Sunday, January 14, 2018

My Loved One Has Dementia - Where Do I Start?

Amy Boivin
If you have a loved one with dementia consider attending the "Where Do I Start?" workshop presented by Amy Boivin from Memory Care at Market Square. Amy will introduce Memory Care at Market Square's free monthly support group for those who have someone in their lives who has been diagnosed with memory loss.  

The workshop will be held on Wednesday, January 23, from 3:00-4:00 pm at Telstar High School and is sponsored by SAD #44 Adult & Continuing Education.  There is no charge, but pre-registration is required.  Call the Adult Education office at 824-2136, ext. 1341 to reserve your spot.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

January Events

The following events are not sponsored by Western Mountains Senior College, but may be of interest to our members.

Sunday, January 14
Nordic Community Day
Free rentals for adults and children. Beginner lessons provided by Bethel Outing Club and Telstar team members at 11:00 am. Come by the blue ski shed (behind the Telstar complex) to access the awesome trail system.
Sunday, January 14; 10:00 am - 3:00 pm; Telstar High School.

Wednesday, January 17
A Day in the Life of an Adaptive Athlete
Since 2000, the Maine Adaptive Race Alpine Team  has competed regionally against other adaptive ski teams, and also supports individual members in their goal of national and international competition. This talk presented by members of the current race team will help explain the process of becoming an adaptive athlete, from the first race to Paralympic level competition. This presentation is the first in the Mahoosuc Land Trust's 2018 speaker series, "A Day in the Life." FMI:
Wednesday, January 17; 7:00 pm; McLaughlin Auditorium, Gould Academy.

Wednesday, January 24
Local Workshop on Dementia Support
My loved one has dementia - where do I start? Workshop is free of charge, but preregistration is required. Call MSAD44 Adult Ed to reserve your spot (824-2136 x1341). Sponsored by Memory Care at Market Square.
Wednesday, January 24; 3:00-4:00 pm; Telstar High School.

Saturday, January 27
Lapham Ledge Snowshoe Hike
This moderate, 1.5 mile round-trip hike leads to ledges with views of surrounding foothills, lakes and ponds. Please bring snowshoes or microspikes and dress appropriately. Snacks and cocoa will be provided. FMI:
Saturday, January 27; 10:00 am - noon; meet at Buck’s Ledge trailhead – just north of the public spring on Route 26 in Bryant Pond.  

Wednesday, January 31
Community Supper
Come and join the people of the community for a delicious meal! No charge!
Wednesday, January 31; 4:30-6:00 pm; Bethel Alliance Church, 251 Walker’s Mills Road, Bethel.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Senior College Players Performance This Week

Seated: Pat McCartney, Bill Schuellein, Lorrie Hoeh, and Tim LeConey; Standing:  Eunice Ruby, Barb Dion, Jim McLean, Tineke Ouwinga, Mariann Goff and Rosabelle Tifft; photo by Bob McCartney

Senior College Players are in dress rehearsals this week as they gear up for their performance on Friday, November 17 and Saturday, November 18 at 7 pm at the Gould Academy Trustees Auditorium.

Be prepared for an evening of fun and laughter as the Players delight you with six one-act comedies. Jack Kuchta, facilitator, said this year’s plays illustrate how we gain maturity as we age. "Wisdom and sensibility is a natural product of growing older. Thus, this year’s performance is entitled, ‘Antiques are old, and I’m Mature’."

Three comedies by AnnetteTrigham take place at the Chatterton Country Club, a 55+ retirement community. They include: “It’s Your Move,” with Jim McLean and Bill Schuellein; “With Friends like You,” featuring Pat McCartney and Barb Dion; and “If You Can’t Beat ‘Em,” with Lorrie Hoeh, Rosabelle Tifft, Eunice Ruby and Marianne Goff. Tineke Ouwinga, the office administrator, tries to keep order.

