CCRC Residents Band Together

Dec 12

MaCCRA is the acronym for the Maryland Continuing Care Residents Association. It is the only organization which is solely dedicated to protecting and advancing the interest of residents of continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs). Big deal, you say. Yes, it is a big deal because we have a lot of money invested in the community where we live.  The entrance fee for an apartment represents the equity from selling a house or from investments. The deposit alone can be hundreds of thousands of dollars depending on the community and size of the apartment.

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Volunteer vs. Retired

Dec 01

Volunteer vs. Retired

“You have committed to so many projects, you don’t have time to be retired.” Dan Boyle

I found this quote in a post I never published from 6 years ago. It holds true today. I am not content with the word retired. We need a better word for those of us not working for pay. We are working as volunteers  for  clubs, organization, social service agencies , and a host of other entities.

The dictionary says retired means ” having left one’s job and ceased to work.” Well, we may have left our paying jobs but we have not ceased to work. Volunteers are the backbone of our country in many organizations. The Bureau of Labor Statistics published a report, Volunteering in America, 2015, that indicated over 11,000,000 people over age 65 volunteered. Research indicates that older volunteers “contribute more hours than any other age group, are more likely to be content with their voluntary work and to stick with it.”

Ann and Dan photo

Volunteer Appreciation Party

Charlestown recognizes our value as volunteers with recognition pins and an annual Volunteer Appreciation Party. This year’s theme was Superheros. We both attended.  As our volunteer coordinator says, “the rewards are priceless.”

Dan takes residents in wheelchairs to the Wednesday Mass at the Care Center. He also makes as he describes, “high-quality mac & cheese” for the Daily Bread, the hot food program run by Catholic Charities. He was elected to the Our Lady of the Angels Parish Council last month.

My interests include the Apple Charlestown User Group and being the webmaster of the Charlestown resident-sponsored website, ccicharlestown.org. I am still on  the Residents’ Council as Past President.

So retired doesn’t work for me. Facebook, for example, does not provide a title for being a volunteer. You are either working or retired. I ended up using self-employed as blogger and webmaster. It doesn’t work for many of us. In fact, as the baby boomers reach their “retirement” they don’t want to sit on the sidelines either. Ageism rears its head even with volunteers. The older population is an untapped resource for civic engagement in the years ahead.

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Field of Honor

May 29

Ann and Dan registrationThe 4th Annual Field of Honor sponsored by Hubbard Funeral Home and Charlestown started with fireworks on Friday night followed by the 5K Race/1 Mile Walk on Saturday morning. Dan and I volunteered for race registration. It was fun to see the young fit men and woman come in for their race numbers and T-Shirts. We ran out of the small and medium size because of the many walk-ins. That should tell you something about the sizes of the runners. The first and second place winners from 2015 repeated this year.

Sara Nixon repeated winning the Charlestown resident best finish as well as first in her age range (60 – 69). We had the easy duty protected from the hot sun in the tent while other residents and staff were marshalls along the race route, at the water table, and at the finish line. The Philanthropy staff, Patti Santoni, Emily Fowler, and Brittany Owens were working hard to make sure everything happened on schedule. It did.

tapsAfter the race, the ceremony started with legislators, councilman, county executive, our own Charlestown veterans, and a military color guard. The ceremony ended with the lone bugler from the 229th Maryland National Guard playing Taps. As the last notes faded away all you heard was the wind flapping the 1,000 flags flying on the field.

The local FOX news was on hand. The video featuring resident Al Mederios is very well done.

Flags

 

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Living in Community

Apr 30

Rev. Paur

Rev. Roman Paur, OSB, PhD

What can a Benedictine monk tell us about living in community.  A lot, it turns out. Rev. Roman Paur, OSB, St. John’s Abbey, Collegeville, MN, was the keynote speaker at the annual meeting of five retirement communities residents’ council members on April 19.  All are  managed by Erickson Living. As the host Residents’ Council President, I developed the program including the selection of the keynote speaker.

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Life Plan Community

Nov 04

Life Plan Community. Does that strike a cord with you? Would you be inclined to consider exploring that living option? Would you even know what it is or what it means?

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Lucky Duck

Oct 14

Lucky Duck RaceWe had a fun event and fundraiser this afternoon as we watched 350 ducks race to the finish line. Okay, the ducks were plastic and they were pushed along by folks shoving noodles at them. The ducks were all numbered and we had a chance to “adopt” ducks for the event. What a bargain! It was only $5 for one duck or $10 for three.

My adopted ducks didn’t place but, it was a good time. The duck adoption fees went to the Benevolent Care Fund which provides “a home for life” for residents who may need help with care needs.

We were outfitted with leis and tropical flowers as well as Luau type appetizers to sustain us for the hour.

 

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