Updates and Announcements
Communities of Strength
Every May, the Administration for Community Living leads our nation’s observance of Older Americans Month. The theme for 2021 is “Communities of Strength.”
Older adults have built resilience and strength over their lives through successes, failures, joys, and difficulties. Their stories and contributions help to support and inspire others. This OAM, we will celebrate the strength of older adults and the Aging Network, with special emphasis on the power of connection and engagement in building strong communities.
There are many things we all can do to nurture ourselves, reinforce our strength, and continue to thrive. Connecting with others is one of the most important—it plays a vital role in our health and well-being, and in that of our communities. From finding joy in small things and sharing our stories, to looking at the big picture and giving to others, join us in promoting the ways we are connected and strong. This month’s newsletter is packed full with ways to connect and find joy.
Thank you Volunteers
Enjoy a Tropical Day in April!
It’s one of our favorite times of the year – National Volunteer Appreciation in April!
Volunteers are an integral part of what we accomplish at The Thompson throughout the year. We treasure each and every person who gives of their time to deliver meals, fold newsletters, serve on a committee, make our gardens prettier, set tables, call bingo, give a ride, and more – all contributing to fulfill our mission of helping community members to age well.
To honor all of you – many serving currently and some temporarily on standby due to the pandemic – please join us for a Tropical Day in April on Tuesday, April 27, at 12:00 pm. All Thompson volunteers will be treated to a special complimentary and Caribbean-themed curbside lunch and a recognition gift. Grass skirts optional.
When state guidelines allow us to gather again at our Center, we plan to celebrate volunteers in a more traditional way with an ice cream social, live music, and raffle drawings. Something to look forward to!
The month of March mobilizes hundreds of local Meals on Wheels programs across the country to reach out to their communities and build the support that will enable them to serve America’s elder population all year long. As a member of the national organization, Meals on Wheels America, The Thompson participates in this annual celebration now in its 19th year. And, boy do we have a reason to celebrate!
In 2020, we delivered 12,296 Meals on Wheels (MOW) — a dramatic increase over the 9,808 meals delivered in 2019! From last March to July alone, we served 76 new MOW recipients! Volunteers for The Thompson currently deliver 40 meals each day (Monday through Friday) to older Vermonters throughout the towns of Woodstock, Bridgewater, Barnard, and Pomfret.
The highlights of our March for Meals events this year:
- Our 7th annual Thank You Walk – Instead of our traditional “march,” this year volunteers and staff will be assigned to deliver cookies and balloons to local businesses who support us.
- Community Champions week is March 22 -26th where town officials and local celebrities nationwide are asked to participate in meal deliveries and events.
- Monday, March 30th will be our annual MOW driver meeting providing an opportunity for a review of requirements/procedures, to share ideas, and to celebrate the wonderful work of our MOW volunteers!
- Special Thanks to the Woodstock Farmer’s Market for making our meals program the beneficiary of their “Round-Up” campaign!
- Watch for our Meals on Wheels column in the Vermont Standard and visit our Facebook page for videos and more.
Thompson Winter Gala Raffle
Having our traditional Winter Gala and Auction at The Woodstock Inn was impossible this year. We are so thankful to all who purchased raffle tickets and attended our fun online event on Valentine’s day. It was a great success! Thank you!!
We will continue our fundraising efforts this year to replace the annual Winter Gala and Auction in a different, virtual, and creative way! If you would like to know how to support Meals on Wheels during March for Meals, or as a 2021 Sponsor, please contact Deanna Jones, Executive Director, at (802) 457-3277 or email@example.com
The Thompson has re-opened it’s doors to the public for limited programs with a plan in place to meet the State of Vermont guidance for senior centers. Curbside take-out for meals and home-delivered Meals on Wheels continues, with no on-site dining currently allowed. In addition to strict safety and cleaning procedures, the guidance states that our indoor capacity is 1 person per 200 square feet. This doesn’t allow us to do very much inside our building, but programs in the tent are beginning and we’ve increased our virtual programs with the launch of “Your Virtual Senior Center.” Read more about that here and join us as we visit, tour, and learn about interesting places and things around the country! Check out our August newsletter for the monthly program schedule (on-site and virtual) and our delicious menu.
We are checking temperatures, asking screening questions, and logging visitors at the door.
All programs require advance registration. On-site staff can help in person or on the phone with Aging at Home related needs or services. Used medical equipment is still available for pick-up. No drop-off item donations without prior approval from staff, please.
Please let us know if you have any questions. (802) 457-3277 or firstname.lastname@example.org
The Governor has just announced that Senior Centers could begin the process of re-opening. While we’re so excited to hear this news, there are many safety measures that must be implemented before we can actually re-open. Although we had already begun planning for this day, we only received the official state guidance for this process on the day of the Governor’s announcement. Senior Centers must individually assess their readiness, develop their re-opening plan based on the guidance received from the state, and safely implement this plan before they can re-open. We are at step one of that process and are currently assessing our readiness and continuing to develop our plan. We plan to thoughtfully move forward and intend to re-open for limited phase 1 programming on Monday, July 13th.
