At Chicago Methodist Senior Services, we believe that serving our community extends beyond the day-to-day care we provide to sharing knowledge about aging well. Recently, Bill Lowe, our CEO and president, has weighed in on topics from Alzheimer’s research to Chicago resources for LGBTQ seniors, and our programs and insight have also appeared in local and national news articles. Today, we wanted to revisit a few of our favorite stories that deserve a second look.
Music and Art Can Transform How We Remember and Interact
This summer, we kicked off Bringing Art to Life – Chicago at Wesley Place, and the full program will roll out in October. This art therapy program is all about improving the lives of people with memory loss, an ongoing goal at of ours at CMSS. Bringing Art to Life includes a robust, research-based component led by researchers at Northwestern and Rush that will measure participants’ responses to the therapy. Additionally, student volunteers will work with program participants to record memories and share them with StoryCorps.
Read our column for more on this program, which is launching in Chicago with the support of High Socks for Hope, a foundation founded by White Sox pitcher David Robertson and his wife Erin Robertson. We are thrilled to have their involvement as we launch this program to help people live well with memory loss.
Music therapy is also an important part of our programming here at CMSS. Through the Music & MemorySM program, staff and volunteers create personalized playlists for people with memory loss. These playlists can be crafted of songs that have deep personal meaning for each individual, or simply reflect their favorite styles of music. Read our story on Music & MemorySM for a look at how it benefits those with memory loss, and helps them connect with their loved ones.
Volunteering Isn’t Just for People
A dedicated group of canine and feline volunteers make regular visits (along with their people) to CMSS communities, and they are popular visitors! You can see how much joy this program brings in these photos and story from the Chicago Tribune. If you and your pet are inspired to join us for an upcoming visit, fill out a volunteer application today!
Don’t have a pet? We still think you should consider volunteering at CMSS — and have the stats to show why it’s not just good for our communities, it’s also good for you.
Planning Holiday Gatherings When a Family Member Needs Care
Believe it or not, we’re getting close to the holidays again, and for many of us that means planning holiday travel. Last year, a reporter from The Associated Press spoke to Bill Lowe, CEO and president of CMSS, for advice on helping people with memory loss or who require significant care travel for the holidays. If you’re in the midst of planning a gathering for family or friends, the story is worth revisiting.
Even if you can’t travel this year, here at CMSS, we don’t believe you should need to go far to find holiday cheer. Every year, Peter Joly, the coordinator for Glenwood and Winwood Apartments, carves a Thanksgiving turkey for those living in these communities. Other employees have been know to host free Thanksgiving dinners for seniors in our area.
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