October 13, 2006

Fall 2006 News from the Turning Institute

Posted in News at 4:07 am by turninginstitute

Fall News from the Turning Institute October, 20

Greetings! To all of you who are family caregivers, health-providers, educators, and all who support friends and family in these roles— here is an update on the work of the Turning Institute, a non-profit organization based in Mount Vernon, WA which provides support and advocacy by offering self-care strategies and advocacy for individuals and families in the caregiving experience.

This year has seen some new ventures in caregiving strategies and outreach, including the addition of LAUGHTER as a vibrant self-care strategy at our Caregiver Renewal Days and in our own daily lives.

Aurelia Hadley, who has trained with Dr. Madan Kataria to become an Internationally Certified Laughter Leader Trainer, has presented several introductory talks on the use of laughter for daily well-being and stress reduction, introducing many new people to the power of one’s own self-generated laughter. (See www.laughteryoga.org or call (360) 419-0132 for more information.) She has given presentations about laughter at the Skagit Valley Food Coop, for Seattle Schools, and trained new laughter leaders in Port Townsend and Mount Vernon. (Aurelia facilitates a weekly Laughter Club at the Skagit Valley Family YMCA.)

Doris Brevoort has added laughter and sound healing work to her presentation of self-care strategies for caregivers, educators, and health providers. She has brought these to Cancer Lifeline and other support groups of patients and/or caregivers in the Seattle area, educators at the central offices of Seattle Schools, nurses, and massage practitioners.

November is designated as National Family Caregiving Month by the National Family Caregiver Association, of which Turning Institute is a member. There will be a Caregiver Renewal Day on Saturday, November 4th, from 10am to 4pm, at 114 So. 5th St., Mount Vernon, WA. All caregivers are welcome at this day of relaxation and renewal. (Please see our website, www.turninginstitute.org for more details, or call (360) 336-3453 for more information or to RSVP. Caregiver Renewal Days are scheduled in 2007 for Saturdays, February 17, April 21, and June 9. (Please call to confirm and RSVP as these dates approach. Also, please pass on this information to any caregivers you know of who may be interested in support and renewal!)

We are looking into sponsoring Caregiver Renewal opportunities in Seattle in the coming year—please contact Doris if you would like to be involved in a Seattle calendar of events including Caregiver Renewal Days, or laughter-and-sound evenings! Turning Institute is also involved in exploration of creating bereavement support opportunities for children and youth who have experiences a death or significant loss in their family.

For the fourth year in a row, the “Turning Institute Singers” will gather in Seattle for holiday singing in the Figgy Pudding carol-singing event, Friday December 1st, 5:30-7pm at Westlake Center. We always have a good time singing on a corner, with other carol groups, to benefit the Pike Market Senior Center. All are welcome– songbooks provided. (Call (360) 336-3453 to find out exactly which corner we are assigned for this year.)

This summer Turning Institute provided scholarships for three children (two middle school girls, one third grade boy) to attend summer recreation programs in Seattle. These children’s grandmother, a long-time family caregiver, has mobility challenges that prevent her from outdoor activity. She was delighted as one girl danced in Union Gospel Mission’s Performing Arts program, the other canoed and rode horseback in Outdoor Adventures, and both girls went to overnight camp for four days. The boy went to a Seattle Parks and Recreation day camp within walking distance of their home where he made new friends.

The Turning Institute appreciates your tax-deductible contribution towards our operating expenses and support activities, all which are offered free of charge, for requested donations. Please send checks to:

Turning Institute

114 So. 5th St.

Mount Vernon, WA 98274

Thank you for your support!


October 10, 2005

News from Fall 2005

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:17 pm by turninginstitute

October 1, 2005

Dear Friends of the Turning Institute, Greetings!

