Embrace of Aging: The Female Perspective of Growing Old

Embrace of Aging Movie Premiere Flyer-page-001

The Blueprint for Aging is thrilled to be presenting the Ann Arbor premiere of The Embrace of Aging: the Female Perspective of Growing Old at 6:00 p.m. Sunday, September 7 at Ann Arbor’s historic Michigan Theater. This one event will touch the hearts and minds of multiple generations and interest groups.

The evening will begin with a powerful program that includes film introduction by ten-time Michigan Emmy Award Winning producer Keith Famie, words by Dr. Eva Feldman, MD, Russell N. DeJong Professor of Neurology and Director of the A. Alfred Taubman Medical Research Institute at the University of Michigan Medical School, music by renowned singer-songwriter Jill Jack and the Detroit Women’s Project, followed by the film premiere.

To purchase tickets, please visit www.ticketweb.com and search “Embrace of Aging”.

For more information about sponsoring the event, please contact Emily Fogelsonger at efogelsonger@csswashtenaw.org or 734-971-9781 ext. 374.

AGING WITH ATTITUDE: Lend your voice to the Washtenaw County 60+ Survey!

Any 60+ resident of Washtenaw County interested in taking this survey can contact 734.926.4655 to learn how to participate!

Washtenaw County’s overall population is growing older.  12.5% of WashtenawCounty residents are age 60 or older (43,000) and 9,600 seniors of this total are age 80 or older. By 2020, this number is projected to grow to 22.1%.

Local human service funders are closely watching this trend and have invested in the Washtenaw County Blueprint for Aging to develop and complete a survey that provides a baseline of data about older adult independent living factors.

Virginia Boyce, Project Manager for the Blueprint for Aging, remarks, “By the end of this May, our goal is to complete at least 600 surveys so that we have a better sense of the risks our older adults are facing in the county as well as the factors that attribute to their wellness.”

Findings from the survey will help local planners, providers and policymakers better address the challenges to independence of older adults, as well as identify those programs and services that will have the greatest impact toward a senior’s independence.

The Washtenaw County 60+ Survey will be administered in March, April, and May by University of Michigan School of Social Work graduate students as a part of an Evaluation in Social Work course and by Blueprint for Aging staff members. To date, we have over 450 surveys completed, but we need more! Any 60+ resident of Washtenaw County interested in taking this survey can contact 734.926.4655 to learn how to participate!

The Blueprint for Aging is a multi-agency collaboration that works to improve services, care and quality of life for older adults in WashtenawCounty. The Blueprint for Aging is a program of Catholic Social Services of Washtenaw County and is supported by United Way of Washtenaw County and the Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation, in conjunction with the Washtenaw Coordinated Funders.

If you know of a neighbor or friend who is age 60 or older, tell them about the 60+ Survey!

Arbor Hospice General Information

Arbor Hospice provides comfort and support at the end-of-life for persons with life-limiting conditions as well as their families. In the last year, Arbor Hospice provided care for more than 1,800 patients and their families, and 5,500 grief support clients.

How do you know when Arbor Hospice is appropriate?
A patient, family and/or physician may call Arbor Hospice at any time. When the patient would like to move from a treatment plan focused on curing the disease to a plan focused on providing comfort and relief, and two physicians state that if the person’s disease follows its normal course, death may be expected in six months, a person may choose hospice care. Arbor Hospice staff will meet with the patient and/or family to discuss available services, expectations and to develop a plan of care designed specifically for the patient and family needs.

Who provides Arbor Hospice’s services?
Arbor Hospice uses is a family-centered approach that can include a team of doctors, nurses, social workers, counselors, spiritual care counselors, home health aides and trained volunteers. They work together focusing on the dying person’s wishes and needs –physical, psychological, social and spiritual. The goal is to help keep the person as pain-free as possible, with loved ones nearby until death. The Arbor Hospice team works with the person and family to develop a care plan and support network that meets the person’s needs for pain management, symptom control, and emotional and physical support.

Where does Arbor Hospice provide care?
The Arbor Hospice team will provide services to you in your home, wherever you consider home to be. If the family is uncomfortable caring for the patient at home, the patient can be cared for in a hospital, long-term care facility or nursing home depending on the needs of the patient.

Does insurance cover these services?
Arbor Hospice is provided regardless of one’s ability to pay. Arbor Hospice is paid for by the Medicare Hospice Benefit, Medicaid Hospice Benefit and most private insurers. If a person does not have coverage through Medicare, Medicaid or a private insurance company, Arbor Hospice will work with the person and their family to ensure services can be provided.

Arthritis Foundation Bulletin – 3rd Edition

December 10, 2012

Greetings Members & Friends,

My goodness, 2012 is drawing to a close in a matter of days; where did the time go? It’s been a good year here at the Michigan Arthritis Program (MDCH). We are excited about so many of the projects we have planned for 2013!

