NOTES FROM YOUR EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Welcome to the new look of The Grapevine!

posted Sep 1, 2014, 10:02 AM by Wayne Wieseler   [ updated Sep 1, 2014, 10:06 AM ]


The Sebastopol Area Senior Center has been working closely with Wayne Wieseler of Two Spirit Group, to address the many components of our communications efforts, and this is the second major upgrade we’ve made in the last few months. Wayne is experienced in both print and electronic communications, and will be joining our team as the Communications Manager.

The new look of The Grapevine still lists all the critical program information for the Senior Center and The Legacy it has always contained. The layout is different, but what you need to know is still there. We are also committed to providing a regular stream of content that is important to our collective community.

The first upgrade Wayne helped us with is our website. Much like The Grapevine, the website contains information on all of our events and activities and will offer a greater look into future events.

Both The Grapevine and website are works in progress, and you should expect further changes to the layout and content on a regular basis.

On page 7 of the Grapevine is a Business Directory. This first month we are listing those businesses that have supported either Aged to Perfection or Driven to Perfection this past spring.

When we are in the middle of planning and producing these events, we don’t always look at the sum of our supporters, and we were blown away to see more than 90 local businesses that support the Sebastopol Area Senior Center. If you have a chance, be sure to tell them Thanks for caring.

More changes coming to the Sebastopol Area Senior Center. These all contribute to reaching the vision our board identified during our Strategic Plan a in 2011: To be the BEST Senior Center in Sonoma County.

Fraudulent callers target medical information

posted Aug 3, 2014, 6:15 AM by Wayne Wieseler   [ updated Aug 3, 2014, 6:19 AM ]

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) is warning the public this month about fraudulent phone callers
seeking to deceive people into revealing sensitive personal health and financial information. The callers, who claim to be representatives of CDPH, contact people to inquire about a surgery or medical procedure in hopes of obtaining personal information such as bank accounts and medical history. CDPH does not make such calls.

Dr. Ron Chapman, director of the CDPH and state health officer, said the public needs to be careful about sharing their personal information.

“People should be cautious about unsolicited phone calls regarding their personal health,” said Dr. Chapman. “These
callers can be very convincing but no one should ever give out their financial or medical information during an initial
telephone call. If you receive one of these calls, you should hang up immediately and report it.”

Based on complaints received by CDPH, the callers are often male with heavy foreign accents and primarily target women, some of whom may have had surgical mesh or bladder sling surgery. The callers may hint at offers of compensation and attempt to lure consumers into giving out private information.

If you receive such a call, do not provide the caller with any personal information such as your address, date
of birth, social security number, any banking or credit card information, or any health-related information.

Instead, hang up and contact the Attorney General’s Office at (800) 952-5225 or online at Attorney General's Office to report the call. Consumers can also file a complaint with the
Federal Trade Commission at File A Complaint.

Questions that bother us so

posted Jul 30, 2014, 1:02 PM by Wayne Wieseler   [ updated Jul 30, 2014, 1:02 PM ]

Every week we are asked questions to which we don’t know the answers. This happens in every business out there, and the best answer is “I don’t know, but I’ll see what I can find out and get back to you.”

Referral and information is a big part of the Sebastopol Area Senior Center’s service. Then there are those questions we wish we could answer, wish we could point to the solution, but the solution does not exist yet.

The increase of Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia tops the list. Sure, we will sit with someone and hold their hands, agree on how difficult things are and refer them to the handful of agencies and facilities that specialize in working with Alzheimer’s and dementia patients.

Family and friends want to know why this has happened to their loved one, and what is being done. Some comfort comes from history. Throughout time there have been countless scourges and pandemics that hit us so fast, we did not know how to treat it.


We have read in history book about bubonic plague, yellow fever, smallpox, influenza and countless others that killed millions. The scientists of the day studied where and how they spread and created a separation that eventually slowed the disease down.

Called the worst disease of the postwar era, Paralytic Poliomyelitis is a disease that knew no boundaries. It was everywhere. If you are over 50, you remember Polio and likely knew victims. Dr. Jonas Salk and Dr. Albert Sabin developed the vaccines that prevented polio. I recall how excited my parents were when we all went to a local school to receive the vaccine. In 1988 there were 350,000 cases of polio worldwide. In 2013 there were 407. Through the efforts of Rotary, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the World Health Organization and countless others, there are just three countries where polio remains.

