Monday, October 20, 2014

Housing Resources for Baby Boomers

Imagine if you were someone who has lived in his or her current home for decades, or even half a century, or more. Any lifestyle change is difficult; making a housing change for someone who has lived in the same neighborhood for many years can be especially hard. Add to that the broad range of different housing options and varying costs and any decision to move can become overwhelming. The Dale Association is pleased to present a comprehensive housing resource fair and presentation on Friday, October 24, 2014 from 12:30 – 3:30pm at our program building, 33 Ontario Street, Lockport. Guest panelists and resource vendors will share information to help attendees make informed decisions about the following topics: If I choose to remain at home: Are there any simple home modifications that may make it safer to stay in the home? How to increase home safety, accessibility, and affordability. Options to finance renovations. What supports are available to remain independent at home? If I need to downsize: What to do with excess furniture, etc. Gifting to family, donating, and/or holding an estate/garage sale. Finding other housing options: If you come to the time when you or your loved one can no longer live safely on their own, there are many options to choose from. A simplistic overview of the housing option terminology and what to consider – current and future needs; definitions of the various levels of care from independent living through nursing home care; subsidized options; non-subsidized options throughout Niagara County. Other important topics include: facilitating a smooth move and helping to alleviate the feeling of being overwhelmed by the idea of the move. The keynote speaker, Tom McNulty will be discussing, “Planning for the next phase of life”. Tom McNulty is owner and president of Success Stories, Inc, a management and marketing consulting firm, award winning photographer, film producer, and host of “Spotlight on Health” on 96.1 Joy FM since 2003. The guest panelists include: Susan Christian, Niagara County Office for the Aging – speaking on support for independent living, meal delivery, transportation, home care, etc. Beth Donner, M&T Bank – discussing understanding your financial options, exploring a Reverse Mortgage as a way to finance home renovations and other things. Larry Raines, Caring Transitions – information on downsizing, cleaning out home, relation, and de-cluttering. Debbie Mathur, Brookdale Living – understanding the various levels of care. Barbara Jacobs, People Inc – subsidized housing criteria and options. Informational displays will also be set up showcasing the following vendors: Belmont Housing, Heritage Manor of Lockport, Lockport Presbyterian Home, Consumer Credit Counseling Services, Conjerti Movers, Lockport Home Medical, Estate and Household Liquidation, Niagara County Office for the Aging, People Inc Senior Apartments, Caring Transitions of Buffalo, The Dale Association, Brookdale Living, M&T Mortgage Division, DeGraff Medical, HANCI/Complete Senior Care, Elderwood Senior Care Housing, Lighthouse Guild, Weinberg Campus. The presentations and resources are geared toward older adults and their family members. Adults of all ages are welcome to attend. Whether you have decided it’s time to move or are looking for ways to stay safely in your home a little longer, or are looking for information to help somebody you know make those decisions, I’m sure the Housing Resource Fair will have something for you. Doors open at 12:30pm, with information available from the various displayers. Tom McNulty and the guest panelists will speak from 1:00pm – 3:00pm, with time for questions and answers. And, from 3:00 – 3:30pm the vendors will again be available for attendees to visit and gather information. For more information or to RSVP please call 433-1886.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

