Community presentations can spark important conversations

Community presentations can spark important conversations

One of my favorite parts of my job is public speaking. I know that stirs up anxiety and fear in some people, but for me it’s invigorating.

Groups are beginning to meet in person again, and I’m enjoying making the rounds to the Senior Summit; Rotary, Kiwanis, Delta Cappa Gamma and Brandeis groups; places of faith; and women’s and men’s clubs.

These groups meet to socially connect, and they often invite speakers to share their knowledge and experience.

As I prepare for a presentation, I enjoy gathering facts, weaving in stories I think might help to make a point and designing a visual presentation to make it all pop. My goal with my audience is to make a connection and encourage them to think and feel.

And the goal for myself is to listen.

Nature’s gift can bring serenity if we just take time to look

Nature’s gift can bring serenity if we just take time to look

A few weeks ago, I attended a work conference with my husband. I was the trailing spouse, which meant I could relax and enjoy myself while he attended CPA classes.

A free vacation sounded good to me, especially after these past 24 months.

Yet little did I know just how restorative this trip would be. And I owe it all to the ocean.

The hotel television included a channel where one could just watch the waves come in and out at a nearby rocky beach on the property. After tuning in the evening before, I set out my first morning to find this cove and see if it really was as captivating as it appeared on TV.

The air was chilly. I put on my sweatsuit, laced up my sneakers and pointed myself in the direction of the ocean. It didn’t take me long to find the trail to the cove.

Zoom cameras: Keep on or switch off?

Zoom cameras: Keep on or switch off?

During the past year I’ve been on more than my fair share of Zoom meetings. Every such meeting has a personality of its own.

During the past year I’ve been on more than my fair share of Zoom meetings. Every such meeting has a personality of its own.

Take, for example, the Zoom meetings hosted by Community Care Licensing, a jurisdiction Senior Concerns falls under. With hundreds of people on the call, we are provided with guidance concerning COVID as it affects program protocols.

It’s understandable that during these types of large-scale meetings most attendees have their cameras turned off because they are listening to the speaker’s information and possibly taking notes. There is no opportunity for interaction unless you post a question in the chat.

For those not familiar with video platforms like Zoom, when logging in from your computer, you have two options: keep your camera on so you can be seen or turn your camera off so that th

How do you deal with opposing views?

How do you deal with opposing views?

I’ve never enjoyed confrontation. I’m happiest when everyone is getting along and working toward a shared goal. And believe me, that happens a lot—although it’s hard to discern that if you scan the media these days.

So many topics are polarizing. It’s hard to have a conversation without something coming up that causes angst.

I try my best to search out the facts and create what I think are informed opinions. But many times, depending on the source, information that is portrayed as fact really isn’t. Other times, facts are facts but people disagree with them. Sometimes everyone has it wrong and only time will reveal the truth.

I’ve been searching lately for new ways to handle situations where there is a difference of opinion.

Artwork may hold the key to effective problem-solving

Artwork may hold the key to effective problem-solving

Many years ago I took courses at the Center for Creative Leadership, a world-renowned leadership-development firm.

I worked for Dole at the time, and I guess they had high hopes for my changing the world, or at least improving my portion of the organization.

One of the courses I took was called “Leading Creatively.” I recall it vividly, mostly because of the unique lessons it provided on problem-solving.

Each of us was to come to the course with one or two key business issues that were giving us difficulty. The instructors would use a variety of creative exercises to help us find solutions.

What are we teaching our children about aging?

What are we teaching our children about aging?

Aging is something we learn from family, our community and our culture.

Sam, I’ll call him, is what can only be described as an 87-year-old curmudgeon. As a widower suffering from congestive heart failure, mostly homebound due to his fatigue and need for oxygen, he is bitter about his lot in life.

Sam’s son and daughter bear his wrath as he rails about the unfairness of getting older and how his life is not worth living. His children focus their energies on managing his illness. Any efforts on their part to add value to Sam’s life via grandchild visits or trips out to eat are met with indifference.

Sam may not know it, but he is teaching his family (children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren), as well as his remaining friends and neighbors, what aging is like.

Making Mom’s visit really count

Making Mom’s visit really count

After a 15-year hiatus, my mother is coming to California to visit me.

During the many years she was caring for my father, who had Parkinson’s disease, my mother could not bring herself to leave his side. But now that he’s gone, she is ready to make the journey from New Hampshire.

For the past few days I’ve been thinking about her visit. What do I want her to experience?

Certainly, I want her to see some obvious changes since the last time she visited, like the new home we moved into four years ago and our little cocker spaniel, Rolo.

And of course, I would like her to come to my workplace. I’ve planned for her to visit Senior Concerns and meet our board and staff and our participants. I’d like for her to feel firsthand the amazing care and support we give to seniors and caregivers in our community.

Not only will she see what I’ve devoted the past 15 years of my life to, but she’ll see the place where I’ve gained a lot of the knowledge I’ve used in helping my parents navigate getting older.

Covering up your PC’s webcam: not just for the paranoid

Covering up your PC’s webcam: not just for the paranoid

Recently my husband attended a tax conference in San Diego. He came home with a complimentary backpack filled with “swag” that included a journal, highlighters, pens and logo’d Post-it notes.

Also inside the backpack was a webcam cover. This was a new one to me. My husband routinely has a piece of tape over his laptop camera, but I assumed it was for when he had an early-morning web conference call (pre-shave and shower) and didn’t want his fellow Zoom conference attendees to be subject to his bedhead.

More techie than a piece of tape, the webcam cover is made for your laptop, computer, tablet or smartphone. It attaches to your device (usually with sticky tape that is included) and slides open when you need to use your webcam and closes for when it is not in use.

Security is a homeowner’s responsibility

Security is a homeowner’s responsibility

Last week someone published our community’s entrance gate code on social media and in printed signage. Neighbors were in an uproar, and, of course, the code needed to be changed to deter trespassers.

While this was an unfortunate situation that cost our homeowners association money (to send a mailing of the new code to all homeowners and for the gate company to reprogram the code), it brought up a larger conversation about security.

I did some reading on the topic and learned that most secure apartment complexes and communities call their gates “entrance and exit” gates, not security gates.

According to Property Management Professionals, a leader in the association management industry, 

New advancements benefit seniors

New advancements benefit seniors

Periodically I come across a new product or service that may be of interest to readers. Here are four to consider:

Latest shingles vaccine. On the nightly news recently I heard about a new, more effective shingles vaccine. I plan to talk to my doctor about it at my physical this month.

Shingrix, approved by the FDA in October 2017, is more than 90 percent effective at preventing shingles, according to the Centers for Disease Control. The old vaccine’s success rate was 51 percent.

The CDC recommends that healthy adults ages 50 and older get the Shingrix vaccine. This includes individuals who had the earlier shingles vaccine and those who’ve had a prior case of shingles.

Two doses two to six months apart are required to ensure longterm protection.

The vaccine is available now, but it’s in limited supply.

There are a few contraindications to getting the vaccine, so be sure to talk with your doctor.

RSS

Archive