Archive for October, 2007

Program Ideas – Vital Aging Network

Smiling Adults The Vital Aging Network (VAN) is a group based out of St. Paul, Minnesota.  The organization is described as “individuals who are sharing our strengths to promote and support the self-sufficiency, community participation, and quality of life of older adults.”  VAN holds monthly forums on topics ranging from creativity to caregiving to the cultural wisdom of elders.   

This organization’s forums provide a model of best practice programming for older adults, and can be a great source for program ideas in your library.  Check out the “Forum Summaries” page for an overview of their most recent workshops.  Are there similar interest groups in your community geared towards older adults with whom you have partnered or collaborating with in the future? What has been your experience?


October 31, 2007 at 6:21 pm Leave a comment

Increased Happiness in Later Life

A recent LA Times article stated that “older people are many times happier in their older life.”  Among other reasons, the report cites life experience, freedom of choices, and appreciation for the remaining years ahead.  Finally, the article suggests that younger audiences can learn from older adults about happiness strategies. 

Does this article suggest possibilities for intergenerational activities?  If so, what are some models or ideas that may be successful?

Full Article: Emotionally, the Best May Be Yet to Come, LA Times – October 15, 2007

October 19, 2007 at 7:57 pm 1 comment

“Aging and Gay, and Facing Prejudice in Twilight”

How can library programs and services address this and other issues that GLBT community members face as they age?

This New York Times article  reports, “Elderly gay people[…] living in nursing homes or assisted-living centers or receiving home care, increasingly report that they have been disrespected, shunned or mistreated in ways that range from hurtful to deadly, even leading some to commit suicide.”

One response from the GLBT community has been to create retirement and assisted facilites specifically designed for GLBT older adults. A NY Times article on niche retirement communities  noted, Retirement communities that cater to the elderly gay and lesbian population could prove to be one of the more popular niches in coming years.” A Seattle Times  article reports on a a group of lesbian women have pioneered “a  self-planned and affordable community for women — especially lesbians — who want to grow old together on their own terms.”

The New York Times article also provides the following links for more information on GLBT aging issues:

   National Gay and Lesbian Task Force: Aging

‘Making Room For All’

‘Selling Us Short’

‘Outing Aging’

American Society on Aging

UCLA School of Law: Demographic Reports on the Gay Population

LGBT Aging Project
A Boston group that provides cultural competency trainings

Senior Action in a Gay Environment 

October 12, 2007 at 5:37 pm 2 comments

Help for volunteer coordinator of homebound services

A coordinator of volunteers in a city library raises several questions about her library’s homebound program where volunteers deliver books and other library material to homebound individuals.  Input from others who have managed homebound services is much appreciated.

1.  Do homebound patrons have to meet certain criteria to qualify for homebound services? How do we ensure the safety of the volunteer?

2.  Does anyone one have guidelines for volunteers in terms of boundaries around entering the homes of homebound patrons?

3.  Is an interview of volunteers mandatory? Are reference and background checks required?

4.  As volunteer and homebound person begin to know each other better, the volunteer often develops the desire to help the homebound person.  How are boundaries established for the library volunteer?

October 5, 2007 at 5:37 pm Leave a comment


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