Three remaining comedies include: “Kindness of Strangers,” by Jim Gordon, featuring Lorrie Hoeh; “Coconut Crème Pie,” by John Clifford, with Tim LeConey and Barb Dion; and “Dinner Plans,” by Vicki Bartholomew, featuring Pat McCartney, Mariann Goff, Barb Dion, Lorrie Hoeh, and Eunice Ruby.

Summaries of these plays were in the past two blogs: Oct 31 and Nov 6

Western Mountains Senior College offers Senior College Players as a course, open to anyone age 50 and over. Now in its eleventh year, many players are veteran thespians who have been with the troupe for several years and are able to assist in production. Admission to the performance is free. However, donations will be appreciated to offset royalties. Refreshments will be available at intermission. Make plans to join us for a fun-filled evening.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Senior College Players Gearing up for Performance

Senior College Players are looking ahead to an evening of fun and laughter as they present their performance on Friday, November 17 and Saturday, November 18, at 7:00 pm at the Gould Academy Trustees Auditorium.

The three additional comedies to be presented in their six-comedy series include the following:

“Kindness of Strangers,” by Jim Gordon, is a comedy monologue, which finds a con man’s once-in-a-lifetime opportunity turned into a nightmare when a little old lady, played by Lorrie Hoeh, gives him a lesson in ”Chinese Water Torture.”

“Kindness of Strangers” features Lorrie Hoeh   photo Bob McCartney

“Coconut Crème Pie,” by John Clifford, finds Tim LeConey on his first day delivering pies for his son-in-law’s business. Everything goes wrong, wrong address and a dropped pie, until a customer, played by Barb Dion, comes to his aid.

“Coconut Crème Pie” with Barb Dion and Tim LeConey   photo Bob McCartney

“Dinner Plans,” by Vicki Bartholomew, features retired sisters Pat McCartney as Marilyn, and Mariann Goff as Betty. They get together for coffee and recipe exchange with three friends, Barb Dion as Cora, Lorrie Hoeh as Peggy, and Eunice Ruby as Alice. They discover to their amazement and chagrin that they have all been cooking for the same lovely man. The resolution to this dilemma is clever and charming.

   “Dinner Plans” with Mariann Goff, Pat McCartney, Eunice Ruby, Barb Dion and Lorrie Hoeh   photo Bob McCartney

Watch next week’s blog for more information on the Players’ performance.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Senior College Players Present Six Comedies

by Rosabelle Tifft

Western Mountains Senior College "Senior Players" of Bethel are gearing up for an evening of fun and surprises as they present their fall performance at 7:00 pm on Friday, November 17, and Saturday, November 18, at the Gould Academy Trustees Auditorium, Church Street, Bethel. This year’s performance, facilitated by Jack Kuchta, is entitled, "Antiques Are Old, I’m Mature," and that’s where the fun begins.

Three comedies take place at the Chatterton Country Club, a 55+ retirement community, by Annette Trigham. The intertwining stories explore the crazy cast of characters and themes that make senior communal living so - -entertaining!

“It’s Your Move,” the first comedy finds Jim McLean, as Joe, and Bill Schuellein, as Bob, friends and next door neighbors for 23 years, sharing their weekly game of checkers. It’s all guy talk until Bob reveals a secret about Joe’s wife.

“It’s Your Move,” with Jim McLean and Bob Schuellein  photo Bob McCartney

“With Friends Like You,” features Pat McCartney as Margaret and Barb Dion as Arlene at a weekly “stretch-ercize” class. They show us what happens when adults play post office in a close-knit community.

“With Friends Like You” with Pat McCartney and Barb Dion  photo Bob McCartney

“If You Can’t Beat ‘Em,” the third comedy in this series, finds Judy Crayton, played by Lorrie Hoeh, determined to form her own group because she has been kicked out of her book club. She will call her group the Chatterton Civilian Rules Administration Police (C.C.R.A.P.), because she is tired of people who get away with breaking the association covenants. She has invited three of her misfit neighbors, Rosabelle Tifft, as Mavis, Eunice Ruby as Gretchen, and Marianne Goff as Winny, to join her in an anonymous letter-writing campaign to bust the villains.

