The potentially harmful effects of loneliness and social isolation on health and longevity, especially among older adults, are well established. For example, in 2013 I reported on research finding that loneliness can impair health by raising levels of stress hormones and inflammation, which in turn can increase the risk of heart disease, arthritis, Type 2 diabetes, dementia and even suicide attempts.
The prejudice is an ancient habit, but new forces—in Silicon Valley, Hollywood, and beyond—have restored its youthful vitality.
Goddard House been awarded the 2017 Program Innovation of the Year Award by LeadingAGE Massachusetts. The Award is given for the development and implementation of a creative and innovative program that measurably benefits residents and/or staff - and in this case, students training at Goddard House from Lesley University.
The Opening Minds through Art program for persons living with dementia is entering its second year at Goddard House Assisted Living in Brookline. In 2016-17, partly funded by grants, staff trained at the Scripps Gerontology Center at Miami University in Oxford, OH with OMA creator Dr. Elizabeth “Like” Lokon, becoming the first facilitators in Massachusetts. Goddard House piloted the full program on Olmsted Place, their memory support neighborhood with two groups of resident artists.
Pictured here after accepting the award for Goddard House are,
from left, Bernice Zigas - OMA artist, Ginny Mazur - OMA Facilitator, Sarina Van Zyl - OMA Volunteer and Jennifer Miller - OMA Facilitator. For more on OMA visit www.goddardhouse.org and www.scrippsoma.org.
Special thanks to the National Center for Creative Aging (www.creativeaging.org) and for LeadingAGE in Washington, DC for introducing Goddard House to OMA at their National Conferences in 2015, inspiring staff to take the training.
Green City Growers farmer-educator, Annie Gilmore, offered pickling classes this week at Goddard House (yes, with veggies and herbs from our own garden.)
Everyone had a blast pickling everything from cukes to carrots!
How to Make Pickles
1. Select your vegetable. It can be anything, as long as it's firm! Cucumbers, kale and chard stems, carrots, string beans, and onions are all good examples. If necessary, break the vegetable into smaller pieces to fit into your pint jar.
2. Add your herbs and spices. A couple of sprigs of fresh herbs and a couple teaspoons of dried spices will do well. My favorite recipe is:
• 2 teaspoons of salt
• Pinch red pepper flakes (optional)
• 2 small cloves garlic, roughly sliced or crushed with the back of a knife
• 1.5 teaspoons black peppercorns
• 1.5 teaspoons whole yellow mustard seed
• 2 sprigs fresh dill
3. Add ¼ cup vinegar and ¼ cups water, or enough so that there is a ½ inch of space between the top of the jar and the level of vinegar. Don’t worry if it’s not covering the vegetables entirely!
4. Add 1 tablespoon sugar if desired.
5. Wipe the top of the jar and close the lid. Give it a good shake
6. Add a label if you’d like!
7. Finished recipe should be placed in the refrigerator for two weeks before eating.
The flight attendant on a commercial airliner made her way down the aisle during a recent trip from Baltimore to Atlanta. At each row, she paused and addressed the same question to every passenger. “Something to drink?” “Something to drink?” “Something to drink?” The robotic script took a sudden turn when the flight attendant eyed an older passenger in one row’s window seat. The 70-year-old woman happened to be sporting gray hair and glasses, and was working on a small needlework project. The attendant smiled and asked: “Something to drink, sweetie?”
View our video feature about Lora Brody’s The Reunion Project for Brookline Interactive Group by reporter Jatrissa Wooten.
The Project and artist were featured at Goddard House Assisted Living during Brookline Open Studios 2017. Stay tuned for more information on our events page when the project starts to travel in early 2018.
Within many Assisted Living Communities, male residents are often outnumbered by females at a ratio of approximately 5 to 1. Knowing this, we were surprised to find, halfway through 2016 that Goddard House was experiencing a welcome influx of new male residents. At last count, the number of male residents is approaching 30% of our population. This has been an exciting and intriguing phenomenon and one we now have the pleasure and challenge of addressing.