The National Family Caregivers Association, of which Turning Institute is a member, has designated November as Family Caregiver Month. We invite you to an Open House and Dinner in honor of caregivers everywhere, on Saturday, November 12, 5pm-8pm, at 114 So. 5th St., Mount Vernon. There will be music, art, supper, laughter, and as always, great company. Please join us! It’s a great opportunity to meet others who support the Turning Institute. (RSVP to 360-336-3453 or turninginstitute@comcast.net)

Caregiver Renewal Days in the coming year are scheduled for: Saturday, November 12, 2005 and in 2006: January 21, 2006, March 11, and May 20, all 10am -4pm at 114 So. 5th St. in Mt Vernon. There is a description of a Caregiver Renewal Day on our website, http://www.turninginstitute.org or call (360) 336-3453 for information. We will gladly mail information to anyone upon request. Please call to let us know if you plan to attend.

In honor of Family Caregiver Month in Seattle this year, a group of us will be going to hear a concert by Holly Near at the Magnuson Park Community Center on Sunday, November 6th, 7:30pm. Tickets (group rate) are $17. Please call if you would like to attend this cultural event.

In 2005 we have made significant strides in advancing the work of the Turning Institute:

—We moved into an office and lovely meeting space at 114 So. 5th St. The house at 114 (next door to our original location at 118 So. 5th St) has a beautiful view of Skagit Valley, and can be entered without climbing stairs. A TI volunteer made a gate in the fence between yards, so there is access to the grounds, where we are developing a forest garden of native trees and plants. It is now a Back Yard Wildlife Refuge registered with the National Wildlife Federation, with fir, cedar, hemlock, salal, Oregon grape and hazelnut trees, wild plum, and ferns. Last spring there was a hanging bushtit nest, uncommon in the Northwest, in a fir tree— and the “little brown birds” were seen fledging the nest at beginning of summer.

—Aurelia has taken training from Dr. Madan Kataria and his wife Madhuri Kataria to be a Laughter Club Leader and Certified Laughter Yoga Teacher. You may have heard of this “laughing for no reason”, also called hasya yoga (www.laughteryoga.org). Laughter has many health benefits and is a great addition to the skills we bring to caregiver renewal. Turning Institute will sponsor a training in Mt Vernon for others who would like to become Laughter Leaders Dec. 10-11. (Please contact Aurelia at 360-336-3453, or email hahahadley@comcast.net if you would like to find out more about laughter clubs, or becoming a laughter leader.)

—Doris has begun to collaborate with Cancer Lifeline in Seattle and on the Eastside, bringing discussion and demonstration of self-care techniques (self-massage, breathing, music) to support groups for persons living with cancer and their caregivers.

—Quarterly ‘caregiver potluck and music’ nights were held in Seattle’s University District.

— We have several fundraising projects in process, including a series of greeting cards with photographs and art by local artists. The “Turning Press” published a children’s book, A is an Antelope, an Alphabet for Anybody. Copies will be available at the Dinner, or by mail. The Happy Wanderer Songbook, words to positive songs, is a TI file you can request by email.

—Members of the community have begun using the “Family Caregiver Sustainability Assessment” developed by Turning Institute. This is a needs assessment to help caregivers identify the tasks they are doing, and their capacity to provide this care over an extended period of time. (Call for a printed copy by mail, or email turninginstitute@comcast.net if you would like an email copy.)

—The informal “Turning Institute Singers” gathered in downtown Seattle last December to take part in Pike Place Market’s “Figgy Pudding” Holiday Caroling. We will get together once again this year, on Friday, December 2nd at 5:30, at 3rd and Pine, to belt out songs of the season—accompanied by accordion, tambourine and maracas— as the horse-drawn carriages go by. All are welcome to join in for this fun event. (Songbooks are provided; dress warmly!)

—TI provided scholarships for two middle school-age girls who live with their grandmother in the Rainier Beach area of Seattle to attend the Union Gospel Mission summer program and sleep-over camp. This was a first experience for the girls, which they enjoyed immensely.

—Among other caregivers, TI hosted two young adults from Seattle, and a family on an international visit who came to Mount Vernon for rest and renewal. We have space to provide day retreats for family caregivers, including natural food meals and many forms of quiet relaxation. A donation to TI is requested for retreat days. If this would be of interest to you, please contact us.

