APRIL 2012 - TEN YEARS
Where does 10 years go? It is incredible to me that I have just passed my ten year mark at PSRC. And yet, when I reflect, I can see so many things that have changed. I thought I would share some of my observations with you. I would love to hear yours!
- The staff has changed. Only one person remains who was here when I arrived. There were two full time and seven part time staff (6.25 full time equivalents) ; now there are three full time and nine part time (8 FTE). We have an amazingly compassionate, professional, creative team of people who make PSRC what it is today. They have each brought their own passions to their work, which is contagious. They make PSRC a lively, dynamic place where everyone feels welcome and community is built in every activity.
- The buildings have changed. The Suzanne Patterson Building was renovated in 2002-3 and the new floor was laid in 2010. Hopefully we will get additional improvements this summer. Spruce Circle will be renovated this month! Before the renovation, only one class could meet at a time. Now there can be as many as 5 simultaneously at Suzanne Patterson as well as at senior housing sites, the Library, Borough Hall and other locations through our community partners.
- Our social services were focused on providing information and referrals to people seeking assistance. We continue to have the best resource directory in the area. It has grown at least four-fold and been updated three times this decade. The accessibility of the internet greatly added to the resources we can offer, and led to posting the entire directory online, expanding accessibility to family members near and far.
- We also focused support services on tenants of the Housing Authority. We now provide support to over 125 people per week from throughout the community. We joined with 8 other organizations to form the United Aging & Disability Partnership (funded by United Way) to provide a wide array of services to support aging in place, including transportation, nursing, home modifications, meals, counseling, volunteers and more. Annually, we provide care coordination to about 80 people with low and moderate income. We established a Caregiver Resource Center with support groups for spouses and adult children, as well as counseling, consultations and education. We added two Let’s Talk in English and will soon add Let’s Talk in Chinese. Bereavement, Widows and Knitting groups have also been added.
- The number and variety of programs has grown tremendously, more than doubling weekly attendance to over 1000. Evergreen Forum has grown from 4 classes to 16 each semester, with over 350 participants. The Next Step: Engaged Retirement & Encore Career program was added to address retirement planning and then re-employment during the recession. Exercise classes meet daily and cover a range from active Table Tennis and Drumming to quieter Chair Exercise, Tai Chi and Yoga. Table Tennis is a good example of growth, expanding from 2-3 people a week to 30 people three times a week and three tables. It is also our most international activity. The computer instruction program took off this year thanks to a group of dedicated volunteers who now teach 4-5 classes a week and help in the busy lab on Tuesday afternoons where Princeton University students assist. Opera videos and movies also draw a crowd and are a good entry point for newcomers. The weekly duplicate bridge game is the largest single activity (over 100). Informational “brown bag seminars” are offered monthly on health and wellness topics and other subjects of interest. There are also more programs offered by participants, from origami to book signing events. The classes are taught by a mix of dedicated volunteers and paid professional instructors.
- In 2010 PSRC assumed management for the Crosstown transportation program, and we have been vocal advocates for the FreeB bus.
- We had a record number of volunteers last year (428), who make the magic possible since they work in nearly every aspect of PSRC. No programs could be planned or implemented without the daily office volunteers. The newsletter folders now prepare 3500 a month for mailing in contrast to 1100 when I arrived. Our development events are both more numerous and complex, also relying on volunteer assistance. GrandPals are now in three schools and starting to help in another in Trenton. Volunteer management has improved so we can place people quickly in positions that are meaningful and interesting for each individual.
- All of this growth requires infrastructure change as well. The budget has nearly doubled. We all have new computers, and a cloud-based database. The Board has created strategic plans to guide the organization, and developed policies and procedures for the work we do. We have an endowment to ensure the future of the organization, and a Human Capital Fund to support our greatest asset, the staff. We have a great website and continue to look at ways that technology can support what we do. All of the staff seek ways to be on the leading edge of the field of aging and responsive to the needs of our participants, whether that is developing programs to appeal to younger people or introducing social media.
I am so proud to be a part of PSRC! We accept that aging happens to all of us, and we can have a good time at it with the help of our friends. I have learned so much about aging and about how to manage an organization during this decade. Thanks to the Board members who guided and supported me, the staff who share the vision of what PSRC can be, and to all of you for what you have done to make it possible and what you have taught me.
Susan W Hoskins
July - August 2013 My cat, My Father and Me
June 2013 - Age Friendly Communities
May 2013 - Navigating a Changing HealthCare Landscape
April 2013 - Becoming Visible
March 2013 - Navigating Life’s Transitions
February 2013 - Partners in Caring Princeton
January 2013 - Men as Caregivers
December 2012 - The Safety Net
November 2012 - Going Solo
October 2012 - Documenting Your History
September 2012 - A Journey of Transformation
July - August 2012 - Gratitude & Moving
June 2012 - Diversity
May 2012- Aging in America
APRIL 2012 - TEN YEARS
March 2012 - Patient-centered Care
February 2012 - Can you Spare an Hour?
January 2012 - Challenges & Opportunities
December - Are you Prepared for Emergencies?
November - We need YOU!
October - Chocolate for Memory
September- Looking Back and Looking Forward
July - August 2011; Ageism
June 2011 - Accessibility
May 2011 - Paper retention
Knit Wits, April 2011
Lessons and Legacies, March 2011
Independent Living February 2011
Home Safety January 2011
Witness to my Life December 2010
Elections, benefits and open enrollment November 2010
Retire in 3D!
Am I Old?
Aging In America May 2010
Volunteering April 2010
Spirituality March 2010
Encore Careers January 2010
Hiring Home Care
Annual Giving by
Flu Pandemic 2009 October 2009
Healthy Memory, Healthy Mind
A Personal Perspective on Caregiving
Wei Ji: Crisis, Danger and Opportunity
Write your own obituary
Hope and Vision in Challenging Times
Medicare Changes 2008: Take A Look!
Scams, Frauds and Rip-offs November 2008
Engaged Retirement: Beyond Financial Planning
Finding Rhythm and Purpose
Spring Cleaning II June 2008
V + OA = ER (Volunteering + Older Americans=Engaged Retirement)May 2008
Spring Cleaning April 2008
Have You Had the Talk Yet?
Get Moving with FitRhythms™!
My Condolences January 2008
What Are Social Services? November 2007
Plan for the Future September 2007
The Up-side of Aging Summer 2007
Volunteering June 2007
Strategic Plan May 2007
National Conference on Aging: Let's ReThink Aging April 2007
Brain Health March 2007
Resiliency February 2007
Transportation January 2007
Season of Giving December 2006
Medicare Part D November 2006
April Hill McElroy October 2006
Civic Engagement September 2006
Change June 2006
White House Conference on Aging May 2006
Hearing Loss April 2006
GrandPals March 2006
Lets Talk February 2006
Eldertopia January 2006
Hoarding December 2005
Annual Report: November 2005
Are You Prepared? October 2005
Planning Ahead October 2005
Watch Your Language September 2005
Medicare Part D Summer 2005
Sue Tillett June 2005
The End of the Journey May 2005
Clutter March 2005
New Dietary Guidelines February 2005
Transitions January 2005
Funding December 2004
Caregiving November 2004
Civic Engagement with GrandPals October 2004
A New Look September 2004
Safe Driving Summer 2004
Food Safety June 2004
Communication June 2004
The Challenge of Giving Care May 2004
Seniors On The Move April 2004
Depression March 2004
McGreevey February 2004
Medications January 2004
Random Acts of Kindness December 2003
Civic Engagement November 2003
Reverse Mortgages Oct 2003
Emergency Preparedness, Jan 2003