Here is a starting point in understanding our plan to safely and slowly re-open The Thompson building in compliance with the state guidelines:
Training & Guidance
- Thompson staff have all completed necessary Vermont Occupational Safety and Health Agency (VOSHA) training for all those working amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
- We follow all recommendations and protocols offered by the Department of Disabilities, Aging and Independent Living (DAIL) and the Vermont Department of Health.
- As members of the National Institute for Senior Centers and Meals on Wheels America, we are following best practices learned through those organizations and share our expertise also.
- Chef Ryan has completed the updated ServeSafe Food Safety training.
- Staff training for new procedures for checking temperatures, logging participant visits, and managing social distancing while participants are on-site will take place on July 9th & 10th.
Protocols and Procedures
- New procedures will include pre-screening of all participants, facial masks for everyone, touchless temperature checks, hand sanitizing stations, physical spacing, and smaller group sizes as recommended by the state of Vermont Department of Aging and Independent Living (DAIL).
- All frequently touched surfaces throughout the Center will be sanitized often, every day. Furniture that can’t be sanitized between uses will be removed temporarily. Set-up of rooms will accommodate safe physical distancing.
- Reservations will be required for all programs until further notice and a daily record of each person who attends programs or visits the building will be mandatory.
- Because the population we serve is considered most at-risk, we will only proceed with the highest standards of safety. We expect that recommendations and guidance may change, and we will adjust our planning as needed.
Building and Grounds
- We are putting up a large 20 x 30’ canopy tent offering new outside space for programming.
- Each space in our building will indicate a safe capacity to accommodate social distancing. Reservations will be required to ensure pre-screening and capacity rules are followed.
- We may have floor stickers in place for safe physical distancing during group activities. Deanna and other staff members or volunteers are required to monitor programs for compliance with safe social distances.
- We are only allowed to offer programming where safe distancing rules can be followed. Examples might be Tai Chi, Strength & Fitness, Bone Builders, or a Paint-n-Sip under the tent, or horseshoes and cornhole in the back yard. Meals and table games like cards, Mah Jong, or Bingo when participants sit in closer proximity will not be allowed in Phase 1. You can expect that programs will need to be phased in a few at a time or on different schedules to accommodate required social distancing.
- All programs will require reservations until further notice.
- Some classes and programs will be online depending on the class ability to host online and space needs at the Center.
While it is still unknown when we can re-open our dining room, curbside take-out meals and home delivered Meals on Wheels will continue. We hope that our outdoor tent may allow for some small group summer BBQs and take-out picnic opportunities, but unfortunately that will not be part of Phase 1 of re-opening.
We anticipate limited transportation will begin on July 13th, but have to be ready to comply with safety and cleaning guidelines. Riders must sit in the back of the car (not in the front seat) and the driver and riders must wear masks. No more that 2 people are allowed in a vehicle at one time (including the driver).
I know this does not provide all of the answers that we would like, but I hope that this does give you an idea of the procedures we have to implement. And, it gives a starting point to getting us back together in some capacity in a few weeks! We can’t wait! More information and schedules will be shared in the coming weeks.
All our best to each of you, and we hope to see you soon,
Deanna and The Thompson Board and Staff Team
Thompson in the news – read more here: TheVermontStandard_4/16/2020
Older Americans Month 2020: Make Your Mark
Around the nation, older adults make their marks every day as volunteers, employees, employers, parents, grandparents, mentors, and advocates. They offer their time, talents, and experience to the benefit of our communities.
For 57 years, Older Americans Month (OAM) has been a special time to recognize these contributions. Led by the Administration for Community Living (ACL) each May, OAM also provides resources to help older Americans stay healthy and independent, and materials to help communities support and celebrate their citizens.
This year’s OAM theme, Make Your Mark, highlights older adults’ unique and lasting contributions to their communities—everything from sharing a story with grandchildren to leaving a legacy of community action. Communities that support and include their members of all ages are stronger!
Check out a few ways our awesome older Americans are making their mark!
Please join The Thompson in a virtual toast to our older citizens in celebration of the impact they make on our community!
CELEBRATE MARCH FOR MEALS WITH US!
The month of March mobilizes hundreds of local Meals on Wheels programs across the country to reach out to their communities and build the support that will enable them to serve America’s elder population all year long. As a member of the national organization, Meals on Wheels America, The Thompson participates in this annual celebration now in its 18th year.
Volunteers for The Thompson deliver 40 meals each day (Monday through Friday) to older Vermonters throughout the towns of Woodstock, Bridgewater, Barnard, and Pomfret. Last year we delivered 9,808 Meals on Wheels.
The highlights of our March for Meals events this year:
- Our 6th annual Thank You Walk on March 2nd. Join us at 1:30 pm on the Green in Woodstock to “march” down Central Street to deliver special “Thank You’s” to local businesses for their support throughout the year.
- Community Champions Day is March 16 where town officials and local celebrities nationwide are asked to deliver meals during the nationally recognized week of March 16 through 20.