We're now taking steps to tailor our programs and activities to meet the needs of such a large group of men. One successful addition we began last year was a men's lunch and discussion group. This group has grown from 5 men last April, to 26 men attending our December Men's Luncheon. We've found that, if formally invited to a men's function, many of our male residents will make it a point to show up and participate.
We are now moving forward with a Fitness Class that is specifically geared towards men. We have a male Personal Trainer who has presented this idea to our men's group and has been received with enthusiasm. The Fitness class offers another forum for men to bond and encourage each other with their health and fitness goals as well as deepen friendships.
We are continuing to discover what the men at Goddard House will want to do next. Finding strategies to help them integrate and navigate these new chapters of their lives is meaningful and important to us. What's next? A Chess Club? Community service? Men's Breakfast? A drum circle? We look forward as 2017 begins to see how this group will change and grow.
Alzheimer’s: Every Minute Counts is an urgent wake-up call about the national threat posed by Alzheimer’s disease. Many know the unique tragedy of this disease, but few know that Alzheimer’s is one of the most critical public health crises facing America. This powerful documentary illuminates the social and economic consequences for the country unless a medical breakthrough is discovered for this currently incurable disease. Click here to view information about the film on the PBS website, and be sure to tune into PBS on January 25th at 10:00pm.
Goddard House hosted its annual Olmsted Holiday Party on Wednesday, December 7th. Residents, family members, friends, and staff gathered to celebrate the upcoming holiday season. A delicious, buffet-style dinner was prepared by Executive Chef Nick Polinsky. Following the meal, party goers danced to the holiday musical stylings of the Winiker Brothers. It was a joyful evening full of delectable food, upbeat tunes, and wonderful people. Pictured here is Program Director, Kristina Lessard dancing with Olmsted residents!
Click here to explore Northwestern University's Auditory Neuroscience Laboratory, which studies how the brain’s ability to change can be harnessed to improve human communication. Through a series of innovative studies involving thousands of research participants from birth to age 90, we have found that our lives in sound, for better (musicians, bilinguals, auditory training) or worse (learning disabilities, aging, hearing loss), shape the biological infrastructure of the auditory system.
Goddard House awarded the 2016 Phyllis Vineyard Award for Exemplary Service to three employees demonstrating excellence and commitment in service to Goddard House at a luncheon on September 13th. Pictured below(left to right) are Phyllis Vineyard with the winners; Betty Depina-Gomez (Housekeeping), Ginny Mazur (Community Partnership Office) and Tammy Goodhue (Resident Care).
Vineyard was a Vice President and member of the Goddard House Board of Trustees for many years. The award has been given to Goddard House staff in Phyllis' honor since 2011 after her retirement from the Board.Congratulations to these three wonderful employees, as well as to all those who were nominated!
Lance Chapman, Goddard House Marketing Director and Chair of the Greater Boston Walk Planning Comittee, discusses the Walk to End Alzheimer's on WBZ | CBS Boston's 4 Your Community! Check it out here: http://presentingcbs.com/view/mail?iID=9Cc9prfcZTRxf4C4vd4m
Designing Communities For An Aging America, was broadcast on NPR’s On Point radio program last week with guest host, Sacha Pfeiffer of the Boston Globe Spotlight Team. It’s a great reminder of all the hard work that led to our town, Brookline, MA, becoming New England’s first World Health Organization designated Age-Friendly City – and all the work that’s still being done! Follow the Brookline link to learn more.
Dian Zhang, a Boston University journalism student, visited Goddard House to learn more about the positive impact that the garden and farm program has on our residents. Her write-up was featured in this week's edition of the Brookline TAB!
In an emotional commencement address, Governor Charlie Baker urged Nichols College graduates Sunday morning to remain positive during times of adversity, citing his mother’s bravery while struggling with Alzheimer’s disease as an example of such grace.
It's time to change the stories we tell ourselves about aging. It's time to change the systems and products that surround us. It's time to disrupt aging. Click the link below to view the video campaign produced by the AARP!
