The first thing that came to my mind about directing a senior center is that you have to love seniors- they have made me have a purpose in getting up in the morning. In changes (going back to a few years ago), the paperwork went through changes and I thought I wasn’t going to be able to keep up like everybody else, but I did. The only change I’ve seen is that it is better in many ways, including the meals. The challenge I have is with the computer skills, but I am putting in effort and doing my best. -Dora, Northside's Center Director
When directing a senior center, it is imperative that you involve participants. Another aspect is allowing seniors to take ownership in the day-to-day functions of the center. Some examples include helping with paper work and the reception area, nutrition, bible study, dance class, singing group, sittercise and other programs. This is what makes a successful center. Volunteers are the main source of a successful center. Delegating seniors to help in the day-to-day operation of the center is important. What holds the center together is sharing, caring, love, and fellowship. My dedication to being a Center Director comes from the heart by empowering older adults to live with purpose, independence and dignity by providing social, health, and nutritional support and promoting volunteer opportunities. –Alene, Fellowship Corner's Center Director
Everyday when I go to work, I have joyful anticipation of seeing happy faces and hearing happy voices! At the center we create a friendly, inviting and fun atmosphere. From having a cup of coffee with friendly talk, to playing card games and working puzzles, the center's routine gets seniors out of the house for a few hours. By socializing, getting a nutritious meal, having a good laugh, and, helping with the center's chores, our seniors feel needed and appreciated. They have the desire to want to get up, get out, and go visit their friends. Each time they visit the center it improves the quality of their days. When you have a smile on your face.....you have a little "lift" in your step....and, you have joy in your heart....it's a good feeling! -Ruby, Crowley's Center Director
Check out some different ways our senior centers will be celebrating Easter and Passover!
· Fellowship Corner: Friday, April 18th- The Easter Program is presented by the Angelic Voices. Join us for Songs, Poems and etc. at 12:30.
· Stop Six: On April 17th, we will be celebrating Easter with HAT-A-TTUDE (Participates will be wearing their best Easter bonnets for the Easter Parade. Also a short program, luncheon and an Easter Egg Hunt.
· Handley Meadowbrook: Good Friday, April 18, 2014 at 10:00 AM: Easter Resurrection Party! Potluck Feast, Food, Fun Games & Fellowship- Wear your favorite Easter Hat!
· Arlington Central: April 17th- Easter Egg Hunt; April 18th- Easter Basket Contest
· St. Barnabas: April 17th- Easter Party from 12:00 to 2:00
· Diamond Hill: April 18th- Easter Egg Hunt & Easter party
· Forest Hill: April 18th- Easter Party
· Kennedale: April 18th- Easter Party- Wear your Easter Bonnet and bring your favorite dish!
· Watauga: White Elephant Easter Hunt: April 21st, 10:00-11:00
· Worth Heights: April 18th- Easter celebration with Easter egg hunt
· Jewish Family Services: Jerry (Executive Director) and Marcus (Center Operations Manager) were among some of the guests of honor at the Beth-El Congregation on April 8th for their annual mini-Passover Luncheon. Rabbi Ralph Mecklenburger led the traditional Passover prayers.
Stop by at one of the centers to celebrate the holiday and to find friends, fun, and fellowship! You may call our central office at 817-413-4949 for information on any of our 28 locations in Tarrant County.
Despite a harsh winter and several rescheduled sessions, over 100 participants completed chronic disease and fall prevention workshops. Thank you to the many volunteers who facilitated workshops, and for the support from partners at Tarrant County Public Health and Texas Health Resources. A schedule of workshops in your area can be found under the "Wellness Programs" tab.
New partnerships for a safer community of seniors…..