- Monday, March 30th is our annual MOW driver meeting providing an opportunity for a review of requirements/procedures, to share ideas, and to celebrate the wonderful work of our MOW volunteers!
- Watch for our Meals on Wheels column in the Vermont Standard and visit our Facebook page for videos and more.
For more information and to register online
Age Well with The Thompson
Special events, fun exercise classes, interesting programs, tax assistance, free gently-used medical equipment, creative arts programs, and delicious meals are just a few of the things you’ll find at The Thompson Senior Center. Our building, staff, and volunteers provide a welcoming and fun environment for people of many ages and backgrounds to gather. But, we’re even more than what happens at The Thompson. We have the resources and experience to assist you where you want to be, at home.
One number to call for any need — Thompson staff and volunteers are happy to help with any question — from shower chairs to Medicare and everything in between.
Vetted Service Providers
We partner with a wide variety of businesses and individuals to bring you any service you need to AGE WELL at HOME!
We check references and only suggest businesses or individuals who have happily agreed to be an Aging at Home service provider.
Age Well Education Series and Outreach
Monthly educational talks are presented on topics ranging from legal planning, fall prevention, funeral planning options, Smart Driver safety course, nutrition and cooking, downsizing, hospital to home transitions, advance directives, and more.
Our Age Well e-newsletter is published every other month and provides readers with information on ways to age well at home and in their community through current and reliable information on health, lifestyle, diet, and resources. Call or email to sign-up.
We hope you’ll connect with us in the new year and find the inspiration, friendship, support, and fun to make the most out of 2020. Visit us in person, or online at www.thompsonseniorcenter.org, or contact us at (802) 457-3277 or email@example.com
Annual Meeting 2019
The Thompson is growing in so many ways – more patrons and diners, more programs and services and even more fun. We are focusing on ways to improve our beloved Thompson farmhouse to meet these needs. We’ll need your help, your guidance and increase financial support from many sources. Let’s start the conversation at our 2019 annual meeting.
The Annual Meeting is also an opportunity to vote on and welcome new board members and council members, celebrate achievements, and review our year-end (unaudited) financial statements.
Join us on Wednesday, October 23rd at 10:30 am for our Annual Meeting.
Please RSVP by Friday, October 18th 457-3277 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Location: The Thompson Center, 99 Senior Lane, Woodstock, VT
Join us following the meeting for lunch at noon. Menu: Tuscan Chicken with Peppers and Tomatoes, Brown Rice, Tossed Salad, Roll, and Lemon Meringue Pie
The Key to Aging Well
September is recognized nationally as Senior Center month. This year’s theme was chosen to highlight how senior centers share knowledge, programming and resources that make a difference in people’s lives. These elements are the virtual keys to unlocking the potential to age well.
We now know the research and importance behind Connecting with others. Making friends matters. We know that Learning new languages and skills and exercising helps care for your body. That Giving back at the senior center and within the community fosters purpose and a more meaningful life. And that as long as each of us lives, we want to continue Growing to reach our full potential.
The Thompson Center has built a holistic experience where all of that is possible. Whether it is taking an exercise class, attending a social event, participating in memoir group or a painting class, or by having a meal or volunteering, The Thompson can be your key to aging well in our community.
Join us on September 13 at our noon meal as we celebrate National Senior Center month with Chicken BBQ, Potato Salad, Cole Slaw, Corn Bread, and Ice Cream with guest BBQ Chef, Nate Willard, and family. We’ll have raffles, music, horseshoes, cornhole and music with the Occasional Jug Band. RSVP at 457-3277.
Generation to Generation Week
August 5 – 8, 2019
Summer Matters! Older people have abundant skills and life experience to share. Younger people thrive with the support of caring adults in their lives. Join The Thompson for the 3rd annual Gen2Gen summer camp beginning on August 5, 2019. Click here for more information about The Thompson Gen2Gen activities.
May 2019, Older Americans Month:
Connect, Create, Contribute
Each year, older adults are making a positive impact in and around Woodstock. As volunteers, employees, employers, educators, mentors, advocates, and more, they offer insight and experience that benefit the entire community. That’s why Older Americans Month (OAM) has been recognizing the contributions of this growing population for 56 years.
Led by the Administration for Community Living (ACL) each May, OAM provides resources to help older Americans stay healthy and independent, and resources to help communities support and celebrate their diversity.
This year’s OAM theme, Connect, Create, Contribute, encourages older adults and their communities to:
Connect with friends, family, and local services and resources.
Create through activities that promote learning, health, and personal enrichment.
Contribute time, talent, and life experience to benefit others.
We here at The Thompson will celebrate OAM by promoting ways that community members of all ages can take part in helping our community thrive. We encourage you to:
Connect: Join us for Older American’s Lunch, participate in our summer Gen-2-Gen program, or join us for any of the social events or meals offered each month. Bring a friend or come make a new one!
Create: Register for our monthly art project with ArtisTree, sign-up for Tech Tutoring, Diabetes Management class or join our Book group.
Contribute: Become a Meals on Wheels driver, help serve lunch, or volunteer at one of the many volunteer opportunities in our community.