ELISE BLAIR USES gardening around her Middlebury home as a way to stay busy, especially during the quarantine, which is causing many seniors to experience isolation. Blair also hosts zoom classes through Elderly Services, which she finds to be just as rewarding for herself as for her peers. Independent photo/Alexa Lapiner
MIDDLEBURY — The isolation of this pandemic can feel at times unmanageable. That can especially be the case for seniors who cannot leave their homes or visit with loved ones. Elise Blair, a friendly face in the Middlebury community (and beyond) shares some possible ways to escape that isolation. Elise is a retired psychoanalyst but still a member of the American Psychoanalytic Association. Although retired from daily practice, she still provides support by teaching classes on aging for Elderly Services participants and hosting a caregiving group at the Congregational Church of Middlebury. The...
While social distancing best practices may limit some of the ways you might typically cool down when it’s warm, there are still many ways you can keep your cool.  Older Vermonters and people with disabilities and chronic conditions are at greater risk for serious heat-related illnesses, and even death when the statewide average temperature reaches 87 degrees Fahrenheit or hotter. Keep reading for tips to stay cool during hot weather:  •  Drink up. Drink plenty of liquids, such as water or fruit or vegetable juices. Stay away from drinks containing alcohol or caffeine. Remember, start drinking...

IN HER SOCIAL worker role at Project Independence, Eileen Lawson has learned that live videoconference is one way to keep seniors physically active, which is vital for overall health.
MIDDLEBURY — Sometimes a chair is just a chair, but right now for many elderly clients at Project Independence a chair can be much more. In fact, after the senior center shut down in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a chair might be a home gym, a dance floor or a tour bus.  Project Independence, a branch of Elderly Services Inc., is an adult day center serving Addison County. It typically provides at Elderly Services’ Middlebury headquarters a wide variety of closely supervised, intellectually stimulating and physically beneficial activities to seniors with lessened mobility. Until March,...

MAUHS SENIOR SHAYNA Block, whose capstone project was to design and create a cable-knit sweater, was inducted into the National Art Honor Society on May 26.
MIDDLEBURY — The Patricia A. Hannaford Career Center inducted three students into the National Art Honor Society (NAHS) on May 26, 2020: Ellen Berg (senior, Middlebury Union High School), Shayna Block (senior, Mount Abraham Union High School), and Sabi Ward (senior, Middlebury Union High School). There are over 58,000 student members in the national organization in over 2,500 different chapters across the United States. The Career Center chapter, which was chartered in 2002, is one of only three in the state of Vermont. The chapter is under the co-direction and advisement of art and design...

BRISTOL — Four graduating Mount Abraham Union High School seniors have been awarded scholarships by the Tari Shattuck Education Foundation, which gives scholarships to students planning to pursue a degree in Education. Owen Darling of Bristol, Addy Harris of Starksboro, Alexis Kouwenhoven of Bristol, and Mae Peterson of Bristol were all recipients of this year’s award. Owen Darling is planning to attend the University of York in England, and looks to use his study abroad to enrich his understanding of the world. This year, Darling took a class at Castleton University, and while there,...

MEMBERS OF THE Middlebury College Senior Committee spoke briefly to their classmates on Sunday. The committee was instrumental in developing the May 24 “Senior Celebration” that brought together the class of 2020 online to mark the occasion of their graduation. Video screenshot
MIDDLEBURY — In lieu of what would have been its 218th commencement ceremony, Middlebury College streamed a “Senior Celebration” online Sunday afternoon. “Gather us all,” said Dean of Spiritual and Religious Life Mark Orten from a quiet, empty Mead Chapel. “Now are we gathered, more now than here, because of a spring interrupted. A senior year, split between gathering here and gathering now.” After sending most students home in March to help slow the spread of COVID-19, the college on April 7 suspended in-person classes for the rest of the school year and announced that its May 24...

A TIGER LACROSSE game last year.
Sports writers like to call their sections the “Toy Department.” Most recently I came across that reference in a Boston Globe piece by longtime columnist Dan Shaughnessy. In many ways it’s hard to argue with that description.  There are days — on the sidelines of a game on a sunny fall day at Mount Abraham with foliage at its peak, in a packed Vergennes gym for a rivalry hoop game, listening to the Otter Valley pep band rock the House of Noise, or hearing the Doc Collins Field crowd roar as a Middlebury running back breaks into the open — when it’s hard to believe this is work. But the...

VERGENNES UNION HIGH School seniors, shown along with a volunteer on Green Street during a walk-a-thon to Middlebury this past Wednesday morning, raised more than $100 per class member to donate to WomenSafe for its transitional housing project. Independent photo/Steve James
VERGENNES — The annual walk for charity made by Vergennes Union High School seniors this past Wednesday netted $7,400 — and counting — toward the Class of 2020’s nonprofit of choice, WomenSafe. About 50 of the 73 members of the class walked on Wednesday morning from the school to the Middlebury town green (nearly 13 miles via Green Street and Morgan Horse Farm Road), accompanied by faculty advisers and three WomenSafe representatives. There they celebrated exceeding the class goal of raising $100 per senior for WomenSafe’s new transitional housing project. The class was still collecting...

A SERIES OF online videos called “Stay Savvy Vermont” portrays scenarios in which scammers try to trick seniors out of their money and give practical advice for how to avoid such schemes.
WATERBURY — The Vermont Attorney General’s Office (AGO) and the Department of Disabilities, Aging and Independent Living (DAIL) have been rolling out a series of videos designed to increase awareness among older Vermonters of potential scams. The series, called “Stay Savvy Vermont,” is a web series created with the talents of the Community of Vermont Elders (COVE) and Senior Medicare Patrol Savvy Seniors acting troupe; it is produced with the generous support of ORCA Media.  Just this month they rolled out the sixth episode in the series, one called “Perfect Fit.” It addresses online dating...

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Addison County Independent

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Middlebury, VT 05753

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