Garland Senior Center offers support for Alzheimer’s patients, families

By: By Marie Faircloth - Contributing columnist

Greetings everyone; I hope all is well as you read this article. I have met many new friends since I have been writing. Yesterday I got a call from a longtime friend, Ms. Barber. It was a pleasure to talk with her. I wanted to share this poem with my friend:

“There’s a miracle called friendship that dwells within the heart and you don’t know how it happens or when it gets its start but the happiness that it brings to you always gives a special lift and you realize that friendship is the most precious gift.” (D.R.R)

This week my focus is on the “Big Umbrella of Dementia.” This is a most dreaded disease; it is what we always talk about but there’s so much under the “Big Umbrella”. I do want us to be connected. I’ve dealt with family members, friends, as well as participants in our service areas. We, at the Department of Aging, are also trying so hard to get the education out in the community. There are so many suffering around us. We do monthly workshops, support groups, newsletters and much more. But, as we often say, we can bring the horse to the water but we can’t make him drink!

Readers, if you know someone with Alzheimer’s please contact the Department of Aging at 910-592-4653.

Lesia Henderson is our caregiver support program specialist, a well-known Teepa Snow trainee. She and I facilitate the ALZ support meeting the second Tuesday of each month at 2 p.m. at the Sampson County Department Aging training room. The public is welcomed.

Lesia is a great contact; she can help or direct you to many doors. I want people to be educated on this disease. It would be easier on families.

My brain is flying as I write because I want to see families, caregivers, police officers, and church folk take advantage of the education that we have right here at home.

Marie Tyndall with Liberty Hospice is another good contact at 910-337-1959.

Whew! I know I’ve written a mouth full. I’m just very passionate about the disease.

The Garland Senior Center offers the shuttle bus to Clinton every first and third Friday. It’s open to the community to get your groceries, pay bills, and go to the drug store, banks and much more. Please take advantage’ call 910-299-0127 to get on the list. This is a good thing!

On a lighter note, I am looking for grape hull pie recipes and grape hull preserves. Mr. Gene Hart gave it to me several years ago and I lost it. Sorry. If you have it call me. I am also looking for watermelon preserves recipes.

I am trying to learn how to relax – it’s hard! First I try to take some “me” time by sitting down with friends and even meditating. I close my eyes, chant out loud “I love myself, and I feel at peace.” Let distractions flow away like clouds, take five minutes to breathe in and out. “Be Present” – enjoy my walks or my piece of cake. Reach out and talk to friends. There’s just so many ways to relax. I am learning but it’s hard.

September is Senior Month, so watch for “goings on” at the center.

The Garland Senior Center was pleased to partner with the ASPIRE youth program. On board with us was a local well-known youth named Jamal Boykin. He did a great job working with our seniors. Hopefully we can have him back since he received many benefits from the program. On Friday, Aug. 11, Jamal, his aunt Sheila Smith, his mother Veronica Thomas and I attended a youth outing in Fayetteville. Thanks to Ms. Davis and hats off to Jamal!

Stay tuned to Shade Tree of Life – Live, laugh, love, make memories.

Marie Faircloth Faircloth

By Marie Faircloth

Contributing columnist

Marie Faircloth is the director of the Garland Senior Center.

Marie Faircloth is the director of the Garland Senior Center.