See what’s happening at the East Lyme Senior Center!
See what’s happening at the East Lyme Senior Center!
When we think about our own independence, we often equate that independence with our day to day living. Can we get to the store, to work, to school? Is the weather a problem? Will there be a traffic issue? Am I running late?
And with our day to day living we sometimes forget that Independence equals freedom, and, in this country, we have an abundance of freedoms. We can speak out. We vote. We are free to worship as we choose. We can assemble when and where we want. We can move about as we choose.
We are very fortunate to live in the United States and have these privileges.
But back to our personal independence.
I found the definition of independence to be – the ability to live your life without being helped or influenced by other people (Cambridge Dictionary)
Now how silly is that – of course we are influenced by others – the news is just one example. And we are helped by other people on a regular basis. And who might they be – the doctor, your lawyer, your neighbor, a friend. Someone holds the door for you. They are helping you.
But there are the times when that independence is compromised.
Our personal independence can become very limited if say the car breaks down. We have a sick child at home. Our eyesight fails. We don’t react as quickly as we once did. A car, the insurance, gas, etc. becomes unaffordable.
Our mobility. Our ability to get around can really define our life style. Our world can get very small if we no longer have the freedom to get about as we choose.
What do we do then? How do we get places? What are the resources available to us?
Who can I ask for a ride? Do I have too much self-pride to ask? What about shopping and all those appointments I have?
Enable yourself to ask and to find out what resources are out there. Visit or call your Senior Center. Call 211. Use SeniorCenterCt.org. Ask at your Church. If you are a veteran or member of an organization, see if they give rides. And don’t overlook asking your family and friends. They probably would love to send more time with you.
But remember you need to be flexible and fit what you want and need into someone else’s schedule. You don’t have to go shopping on Tuesday and running errands on Wednesday. Look at this all as a change in your life style – not that you lost your freedom. Embarrass your new methods of mobility as an adventure!
These are just a few of the things available at Expos, Home Shows and Trade Shows. Most are free or very low cost to attend. They are great ways to learn about services and providers you might need. You can also compare agencies.
Discover what’s available in your area. Search out the booths with recreation, travel, insurance, fitness, Senior Centers and more. You can make a list at home and then go to an expo and talk with providers about what you need and how they can help you and your family. You can get the answers. And if the person you are talking with doesn’t have the information or service you are looking for, they can probably point out a booth that can help you.
Start watching for and listening for the upcoming Expos, Home Shows and Trade Shows. Generally, they are start in the spring and end in the fall. Check Area Agencies on Aging, Senior Centers and area housing units. Some might be hosted by major companies for their retirees. Plan on attending yearly for a few years. You can never learn everything at just one. Plus, you’re adapt to meet up with folks you know and have a few friendly chats as well.
AND if you are a business then you want to be a vendor! Your company needs to always be growing and teaching. Expos, Home Shows and Trade Shows are great ways to meet lots of people. If you want to be a part of the health screening let the organizer know. The same with presentations and demonstrations. Your company could be a great addition! It is an excellent way to grow those new costumers. Plus, it puts a face to your business.
Get out there and be seen. Stand up at your booth. It makes you more approachable. Give meaningful items. Engage with the folks passing by. You never know where any connection or contact might lead. Let other vendors know what you do and who your company is. Grow connections. Build relationships. And whatever you do stay off your phone!
And hey make sure you stop by the SeniorCenterCt.org table and say Hi! Be sure to tell us you read about us here!
The AARP Tax-Aide program provides tax counseling and preparation for middle to low-income taxpayers with special attention to those people aged 60 and over. This service is free. The Tax Advisors are available for the months of February, March and April on Monday and Friday mornings at 9am beginning February 1st. Appointments must be made by calling the Senior Center. Taxpayers are asked to provide their:
We have all heard the Beatles song “When I was younger, so much younger than today…” “Help me if you can….” And this song brings to mind that the definition of help has many meanings. To give help and to receive help are two very different things. We all have a tendency to offer our help but are reluctant to ask for help. Now why is that!! We can’t help each other if no one ever asks for assistance.
What’s so hard about asking? We don’t want to bother anyone. We don’t want to be a burden. We can do everything! All of the time! All by ourselves!
Now how ridiculous is that statement!! We need doctors, electricians, plumbers, accountants, mailmen, and on and on. We need services, assistance and relief in many different ways from the time we are born until the time we die.
We accept, hire, allow support and services every day. We just don’t term it as “help”. Reconsider all of those things. Perhaps it will assist you in redefining the word “help”.
And then we want to step forward, chip in and offer a lending hand to others. It might be cutting our neighbors grass, picking something up for a friend, giving a ride so your sister can drop her car of at the dealership. Doing these things makes us feel good. We want to volunteer. Maybe at the school, the senior center, the library, for scouts, as a fireman or EMT. We want to help others.
We by nature are very giving. It’s easy to offer but remember others can’t give if you don’t ask. And your ask doesn’t have to be big. It can be as simple as “Can you bring me back a coffee when you get yours?” So, the next time someone asks if they can do anything for you… say YES! Both of you will feel good about it.
Time has a way of passing much faster than we realize. I think they – whoever they are – steal time as we sleep. Haven’t you been shocked when you look in the mirror and see how time has passed. Or looked at your children and been surprised how many years have flown by? And it doesn’t seem possible for all those years have gone by. If you close your eyes and look at yourself as you feel you are, you’re much younger than that darn mirror tells you.
Recently I came across photographer Tom Hussey’s work “Reflections” which shows elderly people looking in the mirror and seeing who they were many years before. A fireman, a nurse, the scholar, the pharmacist, a new mother, a welder.
“Reflections” was inspired by a World War II veteran who said, “I can’t believe I am going to be 80, I feel like I just came back from the war. I look in the mirror and I see this old guy.”
It brings to mind that with retirement and age we lose a big part of our identity. As we enter adulthood we are often asked “What do you want to be?”
But seldom after we retire are, we asked “So what did you used to do?” “Who were you before?”
We have been a big part of building our towns and cities. We have served in many positions be it elected or volunteer. We have been the scout leaders, the umpire, the coaches, the committee member.
And for those of us who feel we might be losing our identity lets share the stories of our past, volunteer to teach others, once again become that committee member, volunteer at the local school, senior center or hospital. Continue to be an active part of the community.
And for those who haven’t reached those later years, the next time you encounter the elders in your community be it at the grocery store, at your place of business or just in passing take a few minutes to find out more about who they are and who they were. You will be surprised just who you are talking to!