Brookline’s Watanabe sisters, Yoshino and Akino, offered a Japanese harp (Koto) concert at Goddard House last week. The audience warmly welcomed the two girls who were happy to perform and answer insightful questions from Goddard residents. “Thank you all for coming!” they wrote this week, noting that they’d love to perform here again.
What’s Koto? Hear the Watanabe sisters perform in a TEDx Beacon Street performance with their teacher, Sumie Kaneko: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TeoJ9STx1c8&sns=em.
Goddard House wishes to share this personal message from Jim Wessler, President and CEO of the Alzheimer’s Association, in support of the on-going work and commitment of our local MA/NH Chapter. Jim wrote in response to an article about the national Alzheimer's Association that appeared in STAT and the Boston Globe.
Enjoy Dr. Marc Agronin's discourse on the language we use to discuss aging, written for The Wall Street Journal. Read the article here.
Brookline Food Pantry Director Renee Feuerman (R), let us know that the pantry especially needs the following items for the holidays: dry soup mixes with beans and grains, soaps, hand lotion, shampoo and conditioner. The pantry is open on Tuesday, 12-23 from 10-2 p.m. Goddard House Assisted Living's photo.
Led by Berklee faculty world-music percussionist Jonathan Hazilla, the Berklee Music Therapy Ensemble engaged residents in a “holiday musical happening” at Goddard House Assisted Living. Everyone performed on vocals and with a variety of instruments!
John Moniz with Gen Silent film-maker Stu Maddux at Fenway Health before tonight's Boston Sneak Peek screening of the latest Maddux documentary, Reel in the Closest. Goddard House sponsored the event with Good Sheperd Community Care and the LGBT Aging Project.
A GoddardARTS flower making crew finishes some fall blooms for Thanksgiving week/weekend. Sandy, Daniela, Natalia, Maryjane and Jessica are pictured here.
Community Servings volunteers just picked up 30 Goddard House-baked pies, donated to be to be sold at Pie in the Sky, the Boston organization's annual fund raiser this Thanksgiving week. Goddard House Chef Nick Polinsky, our pie-maker, is pictured here with Executive Director John Moniz and two members of the pie delivery team.
Peggy and Michaela joined renowned drummer Cornell Coley after his Goddard House drum circle session that included 25 traditional and Olmsted residents last week.
A Brookline Aging Services Team led a discussion at the LGBT Campground at the LeadingAGE National Conference held this week at the Boston Convention Center. From left to right, Lisa Heyison, Laura Baber, Dr. Alex Coleman and John Moniz. The campground served as a forum to foster sensitivity, inclusivity and respect for LGBT seniors throughout the field of eldercare.
Kudos to Lynn & to all of Her Hard Work!
Goddard House's first art show has been a wonderful success! The featured artist this month is Lynn Liberman, one of Goddard's own residents. Lynn's paintings range in style from abstract depictions of city streets to more traditional still lifes. The opening was very festive and celebratory, with fresh floral arrangements contributed by fellow residents, as well as a stunning bouquet of yellow roses given to Lynn on behalf of the Goddard House Staff. A group of about 30 friends and family members came and went throughout the afternoon, admiring Lynn's paintings over wine, cheese, and fruit. One resident remarked, "Lynn is such a lovely person that she is able to attract people from different corners of our community. That is one reason this event is such a success." Indeed, Lynn's kind and humble personality, combined with her obvious talents as an artist, made for a very happy and successful event!
Congratulations to Marvin & Ippy!!!
Goddard House awarded the 2015 Phyllis Vineyard Award for Exemplary Service to two employees demonstrating excellence and commitment in service to Goddard House at a luncheon yesterday. Pictured here are 2015 Vineyard Award Winners, Ipoderme Lapierre, Personal Care Assistant in the Wellness Department (L) and Marvin Gomez, Assistant Maintenance Director (R) with Chestnut Hill resident Phyllis Vineyard. Vineyard was a Vice President and member of the Goddard House Board of Trustees for many years. The award has been given to Goddard House staff in Phyllis' honor since 2011 after her retirement from the Board.
