Monthly musing from Rebecca Crichton

February always feels like the month of honoring relationships. Much of that is due to Valentine’s Day which looms large with its emphasis on letting loved ones know they are in our hearts. Scanning Valentine’s card displays will remind you of the wide variety of folks in your life who might want to hear how much you care about them. I haven’t checked lately, but you can probably even find cards for your pet sitters, hair stylists and favorite servers.

Whoever it is you want to appreciate, it is a good time to remind ourselves of how much we depend on each other and how important our relationships are for our overall health and well-being.

As we age, broadening our base of connections matters more than ever. Whether we are on our own or coupled, being part of diverse communities should be a goal. Those might include faith communities and gyms, book groups and ongoing learning communities.

Among the choices for increasing community are the various Aging in Place Villages in the Seattle area. They are part of the national Village Movement although each one is unique. For our Featured Resource this month, we asked Denise Klein, Executive Director of Wider Horizons Village in Central Seattle and community member Denise Lishner to tell us about their community. They also are pleased to share their new booklet, Preparing for a Serious Health Event, with the wider community. Their essay describes how that helpful resource was developed by a group of community members.

We are pleased to share “Encore Opportunities,” activities for people who want to take on new commitments, whether paid or volunteer. Many retired people find they have time and energy to contribute to organizations that need their talents and experience. Let us know about jobs and activities that we can share with our broader community. This month, we are sharing a job listing for Director of the Lifelong Learning Center. More than a decade old, LLC attracts a passionate community of learners with a wide range of classes. There is also the announcement about Maude’s Awards, awarded annually to individuals or organizations making significant contributions to the lives of those with dementia.

I wish you all a chance to tell the people in your life how much you appreciate them. Nobody ever says no to hearing that they matter!

Letting Go & Moving Forward, A Writing Group for Women with Rebecca
From the things we own to the stories we keep telling, or the relationships that keep us trapped, explore what hinders us from having the lives we want. The group is open to new members. No writing experience is necessary to benefit from this opportunity. Meeting on fourth Wednesdays in February and March near Green Lake. Since space is limited to 6, registration is required to hold a space, which is on a first-come, first-served basis. Email Rebecca to register or for more information.
Maude’s Awards

Open to all, Maude’s Awards will make eight annual awards for innovations excelling in one of four categories of care. As an individual, you don’t have to be a dementia care professional to quality – they are interested in discovering ways that family caregivers and persons with dementia are making life better for themselves and others in their situation..

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