Whether you do so by letter, card, email, phone, or virtually, reach out to others this Christmas.

Whether you do so by letter, card, email, phone, or virtually, reach out to others this Christmas.

Rockin’ and Talkin’ With the Clinton Seniors’ Association

Communication is a lifeline for many during Christmas season

By Zee Chevalier

Even the strongest blizzard starts with a single snowflake.

Sara Raasch

December: winter, cold and snow, Christmas cards and Christmas, gift-giving, celebrations, traditions, end of year … For some people the Christmas season is a hectic, happy time; not so for others. Let us be mindful of the feelings of those around us and make their days less stressful and happier wherever and whenever we can.

“Let Us Live Christmas Every Day”

Christmas is more than a day at the end of the year,

More than a season of joy and good cheer,

Christmas really is God’s pattern for living

To be followed all year by unselfish giving.

For the holiday season awakens good cheer

And draws us closer to those we hold dear,

And we open our hearts and find that it is good

To live among men as we always should.

But as soon as the tinsel is stripped from the tree

The spirit of Christmas fades silently

Into the background of daily routine

And is lost in the whirl of life’s busy scene.

And all unawares we miss and forego

The greatest blessing that mankind can know;

For if we lived Christmas each day, as we should

And made it our aim to always do good,

We’d find the lost key to meaningful living

That comes not from getting, but from unselfish giving.

And we’d know the great joy of Peace upon Earth

Which was the real purpose of our Saviour’s birth,

For in the glad tidings of the first Christmas Night,

God showed us the Way and the Truth and the Light!

Helen Steiner Rice

Communication is very important. Perhaps a Christmas card and letter is your way, or maybe you prefer making a few telephone calls to people you haven’t connected with recently. Your thoughtfulness will be appreciated.

We know that the early onset of Alzheimer’s is frustrating. We wonder how someone so young could lose command of their speech; the need for us to rethink how to communicate. We have to learn other forms of expression. Sometimes a simple touch or hug can convey more than any word. Painting, music, and dancing are innovative, joyful acts of communication. As a person living with dementia loses the ability to speak, it’s critical to find ways to have meaningful conversations. A few tips that will help:

* Pick topics of conversation they’re interested in or already good at. Talk about what they can do, instead of what they can’t. Give them choices they’ll enjoy.

* Have your conversation in a calm, quiet location. Make eye contact, keep them focussed, and listen.

* Keep your sentences short and simple. Stay in their line of vision. Use gestures, facial expressions, and body language as part of your conversation.

* Be prepared to be flexible, as their ability to carry on a conversation will change daily. Be prepared to adjust accordingly as you assess how they are feeling.

* Remember: how you feel will be communicated through your body language and tone of voice. Try to stay positive.

The Clinton Seniors’ Association says thank you to all our supporters and helpers (especially those recruited at the last minute to take down tables and chairs). In spite of very icy conditions and withdrawal of a few vendors, the Seniors’ Marketplace on Nov. 5 was a success. The Peel ’n’ Pay Raffle was won by Leona Wilson, and the Merchant Appreciation prize was won by the TOPS group. Larry Vezina came closest to guessing the number of food items in the box, and Deb Eden, who won the cash door prize, very kindly donated it back to the seniors. Merci beaucoup, Deb!

The Annual General Meeting was held on Nov. 17, and we thank Gloria Ferguson, who was elected to head up the group for the next year. She will be assisted by an able group of officers and directors.

The Clinton Seniors’ Association Christmas party is on Thursday, Dec. 8 in the Legion basement at 5 p.m., and is by invitation only.

The next regular meeting is on Jan. 19, 2023; come and join us! Meetings are always on the third Thursday of the month, and always follow a good lunch and camaraderie at the Clinton Seniors’ Centre at 217 Smith Avenue.

There are no member December birthdays to celebrate.

Age appears to be best in four things; old wood best to burn, old wine to drink, old friends to trust, and old authors to read.

Francis Bacon


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