ENCorps eNews - October/November 2015 - In This Issue:
ENCorps Regional Gatherings
Thanks to all who joined us for the recent round of ENCorps regional gatherings! We had great discussions in all three locations. The focus of these regional meetings was to collaborate with members on new ideas, offer members an opportunity to connect with each other, and touch base on how we can best support you as volunteers.
We found some themes and came away with some great ideas, but we would like to continue the discussion with members who were unable to make it to the meetings. We invite and encourage you to contribute your thoughts and ideas by taking the time to complete the survey linked below.
All who complete the survey will be entered in a drawing for a $25 LL Bean gift certificate. We look forward to your feedback!
Aging in Place: The Village Model
"It takes a village," not just to raise a child, but to care for our aging population. This community-based concept is being used to bring people together in a village to village network in order to provide support for seniors who want to age in their communities. The village movement is gaining momentum with participating members in 42 states representing 190 operating villages and another 185 in development. These local village model programs are self-governing, self-supporting, volunteer-based, and function as service consolidators in their areas. There are a number of models that serve differing functions but the emphasis is on supporting seniors to thrive in place, and be connected to a community that is "one phone call away." At Home Downeast (AHD) is an example of a successful village program in Maine.
At Home Downeast operates on the Acadia peninsula from Castine to Ellsworth under the auspices of the Washington Hancock Community Agency (WHCA). With the help and guidance of Kara Janes, LMSW, this volunteer program provides essential medical services to its members. These services include: rides to and from doctor's appointments and hospital procedures, as well as regular nurse visits by an RN and follow-ups when necessary. According to Kara, the participation by the volunteers not only helps the members stay healthy and thrive at home, it helps the volunteer's health as well. In addition, with the average volunteer being 75 years old, they will most likely be participating members who benefit directly from the village model in the near future. Asked how AHD might better serve its members, Kara replied that affording them more opportunities to participate in social events was her vision. Being connected to the community where they live through local events such as concerts, dinners, bingo, and other gatherings is very important to many of the members. Volunteers are encouraged to ask a member to ride with them if they plan on attending such an event. Finally, while many village models have a fixed fee, the AHD program uses a sliding scale that ranges from $130-$2000 with the same services provided to every member.
One of the greatest challenges to AHD village model is the extremely rural nature of the Acadia Peninsula. The average ride from a member's residence to a doctor or hospital and back is around 3 to 4 hours. But for these seniors, knowing they have the assurance of a ride to their health care providers goes a long way in reducing the stress of living at home. One of the key aspects to the AHD volunteers is they only have to participate when it is convenient for them. There is an online website that they can use to register times when they are available; phone registration is also available. This way, volunteers can be matched with a member's need within their own time frame. This allows volunteers to engage and support the program on a timeline that is flexible and fits with their own busy schedules.
Starting a village model initiative in your area may seem like a daunting task, but the rewards for those in the communities it serves could be far-reaching. These models are not restricted to rural areas, but also thrive in urban areas. It's all about neighbors helping neighbors. It begins with forming a core group and exploring the possibilities. The following websites would be a good place to start exploring the village model:
http://agefriendly.community/Top of Page
VOLUNTEER IN ACTION
Kerry Corthell spent over 20 years infinancial services doing everything from trust administration to developing software to senior business consulting.Her various positions over the years had her moving back and forth between Maine and Ohio. While she was not born in Maine, her family has had roots in Washington County since 1720. She returned to Maine in 2008, settling in Scarborough, with the expectation that she would be staying for good. She found a job in development at Spurwink and just recently returned to the corporate world as administrative coordinator for Bath Fitter Maine.
Kerry has always been active in volunteering and has had a range of volunteer roles. Toward the end of her time in Ohio she was very involved with professional level community theater. Upon returning to Maine she couldn't find a theater that she was really excited about, so she found other projects to contribute to. She spent time with Project G.R.A.C.E., a neighbors helping neighbors initiative; Women, Work and Community (now New Ventures Maine) including participating in their New Ventures program while she was looking for work; and she was a volunteer consultant on social mediafor the Southern Maine Agency on Aging. During this time she also found and became involved with ENCorps. Of these experiences she says, "I enjoyed everything, but nothing was quite hitting."She was looking for a cause to commit to and pour her energy and talents into.
About 9 months ago she became aware of the Final Exit Network, an organization committed to supporting an individual's right to a "Death with Dignity"per their website. Kerry explained that Final Exit is a program that provides education, resources, and compassionate companionship to people who decide to end their lives. Of this decision she says, "[t]here are a lot of things in life that make life untenable for people. Everybody has their own things that make life worth living. ...We think people should have the right to choose when and how they want to die."
