Richard’s Almanac: Senior success in 2018


In Richard’s Almanac, Richard closely follows the Island’s senior scene and reports from the inside on issues, trends, challenges and health matters that are important to seniors. For his last column of the year, Richard recounts the accomplishments and successes for Island seniors over the year.

Looking back over 2018 it seems that the Senior Citizens Center certainly met its goal of building the program. Director Laurie Fanelli told me that she wanted to provide as many opportunities of interest as possible to all adults over 60 on the Island.

A look at what’s been going on tells me that the program here is soaring.
Networks have been established with home care agencies, clergy, police, hospital discharge planners and family caregivers, both local and long distance.

Care management goes on, with home visits and hospital and nursing home visits. Needs of Island seniors are always being evaluated.

The Silver Circle staff has been certified by the Red Cross in CPR and AED use.

“A Friendly Visitor Program” has been established using volunteers from the Presbyterian Woman’s Guild and the greater community. All volunteers are vetted and receive orientation. They are assigned to visit the frail and the elderly. There is follow up with visitors and recipients by a licensed clinical social worker and a nurse practitioner.

Telephone reassurance calls continue to be made Monday through Friday to the frail and the elderly and to newly discharged hospital and rehab clients.

A high school student began doing community service weekly at the center.

This spring the Silver Circle group successfully grew organic vegetables and herbs which were used for lunches during the summer. Jerry Siller and Rudy of Grady Riley Gardens and Jay Card and Jimmy Lenzer of the Highway Department made the growing possible.

Monthly visits were made to the Parrish Art Museum and Spirits Promise, where seniors with mild cognitive impairment to middle dementia participated in the Alzheimer’s Disease Resource Center’s art and equine therapy programs.

The Center held a successful yard sale last spring benefiting Alzheimer’s research.

Yoga and chair yoga continued with Jean Lawless along with crocheting classes taught by Donna King.

June Shatken kept up her watercolor classes.

Dr. Desire visited the center and led a discussion on a variety of topics from hydration to necessary inoculations.

Rite Aid Pharmacy provided immunizations.

Mahjong  and poker flourished.

The Center also drove Island seniors every Tuesday to the IGA, the bank, the pharmacy, the library and the post offices. They were also transported to Wades Beach during the summer, the Dinner Bell at the Presbyterian Church and special events on the Island.

As Laurie says, “Our seniors love to travel to new places, enjoy going to restaurants and shopping and the theater and viewing other curiosities within Suffolk County.”

Meanwhile, the Senior Citizens Foundation, a totally separate and independent organization, continued its funding of projects beneficial to seniors, including the redwood benches at the new Lions-donated pavilion at Wades Beach and a new golf cart for transporting seniors at Camp Quinipet. The foundation also helps needy seniors with necessary funds in emergencies.