The Place They Call Home:

En­rich­ing Ex­pe­ri­ences at Ag­ing Ser­vices Com­mu­ni­ties

American Senior - - NEWS -

Lead­ingAge mem­bers are not-for-profit providers of care and ser­vices for se­niors. Res­i­dents of these ag­ing ser­vices or­ga­ni­za­tions are in­volved in a wide range of life- en­rich­ing ex­pe­ri­ences that add mean­ing and ful­fill­ment to their lives as they age. Some­times they are re­viv­ing or con­tin­u­ing ac­tiv­i­ties from their younger years.

A Gem of a Story

The sparkle and color of beau­ti­ful crys­tals found in var­i­ous min­er­als cap­tured Don Peck’s heart more than 60 years ago. To this day, it’s a hobby he pas­sion­ately pur­sues.

“It’s fun and it keeps me ac­tive,” says Mr. Peck, 84, who with his wife Lor­raine now re­sides at Green­fields of Geneva.

Mr. Peck, a re­tired high school science teacher, dis­cov­ered his life-long hobby of min­er­al­ogy when he was a teenager af­ter go­ing on a min­eral hunt at in­op­er­a­tive gar­net and iron mines. “I’ve still got some of the gar­nets I

found that day,” says Mr. Peck, who adds that the gar­nets mined were typ­i­cally used for in­dus­trial pur­poses.

Af­ter tak­ing his first teach­ing job, Mr. Peck joined a min­eral club where his in­ter­est in mi­cromin­er­als took off. Mi­cro-min­er­als re­quire the use of a mi­cro­scope to view the crys­tal for­ma­tions. He be­gan col­lect­ing mi­cro-min­er­als, and his in­flu­ence on the world of min­er­al­ogy be­gan to take shape. Pas­sion­ate about iden­ti­fy­ing and clas­si­fy­ing mi­cro-min­er­als and their crys­tal struc­tures, Mr. Peck cre­ated MinSearch, a data­base and search en­gine for min­eral prop­er­ties. Orig­i­nally writ­ten in the 1980s, it has been up­dated three times and is avail­able for min­er­al­o­gists to cat­a­logue their re­search and also help iden­tify un­known spec­i­mens. Ad­di­tion­ally, he wrote the book, Min­eral Iden­ti­fi­ca­tion: A Prac­ti­cal Guide for the Am­a­teur Min­er­al­o­gist.

Mr. Peck is of­ten found shar­ing his pas­sion with oth­ers. Last Au­gust, he gave a talk on min­er­als and min­eral col­lect­ing to other res­i­dents of Green­fields of Geneva. He still has a large col­lec­tion of mi­cro-min­er­als, each stored in a one-inch- square case. “I have enough raw ma­te­ri­als to keep me go­ing for years,” he says with a smile.

—Brid­get Machalin­ski, Ivy Mar­ket­ing Group, Green­fields of Geneva, Geneva, Illi­nois

Strik­ing a Tune

Dur­ing the Great De­pres­sion, mu­sic acted as a morale booster for fam­i­lies and com­mu­ni­ties alike. A mu­si­cian in Al­toona, Penn­syl­va­nia be­gan giv­ing har­mon­ica lessons ev­ery Satur­day to lo­cal res­i­dents. Mary Beth Flickinger be­come a weekly at­tendee and fell in

love with the har­mon­ica. Her lessons paid off— she and her sib­lings were fea­tured on the lo­cal ra­dio sta­tion. Later on, Ms. Flickinger put down her har­mon­ica to learn other in­stru­ments.

Flash for­ward to 2015: Ms. Flickinger, 92, is liv­ing at Bap­tist Homes. She has re­turned to her har­mon­ica and is play­ing bet­ter than ever. A few years ago, she also learned how to read sheet mu­sic. Not only has her tal­ent ex­panded, but so has her au­di­ence. Ms. Flickinger takes cen­ter stage dur­ing the Bap­tist Homes So­ci­ety’s Christ­mas per­for­mances, plays for fun with other res­i­dents, and has been fea­tured in a few pub­li­ca­tions. A few years ago, she won the Penn­syl­va­nia Ac­tiv­ity Pro­fes­sional As­so­ci­a­tion’s Cre­ative Arts Award for her har­mon­ica play­ing. (The award is given an­nu­ally to only one res­i­dent in Penn­syl­va­nia.)

Ms. Flickinger is an in­spi­ra­tion to all of those who hear her play, in­clud­ing fel­low har­mon­ica player Thomas Sul­li­van, who joined her on his first day at Bap­tist Homes. Dur­ing her per­for­mances, toes tap, spir­its soar and Ms. Flickinger is trans­ported to be­ing a young girl again.

—An­drea Bobi­nis, Pub­lic Re­la­tions in­tern, Bap­tist Homes So­ci­ety, Pitts­burgh, Pennsy­va­nia ■

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.