As cancer came to the forefront, medical researchers turned their efforts towards finding a solution. Today, the remission of many forms of cancer has increased, and while a diagnosis is frightening, there is hope.

When HIV/AIDS appeared in the late 1970s, there was no cure and very little understanding of what it was. Again, medical researchers went to work. This is a very complex disease that is a moving target. Today we have treatments that help patients and researchers continue to develop a road map to a cure.

So when we have this discussion with families who are faced with a loved ones suffering from Alzheimer’s, we can’t say there is a cure, but we can say that our medical research community is working every day to have a better understanding of this plague. While there is hope for a cure, it does take time. Some day we will all bid farewell to the long goodbye. I like to think we are all part of the solution.

Hey…What’s the Big Idea?

posted Jul 30, 2014, 12:59 PM by Wayne Wieseler   [ updated Jul 30, 2014, 12:59 PM ]


Over the past 10 years, we have seen to programs of the Sebastopol Area Senior Center expand in any number of directions. Some may have been in direct response to your requests…some may be playing off programs we have read about or seen elsewhere…some may just be a roll of the dice, an idea that popped up in a brainstorming session or came to somebody in a moment of inspiration.

All of these methods of creating program for the Senior Center have a vital role in our operation. While we all like to think that we can just sit down and come up with the next big idea…it just isn’t that easy.

There are many areas that will always be part of what we offer. Fitness, health, education, current events, travel, and more. Most of these can be found in our Highlights or Program pages of this newsletter. As for the rest…what are your ideas.


When we first moved back into our remodeled and enlarged Senior Center it seemed like the sky was the limit. The vision of the group that conceived our needs was spot on. We needed more space, better organization and the ability to be in step with the business world.

We did all that! The Design and Review Board felt that we also needed to remain in step with the look and feel of our 100 year old neighborhood. We did that as well. A week does not go by when new visitors are amazed at the size of the building, when all they saw was the front.

Upon moving in, the “suggestions” really started to roll in. “Where’s the pool table going to go?” and “We need more room to (fill in the blank”) were heard on a regular basis. All these suggestions and ideas were great, and many of them planted the seeds of what today’s program looks like.


We are not going to remodel the building, so there is really no room for the pool table, but we are always asking for your ideas. What would you like to see? Are there programs at other Senior Center’s you have heard about we might try?

Maybe we can look at using other facilities for some programs. Possibly some things can be done outside, maybe in the park.
Please pass on your ideas to any of the board or staff members. For those who require a bit more stealth, there is a suggestion box on the front counter. A few words can go a long way in growing the Senior Center. What’s YOUR big idea?

Retirement

posted Jul 30, 2014, 12:54 PM by Wayne Wieseler   [ updated Jul 30, 2014, 12:56 PM ]


I can’t think of one word that concurrently denotes excitement, fear, happiness, humor and confusion. It is (hopefully) smack dab in the middle of the road to becoming a senior citizen. It doesn't only represent the end of a career, but the next act in life, which for many of us is the big unknown.

No doubt people have looked forward to the magical day for years. When I started work, some 38 years ago, participation in a retirement plan was a given. Granted, at 22, most of us needed to be told that we would someday want to stop working, but that day seemed almost incomprehensible.

You’ll just set this tiny amount aside and the company will match it and manage it, and voila: when you retire you will have a nice little nest egg.

This, coupled with social security, would provide a regular income. Granted, your income will likely be less that you had hoped for, but who needs all that money after the kids have grown and moved out? In other words, there goes my mad money.


The things we didn't anticipate are many, but include living longer, quality of life, the seemingly rapid increase in Alzheimer’s and other dementia-related disease, health issues, running out of money and financial crises that somehow make that nest egg magically disappear as magically as it grew over a lifetime.

Then, the kids start to return to the nest. No matter what we say, we never stop worrying about them anyway, and we are happy to be helpful. We find ourselves raising grandchildren and suddenly realize that those things we dealt with in college and high school, today’s generation of school kids are faced with in middle and elementary school. Then our parents need more attention and we find that in our retirement we are sandwiched between our grandchildren, children and parents.

