auditorium was astounded!

Below you will find the program broken into 4 parts, each presenting a set from the musicians.

Now meet the Women who represent the future of music!

Part 1 – Ruth Bright is a collaborative pianist based in the Washington, DC area. She is currently studying at the University of Maryland School of Music, pursuing her MM in collaborative piano.   In addition, Ruth is an active choir director and accompanist for three community churches.  She is also a co-founder of OperaTerps, and is currently serving as Artistic Director of this pioneer undergraduate opera company.

Part 2 – Sequina Dubose is currently pursuing a doctorate degree in vocal pedagogy at the University of Maryland.  She has numerous opera credits performing traditional and new roles around the country.  She has also toured as a soloist with The American Spiritual Ensemble and sang alongside famed trumpeter Wynton Marsalis.  In addition to her personal academic and artistic pursuits, she serves as Director of Development for ArtsCentric, a non-profit theater company she helped to found in the Baltimore area.

Part 3 – Tiffany Lu is a third-year Doctoral student in conducting at the University of Maryland. She has conducted many orchestras including the University of Maryland Repertory orchestra and symphony orchestra. She is assistant conductor of the Capital City Symphony, conducting associate of the Monteux School and Music Festival, interim music director of the Wilmington Community Orchestra in Delaware, among other commitments.

Part 4 Marina Murayama Nir and Rob’n Delaine – Marina organizes events in the DIY music and art scene in Philadelphia.  She is a writer, music educator and performer.  Her interests lie in bringing together artists of varying disciplines and in building spaces that nurture and support people of color, gender-marginaliaes, and queer creatives.  Marina is a contributor and co-curator of the social justice art blog, Culturework, and is a facilitator at Girls Rock Philly.

Rob’n Delaine is a 23-year-old Philly native.  She’s a singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and feminist.  Her music touches on a wide range of issues from mental health to politics and her influences span a variety of genres and artists.  She released her debut EP “Westbound” last September.

All Rights Reserved