Senior Citizen Services of Greater Tarrant County, Inc. has partnered with the YMCA of Metropolitan Fort Worth and the National Council on Aging to encourage seniors to live to their fullest potential and be aware of their risk for diabetes. An estimated 1in 3 U.S. adults has prediabetes, meaning they are at high risk for developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. Yet, only 11% of those with prediabetes know they have it. The good news is that people can prevent or delay prediabetes from progressing by making simple lifestyle changes. Research has shown that staying active, eating healthy and losing weight can all reduce a person’s risk for developing type 2 diabetes. The YMCA is offering a group-based program to help adults learn to make healthy food choices, increase physical activity, and lose weight—all of which are proven to lower the risk for type 2 diabetes. With support of a trained lifestyle coach and fellow classmates, participants develop a plan to help them stay healthy, active, and motivated. For more information on YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program, please call Shelley Parker, Program Coordinator, at 817-566-1049 or go to http://www.ymca.net/diabetes-prevention.
Senior Citizen Services has also collaborated with UNT Health Science Center to train 28 of their physical therapy students as A Matter of Balance (AMOB) Coaches. The students are in teams of 24 and are leading a total of 8 classes in the community at senior centers, faith-based sites and senior living facilities. Not only do the seniors and the community benefit through additional AMOB classes offered, but the students learn to work with older adults and sharpen their public speaking skills. The feedback from the sites, seniors and students has been all positive so far, and we hope to continue this partnership training by new students in the future.
-Dr. Jennifer Severance
Don't miss your chance to see downtown Fort Worth from a new perspective! Enjoy an afternoon with your friends and family, searching for 10 clues in downtown Fort Worth. Then join us for the after party and awards ceremony featuring live music, snacks, and a celebrity emcee!
All proceeds will fund Senior Citizen Services of Greater Tarrant County.
Click here to sign up.
Many thanks to all who came to the Senior Citizen Services Report to the Community and to Trinity Terrace for hosting us. We honored many generous supporters and volunteer board members for their leadership. Over 10,000 seniors were served last year with socialization, nutrition, activities, and wellness programs! Thanks to you for caring about seniors aging in place with health, independence and dignity! -Jerry Mosman, Executive Director
In July 2001, Arthur visited one of the senior centers with his sister-in-law. She couldn’t stay, but Arthur did. The center director, Lucy, introduced him to Doris. She asked Arthur if he wanted to play 42; he accepted the invitation and stayed for lunch.
After that, he visited the center and looked for Doris to play 42. By the end of August, he was at the center twice a week eating lunch and playing the guitar and mandolin.
One afternoon before leaving the center, Doris invited Arthur to her church for a social to which he accepted.
When he arrived at her home he was greeted at the door by her children who were there to check out this suitor that was picking up their mom. They introduced themselves and questioned his intentions toward her. It didn’t scare Arthur off and their friendship continued to grow.
Arthur first told Doris that he loved her in October by playing her the song “Have I told you lately that I love you” on his mandolin at the park across from the center.
A few days later Arthur was involved in a car accident. He called the center to tell Lucy that he wouldn’t be there for lunch. She handed Doris the phone and he explained to her where he was and she told him that she would be right there.
After helping Arthur, Doris made sure that he got home safely. He hugged and kissed her for the first time and said “Oh, now we need to get married.” Doris agreed so they left to go and get their marriage license.
Lucy suggested that they get married at the center since they met there.
On October 30th, 2001, Doris was walked down the aisle (between the dining room tables) with her grandson Joel to her waiting groom. Arthur was standing with his sister-in-law and two best friends. Doris was met by her three daughters and granddaughter, Leah, who served cake (made by Doris’ daughter).
A local news station was on hand to video the wedding.
Arthur and Doris shared eight years together before he passed away from complications of a broken hip and Alzheimer’s disease. Lucy remembers the genuine love that Arthur & Doris shared and has often spoken to others about the complete devotion she had for him, especially when he was in the nursing home. As his Dementia got worse and he was unable to verbally communicate, it was Doris who would be there to help the nursing staff care for him every night and at times would go back to facility and stay until he fell asleep before going back home.
Henry and I met when we were 17 years old. At the time I was engaged to my friend’s brother, Gary, who was a sailor stationed in Virginia.
I learned that Gary was seeing someone else so I wrote him a “Dear John” letter and told him he could pick up his ring when he came home. My cousin who lived with us had a date with a fella named Jacob and his friend Henry came along, so I joined them. Our "double date" was to a medicine show in Pennsylvania.