Brookline Locals Gather to Meet Fred Taylor
Legendary jazz impresario Fred Taylor strikes a pose as he talks with fans (Deb Gromack and Erin Smithers) after his lecture, Cookin’ Up Jazz at Goddard House last week that covered his 55 year career guiding Boston’s jazz scene. The event was a kickoff for the Goddard House summer outdoor jazz series. Free concerts will be held every Thursday evening in August from 6-8 p.m. at 165 Chestnut Street. For more information, go to http://goddardhouse.org/events.html
Local Centenarians Gather at The Brookline Senior Center
Goddard House and other aging service organizations in Brookline saluted centenarians at the Party of A Century last week. WBUR picked up the story of this party and titled it "Happy 100 To You, And You — Centenarians Multiply, At Forefront Of Age Wave". Click on the link below to read about the party and also to learn about the fastest-growing sector of the population.
Goddard House has a new addition to our organic farming program in the backyard of Olmsted Place! Partnering with Green City Growers and Yardbirds Backyard Chickens, six hens have arrived at their newly constructed chicken coop home. Here’s Yardbirds proprietor, Khrysti Smyth (farthest right), after conducting the first “chicken coop training” with Goddard House staff. All residents and visitors are welcome to visit “the girls” between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. daily.
Walk with Us!
Over 40 people in the Nature Explorations in Our Own Backyard program met at Habitat Education Center and Wildlife Sanctuary in Belmont, MA in June for a tour by Executive Director, Roger Wrubel. The Group explored gentle trails that wind through deciduous and evergreen forests, across meadows, and around ponds. Habitat is located just six miles from downtown Boston.
Goddard House Tours America's Favorite Ball Park!
Goddard House staffers enjoy the morning tour of Fenway Park after attending Breakfast at Fenway this month, featuring a talk by Red Sox President and CEO, Larry Lucchino sponsored by the Newton and Needham Chambers of Commerce.
Full Occupancy at Goddard
Recently Goddard House Assisted Living in Brookline, MA reached capacity with all 115 apartments being occupied. Executive Director, John Moniz and Marketing Director, Lance Chapman wanted to share how thrilled the staff is by this achievement. Moniz and Chapman both credit the great team of clinicians and caregivers that work at Goddard House each day for creating such a warm, vibrant and inclusive community of older adults. Lance Chapman remarked, “The residents and families we serve here and our superb staff truly make up a neighborhood of caring people who reach out in friendship to one another.”
John Moniz also explained, ”Goddard House has determined to set the bar high when it comes to creative offerings and programs for our residents. We have added partnerships with organizations such the American Reperatory Theatre, Green City Growers, Boston Conservatory, Berklee College of Music and Forever Fit, which all allow our residents to have daily connections with experts in their respective fields. Moniz and his team have also overseen a number of improvements and upgrades to the community that have succeeded in keeping this wonderful not-for-profit community a trend setter in the field. We expect there to be openings for new residents in short order, but wanted to mark this exciting achievement.
Green City Grower's Evening Lecture
Goddard House hosted an evening lecture for the community this week that was all about Boston’s booming urban gardening movement as presented by Green City Growers, our on-site organic farming partner. Pictured above are Jessie Banhazl, CEO of Green City Growers and Director of Bountiful Brookline, Cathy Neal, with potted herbs that were given out at the event. The evening also featured gourmet herb flatbreads from Chef Nick Polinsky served outdoors on the patio. The flatbread featured here was garnished with strawberries, arugula, goat cheese, and a sweet fig balsamic drizzle.
Senator Warren Sends Goddard a Personal Note
Goddard House Assisted Living residents gather after viewing a video prepared for them by Senator Elizabeth Warren which addressed issues key to Older American’s including the need to preserve Social Security and to create increased N.I.H. support for chronic illnesses, especially Alzheimer’s disease. The group sent replies back to the Senator’s office with remarks like Fay Gano’s, “Thank you for being our pathway to the Senate, and a direct line to communicate. What can I do to back you? As it’s clear you are backing us!”
