For two years, UVIP asked seniors in our local community “What does it mean to age with dignity?” We talked to over 400 seniors and heard a variety of answers. While we’ve heard many moving stories of neighbors helping neighbors, we’ve also heard too many stories of seniors in trouble.
Here's what we are doing about it:
- We built a team of 50+ listeners who gathered 153 additional stories. Our volunteers helped to record these senior stories and ReThink Health is working to glean the stories for their quantifiable information so that we can help to create best practices within local healthcare systems and senior services.
- One of the needs that came out of our conversations with seniors was a need for self-advocacy. Our "Useful Tools for Aging with Dignity" curriculum was birthed to meet that need.
The “Useful Tools for Aging with Dignity” curriculum was developed by UVIP’s Aging in Community Team – “a program developed BY seniors FOR seniors”. It is designed to provide tools for seniors to organize their affairs, plan for medical issues, and stay connected to their communities.
The curriculum involves 5 sessions of 90 minutes each, conducted in groups of 8 to 16 seniors, caregivers, and other family members. The group dynamic is critical to building trust and sharing, and has been very well received by the seniors in pilot tests to date. The 5 sessions include:
Session I: Introduction & Team Building
Session II: A Checklist of Resources to Aid Life Care Planning: “How can I organize all the information about myself that people need to know to handle my affairs when I can no longer handle them myself?”
Session III: Calendar of Season Living: “How can I make the most of my senior years, having the most fun I can and staying connected to the people I care most about?”
Session IV: Honoring Care Decisions: “What do I fear about preparing the end-of-life documents that I need to have in place?”
Season V: Wrap-up Session
*If you're interested in becoming a facilitator or participating in a session, please contact Deb Dworak at firstname.lastname@example.org
We always welcome new team members. If you would like to join our team, we meet monthly for 90 minutes on the third Tuesday of the month at Valley Terrace, 2820 Christian St, White River Junction, VT 2:00PM - 3:30PM.