A rich musical history: Theatre Organ Society

Music grabs our emotions instantly in a way few other art-forms can. This week I’m writing about a topic that is one of the best kept secrets in Lockport – the Lockport Theatre Organ Society and their concerts. The group has an interesting history and offers an affordable evening of entertainment – right inside The Dale Association building at 33 Ontario Street in Lockport. Here is the most interesting history of the group and how their organ came to be located at The Dale Association – its fifth location. Originally, it was built and shipped from the Wurlitzer factory in North Tonawanda to Picadilly Theatre in Rochester, NY in the year 1919. Shortly after being installed in the Picadilly, at the request of the theatre owners, a change was made to the pipes. Wurlitzer removed the instrument from the Picadilly and in early 1933 it was reinstalled in the Northeast Temple Masonic Lodge in Buffalo, NY. The organ was used extensively at the lodge until the late 1960’s. Time and use took its toll and by that time it needed an extensive rebuild. The cost of the rebuild was too costly for the lodge and the decision was made to scrap the Wurlitzer. In 1969, Mr. Harold Hontz, a retired theatre organ hobbyist residing in Williamsville, NY got word that the organ was available from the temple and purchased it. With the help of some fellow hobbyists, he had the Wurlitzer moved, set up and playing in his home basement within 10 days. After a number of years at this location, the Wurlitzer was once again put up for sale. About that same time, having recently formed the Lockport Theatre Organ Society, a group of local individuals were in search of a theatre pipe organ to install in Lockport’s Palace Theatre. Hearing about the instrument, the membership of the Society secured a demand note from a local bank and purchased the organ. On Easter Sunday weekend in 1979, early members of the society began to disassemble and move the organ from its home in Williamsville to its new home at The Palace. Pickup truck load after pickup truck load of organ parts were loaded, transported and unloaded until nothing was left in Mr. Hontz’s basement and the stage was full at the Palace. While installation of the organ progressed, negotiations regarding the ownership of the instrument and its use continued between the Theatre Organ Society and the building owner. It was decided that a search for a new home should begin again. In the meantime, the bank holding the note on the loan for the organ demanded their money. Several club members, who truly believed in the project, loaned the club money out of their own pockets to payoff the loan and keep the project afloat. Club member Harold LeValley was also an active participant in activities at the Dale Association’s Senior Centre and suggested that the society look at the large room at The Dale Association as a possible new home for the organ. Records from the Theatre Organ Society show that Bette Dale and members of the board bent over backwards for the group and were enthusiastic to have the Centre be home to the organ. Installation at The Dale Association’s Senior Centre began in January 1981. The formal dedication concert was held on October 26, 1983 with Mr. Harold LeValley serving as Master of Ceremonies. Rev. Otto Struckmann gave the invocation and Bette Dale delivered the dedication liturgy. During the organ’s installation, over 15,000 man hours were spent rebuilding, refinishing and installing the organ in its new home, with all work being performed by volunteers. Many changes were made to both the console and the “works” to allow the organ’s sound and ease of operation to be improved over that of the time that is was built in 1919. Next time you are at The Dale Association’s Centre, I hope you notice the organ and have an appreciation for its beauty and recognize it as the jewel it is. Better yet, come out and enjoy a concert. Music engages us on all sorts of different levels. The next concert is scheduled for Monday, October 20th at 7:00 pm. Admission is $6.00. The Lockport Theatre Organ Society presents A Gospel Favorites Performance featuring Tim Schramm and Dennis Overholt on the Mighty Wurlitzer theatre pipe organ and Wurlitzer grand piano with special guests on the guitar and saxophone. A native of Rochester, Tim Schramm started playing the piano at age 5. At 10 years old, he was introduced to the Mighty Wurlitzer pipe organ. At a young age, he was the accompanist for the Harmonairs Gospel Quartet playing southern gospel music. He is currently the accompanist for the Rochester City School district. He is also director of music ministries at St. Michaels Roman Catholic Church in Newark, NY. Also playing will be Dennis Overholt on the Wurlitzer grand piano, Tim Burdick on saxophone, and Chuck Cupp on bass guitar. Tickets are available in advance or at the door at The Dale Association, 33 Ontario Street, Lockport. Proceeds from the concert on October 20th benefit The Dale Association’s Centre.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Caregiving Attitude of Gratitude

Current research is finding that taking care of tired caregivers could be as important as providing care for their care-recipients. And by simply listing what you, as a spousal caregiver, are grateful for can provide you with the much-needed "tender loving care" that you are providing for your spouse -- and that you are typically not receiving from any other source. So the question that I have for you is: "How is your 'attitude of gratitude'?" As we all know, we are often stressed out by the various caregiving activities we perform for our spouses. Jo-Ann Tsang, Ph.D., assistant professor of psychology in Baylor University's department of psychology and neuroscience, theorized that something as simple as writing about gratitude will help relieve that stress. Specifically, in order to show the link between gratitude and health, she is analyzing just how gratefulness impacts the lives of men and women who care for loved ones with Alzheimer's disease. "Caring for a person with Alzheimer's disease," said Dr. Tsang, "is a prime example of unlimited love. There is a lot of sacrifice involved, a lot of cost, and no reward." While her research is focused on Alzheimer's caregivers, the results of that research can be extrapolated to all caregivers -- especially spousal caregivers. In order to better understand how to help caregivers, Dr. Tsang had half of the research group fill out what she called "gratitude journals" in which the participants listed what they were grateful for each day. The other half of the research group filled out what she called "hardship journals" in which the participants listed the hardships incurred each day. Both groups wrote in their journals for two weeks. While the data has not been statistically analyzed yet, Dr. Tsang theorizes that those who completed the gratitude journals will have increases in their respective psychological well-being, general health, and life satisfaction. Previous research with college students found that gratitude had improved their physical and cognitive health. Since caregivers are dealing with much more serious issues, an emphasis on gratitude could conceivably help them cope with their daily problems more effectively. Dr. Tsang is modeling her research after other studies regarding gratitude and well-being that were conducted by University of California at Davis, and University of Miami in Florida. Both found that people who kept weekly gratitude journals felt much better about their lives as a whole and were much more optimistic about the upcoming week than people who recorded life's hassles or various neutral life events. According to the study, "gratitude journals increased (people's) awareness of gratitude-provoking circumstances in their lives." Dr. Tsang thinks that there may be a correlation between gratitude and religion. "The different world religions tell people that they should be grateful, or religious people have more practice being grateful," she said. Therefore, the concept of gratitude journals may help religious caregivers to better provide care for their loved ones. The Davis campus at the University of California is also conducting a series of experiments that suggest that "counting your blessings leads to improved physical and mental functioning." According to the study, "When people consciously practice grateful living, their happiness will go up and their ability to withstand negative events will improve as does their immunity to anger, envy, resentment, and depression." I have a GREAT "attitude of gratitude" -- how about you?