Aging in Place+Gallivant News

Here is the latest news from Darien, CT, on what's going on for seniors. Learn more about
Aging in Place+Gallivant:
The one place to call for information and referral to senior programs and services!
Call 203-585-4094

Aging in Place+Gallivant Annual Luncheon, Thursday, November 17th from 12:30pm to 2:30pm at Darien Community Association, 274 Middlesex Road, Darien
Aging in Place+Gallivant and The Darien Community Association invite you to attend the Aging in Place+Gallivant Annual Luncheon, Sustain a Healthy Brain, featuring Dr. Danilo de la Pena, Executive Director, Research Center for Clinical Studies in Norwalk.  Join us for an interesting, informative and uplifting presentation where you will not only learn about memory loss, Alzheimer’s disease and different types of dementia, but how you can also keep your brain healthy and work to prevent these issues. Free lunch - all are welcome.  R.S.V.P. by November 10th to 203-585-4094 or

Saturday, October 1st
On December 14, 1990 the United Nations General Assembly voted to establish October 1st as the International Day of Older Persons.  This holiday is celebrated by raising awareness about issues affecting the elderly and is also a day to appreciate the contributions that older people make to society.

Tuesdays, October 4th, 11th, 18th and 25th from 12:30pm to 2:30pm at the Darien Senior Center, 30 Edgerton Street
Learn the latest research on how to preserve memory and cognitive function, what areas of the brain are responsible for memory, and how to keep your brain working well.  Includes recommendations for diet as well as current research on the most important nutrients for memory improvement and optimal brain function.  These 4 consecutive Tuesdays in October are 4 separate courses sponsored by the Greens at Cannondale, and refreshments will be provided.   October 4: Depression in the Elderly with Dr Alan Siegal, a nationally recognized Alzheimer’s disease expert and Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Yale University.  October 11th: Top 10 Herbals Products with Allison Wiencek, PharmD and Kristen Murray, PharmD, will discuss how herbals are regulated, common uses of the “top ten” on the market, and important interactions to keep in mind when deciding to use herbal products. October 18th : Cooking Demonstration with Craig Swindell, Cook and Chef at the Greens of Cannondale. October 25thMaking Connections with Lois Alcosser, Freelance Writer, will discuss how we have different friendships throughout our lives, from childhood on.  We can gain many insights recalling those various friendships and sharing them is surprisingly beneficial; a way of making new connections.  Attend any session or all of them.  For more information call 203-656-7455.

Tuesday, October 4th at 12:30pm at the DCA, 274 Middlesex Road
The DCA Women’s Group is having a Brooks Brothers Fashion Show.    Come see the latest fall fashions, and enjoy lunch.  Please reserve your space for this event by contacting the DCA at 203-655-9050 by Monday October 3rd.

Thursdays, October 6th, 13th and 20th at 11:00am at the DCA, 274 Middlesex Road
The DCA kicks off its fall Art Lecture Series, this year focusing on Paris, with lectures on three consecutive Thursdays as follows:  "Man Ray/Lee Miller: Partners in Surrealism", “Ruhlmann: Genius of Art Deco” and “Matisse:  In Search of True Painting”.  Lunch will be provided by Marcia Selden Catering.  For more information and to make reservations please contact the DCA at 203-655-9050.

Fridays, October 7th and October 14th from 10:00am to 1:00pm at the Darien Library, 1441 Post Road
Medicare Open Enrollment begins October 15th.  Darien Library in partnership with CHOICES (the Connecticut Healthcare Options Program) will be offering free one-on-one Medicare counseling sessions.
Counselors help individuals understand health insurance issues including:
· Medicare
· Medicaid
· Prescription Drug Benefits
· Supplemental Medigap Policies
· Long-Term Care Insurance Policies
Contact the Darien Library Reference Desk to schedule an appointment at 203-669-5236

Wednesday, October 12th from 9:00am to 1:00pm at the Senior Center, 30 Edgerton Street
Call the Senior Center 203-656-7455 to sign up or Helen Ries 203-327-6286 for information.
*    Tune up your driving skill and update your knowledge of the rules of the road.
*     Learn defensive driving techniques.
*     Discover ways to handle left turns, right-of-way, highway traffic and blind spots.
*     24 hour a day customer service support.
*     Only $12.00 for AARP members and $15.00 for non-members.
*     In Connecticut, taking this course may qualify you for a multi-year insurance discount!

Friday, October 14th at 1:00pm at the PepsiCo Theater in the East Campus of Norwalk Community College
The public is invited to see recently taken photographs and video clips of today’s Cuba .  The pictures were taken by world traveler and lifelong photographer William Barnett, a member of the Connecticut Association of Photographers and the Photographic Society of America. He will narrate this live one-hour presentation and allow time for questions. The event is sponsored by Lifetime Learners Institute. For information phone 203-857-3330 or

Friday, October 14th at 7:00pm and Sunday, October 16th at 2:00pm at Darien Library, 1441 Post Road
Darien Library is proud to present for the second time “Weekend One-Acts,” a theatrical weekend featuring free performances of one-act plays from two esteemed American playwrights.  The program of two works includes Tennessee Williams’ I Can’t Imagine Tomorrow and David Ives’ Variations on the Death of Trotsky.

