Aging in Place is the ability to live in Swarthmore througout your life, with all the services and amenities that you need for a full life.
An official committee of the Association, formed to carry on with the work set out by the Borough of Swarthmore's Aging-in-Place Task Force report, implementing those recommendations that we have the resources to accomplish. The Task Force that originally researched and made these recommendations has completed its work and was then disbanded. This Committee consists of citizens who are dedicated to continuing the work of the original Task Force.
The Senior Wellness Fair was on Saturday, March 30, 2019. Pathways to Senior Well-Being promoted senior well-being, featuring senior-friendly programs and services in the area and helping individuals in the community find better ways of growing older. Download a copy of the program and transcripts of last year's talks, below. Go to the Wellness Fair page for information about the upcoming event.
A TimeBank promotes community sharing of time and talent that not only benefits seniors in the Borough, but will be of benefit to all its citizens. Timebanking is a time-based currency that helps to build circles and networks of mutual support. With a TimeBank, you give one hour of service to another, and receive one hour credit. An hour is always an hour regardless of the service offered. You can use your credits in turn to receive services, or you can donate them to others.
Are you looking for a group to join, or an organization that you might like to support? Visit the new Community Directory, a listing of nearly 90 local organizations and non-profits, categorized in groups for easy searching. Each entry contains an address, phone number, email, website, and contact person, along with a map and a brief description.
Also, sign up for our Senior E-News to find out what's happening that might be of particular interest to you.
Part of Aging in Place may be making your home safer or easier to get around in by downsizing your possessions. Here are some resources to help you.
Downsizing the Family Home: What to Save, What to Let Go, Marni Jameson, AARP Publications. There is also Downsizing the Family Home: A Workbook, Marni Jameson, AARP Publications.
To find a move manager who specializes in senior clients look at this directory.
Here is an app for your iPad to help you plan your new home.
Looking for a local place to take your stuff? Here are some:
Be aware of scams that are targeted at seniors! Even the smartest and most skeptical among us can sometimes be outsmarted by con artists. Here is a guide to the most common scams in 8 categories: Credit Cards, Charities, Home Improvements, Investments, Banking and Wire Transfers, Insurance, Health Products, and Contests.
We are collecting tips and suggestions on how to make your home and our community a safer place to live. We will post these suggestions once we've collected a few. Send in your idea.
Help our first responders get the information they need to deliver you or a family member to the emergency room safely. The Emergency Information Form can be downloaded below and completed, then given to the Swarthmore Police Department, where the information will be secure, but available to police and emergency medical teams if they are called to your house.
A study is underway to determine what kind of place Swarthmore wants to be in the coming years, including how it wants to be more age-friendly. Seniors have had input into this study.
Sometimes living in the family home isn't the best option. If you are looking for a place to live that offers care and community, you happen to be living in an excellent area (southeast Pennsylvania) offering many options at a wide range of price points.
For a primer on what the different types of housing/care available, see this excellent website.
For a directory of housing/care places in the Philadelphia area, this directory is a good starting point.
Do you need help with your iPhone or iPad? Dan Snyder is ready and available to help you on a one-to-one basis. He will meet you at the Swarthmore Borough Hall Council Chamber on select Wednesdays between 10:00 and 11:00 a.m. for 30 minutes or the whole hour. You must register in advance, however!
Timebanking is a time-based currency that helps to build circles and network of mutual support. With a timebank, you give one hour of service to another, and receive one hour credit. An hour
is always an hour regardless of the service offered. You can use your credits in turn to receive services, or you can donate them to others.
Timebanks are formed when people come together to use time credits to achieve a shared goal. Many choose to focus on community building. But timebanks have also focused on tutoring in schools, health and wellness efforts, hospital discharge support, juvenile justice, helping seniors to age in community, civic engagement and more.
Timebanks can vary in size from as few as 20 people to thousands. Most timebanks use timebanking software to help them keep track of member activity. In the United States there are around 500 local and regional timebanks, with around 50,000 members. The organization that we are looking at, TimeBank USA, is national, but operates mostly on the local level. If we adopt this system it would be locally-run, but with the advantage of using well-tested software, and having lots of experience with communities like ours.
Who is sponsoring the timebank in the Swarthmore area?
A permanent sponsor has not yet been determined, but will most likely be an already-established local institution. The Borough of Swarthmore has accomplished the basic work of signing up for the software and doing the initial configuration of a Swarthmore TimeBank. The Swarthmore Senior Citizens Association is taking the lead on its implementation. The Borough has allocated some funding for a person to do the remaining implementation and promotion of the Nether Swarthmore TimeBank.
