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What We're Following Today December 30, 2019

Last week was a great week away with the family celebrating Christmas together with Juliana’s brother from the San Francisco area and his wife and baby girl.  It was great to be together and just spend time together.  And family is one of the places where we come together in generational harmony and agreeable discourse.  It’s great to get perspectives from all those there and share in stories and memories viewed in slightly different lenses.

Kudos to my in-laws for bringing in some games to keep people entertained and connecting in new and different ways.  They learned some of them in their 55+ community events, and had others from their past family get togethers, but I enjoyed things like – 20 questions searching for common answers between us (song with “love” in the title, what would you do if you knew you were alone for a walk in the woods...), and naming the Christmas carol depicted in an illustration, etc.  When we are together, it’s funny how different and alike we can all be, in a good way.  Hopefully our kids will build strong cross generational memories with the more holidays we are fortunate to celebrate together.

Getting back to some interesting stuff out there as resources for those who are dealing with some of life’s challenges.

Becoming a Dementia Friend In Your Community

In the UK, there was a movement that started to help people become “dementia friends” and it has moved here to the US.  Essentially it means that you become aware of things to look for / ways to interact with people who may suffer from Dementia while making sure that they still have a chance to live full and social lives as long as possible.  

Aging Together is an organization looking to help people increase their awareness of dementia in Virginia.  They are running 1-hour sessions for the communities they serve and I think this is a GREAT idea.  If anyone has a desire to organize some similar sessions here in the Connecticut area, please feel free to contact me.  I’d love to help get the word out through Generation Bridge.  (Brian Sherwood –

Why rewrite something when this says it perfectly in the article, “A Dementia Friend can be a merchant, customer service rep, restaurant staff, law enforcement officer, service providers in any industry, coworkers, peers, friends or anyone in the community. One does not need to have any medical background or any association with dementia to become a Dementia Friend. All a person needs is the desire to help and make a difference, which is powerful for those living with any dementia-related disease.”

Seasonal Work Opportunity If Drawing On Social Security

Side gigs and seasonal gigs can be a great way to make some additional income in retirement or those who might be on disability, but there are income restrictions and tax considerations when making additional income on top of social security.  This article illustrates where it would be OK to take on seasonal work, especially as companies look to fill certain positions when demand spikes up (i.e., the December holidays).

For many, finding these types of employment opportunities can make a meaningful contribution to well being outside of finances (chances to connect with others, perform a day’s labor, find additional purpose, etc.).  But again, you should consult an accountant or financial representative when thinking about taking on income outside of social security to make sure you minimize the risk for any penalties, etc.

A Feel Good Story – Young Boy Helped or Maybe Saved by Strangers

A young boy got out of his Miami apartment and was wandering around a busy street by himself.  This is a short story about a woman who saw an opportunity to help and acted.  It’s something we should all consider as we walk through life with blinders on and distracted by life.  How many opportunities might we fail to see?  How much more help might we be able to provide?

I don’t know how in danger this boy was, but clearly he was at risk.  Kids can be VERY resourceful and curious.  Put the two qualities together and kids can find all sorts of ways to get in trouble.  I know the authorities will look into it, but it’s hard to keep an eye on kids at all moments and protect them from everything.  I remember getting lost at a fair when I was about 4 years old – I don’t remember the details other than I just know that I snuck off without much thought of the consequences.  Things worked out for me and I was eventually reunited with my mother and brother, but things could have been terrible if kind people didn’t find or help me.

So I guess the important takeaways from this are that kids can do risky things, so we all need to be aware as parents and try our best to prevent things like this – but we can’t prevent everything, so let’s also take some reassurance that there are good people out there who will act when the opportunity presents itself – AND let’s try to be those people ourselves.

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