Items in this bulletin represent our ongoing effort to increase awareness about arthritis and related issues. Please feel free to suggest items for upcoming bulletins, or to offer constructive feedback about the content/distribution. You may also share the bulletin with anyone who you believe would benefit from reading it. Anyone may request addition to or removal from the distribution list by contacting me directly.

Upcoming Events

Save the Date! The Michigan Arthritis Collaborative Partnership 2013 Spring Educational Conference is scheduled for May 16, 2013 at the Lansing Community College West Campus Facility. Stay tuned for more information and distribution of registration materials.

Please contact me if you have events about which you would like to inform other MACP members and friends.

MACP 2012 Fall Business Meeting

The Fall Business meeting took place on Thursday, November 8th at the Michigan Public Health Institute Interactive Learning Center in Okemos. It was a good meeting – an opportunity for core members to update one another on their activities over the last year and to talk about our goals for the next year. Here are some meeting highlights:

  • Kara Dorda, Program Director – Arthritis Foundation Great Lakes Region, Michigan was introduced as the new MACP Co-Chair. We are so pleased to welcome Kara into this position; her nomination/confirmation marks the return of the Arthritis Foundation to a central role within the Partnership and we look forward to working closely with her.
  • Outgoing chair, Molly Polverento, was not able to attend the meeting, but forwarded comments to be read to the group. We sincerely appreciate Molly’s contributions over the past two years and wish her continued success in her many professional endeavors.
  • Denise Cyzman, new Vice President of the National Kidney Foundation of Michigan gave a Partner Spotlight presentation on NKFM’s implementation of evidence-based programs. NKFM is one of the most active and prolific non-profit organizations addressing chronic disease in Michigan. We are so grateful they are an active member of the Partnership!
  • Participants took part in an interactive discussion about partnerships and how they can be maximized to meet mutual goals.

Presentation materials and other handouts from the meeting are attached. If you have any questions about the meeting or MACP’s activities throughout the year, please feel free to contact me. Please note: The handout entitled “Reflections on Partnership” was an individual exercise completed during the MACP business meeting. If you are willing to complete the sheet and send it to me, we would welcome additional feedback on the topic. Thank you!

Osteoarthritis Action Alliance – Lunch & Learn (Dec 12th!)

Please join the OA Action Alliance on Wednesday, December 12th at 12pm ET for the final 30-minute Lunch and Learn of 2012. This month will feature Dr. Steven Heymsfield, M.D., the Executive Director of Pennington Biomedical Research Center of the Louisiana State University System and the George A. Bray, Jr. Chair in Nutrition.  Don’t miss this opportunity to learn more about the Facts and Myths about Dieting and Weight Loss

Conference Line: 1-877-278-3632

Passcode: 0208132#

Slides will be posted just prior to the call

An archive of past Lunch and Learn Presentations can be found at:


Physical Activity Adherence and Quality of Life among Individuals with Arthritis

The National Center for Health, Physical Activity and Disability recently posted a summary of a research article from Quality of Life Research, which explored the connection between adhering to recommended levels of physical activity and health-related quality of life. The study found that few people with arthritis get the recommended 150 minutes of low- to moderate-intensity physical activity they should, but that those who do have fewer days of self-reported poor physical and/or mental health.

Read the entire summary at:


Increasing Awareness of the Arthritis Burden among State Legislators

The National Association of Chronic Disease Directors (NACDD) successfully competed for funding under the CDC funding opportunity “National Organizations to Support Arthritis Programs and Policy.” One of the projects to be carried out under this program was a partnership with the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) to inform and educate state legislators about the burden of Arthritis in their states.

NACDD met with NCSL members in conjunction with the NCSL annual legislative summit in Chicago on August 5th. A very successful meeting was held with leadership of the NCSL Health Committee.  Representatives from Michigan and Vermont public health departments were invited to address the group along with staff from CDC and Arthritis Foundation. Judi Lyles, manager of the Other Chronic Diseases Unit, which includes the Arthritis Program, represented Michigan. For a full summary of the meeting and information about NACDD’s arthritis policy efforts under this project, go to:


BMI More Predictive of Walking Habits than Knee Pain

An article recently published in the Journal of Obesity showed that BMI was more predictive than knee pain of the amount of walking participants with knee osteoarthritis did during the study period. The study’s authors found that BMI was more likely to predict walking behavior than was knee pain.