“If You Can’t Beat ‘Em” with Mariann Goff, Eunice Ruby, Rosabelle Tifft and Lorrie Hoeh  photo Bob McCartney

Watch next week’s blog for more information on the Western Mountain Senior College's "Senior Players" performance.

November Events

Tuesday, November 14
A Shared Heritage Potluck
This Heritage potluck lunch is the culmination of October's discussions on immigration. Bring a dish that represents your heritage. Anna Sysko, from DiCocoa's Restaurant in Bethel, will comment on one or more of the dishes at the event. If you wish, call Anna ahead of time for suggestions for a representative meal (207-450-2344).
Tuesday, November 14; 12:15-1:30 pm; Moses Mason House, Bethel

Friday and Saturday, November 17 and 18
Senior College Players Performances

Don’t miss these fun filled evenings. See a different side of your friends and neighbors as they perform "Antiques Are Old, I'm Mature."
Friday and Saturday, November 17 and 18; 7:00 pm; McLaughlin Auditorium, Gould Academy, Bethel

The following events are not sponsored by Western Mountains Senior College, but may be of interest to our members.

Sunday, November 19
Senior Citizen Thanksgiving Dinner
A delicious turkey dinner with all the fixings to give thanks for the senior citizens in our community. Hosted by the Telstar National Honor Society. All area seniors are invited.
Sunday, November 19; noon; Telstar High School Cafeteria, Bethel

Sunday, November 26
A Country Breakfast
Hosted by the Rotary Club of Bethel to benefit community projects and scholarships. Tickets: adults $10 ($12 at the door), children $6. FMI:
Sunday, November 26; 7:30-11:00 am; Ordway Hall, Gould Academy, Bethel

Wednesday, November 29
Community Supper
Free community supper the last Wednesday of the month. All are welcome.
Wednesday, November 29; 4:30 - 6:00 pm; Bethel Alliance Church, 251 Walkers Mills Road, Bethel

Monday, October 23, 2017

WMSC Offers Class in Digital Photo Organization

Do you need help organizing your digital photos? Do you want to preserve your family photos that are currently in physical photo albums or shoe boxes? Jessica Jolly is offering an introductory class that will help you think through your options and priorities. She will review the available software options for both Mac and Windows devices, discuss the pros, cons and pricing of each, and explore the decisions you need to make in order to get started.
This is a two-session offering. The introductory session meets Monday, November 13 from 10:00 - noon, and will focus on a discussion of options and priorities. The second session (Thursday, November 16 from 1:00 - 4:00) is a workshop where you can get started on your project. Bring your own device - phone, tablet or laptop. Both sessions will meet at Telstar in room 133. The fee for the class is $10.
The class is limited to 8 participants - to reserve your spot call WMSC Program Committee Chair Nurrie Caviness (727-502-0870) and leave a message. 

Preventing Falls and Fires

Western Mountains Senior College member Jacqueline Cressy, from the Age-Friendly Community Initiative, reminded us how to stay safe in our homes at a recent To Your Health presentation. Older adults represent the population most likely to be injured from a fall or in a fire, and many of these injuries are preventable. Here are some of the points Jackie made.

How to Prevent Falls:
  • Exercise regularly to improve strength and balance.Take your time getting out of bed or out of a chair. Stand and get your balance before walking.
  • Keep stairs and walking areas clear of electrical wires, shoes, books, etc.
  • Improve lighting and get yearly vision checkups.
  • Use non-slips mats in the tub or shower and install grab bars.
  • Be aware of uneven surfaces, indoors and out.
  • Stairways should be well lit, with easy to grab handrails on both sides.
  • Wear sturdy, well-fitting, low heel shoes with non-slip soles – even in the house.
How to Prevent Fires:
  • If you smoke, smoke outside.
  • Keep space heaters at least three feet away from anything that will burn. Shut off heaters when you leave or go to bed.
  • Stay in the kitchen when cooking – especially when frying food.
  • Stop, drop, and roll if your clothes catch on fire – Do Not Run.
  • Smoke alarms should be installed on every level of your home. Local fire departments are available to do this for us – just call and ask.
  • Plan and practice your fire escape route.
  • Know your emergency number – for us it is 911.
  • Plan your escape around your abilities - keep your phone, glasses, medication, walker etc. by your bed so you can grab them in an emergency.
For more information on the Age-Friendly Community Initiative visit their website

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Elder Abuse Is a Bigger Problem Than You May Think

Did you know that one in nine Mainers over the age of 60 experiences some form of neglect or abuse? And that in the majority of cases the perpetrator is a family member or spouse?