Tuesday, October 18th from 9:30am to 11:30am at the Senior Center, 30 Edgerton Street
Each winter, millions of people suffer from seasonal flu. Flu—the short name for influenza—is caused by viruses. For older people, especially those who have health problems like diabetes or heart disease, the flu can be very serious, even life-threatening. The single best way to prevent the flu is to get a flu vaccine each season.  The Darien Health Department will be holding an October seasonal flu clinic and Molly Larson, RN will provide seniors with their flu shots.  The Health Department will also be offering the Fluzone High-Dose Vaccine which was specifically designed and recommended for individuals 65 years of age and older.  The cost is $30.00 and Medicare is accepted.  Please bring your insurance card.  You may also pay by cash or check and receive a voucher to submit to you insurance company.  For questions on what type of vaccine to receive, please contact your health care provider.

Tuesday, October 18th at 12:45pm at the Senior Center, 30 Edgerton Street
Inta Adams with the Department of Social Services of Darien will explain the importance of looking into your Medicare Part D (prescription drug) plan every year.  Plan changes for the upcoming year will be discussed along with an explanation of how Medicare Part D works.  Inta can help you in making decisions about your Medicare Part D plan for the coming year.

Thursday, October 27th at 12pm at the DCA, 274 Middlesex Road
The DCA and Stamford Hospital invite you to a FREE "Lunch and Learn" focusing on Orthopedics.  Program begins at noon, reservations accepted at the DCA.  A Flu Shot clinic will be held beginning at 10:30 prior to the program.  For more information, please call the DCA at 203-655-9050 or visit the web site

The Energy Assistance Program is now in progress at the Darien Social Service Department.   To be eligible for the program the State requires proof of all income and assets of every household member.  For more information and/or an appointment call the Darien Social Service Department at 203-656-7328.

Call Aging in Place+Gallivant Dispatch!
Darien seniors can call 203-655-2227 to make a reservation (24 hour advance notice and a voluntary contribution are appreciated) for door to door service for transportation within Darien, Stamford, Norwalk and New Canaan.

Aging in Place+Gallivant
P.O. Box 1242
Darien, CT  06820
Tel:  203-585-4094  Fax:  1-866-224-4210
Helping Darien seniors live independently, comfortably and with dignity in their own homes and the community as long as possible

Life Lessons From Irene

Life Lessons From Irene

A week ago, we began our recovery from Hurricane Irene. Since then, I've been thinking of the life lessons I have drawn from the experience and have decided to share them with you:

1. Think creatively, make a plan and be ready to execute it. With dire predictions of Irene coming our way, I knew if we lost power that I would not want to open my freezer or refrigerator for at least 24 hours. That way, the insulation of the appliance would keep everything safely cold and frozen. So I planned meals I could serve without the need of the fridge. I didn't buy more food that could perish. Instead, I baked banana bread for a tasty breakfast, made sun tea and left it out, had bottled juices ready, as well as shelf-stable food I could cook on the grill. The plan worked really well. By the time I finally (and very briefly) opened the fridge, the high-cost items were still partly frozen. And we used them as they began to thaw over the course of three days -- yes - three days.

To wash the dishes, I put pots of water in the sun and heated them with "solar power". Worked like a charm! And I used a Girl Scout trick of adding a little Clorox to the rinse water. (Prior to the storm, we also stocked up on cash, filled the cars with gas, took inventory of our candles, batteries, flashlights, and bought a car charger for my cell phone - a very wise choice. After the storm, we used as little hot water as possible - reserving it for very short showers.

2. If you can help, give it. If people offer help, take it. When our neighbor's tree fell into our yard and partly blocked our driveway, he came over with a chainsaw and worked with my husband to remove enough branches so that we could get our car out.

We actually didn't lose power during the storm, but when our other neighbor did, we took in her food. However, the following evening, the electric company's tree workers were removing a tree from downed wires and knocked out our power in the process. As we cooked up our defrosting food another 24 hours later, I offered some to still other neighbors who couldn't cook. One gratefully took it. Since he had a generator, he gave me ice, which I used to preserve some of my food. I gave garden tomatoes to another neighbor who had power, and he took in my food which by then was in real need of refrigeration.

These were good deeds and trades that came naturally. It showed me how kind people can be.

3. Take advantage of local resources. We discovered that our local public library has a huge generator and offered to stay open until 10:30 pm just to accommodate people. It became the center of our town. It seemed like the entire population of Darien descended on the library to use its computers, electricity and wifi. The library even serves coffee and snacks from a small coffee bar. What a God-send! Always remember the library is one of your greatest resources.

Before the storm, the town kept the dump open and supplied piles of sand and bags to enable residents to make sandbags. After the storm, they stayed open late to allow people to dump brush. And the high school became a shelter for families who had to evacuate their homes. Sometimes a government can do good things.

4. Keep a positive attitude. As we saw the pictures of devastation from all over the northeast, people in our neighborhood kept saying how lucky we all were. We came out of our houses and checked on each other. We allowed the storm to bring us together.

Count your blessings. Help others. Be creative.