After becoming a member, the Final Exit Network invited Kerry get more involved and flew her out to their annual meeting in Chicago. She met the board and really got an education on the issues. She said she has always been interested in death rights and how we die here in the United States especially, which she feels isn't the best approach to end of life. She watched both of her parents suffer - her father with lung cancer and her mother with Alzheimer's disease. After seeing her father through hospice and her mother through the end of her life, the values and mission of the Final Exit Network resonated deeply with Kerry.
Final Exit has members nationwide, Maine included, but Maine did not have an affiliate chapter. Kerry was quick to take on this ambitious task. She jumped in with both feet and the chapter has been unofficially operating since July. Kerry has been busy building awareness of this issue by talking with members and people in the community. She most recently had a table at the Maine Summit on Aging in August where she said the response was "absolutely amazing"and she found that people very eager to talk about death rights. She also found many people who were eager to help with public education materials and forming community discussion groups.
The program has Exit Guides that provide information, talk about resources, and help individuals navigate the end of life process with their loved ones. This role requires significant flexibility to fly out and spend 24 to 48 hours with someone as the need arises. Kerry plans to go through this training in the future. She has also recently become a certified Advanced Care Planning Facilitator through a pilot program at the Southern Maine Agency on Aging.
Kerry continues to contribute to her other volunteer endeavors, but she plans on paring down her engagement with those. She has found her niche in establishing and building awareness of the Final Exit Network Maine Affiliate Chapter. She will continue to make this work, which she has quickly become very passionate about, her primary volunteer focus - at least for now.
For further information on death choice issues, see the following links:
Would you like to be our next Volunteer in Action?
Upcoming ENCorps Events
November Workshop: Slideshow and Video Production Basics
WHEN: Thursday, November 12, 2015, 1pm to 4pm
WHERE: Room 253 Randall Center, UMA Bangor Campus
We are excited to announce our upcoming November workshop. This is our first member led workshop! Led by ENCorp's own Terry Sandusky, this workshop has been highly sought after by members. Terry has wowed us all with his great photos and photo slideshows at summits and other ENCorps events. In this workshop he will share his skills in creating these great presentations. Participants will learn the basics of creating a slideshow or video with Microsoft Movie Maker.
Attendees are asked to bring a thumb drive containing ten personal photos. In the last hour, Terry will guide you in creating your own slideshows!
Please RSVP to Kate Kinney at [email protected] or 207-262-7919.
Respite Care Needed in Troy
Respite care is needed for an elderly woman in Troy. She is suffering from dementia and stroke symptoms. Her daughter is her primary caregiver and is in need of some time off.
Please contact Kate Kinney at [email protected]
or 207-262-7919 if you are able to help in any way.
Grants Writing and Fundraising Help Needed in Portland
A group of volunteers in Portland seeks help from individuals with grants writing and/or fundraising expertise to help in starting an elder support "village" on Munjoy Hill. For more information contact Elaine Mullin with At Home Munjoy Hill at [email protected]
Keep York County Warm! - Fall 2015
Last winter was hard for our county's most vulnerable residents. Help them prepare for the coming winter by volunteering for our weatherization program!
Maine has some of the oldest housing stock in the country, which means many residents live in drafty homes and face high heating and energy bills. For low-income families, disabled people, and elderly people, these conditions strain their finances and make them uncomfortable in their own homes.
Americorps Caregiver Volunteer
Would you like to make life better for disabled veterans and military families? Spectrum Generations is currently recruiting volunteer caregivers to begin training to provide immediate care for to those who have sacrificed so much in service to our country.
Our Legacy Corp program, in partnership with AmericCorp, carefully matches up trained volunteers with disabled veterans for weekly visits of up to 10 - 12 total hours per week. Support duties includes companionship, rides to appointments, access to local services, and help at home which benefits both the veteran and their family caregiver with respite support. Volunteers do not assist with personal care, medications, heavy listing or transferring. Learn more...
Episodic Volunteer - Cumberland Fair 4-H Exhibit Hall Coordinator
For the 2016 Cumberland Fair we are in need of a 4-H Exhibit Hall Coordinator. The Cumberland Fair 4-H Exhibit Hall Coordinator is responsible for preparing and managing the Cumberland Fair 4-H Exhibit Hall with the help of the 4-H Exhibit Hall Committee. This volunteer role includes helping the committee organize the Exhibit Hall Cleanup Night in August, find judges, set up the Exhibit Hall, attend drop off and pick up days, and manage the hall premiums. Learn more...
"Volunteering is the ultimate exercise in democracy. You vote in elections once a year, but when you volunteer, you vote every day about the kind of community you want to live in.
Encore Leadership Corps
ENCorps is a program of the University of Maine Center on Aging in partnership with the Maine Community Foundation and with the cooperation of local, state, and national organizations. Funding in support of ENCorps has been provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Aging Initiative, The Atlantic Philanthropies, The Maine Community Foundation, Jane's Trust, Margaret E. Burnham Charitable Trust, Davis Conservation Foundation, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, and the Elmina B. Sewall Foundation.