Betty Balderson (Elder Abuse Prevention Advocate at Legal Services for the Elderly) spoke to a small but appreciative group at To Your Health’s presentation on elder abuse last Thursday, September 21.  Abuse can be physical, sexual, psychological, and may involve neglect and abandonment, but by far the most common type of abuse is financial exploitation.

What’s financial exploitation? Perhaps a grandmother gives her credit card to her grandson to pick up a prescription, but the grandson also uses that card to pay his bills. Or a daughter convinces her mother to withdraw money from the bank and “give” it to her.

Why do family members do this?  Some may rationalize that they’re going to get the money anyway, why not take it now when they need it. Why does the senior not report it? They may feel they are dependent on the family for care, they may be in denial, or think that it is just a “family problem.”

Friends and neighbors can learn to recognize the red flags of elder abuse:
  • Changes in appearance and personality
  • Change in routine -- no longer participating in events enjoyed in the past
  • Social isolation or family not allowing visitors
  • Sudden loss of ability to meet financial obligations
  • Senior states or implies problems/conflicts with caregiver

Watch, Listen, Do Something!
  • If worried about immediate danger, call 911.  Or try talking with the senior about your concerns.
  • Report your concerns to Adult Protective Services -- it’s confidential.  800-624-8404
  • Help the senior call Legal Services for the Elderly (free to everyone over 60). 800-750-5353
  • Contact Oxford County’s Area Agency on Aging -- Seniors Plus.  800-427-1241

Betty Balderson says there is no wrong choice in who to contact -- all of these agencies know about the others and will help you find the right person to talk to. If you do something, you’re doing the right thing!

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Introducing New Board Members

At the Annual Meeting next Wednesday, September 6 we will elect two members to the Western Mountains Senior College Board of Directors: Liz Wooley and Marvin Ouwinga.

Liz Wooley says, “As I approached retirement, I knew I needed a plan. I had seen a Senior College advertisement in the Maine Senior magazine. This is what I liked about what I read: attend classes, participate in discussions, take no tests, and meet people my age with similar interests. All the things I wanted. I chose Western Mountain Senior College because of its location in the Bethel area.

“I enjoy the opportunity to learn about a variety of topics - Great Decisions, Digital Devices, and Counterpoint to Cakewalk for a few. Topics I have wanted to know more about but did not have the time to do while working. Also, important to me is the social aspect of the Senior College. I have met so many people who are knowledgeable, fun loving, and approachable. I look forward to continuing to participate in WMSC as a "student" and as a participant on the Board. The Senior College offers so much and I want to be a part of making sure that continues.”

Marvin Ouwinga needs no introduction to those of us who have been around for a while, having served six years as a board member and two more as chair. But we have had a number of new members join since then, so we asked him to tell us a little about himself anyway! Here’s what he says.

“My wife Tineke and I came to Bethel in 1976 to work at Gould Academy. We retired in 2007 and moved up to our house on Paradise Road. The Senior College has been very important in our lives since then. Tineke has been involved in several plays put on by members of the College. I have taught several classes, mostly in art history, and continue to participate in Great Decisions. I have been on every committee and chaired the College for two years. I will be happy to get back on the Board after a two year break.”

We are very happy to welcome Liz and Marvin to the Western Mountains Senior College Board.

Liz Wooley, Nurrie Caviness and Marvin Ouwinga.  Nurrie Caviness was appointed to the board in March when former board member Jan Settele moved to Falmouth.

For more information about Western Mountains Senior College visit our website at