Read more at:  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22645666

Let’s Talk RA

The Arthritis Foundation has a communications kit, “Let’s Talk RA,” available for individuals with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA).  This free kit is a great resource for individuals with RA who are looking to self-manage their condition.  It provides tools for communicating with health care professionals to determine a personal best course of treatment for RA.  Specifically, the kit offers:

  • Tips to make the most of your appointments with your rheumatologist
  • Information about treatment methods and options
  • A patient notebook for recording important details, and much more!

To find out more about the “Let’s Talk RA” toolkit and to order your free copy, please visit www.letstalkra.org.

QUICKSTATS: Leisure-time Physical Activity Comparisons According to Veteran Status

According to the National Health Survey, during 2007–2010, higher percentages of male veterans than nonveterans in all but one age group participated in leisure-time physical activities that met the federal 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans.

The MAP has recently begun collaborating with the Veterans Administration to reach veterans, particularly male veterans, with evidence-based programs (PATH, EnhanceFitness and Walk With Ease). Information about their physical activity needs, habits and barriers (among a wide range of information) will be helpful in trying to reach them with beneficial programs.

The Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report summary can be found at:



Kind regards & happy holidays,


Annemarie Hodges, M.A.
MDCH Arthritis Program
Diabetes & Other Chronic Diseases Section
Division of Chronic Disease and Injury Control
phone (517) 335-8402
fax (517) 335-9461
email hodgesa5@michigan.gov

Family Matters: The Money Squeeze, NPR series, Spring 2012

Three families, living in multigenerational households, face difficult financial decisions surrounding elder care, paying for college and retirement.

This active volunteer doesn’t stay home much

Marlene Barr     

By Marjorie Kauth-Karjala

Every morning, Marlene Barr and her husband walk a neighbor’s dogs 2 ½ miles.  “It’s better than having a dog of your own.  You don’t have to clean up after them and you don’t have to stay home with them,” Barr said.

Barr, 77, doesn’t stay home much. She bikes and skis and travels the world.  She’s an active member of numerous organizations including the Ypsilanti Community Choir and the Ladies’ Literary Club in Ypsilanti.

Despite being very busy, Barr is also an RSVP volunteer at the Ypsilanti Thrift Shop.  “It contributes so much to the needy,” is the reason she has volunteered with the Shop since 1969.  Most of the Shop’s profits go directly to human service organizations in Ypsilanti such as Hope Clinic, Friends in Deed, Meals on Wheels and S.O.S.

Because the Shop is operated by volunteers, about 65 percent of profits go directly to social services, said Marcia Sylvester, Shop president. Barr, who has served as president of the Shop three times and is now in charge of scheduling volunteers, said “Nobody gets paid and the building is all paid for.”

The Shop has been in operation for 70 years, running solely on volunteer efforts.  “We always need more volunteers,” Barr said.  One attractive thing about volunteering is that the Shop only asks for a volunteer to commit to one shift at the Shop every four weeks.  The shifts are about three hours long.  The Thrift Shop is at 14 S. Washington St. in downtown Ypsilanti.

In addition to her work at the Shop, Barr and her husband John are active in Boy Scout Troop 290, which is based at Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Ypsilanti.  She and her husband have taken Boy Scouts to Colorado for an Easter ski vacation numerous times.

Marlene Barr has won gold medals in her age category through NASTAR, a ski racing organization.  “My husband says I’m a fast woman,” Marlene said.

John and Marlene also like to bike on Saturday mornings with the Ann Arbor Bike Touring Society.  They ride along Huron River Drive from Ann Arbor to Dexter and have breakfast in Dexter.

Another activity that Marlene Barr enjoys is genealogy.  She’s a member of five genealogy organizations and has written several booklets about her family history.  She distributes the booklets to family members and to various libraries.  Her heritage is Swedish, Norwegian and German and her maiden name is Bielenberg.

“After doing some research in Norway at the archives, I connected with a cousin in Oslo.  He’s the same age as I am,” Barr said.  On one visit to Oslo, the cousin and Marlene Barr visited “a huge brick church that our great-grandfather built,” she said.  The sanctuary is known as Trefoldighet and was built in 1853.

Return to “Faces of Positive Aging”

“I say I’m going to retire…”

By Marjorie Kauth-Karjala

“I say I’m going to retire, then the next thing I know I’m going back over to the center working,” says Evelyn Payne, a volunteer at Northside Community Center’s emergency food program for over 30 years.

Payne, 87, volunteered with the food bank program when it was run by Food Gatherers.  The program is now run by Catholic Social Services of Washtenaw County and Payne serves the center as an RSVP volunteer.  She started volunteering at the center when she retired from Mercywood Hospital, a former mental hospital in Ann Arbor. In addition to Payne’s volunteer work, she has also recruited several of her children to help out at Northside.

She and her husband had eight children but working full-time was no problem, she says. “My husband worked nights and I worked days. It wasn’t bad at all and I enjoyed it.

