Awesome! The energy, enthusiasm and excitement of what’s on offer at Collington!

Contributed by Marian Fuchs

Friday’s Activities Fair filled the Auditorium with residents at tables presenting 45 campus activities, ranging from audio-visual training to yoga.  Arranged by the RA Executive Committee, this event was a huge success, offering a dazzling variety of things to do for the lucky people who live on campus.  The photos below are just a few of the dozens of people who showed up to promote their favorites.

Marion Robbins at the Yoga table, Shirley Denman of the Coloring Club, Bud Gardiner at the Camera Club, Scotti at Dining Committee, Clarita Rickets painting for Creative Arts group.

Pat Duggan and Joyce Garrison of the Flower Committee, Peter Pfund of the Sustainability Committee, Jim Giese promoting audio-visual training, and Don Peterson representing both the Garden Committee and the Composting project.  Liz Barbehenn is at the next door Weed Warriors table. 

Here are Delores Padrone and Mary Bird offering Spanish;  Pat Kirkham, Herb Stone and Joyce Koch three of the large Library contingent, and Elizabeth Gill representing both the Marketing Committee and the Ambassadors Program.

 Noel McPherson and Faith Torsani on the Collington Singers table; Gretta Esty and Nancy Brown signing up a new member of the Fitness Committee. Lorrie Rogers is talking to Anita Myers about the Collington MACCRA branch

RoAnne and Helen Hindinger were showing some of the Glass Case wares they sell for the benefit of the RA; Stephen Poole and Bill Lively were playing to promote the newly created Chess Club (although Bill is obviously taking a moment to chat with Elizabeth Gill).  On the right Florence Zook shows what fun is to be had playing mahjongg.

Here are Irmgard Dugge for the Weed Warriors, Dorothy Yuan for the Booker and Beyond Book Club and Eloise Brache and Marion Henry for the ever-popular Drama Committee.

On the stage were Jim Florini with his drones (unpictured, alas), and two gentlemen billiard players; Laurie Cobb was at the table of the Health Service Committee, and in that picture Barbara Florini is talking Bonnie Cronin of the Women’s History Month, shown in the next picture. Peggy Latimer is representing the Collingtonian.  Jane Miller was one of three women at the knitting table. 

 As time wore on, the Auditorium became more and more crowded, and the noise level went up.   Two residents were said to have removed their hearing aids.  The energy, enthusiasm and excitement were palpable.

What a rich and lively campus we have!  What an extraordinary number of activities we (and the residents before us) have created for our education, enjoyment or self-improvement!  As if the array of activities on offer in the fair were not enough, there are many, many others – perhaps as many as another 45.

Consider, for instance, the unrepresented operational committees and groups (e.g. Grounds, Fiscal Review, Committees, Low Vision Group), so many other opportunities (working at the Country Store, visiting in Creighton Center, welcoming newcomers at dinner).  Think of our many musicians, (the Kollington Kats, and the many great singers and players who accompany evening glasses of wine in the Ivy Bar.)  Think of our radio hams, and the many folks who fix things in the woodshop/hobby shop, where a plethora of tools are on offer. Then there’s the list-serve and the residents’ website keeping residents informed of what’s going on. There are the diverse ways of worship in the Chapel, and residents bringing worship to folks in the Creighton; there’s the Speakers Program, the Neighbor Program, and the wonderful array of concerts that come our way on Sundays and throughout the week.  There’s the Interiors Group, bringing art to the walls of our Community Building, and the OO Shop that finds new homes for the things we no longer need, and funds all the wonderful things that we do.

What energy on the part of our community!  All this activity is generated by us, the residents.  These things are neither initiated, funded or organized by Management, or Sage or anyone but just us, and the residents who came before us.

When asked if they had seen anything like the verve of the Activities Fair in their previous CCRC positions, Justin Reaves and Megan Barbour both said they hadn’t.  It is they who used the word ‘awesome’.

Let’s give ourselves a big pat on the back!

 

Breakthrough on Collington Healthcare and a Pledge

Sometimes we use this blog sot to update our friends with information that has been shared already with residents, but should also be helpful for those who care about them.  This is one such.

We are now officially moving forward with having MedStar Health taking over our clinic, as the first phase of further changes.  The most important thing about this is that the new system we develop with MedStar will be modern gerontology focused, rather than traditional primary care.  Indeed MedStar has long been operating a geriatric program so we can expect quick changes with their expertise.

Let us hope and plan that as we welcome these new providers to our community, we will start from day one as partners, not only as institution to institution, but also as patient to individual provider.  I once ended my first meeting with an oncologist by saying , “you must tell me how I can help you,” and she replied, “you already have.

What a lovely way to start working together.  Lets start with the same spirit.  With all the work that our health and strategic planning groups and management have done to put this together with just this spirit,  I have great confidence that we will.

 

 

 

Composting! A new green venture on campus!

Contributed by Marian Fuchs

A small group of entrepreneurial residents have got together to start a new eco-project at Collington.  All of us who drink tea or coffee have the chance to recycle our old grounds and tea bags in the Collington compost project, along with fruit rinds, vegetable waste, dead plant leaves and the like.

The implementing team consists of Don Peterson and an ad-hoc committee of four:  Nini Almy, Liz Barbehenn, Shirley Denham and Marilyn Meek.    Below are Don and Nini — two of the instigators!

Without much fanfare, the group have set up a series of seven compost bins – four by the greenhouse and raised beds (pictured above), the other three at the Hilltop Gardens.  Totally compostable bags are available in the greenhouse, up at the Gardens and in the Country Store.

If you haven’t already started recycling, here are the compost instructions – copied on every bin.

Near the compost bins is a big trash can, where you can contribute the things that should not be composted, as shown below.

It will take about a year for the items in the bins to turn into good, rich, compost that Collington gardeners can use in 2019 to improve the soil in which they will be growing their herbs, vegetables and flowers.  What a win-win project!

 

Moving Modern Geriatrics to Take Advantage of Nurse, Family and Patient Intuitions

As our strategic plan moves forward in the health area, we are given a useful reminder in the New York Times of the value of instinct in alerting people to potential medical crises.  The Times article focus on the instincts of nurses, and is fascinating.  I have done a blog that asks if we can also take value from the intuitions of the family and the patient themselves

I suspect that we could “train” patients and families to be much more mindful about patient monitoring, including how to trust their instincts and how to communicate their feelings to the medical personal.  This, of course, should be accompanied by training of medical staff on how to take the most advantage of, and how to solicit such communications.  It is not hard to construct model ways of doing so.

I suspect that when things work, that is very much happening in our long term care facility already.  Nurses and care staff know the patients, and communicate with them regularly.  It makes such sense to empower them to raise their concerns, to train and encourage family and resident to do so too, and finally to ensure that all medical personnel not only listen to, but affirmatively seek such help as part of an inclusive team.

I am sure that this will fit in well with our general themes of community cultural change and inter-generational initiatives, as well as the specifics of modern geriatric medicine.