Can I see the Nether-Swarthmore Timebank website?
Early-bird sign up is available on the Nether-Swarthmore TimeBank at https://nether-swarthmore.timebanks.org/
The Mission of a TimeBank is Exchanging Skills and Services to Strengthen the Community.
A TimeBank has three main Goals:
Strengthen the fabric of the community.
Serve people and give them a means to serve.
Establish new relationships and meet the needs of community members.
There are 5 Core Values that distinguish time banks:
1. Asset: Every one of us has something of value to share with someone else.
2. Redefining Work: There are some forms of work that money will not easily pay for, like building strong families, revitalizing neighborhoods, making democracy work, advancing social justice. Time credits were designed to reward, recognize and honor that work.
3. Reciprocity: Helping that works as a two-way street empowers everyone involved – the receiver as well as the giver. The question: “How can I help you?” needs to change so we ask: “Will you help someone too?” Paying it forward ensures that, together, we help each other build the world we all will live in.
4. Social Networks: Helping each other, we reweave communities of support, strength and trust. Community is built by sinking roots, building trust, creating networks. By using timebanking, we can strengthen and support these activities.
5. Respect: Respect underlies freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and everything we value. Respect supplies the heart and soul of democracy.
Is this a good idea for the Swarthmore area?
A time bank or other community sharing structure was proposed in the Aging-in-Place Task Force recommendations to Borough Council, made in 2015. It was thought that community sharing of time and talent would not only benefit seniors in the Borough, but would be of benefit to all its citizens. We have come to believe this is true.
This is a time and a place to share ideas for making our lives better as we grow older in Swarthmore. At the same time we hope to have fun! The next Senior Wellness Fair will be on Saturday, March 30, 2019, at the Inn at Swarthmore. The theme and topics are designed to benefit all who are contemplating retirement, helping parents and others who are already seniors, or those who are seniors themselves.
We have exciting speakers addressing topics from positive aging to home renovations, from physical fitness to dealing with loss, as well as financial considerations.
Non-profit and for-profit organizations are at the Wellness Fair to show you and speak with you about your path to positive aging.
Space is set aside to meet and have conversations with your neighbors. Coffee and snacks are available throughout the day, and a complimentary light lunch is served.
Though the process of aging is often thought to be a period of continuous decline, it is possible to discover and construct an alternative approach. Positive aging means creating a time later in your life full of unparalleled growth and satisfaction.
Mary Gergen and Ken Gergen: Ken is a proponent of Positive Aging and President of the Taos Institute. He has a Ph.D. in Psychology from Duke University and is a Senior Research Professor at Swarthmore College.
Mary Gergen is a co-creator of the Positive Aging Newsletter, an electronically distributed news source from the Taos Institute designed to reconstruct the negative stereotype of aging, providing an alternative that is more promising in potential. She is a Professor Emerita at Penn State University and earned a Ph.D. in social psychology at Temple University.
Senior life can be challenged by physical mishap or illness, various kinds of emotional trauma and loss, and by financial worries and strains. Our discussion offered thought-provoking advice for those whose lives are undergoing change.
Joy Charlton, Moderator: Professor of Sociology at Swarthmore College, with interests in public sociology, gender, work, organizations, religion, and qualitative methods. She is a former Executive Director of the Lang Center for Civic and Social Responsibility at Swarthmore College. She earned a Ph.D. in Sociology at Northwestern University.
Scott H Voshell is a Physical Therapy Specialist in Media. He is part of Reconstructive Orthopedic Associates and Vice President of the Pennsylvania Chapter of the American Physical Therapy Association. Scott was educated at the University of Pittsburgh, Drexel, and Widener.
Cecily Venkatesh, Investment Coordinator, Franklin Mint Federal Credit Union, provides financial advice to those who are retired and those who are working toward retirement. Her degree is from the University of Chicago.
Ellen Monsees is a Certified Grief Recovery Specialist who helps people move beyond death, divorce, and other losses by facilitating grief support groups and one-on-one sessions. Ellen, a graduate of Swarthmore College, is also a life coach.
Claudia S. Cueto, AIA, Principal-in-charge for CuetoKEARNEYdesign, has been a practicing architect for over 25 years with a particular expertise in client relations and working with user groups. She has provided services to a wide range of higher education clients, including Princeton and Swarthmore, as well as residential clients in the Swarthmore area. Claudia presented a number of solutions that she and other home designers have implemented to make Swarthmore homes more age-friendly. Claudia earned her M. Arch. degree from the University of Pennsylvania.