Category Archives: Community Involvement

One Surprising Way Older Adults Can Get Healthier

You know about the obvious things. Now try this. [Photo credit: Adobe Stock]

By Dr. Ann Hwang for Next Avenue

Whether or not we actually do the right things to improve our health, many of us probably assume we know what they are. Walk more. Quit smoking. Eat healthier.

It’s a familiar list, and a good one. As a primary care doctor, I spend plenty of time counseling people to do exactly these things. But here’s another, less familiar thing I think you should consider: get engaged in your community.

The Benefits of Connection

Civic engagement may not be on the top of everyone’s to-do list, but it probably should be. There is intriguing evidence to suggest that people who are engaged in their communities — through activities like participating in local organizations or volunteering — could also have better health. read more

The Power of Sharing Our Stories

Playing a game at an assisted living facility opened up connections [Photo credit: Adobe Stock]

By Reyna Marder Gentin for Next Avenue

My friend runs an assisted living residence not far from where I live. When she called to say she had a mitzvah (a good deed) for me that was “right up my alley,” I was wary, to put it mildly. She explained that she was running an event where the residents would play a game encouraging them to share, open mic style, stories from their lives. My friend knows I write — essays, memoir pieces, a novel. I tell stories.

“Will you come?” she asked.

I wanted to say no. As my children will tell you, with the rare exception of a Shabbat round of Scrabble or Bananagrams, I don’t play games. Maybe I’m uptight, or just no fun, but games are not my thing. The idea of helping to facilitate an octogenarian quiz show was not high on my list. read more

Volunteers bring voting to Fulton Presbyterian Manor

Laura Bolton, left, has many connections to the Fulton Presbyterian Manor campus. In addition to volunteering with the voting program, her mother, Evelyn Hopkins, far right, is a resident. Mother and daughter pose here with friend Charlotte Rosenstengel.

Every April, we celebrate Volunteer Appreciation Month and honor those individuals who give their time freely to make Fulton Presbyterian Manor a better place to live and work. Volunteers can help in a variety of ways, and one volunteer, Laura Bolton, came up with a unique way to help residents fulfill their civic duties and remain an active voice in the community: voting.

“It was once up to the staff at Fulton Presbyterian Manor or family to make sure that any resident that wanted to vote could make that happen,” said Laura. “Denise Hubbard, the current Callaway County Clerk, and Kathie Ratliff, Deputy County Clerk, decided that it would be nice if there was a process to make that easier.”  With the help of social worker Donna Hunter, Laura was instrumental in bringing the ability to vote right to the residents at Fulton Presbyterian Manor. read more

Volunteer of the Year: Baylie Borman

Baylie with her grandmother Judy Borman.

Volunteers play a vital role in helping our staff and residents on a daily basis at Presbyterian Manor. April is Volunteer Appreciation Month, so now is a great time to highlight one particular volunteer who’s made a big impact, Baylie Borman.

Activity Director Beth Boyd says Baylie has been an outstanding volunteer, often just stopping in to see if she can do anything.

“She comes to mind so often when I need someone to volunteer or fill in. She comes here bouncing and smiling every time,” Beth said. read more

Barbecue dinner benefits seniors at Fulton Presbyterian Manor

A barbecue pork and brisket dinner March 24 will benefit Fulton Presbyterian Manor’s Good Samaritan Program. The event includes a live and silent auction and musical entertainment by Gary and Suze Durk.

The Good Samaritan Pork Dinner and Silent Auction will be held at the First Presbyterian Church fellowship hall, 718 Court St. Tickets are $20 per person for a pulled pork and brisket dinner. Children 10 and younger eat free.

Doors open at 4 p.m. Silent auction will run from 4 to 6:30 p.m. The live auction starts at 6:30 p.m. Auction highlights include 4 one-day hopper passes to Disney World, two $40 gift certificates to Big Whiskey’s in Lee’s Summit, and a handmade quilt. read more

4 Ways to Donate to Charity Without Writing a Check

These ideas can help you de-clutter your home and earn a tax write-off

By Ashley Eneriz for Next Avenue

People carry boxes of donated items

Want to make a difference, but the budget doesn’t allow? Consider donating something other than cash. [Photo credit: Getty Images]

When it comes to donating to charity, sometimes our budgets don’t allow us to be as generous as we we’d like. But you needn’t always open your wallet to help others. Here are four ways to give back that don’t involve writing a check or making a credit-card donation. As a bonus, you might even declutter your home and earn a tax-write off.

Donate Your Clothes to Job Seekers

Have a few suits or pieces of professional wear hanging in your closet that you’re tired of wearing? Donate them to charity so someone looking for a job can wear them and make a great impression. read more

What makes a not-for-profit senior living community different?

A volunteer board of trustees is holding the Presbyterian Manors of Mid-America organization and its leadership accountable to the mission and the best interests of the residents. 

While shopping for a senior living community, it is common to consider the layout of the residence, the taste of the food and the friendliness of the staff as well as the financial requirements and availability of ongoing care.
But what about the operational status of the organization? A community operating with a for-profit business model vs. a not-for-profit business model can make a significant difference in the overall operation and culture of the organization.
Five major differences are worth exploring to understand the contrast better.