Depending on your age when you retire, you may find yourself looking for either full or part-time work. This could be motivated by need or inspired by boredom. Not everyone loves to travel, and you can putter around the house only so much. You likely don’t need to earn as much as you used to, but as the Chuck Berry song says, the little money comin’ in worked out well.
Granted, You Never Can Tell is about a young newly married couple, but really, you never can tell what life will look like 40 years later.

We have been thinking about this retirement question quite a bit lately, and today, my wife Sue Kelley retires after 34 years as a respiratory therapist, the last 22 years working in the neo-natal nursery at UCSF. When I think of what I have accomplished over the years, it pales in comparison to the impact Sue has had on countless lives, families, co-workers and, well, her family. Congratulations baby, you made it and we are all extremely proud of you.

The Company you Keep Around You Reflects the Character that's Within You

posted Apr 17, 2014, 3:06 PM by Wayne Wieseler   [ updated Apr 17, 2014, 3:07 PM ]

There are many variants on this quote, but we think it best describes what happened in Sebastopol this past February 6. The Sebastopol Area Chamber of Commerce presented their annual Community Awards, and we're proud to say that we were well represented. What stood out the most, is that all honorees that evening volunteered in a variety of areas, and as you looked around the room you saw a collection of friends that we seem to interact with every day.

However, we pay special tribute to the following:

  • Ariella Macci received the "Jeanine Willman Service to Seniors Award". She is known around the Senior Center for the work she does mostly related to food. Ariella volunteers in the kitchen as well as brings in surplus foodstuffs from local markets for distribution to our Seniors. You can tell when she comes in the building, because the energy always turns up a few notches. Ariella credits volunteering in the Pinecrest Middle School with helping her learn English. She is a great neighbor, always offering a hand...or food...which seems to define her actions at the Sebastopol Area Senior Center.
  • Sylvia Forrest was recognized as the "Volunteer of the Year". Sylvia was nominated by the Friends of the Library, where she works on their newsletter as well as being a vocal and active volunteer. For us, Sylvia is a volunteer at The Legacy, and is seen around the center on a regular basis.
  • Chris Brokate, owner of Green Janitor Service was recognized for having the "Green Business of the Year". Chris has been our custodian for nearly 5 years, shortly after he arrived in town and hung out his shingle. He also works at The Legacy. With his guidance we have moved to environmental friendly cleaning products and methods, as well as getting us to an approximately 95% recycling rate and has us working hard on that last 5%.
  • Martha Lindt and Baskin-Robbins was recognized as the "Business of the Year". A Sebastopol resident since the '70's, she has owned and operated Baskin-Robbins for a number of years. While their emphasis is on working with youth, they have been very generous with the Senior Center providing ice cream for a number of our events.

All together 15 individuals, businesses and projects were recognized, and we are proud to have community ties with all of them. Rumor has it that after hearing Ariella's Italian accent, the local youth soccer leagues want to see what soccer knowledge they can glean from her.

Isn't this a great town?

The Best Times are Together Times

posted Dec 10, 2013, 11:08 AM by Wayne Wieseler   [ updated Apr 18, 2014, 3:22 PM ]



This time of year brings out such a variety of emotions, we often find ourselves switching moods because of an advertisement we saw on TV, a song heard on the radio or a group of carolers strolling our neighborhoods.

No matter what or how you celebrate, the November/December holidays generally take us right back to those special times in our lives. I always find myself remembering a special moment...and not necessarily from my childhood.

It could be our first holiday as a newly-married couple, or our children's first holiday. Maybe that time just a few years ago playing with a niece or nephew as everyone tried to figure out just how that new gadget worked.

Or, it could be the last holiday spent with a parent, grandparent, best friend, sibling, spouse, partner or anyone special in your life.

These, I think, are the best kind of holiday memory. Sure, the toys, games, balls, games, puzzles, clothes, trips were all great times, but the memories made with friends and families are the best.

December will mark the beginning of my tenth year as a member of the staff at the Sebastopol Area Senior Center. A personal best of sorts, but we won't get into that. When I look what is coming down for the pike for this place, it seems that our best times are yet to come. The "baby boomer effect" will impact us for the next 30 years, and just thinking about the future gets us excited to have a hand in planning for it. Happy Holidays!


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