I loved every bit of it for 25 years. I loved my teenagers (at the hospital) as well as adults,” Payne says.

Some people like to sit when they retire but Payne likes to stay busy.  In addition to working at the food bank, she volunteers in numerous ways at her church, Bethel A.M.E.

Besides volunteering, she said she likes bingo, music, puzzles and reading.  “When I get tired of working on a puzzle I come back up and catch up on my reading,” Payne says.

At the food bank, Payne manages the area where people come in and select their food.  Allowing people to select their own food means that people get what they like to eat so there is less waste. But Payne monitors how much each person takes, carefully following the rules.

“Everybody gets the same (amount.) I tell (the consumers) to think about the next person behind you. You try to stretch it as far as you can,” Payne says.

“She helps keep it managed so there’s enough for lots of families,” says Stephanie Fialkowski, who works in housing support for Catholic Social Services.

“She can be a pistol. She’s assertive in a way that’s loving and strong-willed at the same time,” says Kimberly Green, the food program coordinator for Northside.  Green said she’s worked with Payne for about 12 years. The food program serves about 150 people a week.  In addition to food people can get help in finding resources for other things such as utility assistance and rental help, Green says.

Of Payne, Fialkowski says, “She’s funny and feisty, I just love her to death.”

The emergency food program is open on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.  For more information, call 734-662-4462.

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A Real Treasure

Milan has a real treasure in their senior citizen activity center which is located in the heart of their downtown area.  Milan Seniors for Health Living is a nonprofit organization with a great heart and passion for enhancing the quality of life and encouraging aging with independence and dignity for the “mature” residents that live in and around Milan. They operate out of the Milan Senior and Community Activity Center which is located near Milan’s library and police station.

MSHL has a diverse array of activities, programs, and services that are offered Monday’s through Thursdays. From exercise classes, crafting, cards & games, meals, a computer lab, trips, massage therapy, manicure services, diabetic support groups, a “Red Hat” chapter, educational speakers, language classes, and more; you are sure to find something there that appeals to you.

Do you know about the transportation services they run?   Aged 50+ and living in the 48160 zip code, you can be picked up Monday, Wednesday and Thursday 9 to 2—just give them 24 hours notice.  Come see what special events are coming up! The center celebrated its second anniversary as a non-profit in July 2012.

But the best thing about the center is that it is filled with the kind of people you want to get to know—let me introduce you to one of their key volunteers.

Hermione Fauser loves what she does—and it really shows in her smile as she describes setting up the kitchen every morning and working with the lunch program at the Milan Community Center. “Hermione is the first one there in the morning and the last to leave,” says her co-worker Laura Russeau.  Hermione loves working with the people she meets at the center—both her coworkers and the folks who come to the center.

Hermione was born 97 years ago in Ypsilanti where she went to Woodruff Elementary School.  She has seen a lot of changes. There is an interesting story online about the Woodruff’s in Ypsilanti history the Ann Arbor District Library website:  http://ypsigleanings.aadl.org/ypsigleanings/13459

Hermione and her husband, LaVerne moved to Milan in relatively modern times, 1955.  Hermione says she feels that Milan is still the small town that they found then.  Hermione retired from working on the male ward of the state hospital 40 years ago when the community center was just opening.  She and her husband, Verne wanted to keep busy in retirement.  They felt lucky to find such a great volunteer opportunity close to home.  Although Verne has now passed away, Hermione continues to volunteer at the center.  She says she would recommend volunteering to anyone because it gets you out of the house and keeps you active.  Hermione says that in addition to walking outside everyday, she gets plenty of exercise setting the tables, lifting trays, and serving food at the center. MSHL director Jennifer Michalak added “Hermie is an amazing individual that offers inspiration to all of us.  You should ask her to quote some poetry.  She is a treasure trove of memorized poems for every occasion..

What is the best thing about the center?  Hermione says she is proud of everything about it—the beautiful building and all the activities, but the best thing is the people:  “All of us have lost a spouse or child and there is so much support here.  We are all there for each other.”

Hermione’s favorite thing to do is to spend time with her family, and she is an avid knitter.  In fact, Hermione knits and donates an afghan every year for the senior center to raffle off and it is always a “hot ticket” item.  Hermione is also active in the Lutheran church which is an important part of her life.

As we finished the interview, I walked Hermione back to the kitchen where her co-worker, Ed greeted her with this banter:  “Perfect timing!  You show up when we are all done with the work!”  Hermione suggested I interview Ed, too, but Ed modestly declined the offer, saying he’d rather we gave Hermione all the attention:  “She’s been here way longer than any of us!”  he said.  Ed looked like he was, like Hermione, another one of the kind of people you’d like to get to know—looks like I will definitely need to make another visit to Milan soon!

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