Brookline Selectman Nancy Daly also visited early in the month to speak to the group about Town government and the importance of voting in this year’s local election. Take a look at what Senator Warren had to say below!
Glen Campbell’s Brave Story Draws Crowds and Inspiration at the Coolidge Corner Theatre
A rare area screening of the Glen Campbell Movie: I’ll Be Me sponsored by Goddard House and community eldercare partners*, drew a crowd last week for the sold out event to raise awareness for people with Alzheimer’s disease and their care partners.
With inspiration, awe-inspiring music, humor and daring, Campbell and his family challenge how we think about Alzheimer’s by offering us a talented protagonist who carries on and ventures out after his diagnosis, modeling how a person with Alzheimer’s can continue to have a creative, meaningful and engaged life. The film celebrates the joy and healing power of music – for us all.
Here in Brookline and Boston, the film introduces the conversation around the huge need to make our communities not only more elder friendly, but Alzheimer’s friendly as well.
If your organization is interested in arranging a screening of the film, please contact Kirt Eftekar at Area23a Distribution: firstname.lastname@example.org
*Sherrill House, Brookline Council on Aging, Brookline Community Aging Network
Join us Next Time for Libations and Artistic Creations
One recent sunny Saturday afternoon Goddard House held a delightful Sip & Dip Event in our library. A relaxing 2-hour Painting Class led by local Jamaica Plain artist Andrea Tamkin was combined with some fine wines and delicious food pairings. She led the class in creating some of their best art work yet! Among our guests were local healthcare professionals, Passport Members and other friends of Goddard House Assisted Living. The rendezvous was hosted by our very own Marketing Director, Lance Chapman and Outreach Coordinator, Michaela Barrows. Those in attendance ranged from amateur to expert, but fun was had by all. This event was such a success that we plan to have more similar events! Stay tuned…
Singing, Dancing, & a Show!
Residents were delighted to have ten talented students from the Boston Conservatory Cabaret serenade them on Tuesday morning. The musical theatre group performed a variety of well-known hits, including “I’m a Woman,” “I’ve Got You Babe,” and “Baby (You’ve Got What It Takes)”. Audience members tapped their feet and clapped along to the infectious melodies and extraordinary vocals. It was a wonderful way to start the day and shake everyone from those winter blues!
Brookline’s talented chocolate-maker, Nur Kilic of Serenade Chocolatier, displays plated chocolate samples for a chocolate tasting. This assortment of chocolates accompanied her recent presentation, The Art and History of Chocolate Making in Brookline, featured at the Goddard House dinner lecture series, in this assisted living community in Brookline.
For more information on Nur and Serenade Chocolatier, go to www.serenadechocolatier.com
Join us Next Time for Fresh Flowers, Friends and Fun!
On Friday, residents found a cure for the wintertime blues - floral therapy. The flowers, donated by Trader Joe’s in Cambridge, were assembled into arrangements of varying shapes, colors, and sizes. The individual creativity of each resident was apparent in the uniqueness of each floral display. From the delicate and simple, to the bold and full, no two were alike. The common factor was the apparent pride that each resident had for their creation and the glowing smiles on every face. The lovely arrangements were placed throughout the common areas, helping to brighten Goddard during these dreary winter months.
Violin Concert Dazzles Residents
“I was mesmerized”, commented Goddard House resident Clementine Brown. “From the Top was over the top this week!”
The National Public Radio show hosted a special concert at Goddard House Assisted Living on January 15th as part our partnership with the Center for the Development of Arts Leaders, featuring 14 year old violinist, Ilana Zaks.
“I knew when I sat down and read the program that this is an extraordinary young performer, already with an international career and being a student of the legendary Itzhak Perlman,” Brown (herself a National leader in marketing the arts) went on to say. “What could be more a more amazing than spending a chilly winter evening right here at Goddard House – at world-class concert. Thank you, Ilana!”