Our program continues to expand with the help of numerous friends. We welcomed a new Board Member this year, artist and family caregiver Lesley Garratt of Sedro Woolley. Communication and support from our Advisory Board has also been much appreciated. Their experiences and perspectives on caregiving continue to shape our organizational direction.

Each fall as we send you this schedule of Caregiver Renewal Days and other events for the coming year, we ask for your contributions to carry out our work. The Turning Institute Board has set a fund-raising goal of $10,000 for the coming year, including contributions from our community of supporters, grants, and income from projects. Several ideas for grant applications are in the works. Your suggestions are welcome.

Turning Institute is a nonprofit, 501(c)3 corporation. Please send a (tax-deductible) contribution of $10, $20, $50, or $100 to strengthen our growing ability to offer support to the many caregivers in our community through Caregiver Renewal Days, scholarships for youth activities, and operating expenses. We will thank contributors at our reception, November 12th.

Also, please tell friends or co-workers who are caregivers about our website, calendar of events, and the November 12th Dinner. If you would like further information about any of the work of the Turning Institute, please see our website at http://www.turninginstitute.org call us at 360-336-3453, or email turninginstitute@comcast.net. We hope to see you this year! Thank you for your care.

September 1, 2004

News from Fall 2004

Posted in News at 5:38 am by turninginstitute

Friday, December 3. The “Turning Singers” will once again hold forth with voice and accordions at the

FIGGY PUDDING Holiday Carol Sing in Downtown Seattle. Meet at 6pm on Pine St. just east of 3rd Ave, by the Bon. That is our caroling location on this night when corners of downtown are full of singers. Just bring your voice, and dress warmly as we will be standing outside for an hour. All friends welcome, in every key.

Turning Institute supplies songbooks, snacks, and good humor. “Figgy Pudding” is an annual fundraiser for the Pike Market Senior Center and Clinic (www.figgypudding.org). Please call (206) 417-9547 to let us know you will be joining us, so we know how many songbooks to bring.

~Here is the schedule for upcoming Caregiver Renewal Days~

Please see our website, http://www.turninginstitute.org for a full discussion of the renewal day program

Saturday, November 13, 2004 10am-5pm

November is National Family Caregiver Month— if you are taking care of a friend or family member with illness or disability, planning or participating in care of aging parents, work as an educator or health care provider… join the Turning Institute as we recognize the many faces of caregiving.

(For more info about National Family Caregiver Month, see http://www.thefamilycaregiver.org — the new, expanded website of the National Family Caregiver Association. Turning Institute is a member and we have the NFCA newsletters in our resource library at 118 South 5th St. Mount Vernon, WA.)

Saturday, January 22, 2005 10am-5pm

Saturday, March 12 10am-5pm

Saturday, May 14 10am-5pm

Saturday, July 9 10am-5pm

Please call us at (360) 336-3453 if you are planning to attend, or if you would like us to send information about the Renewal Days to a friend or caregiver. We will be glad to contact anyone who has expressed interest in participating. Caregiver Renewal Days are a loosely structured time for caregivers to meet, relax, renew, and share resources. A natural foods lunch is served.

Please see our website, http://www.turninginstitute.org for full information about Caregiver Renewal Days. There is no charge; contributions to the Turning Institute are welcome.

TI Friday Night Dinner is an opportunity to get together with friends for a potluck, music, conversation, and laughter. The dinner is held in the McAfee Parlor of University Baptist Church, in Seattle’s University District (corner of Brooklyn Ave.NE and NE 47 St.), from 5pm-7pm one Friday a month. Bring a dish if you can. Please call (206) 417-9547 to confirm the schedule:

2004: November 19, December 17

2005: January 21, February 11, March 11, April 22 (Earth Day!), May 20; June 10

A Turning Institute “Family Caregiver Needs Assessment” has been developed as a checklist for family members to use as a communication tool in planning and continuing caregiving of loved ones. It is still in the “draft” stages, and we appreciate feedback on how it can be improved to help you and your family better plan and coordinate care. If you would like a copy, please email turninginstitute@juno.com with your address, or phone Doris Brevoort at (360) 336-3453.

