Diverse F-M Communiversity programs might help grandma
Dear Carol: My grandma is going downhill. She is very alert and has always been involved in things, but she's been depressed since my grandpa died, which I understand. I think it would help if she got out with friends. She does her crossword puzz...
Dear Carol: My grandma is going downhill. She is very alert and has always been involved in things, but she's been depressed since my grandpa died, which I understand. I think it would help if she got out with friends. She does her crossword puzzles, as she's always said that to keep your mind, you must use it. She still drives and there's no reason why she can't do what she wants. Any ideas on how to get her out and about? - Larry
Dear Larry: Your grandma knows she must use her mind in order to stay sharp. And crosswords are excellent for that. But she needs social stimulation along with intellectual activity. I talked with Emily Williams-Wheeler, coordinator of F/M Communiversity about your grandma's situation.
F/M Communiversity has been constantly expanding. Their programs, this year at Riverview Place, 5300 12th St. S., Fargo, include "People Places and Music," "Proper British Sleuths in Books and Film" and several other offerings. But the one that stands out to me, for your grandma, is "The Art of Storytelling." Long before the printed word, stories were how people learned and communicated. Many older people understand that this is still one of the most effective vehicles for sharing information. This series starts Oct. 29 and goes through Nov. 19. If you know some of your grandma's friends, maybe one or two will register with her and they can attend these sessions together.
In January, F/M Communiversity is expanding by offering courses at Eventide and Waterford at Harwood Groves. Encourage your grandma to take part in these or other courses. She'll meet interesting people and keep her mind active. You can call the Communiversity office at (218) 299-3438 or visit the Web site at www.fmcommuniversity.org .
One more thing for your grandma to consider is volunteering. Meals-On-Wheels programs, senior centers and nursing homes always need volunteers. RSVP (Retired Senior Volunteer Program) has extensive opportunities for people who want to remain active and help others. In general, active people feel better about themselves, and that translates into healthier, happier lives.
Resource: Bethany Homes has a program for their residents that recognizes the idea of continuing education. Called Bethany University, the classes meet once a month. September's theme is "A Fair To Remember" about the history of 4-H. Later will come cake decorating, painting and "A Celebration Of Life," where residents tell their own stories. In the spring, Bethany presents diplomas.
Bursack is the author of a book on family elder care. To submit questions to "Minding Our Elders" and view past columns,
go to www.in-forum.com and click on Special Projects, then Elder Care. Readers can reach Bursack at cbursack@ forumcomm.com or write her at The Forum, Box 2020,
Fargo, ND 58107.