1. Faith-based; Mission-driven
As a not-for-profit organization, there is one governing philosophy to which all operational decisions must align- the mission!  At Presbyterian Manors of Mid-America, our mission is to provide quality senior services guided by Christian values.  We carry a culture that makes all decisions by wearing two lenses, one is quality, and the other is Christian values.  All things must measure up to those standards.a
2. Continuous ownership
A popular avenue through which for-profit organizations gain revenue in senior living is acquisition and resale.  In fact, it is common to see ownership change every five years or so.  However, this growth model is simply a grab at revenue which makes it a rarity in the not-for-profit sector. Enjoying the consistency of continuous ownership can be a huge plus!
3. Oversight is provided by a volunteer board of trustees
Who is at the helm of an organization?  The shareholders?  The CEO?  The Board?  In a for-profit business, many decisions are based on what will be pleasing to the shareholders.  Compare that to the way a not-for-profit is managed.  A volunteer board of trustees is holding the organization and its leadership accountable to the mission and the best interests of the residents.  The fact that this group of highly-qualified individuals serves in a volunteer capacity means that there  are no alternative motives outside of the mission. This means that residents are always the priority.  
4. Net revenue is reinvested back into the community
Just because Presbyterian Manor is a not-for-profit company doesn’t mean the organization never makes money. The real difference is how that income is managed.  Naturally, in a for-profit, revenue goes to serve the shareholders. Conversely, there are no shareholders for a not-for-profit; therefore, all net revenues go back into the community to improve the quality of life for the residents.
5. Good Samaritan Program- supported by philanthropy
One of the number one fears of American seniors is running out of money.  In more than 68 years of serving seniors, Presbyterian Manors of Mid-America has stood in that financial gap for those who no longer had the resources to pay for their cost of living in the community.  The Good Samaritan Program is supported by philanthropic efforts to ensure residents always have a secure future. 
Choosing a senior living community is a complex decision with many variables.  As you go through the process remember to ask these questions:
1. What is the mission of this organization and how is it implemented each day?
2. Who owns this community and for how long?
3. Who is in charge? (Shareholders? Volunteer board?)
4. What happens to net revenues?
5. What would happen to me if I ran out of money? read more

Pork dinner benefits seniors

shutterstock_508882633A barbecue pork and brisket dinner April 29 will benefit Fulton Presbyterian Manor’s Good Samaritan Program. The event includes a silent auction and musical entertainment by Gary and Suze Durk.

The Good Samaritan Pork Dinner and Silent Auction will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church fellowship hall, 718 Court St. Tickets are $20 per person for a pulled pork and brisket dinner.

All proceeds go to Presbyterian Manor’s Good Samaritan Program, which benefits residents who have outlived their financial resources. read more

Art is Ageless® winners announced

Wanda Wickell brought home a Best of Show award in the amateur division for her painting “Alley Spring Mill.”

Wanda Wickell brought home a Best of Show award in the amateur division for her painting “Alley Spring Mill.”

Fulton Presbyterian Manor recently hosted a reception for the winning artists in the annual Art is Ageless® juried competition.

“We are honored to exhibit artwork by seniors,” said Keri Edwards, marketing director. “Art is Ageless is unique in featuring only the works of artists age 65 and older. Our artists prove that art, in any form, is an ageless ambition.”

Winners in the Fulton Presbyterian Manor Art is Ageless juried competition were:

Best of Show (amateur): Wanda Wickell, “Alley Spring Mill”
Best of Show (professional): Ruth Horton, “Snow Geese”
People’s Choice (amateur): Betty Colleen Brown, “Quilt”
People’s Choice (professional): Ruth Horton, “Bambi and Thumper”
Drawing (amateur): Nancy Lewis, “Metcalf Home”
Drawing (professional): Carol Bramon, “Vegetable Soup”
Fiber Arts (amateur): Velma Jurrus, “Crochet Necklace”
Mixed Media/Crafts (amateur): Barbara J. Call, “Winter Owls”
Mixed Media/Crafts (professional): Nancy West, “Gold Designed Box”
Needlework (amateur): Betty Colleen Brown, “Hand-Embroidered Tea Towels”
Painting (amateur): Richard McKinney, “Arabian Dream”
Painting (professional): Ruth Horton, “Bambi and Thumper”
Photography (amateur): Carol Bramon, “Reflections”
Quilting (amateur): Alma Hoffmann, “What a Whirl” read more

Making communities friendlier for those with dementia

Making Communities Friendlier for Those With Dementia

That’s the goal for the ambitious Dementia Friendly America initiative

By Beth Baker for Next Avenue


Credit: Courtesy of Paynesville (MN) ACT on Alzheimer’s Caption: Volunteers pass out laminated bookmarks with the 10 signs of Alzheimer’s at the local supermarket

Can a strong community network help ease the challenges faced by people with dementia and their families? That’s the hope of a national volunteer-driven initiative known as Dementia Friendly America (DFA), announced at the White House Conference on Aging in July.

“Our goals are to foster dementia-friendly communities that will enable people who are living with dementia and their care partners to thrive and to be independent as long as possible,” says Olivia Mastry, who’s guiding the effort. “The side benefit is that it’s beginning to normalize [Alzheimer’s], to reduce the stigma. It’s created an environment that’s allowed people to talk about this disease.” read more