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Old Folks Offer New Insights on Film–WISE UP on Aging Helps Hollywood Hear From Real Elders

Authors: Kathryn Cherkas, MIPH, is Program Manager at Friendship Center Montecito, where she coordinates the project; Stuart Greenbaum is director of the WISE UP On Aging initiative and a Governor’s appointed to the California Commission on Aging. Who better to judge whether art accurately imitates life than those with plenty of life experience? So, when Hollywood attempts to fictionalize aging-related…

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Culture and Care

By Kathryn Cherkas, MIPH Program Manager, Friendship Center Montecito With humans all so different, eldercare is not a one-size-fits-all kind of business. What works for one person may not for someone else, and an approach that worked before may even be offensive to another. There are many considerations in caring for a dependent adult, but for this article I will…

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Fiblets Are Your Friend

By Kathryn Cherkas, MIPH Program Manager, Friendship Center Montecito If you are caring for someone with memory loss, you have surely made changes in your household as you embrace this new reality. And as we all know change is the only constant in life, more are sure to come. When you find a new way of doing things that works…

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Bridging the Generation Gap

Program Manager and proud aunt Kathryn enjoys sharing her nephew with Friendship Center members when he comes to visit! By Kathryn Cherkas Program Manager, Friendship Center Montecito When groups of young people visit Friendship Center, be they children or teenage students, I gather them for a little “pep talk” in the lobby before going in to meet our seniors. I tell…

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For He’s A Jolly Good Fellow–A Father!

Dear Friends, When you hear “father,” do you think of taking in 20 foster children over 25 years, many of them teenagers? … adopting seven of them in addition to three biological children of their own? How about putting them all through college? Ben*, 85, a member at our Montecito Center, is this father. He and his wife, Genie*, now…

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A Case of the Birthdays

By Kathryn Cherkas, MIPH Program Manager, Friendship Center Montecito Everyone experiences memory loss throughout their lives, from forgetting the name of a new acquaintance to misplacing an item. As we age, however, forgetfulness becomes more worrying. Our aging bodies experience changes in a number of ways, and cognitive functioning is no exception. That being said, not all “senior moments” necessarily…

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A Mother’s Care & Unconditional Love

Dear Friends, In 1969, Lorraine* was a single mother with two teenage sons, working nights as a waitress. When asked by a co-worker to babysit his newborn infant for a night, she agreed, but the man did not return the next day and Lorraine was left with the baby boy. For her, there was no option but to continue caring…

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We Love Volunteers! Celebrating National Volunteer Month

Today’s blog post, celebrating National Volunteer Month, comes from Montecito Program Manager, Kathryn Cherkas, MIPH. People often ask me about volunteer opportunities at Friendship Center, quickly following with ‘But I don’t play an instrument’ or ‘I might be too shy’. What I say to them, and want to stress to everyone reading this: Do you have a kind heart that…

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Food For Thought

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, people with Alzheimer’s or other dementias do not need a special diet. As with anyone, eating a well-balanced, nutritious diet is important for overall health. However, regular, nutritious meals may become a challenge for people with dementia–as cognitive function declines, they may become overwhelmed with too many food choices, forget to eat, or have difficulty…

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