I was still in love with Gary but that night fell deeply in love with Henry and after that night we spent almost every day together. I mostly remember us putting puzzles together, but we also saw every movie that came out. We dated for almost 7 years as I wasn't allowed to marry until I was 21 years old.
Three years after we'd begun dating, his mother got very sick and was dying. She told him that he wasn't fit to marry me or anyone else due to the fact that he used crutches to walk from being born with a water tumor on his back and at 2 years old had surgery that injured his back.
Henry told me to find someone worthy of me but I told him if I didn't marry him I wasn't going to marry anyone. My heart was broken. Henry came back into my life 2 weeks later and we resumed dating.
His mom passed away and his dad remarried a wonderful lady, Eloise. Henry talked with her about our wanting to marry and she told him that he had as much a right to get married as anyone so, at the age of 24 Henry and I married at a beautiful church in Pennsylvania.
After 11 years and unable to have children we adopted our son Johnnie who was 11 days old. I love him just as much today and dream about him which makes me happy.
I remember one night dreaming that Henry told me he didn't love me and it made me feel sad for several days. I told Johnnie about the dream.....he told me "Oh Mom, he did love you". My heart still aches.
Alice was a widow in her nineties, living with her daughter and teenage grandson. She loved going to the Friday night dances that they had at her local senior center then. There were always lots of nice people...mostly ladies, not as many men. One night a new fella came to the door. When Thomas looked around he said to the door greeter...”wow, there sure are lots of ladies here!” The door greeter pointed to Alice and told him ...”that's a good woman there and she's a good dancer, too!” Alice & Thomas danced all night together and she let him drive her home. When they got home, she informed her wide-eyed daughter that they were going out for a while longer to have coffee. “But, Mother....it’s 9:00!” Alice didn't want to pass up the opportunity to get to know Thomas better. Three months later they got married! They enjoyed several wonderful years together before Thomas passed away. Her 92 years old eyes just sparkle when telling me her love story.
Whitney shared the love of a neighbor in the passing of her son. The love was given through the life of her son. The son touched so many neighbors on a street full of busy lives. Neighbors on the cul-de-sac had all given their time and monetary gifts with food and love.
Mr. & Mrs. Gilmore met in nursing school. Mr. Gilmore fell in Love with Mrs. Gilmore while she was reading the bulletin board. The Gilmores were together for a year before marriage. Their Pastor married the Gilmores in a giving shelter surrounded by food and clothing given to them by the Church. The witness was a worker at the giving shelter.
*All names and centers have been changed to protect identities.*
Our 2014 Annual Meeting & Report to the Community Reception are coming up soon!
Annual Meeting and Report to the Community
Wednesday, February 19th, 2014
Reception: 4:00 to 6:00 PM
Program: 5:00 PM
1600 Texas Street
Fort Worth, TX 76102
Event & parking are complimentary.
You may RSVP to Sheila Haase at email@example.com or call 817-413-4949 x207.
Thank you to our host sponsor:
We are happy to welcome Ruby Harse, the new Center Director at Crowley Senior Center! Ruby is not only a skilled manager, but also has a heart for serving seniors and developing fun ways to stay involved and connected. Ruby’s compassion is also demonstrated in her article distributed through her residential community’s monthly newsletter, in which she imparts insightful wisdom about aging, as well as some helpful healthy recipes. These recipes incorporate more vegetables into a meal, require few ingredients, and create a cozy, winter meal. Here are a few to consider and enjoy:
Cheesy Broccoli Vegetable Soup
· 1 to 2 heads of fresh broccoli, chopped
· 1 carrot, diced
· ½ onion, diced
· 1 clove garlic, diced
· 1 can chicken broth + 1 can water
· 1 can evaporated milk
· ½ cup Velvetta or grated cheddar cheese
· Note: You can use zucchini instead of broccoli.
Put all of the vegetables in a large saucepan with the chicken broth & water. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 25 minutes. Use a potato masher and mash up the vegetables. Add the milk, pepper, & cheese. Heat until the cheese melts. This will make 2 large or 4 smaller servings.