“Ilana let her audience know that she picked up a toy violin at age 3 and couldn’t put it down…that is until she got a real one. Hailing from a family of generations of violinists, this You Tube Video features a Boston Hatch Shell performance with Ilana as soloist in Lalo Symphonie Espagnole:
To learn more about Ilana, click here!
By Marketing Director, Lance Chapman
1. Avoid Walking on Icy Surfaces: When older adults fall the results can be devastating and long-lasting. Fractured hips and head injuries can be deadly and not worth the risk. Ice is a treacherous surface even for the most sure-footed individuals. Icy walkways, sidewalks and steps are to be avoided at all costs. Asking neighbors or family and friends for help in de-icing your walks and steps is a better alternative. If you must venture out on a snowy or icy day, be sure to pre-treat your steps and walkway with a supply of rock salt you can keep by your door for easy access. Give the salt time to thaw the ice before stepping out. Wear shoes or boots with good traction. Remember that when you return home your walk may have frozen over again so move with caution and ask for help whenever possible.
2. Hats, Gloves, Scarves and Wool Socks: Remember your mother telling you, “Dress in Layers.” Well, she was right. People over 65 years old are more susceptible to hypothermia and frostbite in colder temperatures. Dress in proper winter clothing even if you are going around the corner. Add some wind and a few inches of snow to the cold temperature and suddenly a short walk to the corner store or to the mailbox at the end of a long driveway can become a dangerous trip if you’re not wearing warm clothing.
Dress warmly inside your home as well. Keep your thermostat at or above 65 degrees. Bundle up in layers and pull out that warm afghan or down comforter for the bed. Keep in touch with friends, family and neighbors and ask for help if you are having trouble keeping warm.
3. A Light in The Darkness: Winter months can cause people to feel lonely and depressed. The cold weather can keep people of any age feeling more isolated and sad. The shorter hours of daylight can also have a depressing effect on our emotions. In some cases, the holidays can be hard times filled with memories of loved ones we miss. To combat the “dark and drearies of winter” stay connected to your friends by phone or online via Facebook. Reach out to your local Council on Aging or Senior Center and find out what activities they provide and if they have a bus that can pick you up. Ask friends or neighbors over for coffee or tea. Check in with family and ask them to look in on you. Keep your holiday decorations and lights up as long as you want…like a little light into the darkness.
4. Winter Driving: Winter is a tricky month for older adults to be driving. Our recommendation is to stay off the roads in winter unless it’s absolutely necessary. Winter driving often requires faster reflexes and better eyesight because of poor road conditions and lower visibility when driving. Another good tip is to be sure the car is serviced by your mechanic before the winter weather hits. A pre-winter service to your car can help keep it working dependably through the colder months. If possible, ask a friend or family member to take the car in for servicing. Lastly, having a membership with AAA can pay for itself with one incident. Keeping a charged cell phone in the car so that you can call for assistance if you breakdown is also a smart move.
5. Carbon Monoxide Poisoning & Fire Safety: In an effort to stay warm sometimes people make risky decisions. Do not sit in your running car in a closed garage to keep warm. This can lead to Co2 Poisoning and death. Similarly, fireplaces and space heaters can be very dangerous devices if they are not in good working order. Have the chimney cleaned at the same time you have your car serviced, before the cold weather is upon us. A clean chimney can help prevent fires and will vent carbon monoxide fumes safely out of the house. Using a fireplace without a proper screen can also be a danger. A screen will prevent burning embers to spark a fire while you are asleep.
6. Storm Coverage: New England winter storms can be very severe and unpredictable. Be sure you have the basics you need to be warm and comfortable for at least 3 days. Flashlights with fresh batteries, warm clothing and bedding and a supply of non-perishable foods are three keys to faring well in a storm. A wind-up or battery powered radio is good for new updates on the storm and news about power being r