A salute to those who make a difference in the life of a senior


By: Terri Crow Mercier – April, 2010

Councilman, GLTS Teacher and Students Team Up To Make Residents Wish Come True

Lawrence Councilman Roger Twomey had stopped by Colonial Heights Nursing Home in South Lawrence to visit with the residents. While talking with them he learned of their wish to create a library corner filled with all types of books. Residents wanted to be able to access to a wide variety of books whenever they chose. They have a wide variety of preferences from fictional, educational, romance, inspirational, biographies, mystery, romance, gardening and how to fix it books. Large print books are a much sought after item as well. Councilman Twomey took the initiative and coordinated with the Greater Lawrence Technical High Schools carpentry instructor, Mr. Will Bernard, to see what could be done to help make this wish come true for the residents.Mr.Berard went to the home and planned out what type of bookcases and shelving would work best. Under his guidance the carpentry students took on the task and built two large beautiful bookcases with adjustable shelving. The buzz was in the air about the new library corner and some donations of books started to roll in. They are still hoping for some more used books to fill their new shelves and if you wish to donate they can be dropped off anytime to Colonial Heights Nursing Home, 555 South Union Street South Lawrence. Resident James Griffin says that” he is happy that Councilman Twomey, Mr. Berard and the students helped make their wish come true.”Frank Souza, also a resident, states that “while it may seem like no big deal to some it was very meaningful to us here and it will benefit so many.”

Volunteers Make a Difference

So often we forget to take a moment to thank all those who make a difference in the lives of others. April 18th to the 24th is a week designated nationally to do just that. There are volunteers that are from all ages and backgrounds .They are individuals, schools ,churches and community groups who do so many different things that greatly affect lives for the better. It can be the retired person who reads to children or the children who go into nursing homes to visit the elderly. Perhaps it’s the neighbor who goes faithfully to the local meal center and serves those less fortunate a hot meal. Maybe it is a group of people that pull together and collect items for those in need. They can be the one who provides a ride for an elderly or handicap person to be able to go to the doctors or market. Maybe they give an hour a week or a full day. Often many think” what difference can I make”.”I cannot change the world “.Even if you reach out to touch the life of one, you have made a difference for that person. You show your kindness through your unselfish act of helping those in need .To all the volunteers out there in our community a big Thank -you for always going that extra mile! You make the world a better place.

Living Life to the Fullest

This month we celebrate Occupational Therapists and recognize all they do to help people regain as much of their abilities as possible. Occupational Therapists treat patients of all ages that have suffered illness or injury or may even have developmental delays or have psychological issues. Their ultimate goal is to help people live satisfying, productive lives and help them to be as independent as possible. These therapists use work, self care and recreational activities to increase independent functions. Occupational therapy can include assistance and training in personal care such as dressing, bathing, grooming and eating. Home skills such as housekeeping and cooking are tuned up. Managing a checkbook and paying bills as well as making good judgment calls. They offer family education and guidance to those caring for a loved one. Adaptive equipment may also be used to help teach an individual do more for themselves. They also work on good posture and joint motion as well as overall strength building and flexibility.

Local Letter Carriers Are Unsung Heros

Once again the United States Postal Service is proudly supporting the annual National Association of Letter Carriers National Food Drive. It is now entering its seventeenth year. This years date for collection of non-perishable food items will be on May 8th.Residents can place the items they wish to donate in a bag next to their mail box and your letter carrier will pick them up. This is the largest one day national food drive in the nation. They have set a record of collecting over 73.1 million pounds of food. The economic current status of our country has driven more people than ever to seek assistance from local food banks, pantries, and shelters. Some of the places to benefit will be Neighbors in Need, Bread and Roses, Lazarus House, Salvation Army, Food for the World, Daybreak Shelter and the Merrimack Valley Food Bank .Their choice to do this each spring comes with the reality that food shelves often become so very bare after the holidays. Through the dedication of our letter carriers and volunteers many people will not feel the hunger when they go to sleep at night. Our senior population is one that will greatly benefit. Over 3.4 million seniors are living in poverty. Nutrition is a key component to a healthy and productive life for them. Not having enough food contributes to malnutrition. Currently there are over 1.6 million food insecure households with seniors. The importance of nourishment is especially critical to them because they are at a higher vulnerability to illness. This great event is a way for all of us as individuals to step up to the plate and support our letter carriers with their valiant effort to make life a little easier for those in need right here in our own communities. Some of the heros of this food drive here in the Merrimack Valley community are Lynne Wheeler, Gary Hall, Pat Conlon, Sondra Goodwin. Kevin Goodwin, Bob Dion, Harold Martinez, Mark Hanawich, Kathleen Hanawich, Lou Cardeo, Mark Apakarian.

100 Years Old and Counting

Lucia Mancini more fondly known as Lucy just celebrated her 100th Birthday at Colonial Heights Nursing Home. Lawrence Rocky Club member Alicia Mannion heard of her upcoming celebration and offered to donate the cake. Alicia was excited to do it for her as she states” how often do you get the honor of baking a cake for someone turning 100 years old.” She created a beautiful two tier delight complete with edible daffodils and pearls for the celebration. Lucy enjoyed the day of being the center of everyone’s attention .However she had heard enough of the Happy Birthday song by party time and says she must have heard it 100 times that day, once for every year she joked.