**To use the crockpot: Put in everything except the milk, pepper, & cheese. Cook on HIGH for 3 hours or LOW for 6 hours. Then add the milk, pepper, & cheese.
Pasta Fagioli Soup (similar to Olive Garden’s soup)
· ½ lb. ground meat, browned
· 1 onion, diced
· 1 large carrot, diced
· 1 stalk celery, diced
· 2 cloves garlic, diced
· 1 can diced Italian tomatoes with juice
· 1 can red kidney beans
· 1 can beef broth + ½ can water
· 2 tsp Italian seasonings or ½ tsp oregano, ½ tsp basil, ¼ tsp thyme pepper
Put all of the ingredients into a large saucepan. Bring to a boil then simmer for 20 minutes. Add ½ cup pasta shells and simmer for another 8 minutes until the pasta is tender.
Be sure to stop into any of the senior centers to receive a welcome tour from the very talented group of Center Directors. Center tours are happening near you each month. Click here to tour a senior center.
The Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) under the umbrella of Texas Senior Corps, is gearing up for the MLK community service project. This project will consist of a book Drive benefiting the Town of West. We are so excited to be running the event for the kids in West and have boxes set up at our senior centers as well as our central office. RSVP Volunteers will come together to sort gently used & new books on January 20, 2014. These books will be donated to the elementary school library in the town of West. We have already had many people donate several boxes full of books for these children. It is so wonderful to see our community come together and open their hearts to a town that has lost so much. All Texas Senior Corps projects statewide will participate. We cannot wait to drive down and hand deliver the books to the school. Thank you to everyone that has already contributed to the book drive and if you would like to donate some books or help us in any way, you may reach me at 817-413-4949 ext. 205.
The study of animal behavior describes the survival skill of vigilance- the frequent scanning of the perilous environment for threats. We are fortunate people to live with rare threats of predators or deadly parasites. But there are plenty of risks in the environment that warrant our vigilance during these cold winter months.
There are a few things to consider for your personal safety. Cold wintry temperatures lead to conditions that increase risks of falling, frostbite, and hypothermia. When temperatures dip, it is best to stay home or at least in doors. Age-associated changes alter how efficiently the body maintains adequate temperature, so dress warmly, especially protecting the head, hands and feet. Drink plenty of fluids, stay well nourished, and stay active. Keep the house warm, at least the rooms that are frequently used. If this is a hardship due to fuel costs, contact utility companies or the Aging and Disability Resource Center (Tarrant County: 817.569.4036) to find out if you qualify for special programs to help pay heating bills or improve home insulation.
If you do have to venture outdoors, maintain a high level of vigilance against the cold elements- avoid icy areas, dress warmly, and limit your exposure. People with chronic conditions, such as diabetes, thyroid disease or heart disease, are more susceptible to accidental death from overexposure to cold. Keep clear of ice areas that could lead to a fall. Watch for signs of frostbite: numbness, cold or burning feeling, pain or itchiness, skin color changes to red, yellow or white, and hard skin. Watch for symptoms of hypothermia: shivering, confusion, memory loss, slurred speech, drowsiness, and in severe cases, unconsciousness. If you notice any of these signs or symptoms, get immediate medical attention by calling 9-1-1. Information about first aid for people with frostbite or hypothermia can be found on various websites, include the American Red Cross and Texas Health Resource’s Health Information Encyclopedia. I encourage you to ask your health care provider for more information, particularly if you have a chronic condition. They are familiar with your unique health needs and can make the best recommendations. Free classes on fall prevention and chronic conditions start at community locations this month. Enroll in a class to gain important life saving strategies for your personal safety.
One of the best things we can do to avoid preventable problems from cold weather is to keep connected and to keep an eye out for our neighbors. When cold weather hits, let friends and family know how you are doing. Note the needs of seniors who live alone to make sure they are staying warm and have adequate nutrition and human contact. Living alone can be even more isolating during days and nights of cold weather. And finally, keep in mind that senior centers offer the warmth of friendship and family, a hot meal, and the care and concern for your safety and well-being. Weather permitting, we hope you’ll join us!