Contributions to the Turning Institute, a nonprofit 501(c) 3 organization, support us in continuing to develop our resource library, Caregiver Renewal Days, and more services to family caregivers. Please send checks to: Turning Institute 118 So. 5th St. Mount Vernon, WA 998274 Thank you for your caring!

March 1, 2004

News from Spring 2004

Posted in News at 2:10 am by turninginstitute

Re: Adult children of aging parents invited to “Caregiver Renewal Day”
Saturday, March 20, 10am-5pm in Mount Vernon, WA

From: Doris Brevoort, Turning Institute (Contact phone: 360-336-3453, or 206-715-0321)

The Turning Institute’s Caregiver Renewal Day on March 20, 2004 will focus on the concerns of adult children who are taking care of aging parents or relatives. This is a huge responsibility, lovingly taken on by many in the ‘baby boom’ generation. What resources are available, and what are needed, to support family caregivers of aging parents? And, how do caregivers take care of themselves in the process?

Many conditions factor into this caregiving relationship: the health or illness of the elder(s), their health care resources and planning, their present ability to live or function independently, the living arrangements, financial resources, community support, and the list goes on.

Combine the needs of the elders with one’s own work obligations, health issues, long-range plans of the caregiver’s family, sibling collaboration, grandchildren, travel over long (or short) distances to be involved in the elders’ care. It can be a complex picture, full of questions, layers of feelings, joys, stresses, and grieving as the process unfolds.

Adult caregivers are invited to take part in Caregiver Renewal Day on March 20, 2004, from 10am to 5pm with Turning Institute at 118 South 5th St., Mt Vernon, WA. There is no fee, though a donation to Turning Institute is appreciated.

The day is an informally structured conversation about mutual concerns, with sharing of strategies that work, and access to the Turning Institute resource library. There is time to relax and renew oneself through such activities as music, gardening, walking, and enjoyment of the scenic Skagit Valley. A natural foods lunch is served. Turning Institute facilitators of Caregiver Renewal Day have training in the fields of family counseling, massage therapy, music, meditation, aquatic exercise, hospice care, and adult education.

The Turning Institute, a non-profit 501(c)3 organization, is a member of the National Family Caregiver Association and the Skagit End of Life Coalition. Caregiver Renewal Days are held bimonthly on a continuing basis. For details, see http://www.turninginstitute.org. Interested caregivers, please call (360) 336-3453 to reserve a space for the day.

The location of Caregiver Renewal Day is one mile northeast of the #226 Kincaid exit on I-5, approx. one hour’s drive from Seattle. Turning Institute will help network among caregivers who wish to travel together to Mount Vernon. (Transportation will be provided from the Greyhound or Amtrak station in Mt Vernon.)

September 13, 2003

News from 9-13-03

Posted in News at 1:57 am by turninginstitute

Hello, Friends of the Turning Institute! 9-13-03

We have been very busy and want you to know!

The house in Mt Vernon has been rewired and we have been little by little getting it in order. The yard is being raked of years of pinecones. We made a vegetable bed in the front yard, the only place with sun, and actually harvested cantaloupes! Please stop by if you are in the Skagit!

This summer Aurelia and Doris took a trip east of the Mountains, visiting our Advisory Board sages, Richard Beyer and Margaret Beyer in Pateros. We thank them for their hospitality and insight, and for showing us fossils.

TI has been active with the Skagit End of Life Coalition, an alliance of hospice, end of life care providers, and individuals who want to educate the public about death and dying process and concerns. Through SEOLC we found out about a grant opportunity called Faith in Action, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. TI is forming partnerships with Skagit organizations in order to apply for an FIA grant. (See fiavolunteers.org for more information.) It is $35,000 over three years, and would fund a staff coordinator to do outreach to family caregivers.

