August Updates and Announcements

| Senior Solutions News

Aging Workforce

The following information has been extracted from a July 27, 2023, Article by Matt Gonzales who wrote it for the Society for Human Resource Management where he is the editor for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion:

Federal data has shown that from 2021 – 2022 the U.S. median age is rising by 0.2 years to be 38.9 years, while population growth is slowing. Both statistics have implications for businesses. No states experienced a decline in the median age.  Maine has the highest median age at 44.8 and Texas has the lowest median age at 35.5.  The median age is experiencing a slow but steady rise.

What are Some Signs of Self Neglect

There are many different contributing factors to the development of the condition of self-neglect. Isolation and loneliness, early-stage dementia, emotional illness, traumatic experiences and other reasons may each play a role in a person withdrawing and not caring about themselves as they once did.

Many times, it is brought on by a physical illness that becomes debilitating.  It may be too painful to carry out the trash.  The individual may be too tired to cook or bathe frequently.  Then it becomes overwhelming and depressing. The next step is that they just give up.  If the individual lives in a rural physically isolated situation, they can easily slip into self-neglect.  To make matters more difficult, these individuals may not have had access to healthcare for many years.  They often live alone and may have given up to the point that they are living in unsanitary conditions without heat or running water.

Adult individuals have the legal right in Vermont to live however they choose. While some of us may be concerned for them, only if the conditions are life threatening should we report it.  Adult Protective Services were the go-to agency until the rules changed and the Councils on Aging are now tasked with investigating and connecting with the person who has been reported as living in a self-neglect situation.

This was a fortunate turn of events.  Our case managers are very respectful and understand how people gradually become neglectful of their living conditions.  Senior Solutions staff members are not judgmental, and only offer understanding and support if the person desires it. Sometimes connecting people with good nutrition programs and other benefits helps.  The best help is that of a kind listening person who does not push but is only available if help is desired.  Gaining the trust of a potential client goes a long way to enabling them to make even the slightest change that can add to their healthy living conditions.  People are entitled to live however they want to live. Who are we to decide what is best for someone else?

Helping to identify the root cause may sometimes help a victim of self-neglect make small changes that aid in their comfort level.  That takes time and patience since self -neglect doesn’t develop overnight.  It may never change, and that is up to the individual. So, if you have a family member or neighbor who seems to be looking a bit less well-groomed or the house is becoming untidy, just be kind and make sure they don’t feel isolated. If you notice a drastic change in someone, they haven’t been seen in a while, or their home seems uncared for, call our HelpLine at 1-802-885-2669.  It might even save someone’s life.

Super Programs and Activities at The Thompson in Woodstock

Common Scams and How to Protect Yourself, Tuesday, August 15, 1:00 PM, please pre-register by calling The Thompson Center

Jay Fish, Branch Relationship Manager at Bar Harbor Bank, will discuss the most prevalent scams where fraudsters are targeting people, and that includes people within our community. She will also discuss steps one should take if they think they have become victimized and how to be vigilant in protecting personal  information.

Learn more about: IRS scams, Grandparent scams, Romance scams, Lottery/Sweepstakes scams, and Telephone/internet scams.

Call 1-802-457-3277 to register for this and many other amazing activities and volunteer opportunities.

Senior Solutions Stays Connected through Public Access TV Programs and Local Radio

We just interviewed Corey Mitchell, Program Director at RSVP and 4 of their volunteers at the Springfield Area Public Access tv station.

The next interview is being done up in White River Junction at the Bugbee Senior Center with their Director, Mark Bradley.  He will fill us in on their exciting programs and plans that are in the works. JAM tv is recording this program.  We always encourage other stations to upload content from the VMX system that they all share. More future programs will be produced by BCTV, OKEMO VALLEY TV, and Falls 8,10 TV. Our public access stations all work hard to present worthwhile and educational programming and Senior Solutions is very grateful that they are so welcoming.

WOOL 91.5 FM features the “60 and Better” program by Senior Solutions Tuesday evenings from 5:00-6:00 pm.

