seniors


THELMA MINER (LEFT), a longtime Brandon resident, enjoys a safer life at home thanks in part to her homeshare housemate, Anna Hardt. Photo by Karen Pike
BRANDON — Years ago, Thelma Miner, who is now a feisty 91-year-old, made her daughter Marie Perry promise that she would remain in her Brandon home for as long as possible. A nursing facility was off the table. But when Thelma began suffering memory loss, Marie knew it would take a team to fulfill that promise, especially with her living more than an hour away.  Four days a week, home health aides come in to make sure Thelma exercises and eats her lunch. Thelma’s son and daughter-in-law live next door so they can regularly check-in and watch out for any deviation from Thelma’s daily routines...

RONNIE ROMANO PLAYS a keyboard in the “Cathedral Studio” at the bottom of the Elderly Services stairway with a group of seniors watching and enjoying the music via a Zoom connection. Photo courtesy of Ken Schoen
MIDDLEBURY — If there was one silver lining to the COVID-19 pandemic, it was that arrived at the beginning of spring, when people of all ages could at least congregate outdoors with appropriate face attire and social distancing. But a Vermont winter is nipping at our collective heels, prompting concerns about how seniors will be able to interact with other people and access diversions when their universe becomes distilled to just a few rooms at home. “It’s not a happy picture,” said Joanne Corbett, executive director at Elderly Services Inc., known as ESI. “We, at ESI, feel like what you’re...

DEBBIE DEEM
MIDDLEBURY — Seniors at the Residence at Otter Creek in Middlebury and others around the state listened to and took part in an Oct. 8 conference that raised awareness of financial abuse that older Vermonters can encounter when they head into cyberspace. The Financial Abuse Specialist Team of Vermont organized the all-day conference — held via the Zoom video conferencing software — during which community members and professionals discussed the risks senior citizens face online.  Debbie Deem, a former victim specialist with the FBI, keynoted a talk on romance imposter crimes. Romance imposter...
VERGENNES — Larry has always been a proud and independent man. But when health issues made it too risky for him to enjoy simple pleasures, such as cooking meals and cheering on local sports teams, finding support was essential. Larry’s diabetes and struggles with insulin reporting led to dangerously high glucose levels. He also experienced bacterial infections, nerve damage, and severe swelling in his legs causing frequent falls and injuries.  Larry said he used to worry every minute about not knowing who, or even if, someone would arrive at his home to help with meals and health care. He...
Beginning Oct. 1 Vermont seniors applying for 3SquaresVT are able to use a simple application and benefit renewal process as part of the new 3SquaresVT IN A SNAP program. The easy-to-use application is available to individuals and households age 60 or older and persons with disabilities. “3SquaresVT IN A SNAP is an improvement to the State’s food assistance program,” says Katy Davis, Community Health Initiatives Director at Hunger Free Vermont. “Traditional applications can be lengthy to complete, and the benefit renewal process often burdensome, leaving many Vermonters’ benefits to lapse....

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...

ADDY HARRIS
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,...

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Addison County Independent