The Turning Institute is sponsoring a series of gatherings this coming year called the Open Road Dialogues, inspired by poetry by Walt Whitman, about the deeper questions raised for people in community when a friend dies. These are presented in memory of our friend Greg Flynn who died this year, and Advisory Board member Curtis Chapel, who died last summer. They will be on Sunday nights about once a month. The first Open Road is Sunday, September 21, 7-9 pm, at 118 So. 5th St., Mt Vernon. Please call if you would like information about future Open Roads.

This fall our Caregiver Renewal Days (in Mount Vernon) are Saturdays, Sept. 20, and Nov. 15th, 10am-5pm. If you are a caregiver, or know one, please invite the to this day! For more information, call (360) 336-3453. TI is looking into sponsoring Caregiver Renewal Days in Seattle as well as Mount Vernon. We would like to find a cost-conscious way of doing so on a sustainable basis. We are looking for homes or other comfortable locations to host caregivers. We will also need help with food, program presentations, and volunteers to help out. Please call if you would like to be part of this developing opportunity to reach out to caregivers in King County. We hope to have the first Seattle Caregiver Renewal Day on December 14th. Please pass this info on to caregivers you know who might enjoy it!

For more info on CR Days, see our website, http://www.turninginstitute.org

Also coming up is the Skagit Festival of Family Farms October 4-5, a day-long tour/open house of some great locations in the Skagit Valley. Stop by if you come up here for the Festival. TI will be hosting Puget Sound Rethinking Schools on Saturday the 4th. Call if you would like to join us, there will be brunch about 10 am and then just carpooling (or bicycling?) around the Valley for the day.

Mark your calendars for Figgy Pudding, the carol-festival held annually as a benefit for Pike Market Senior Center and Clinic. This year it is the first Friday in December, Dec. 6th. As we did the last couple years, we will "appear" as the inimitable Turning Institute Singers! Meet about 4:30 at 22nd and Union (at the Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd, where TI has an office, and go downtown together from Capitol Hill. The singing is one hour, on a corner yet to be assigned. We bring songbooks, and last year there were not one but two accordions adding to the din. We even got the Salvation Army bell-ringer to ring in time with our songs, so it was all good.

This past summer there were seven young adults living at Doris and Aurelia’s houses in Mount Vernon, volunteering and interning either for the Nature Conservancy or a People for Puget Sound conservation project (eliminating spartina grass from wetlands in Skagit and adjacent counties). They brought a great boost of caring and energy to our midst, and TI would like to thank them for all the good nature of their presence, and lots of help in little ways to keep this community rolling.

Doris is planning to attend the Bioneers Conference in the Bay Area this October 17-19. The Turning Institute joined the Bioneers in honor of Curtis Chapel’s avid support for their goals (save the planet and its bio-diversity, sooner than later!) As an organizational member, TI is entitled to sponsor 10 conference participants, who receive a 10% discount on registration fee. Before Sept. 26, the member fee for 3 days of conference is $283. If you are interested in attending, check their website, http://www.bioneers. org, and give Doris a call (during the week, 206-715-0321).

At this point in time, operating expenses for Turning Institute services are about $200 per month. If you would like to make a contribution it would be used wisely to create support programs for caregivers and youth. Any amount, $10, 20, or 50 would be a great benefit. (Just mail a check to: Turning Institute, 118 So. 5th St. Mount Vernon, WA 98274) We are working on creating some sustainable income flow by publishing a child’s alphabet coloring book, and offering trainings in topics relating to caregiving. Call us for more info on these projects. Thank you for supporting Turning Institute!

And a special thanks to Benjamin Galbraith, our Intern from Western Washington University this past year, who put up our website, researched grant possibilities, and has helped TI move forward. Keep up your great-natured persistence, Ben!

TI is a member of the National Family Caregiver Association. See their website, http://www.nfcacares.org for lots more ideas and info on caregiver support.