WVEW-lp 107 FM in Brattleboro will be broadcasting the Senior Solutions messaging and news on Monday mornings at 10:00 a.m. starting in September.

BACON & BREW, September 9, 2023

Join The Gathering Place for a fun 4 miler and Baconfest, held at Kampfires Campground just north of Brattleboro on Route 5 in Dummerston. Kampfires is the home of the Whetstone Beers Trailer and ‘The Pit” where the party will be swinging on September 9, 2023 for our runners and community members.

This 4 mile walk/run starts at Kampfires Campground in Dummerston, VT and tours some beautiful backroads complete with cornfields, hidden valleys, and maple sugar farms.  It loops back to Kampfires where the hugely popular Baconfest party will be underway with food trucks and Whetstone Beers and more.  Run up an appetite!  Then enjoy the afternoon post-race party trifecta: Bacon, Brews, and Rockin’ Tunes! Go to the Gathering Place website and register if you would enjoy walking or running in the 4-miler.

“Walk With Ease” New Wellness Program

Senior Solutions is offering a new wellness program.  Studies have shown that walking promotes better health.  To help us all get started on this habit safely, we are adopting the Arthritis Foundation’s evidence-based walking program. There is currently a group starting in Wilmington and in September we expect groups in Brattleboro, Springfield, Chester and other towns to start walking.

No matter what level of fitness you find yourself at, there is a way to get started.  What are some of the benefits of walking?  We can benefit from weight loss, stress control, improved balance, stamina, and overall health. This is for everyone, beginners to those who have always been physically fit.

The Walk With Ease program provides personal lessons on walking, breathing, gentle stretching and information about joint pain.  As a participant you will receive a book to record your walking progress.  Nothing encourages us more than seeing our success.  This program is structured for both individuals and for group activities.  If you put a group together our Nutrition & Wellness Director, Thom Simmons will help you get it started.  He is a Certified Program Leader with the Arthritis Foundation.  Call our HelpLine now at (802) 885-2669 and get started on this 6-week walking habit. This program is ideal for a housing complex, a church group, a senior center, or any organization you belong to.  Call us now. Get out and enjoy the summer!

Call For Exhibitors for the Age Successfully Fair on September 22, 2023

A Health & Benefits event is coming soon to Bellows Falls! Come join the fun with Senior Solutions, Council on Aging for Southeastern Vermont, the Bellows Falls Senior Center, and Parks Place Community Resource Center for an “Age Successfully” Health and Benefits Fair.  The event is being held on Friday, September 22 from 11 am to 2 pm. The fair will be at the Waypoint Center 17 Depot Street in Bellows Falls, Vermont, rain or shine!

Organizations that provide wellness-based goods and services to help older Vermonters to Age are invited to participate by successfully showcasing themselves. In 2022, close to 200 area seniors visited our event in Ludlow, Vermont to learn about the many services available to them in the community.

If you haven’t registered your organization yet – don’t wait!  We have limited space available at the Waypoint Center and suggest that you limit your presentation space to a four-foot or six-foot table and seating. Free WiFi will be available as well as a free barbeque. We also hope to provide entertainment.

We would like everyone to be onsite between 9 AM and 10:30 AM to be sure there’s plenty of time for set up. We will be developing materials to promote the Event in the weeks ahead for distribution. Directions:                   1-802-445-4145

We encourage Exhibitors to promote this event through their internal and external Social Media platforms, newsletters and other outlets you may have access to.  The organizers will be promoting through these means as well as in localized publications.

For questions and more information, please contact:                                                                                                                     Suzanne Burge, Senior Solutions, (802) 822-0498,                                                             Teagan Kogut, Bellows Falls Area Senior Center, (802) 463-3907,                                                                                               Julie Cermola, Parks Place Community Resource Center, 802-463—9927,


Let’s enjoy August in Vermont.  As we clean up from the storm and make repairs, it gives us the opportunity to lend a hand to friends and neighbors and celebrate how lucky we are to live where we actually care about each other!