For me, 2014 was full of new experiences, friendships, activities, service and wonderful moments of joy and laughter. My role as the Community Liaison at Rolling Fields gives me the opportunity to mix and mingle with the fabulous folks who live and work here, plus our surrounding community members.
At the top of my list of favorites from this year is hosting the Rolling Fields Speaker Series. We never stop learning and growing and these engagements invite a speaker to our home to teach and answer questions about a topic that is meaningful to your life.
We love food and enjoy offering our attendees a light dinner and dessert at no charge as they listen to the speaker. If you would like to be a part of the Rolling Fields Speaker Series as a guest speaker in 2015, contact me at email@example.com
I look forward to continuing with the Rolling Fields Speaker Series in 2015, starting with an event on January 16th at 5:30 entitled, “2015 Food Year Resolutions: Healthy & Delicious Decisions for your Body, Mind & Budget”. Back by popular demand, Allyson DeVaniter will give a cooking demonstration, recipes, shopping tips and food realities for the New Year. If you would like to attend, please RSVP as a courtesy to our Culinary Team (814) 587-2012 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Musical performances are a favorite around here. In addition to the Rolling Fields Singers (a group of Elder and employee care partners who love singing and performing together) we also enjoy having so many talented musicians who share their love of music in our home. Musical performances are so popular, we are adding more shows with our favorites and adding new artists in 2015!
And speaking of our love of music, in 2014 Rolling Fields became the first Music & Memory Certified Home in Crawford County PA. Inspired by the 2014 Sundance Award winning documentary, Alive Inside, we knew right away that this concept matched the culture of our home. With this program, Elders are given Ipods and headphones to
- enjoy music as an activity,
- relax with it during difficult times in their day
- help those with cognitive impairments connect to their memories.
Care partners took the time to learn the program and collect Ipods and headphones. We downloaded music specific to Elder preferences and then introduced Music & Memory street by street.
Edinboro University Intern, Lexi Caldwell, worked with the program and noted: “In my experience, when an Elder is experiencing mood and behavior issues, Music & Memory is giving us an opportunity to intervene and help them in a way that creates a relaxing and calming effect.”
If you would like to learn more about Music & Memory, or help by supporting this program, click here.
This year, Rolling Fields sponsored the Walk To End Alzheimer's event in Meadville, PA. The RF Empowered Care Partner team actively raised money and we all walked together in recognition of our Music & Memory program on a rainy Saturday in Sept. This was my first time at the Walk To End Alzheimer’s event and I was deeply moved as people from our community gave personal testimonials on how their lives have been touched by Alzheimer’s disease.
A popular trend in 2014 was the ALS Bucket Challenge. Everyone from your next door neighbor to celebrities, to the White House was participating in this one of a kind fundraising effort. Basically, you were nominated by a friend to have ice water dumped on you, and then you donate money to the ALS Association. To keep the fundraiser going, you then forward a nomination to more people. I love that Rolling Fields accepted the challenge and then put their own stamp on it. (That’s how we roll!) We had recently lost our close friend from Birch St., after his battle with ALS. We toasted Ted with fancy glasses filled with sparkling grape juice and ice served from an “ice bucket”, and kind words reflecting the life of our amazing friend. Click here to see the video.
The spontaneity of our home allows for fun times “outside of the calendar”. I really enjoyed our international visitors that traveled to our home to see first hand, the Eden Alternative philosophy in action. I will never forget the amazing moment when our Ukranian visitor spoke in Hungarian to Bill, an Elder from Fig St. Tears poured down Bill’s cheeks as they talked; Bill had not spoken in his native tongue for over 20 years. That connection held such meaning for him, I felt honored to have witnessed it.
Bringing kids into the mix always livens up a home! We love our Young At Heart on-site daycare kids and the Kallimos Summer Kampers at Rolling Fields! A vivid memory from this summer was during an afternoon of fishing when an Elder turned to their 10 year old fishing buddy and said with childlike enthusiasm, “I hope we catch one today. My son will be so proud of me!” I watched these two friends share a special moment of hope and excitement and my heart just melted.
Elder and employee care partners at Rolling Fields have so much talent, I would be remiss if I didn't mention the amazing live performances I have seen this year. The Murder Mystery Theater, USO show on Veterans Day and the Christmas Performances are just a few of the many opportunities we have to get creative and put on a live show for the Elders.
These are just a few of the special memories I have put into my 2014 scrapbook. This blog post would go on for days if I listed every single one of the special events, meaningful activities, fun days, live performances, smiles, tears, hugs, laughter and acts of love that have taken place within our walls this year. Please feel free to comment on what your favorites were from this year and what you are looking forward to in 2015.