Cogwheel Archive

Rotary Cogwheel | 05.22.2014

May 22, 2014

Today: John Sinning, Classification (Estenson)
Birthdays: Keith Covey and Jon Snodgrass (5/19), Bob Flaten (5/21), and Chris Heineman (5/23)

Next Week: Dayna Norvold, Habitat for Humanity (Hall)
Last Week:
Kari Berit, author of The Unexpected Caregiver: How to Keep Mom and Dad Active, Safe, and Independent, framed up the dynamics of “family caregiving,” when adult children care for aging parents.

She outlined a new paradigm for family caregiving:

  1. Wake up: Family caregiving is here to stay, and will keep growing. There are more 65 year olds than teenagers, and more 85 year olds than 5-year olds.  One in three households in the U.S. has an unpaid family caregiver now; “the government really likes family caregiving because it lowers the burden on government” to fund care,” she said.
  2. Understand your past: Sibling dynamics stay the same even as parents age. “Know who your family is, and how they operate,” said Kari.
  3. Reconnect in new ways: Rather than ask “How are you?” or “Do you remember . . .?” try something new together. Take a walk, do a puzzle, listen and talk about music.
  4. Draw your lines: Family caregivers must set boundaries so they don’t burn out. Understand what triggers your frustration and work around it. Consider a support group where you can share your frustrations without judgment.
  5. Love yourself, and let go: If you don’t take care of yourself while caring for a loved one, you get eaten alive. The mortality rate is much higher for caregivers who go beyond their capacity. Pursue respite; let others provide care, even if they do it differently than you do.

Her last bit of advice: “Embrace the journey with humor and love.”

Lynne Pederson prefaced our speaker by describing the Northfield Senior Center, where she has been the director for 6 ½ years – “the best last job anyone could have before retiring.” The Senior Center is unique because it’s an independent organization (most are part of a city-run community center or YMCA). With the pool, fitness center, classes and programs, the Senior Center “does a grand job” for older adults in Northfield. As the population ages, this will become even more valuable.

Last Week’s Guests: Jan Hanson, the new CFO of St. Olaf – and prospective new member (Chris Weber); youth exchange students.

Scholarship Enhancement: Chris Weber (10 years is the charm)


Jim Pokorney gave an update on the “Shoes and Books for Congo” project and read from Gail Rosenblum’s column in the Star Tribune that recapped how Northfield Rotary Club helped Cilongu Foundation and Books For Africa ship donated shoes, clothing, and books to Congo. Pokorney said this shows two ways that each Rotarian can be of service: 1) take on a project and move it forward; and 2) jump in to help when needed.

Candy Taylor announced that she’s going off the board at the Community Action Center; CAC is looking to fill three open board positions and is especially interested in candidates with business experience. Please contact Jim Blaha for more information.

Therese Whitesong’s office of American Family Insurance is spearheading a rummage sale fundraiser for “Caring Circles,” to help families caring for a loved one

create a support network. You can donate items for the rummage sale (or make a monetary donation) at her office.
John Ehresmann announced that Rotary Responder volunteers need new badges and photos; please see John to arrange yours. The group also will hold a training session in Morristown on Sept. 13. Mark your calendar.

Chris Weber shared the news that St. Olaf senior Sudip Bhandari, of Nepal, was awarded a $30,000 Global Grant scholarship to pursue his graduate studies in conflict resolution in Amsterdam. Our Global Grant Scholar committee helped Sudip hone his application.

Vicki Dilley invited everyone to a graduation party and farewell for our exchange students – and a bon voyage to departing outbound students – on Wednesday, May 28, at Estensons’ farm, starting at 5:30pm. Volunteers are needed for set up (4:45pm) and clean up afterwards. Please contact Vicki to volunteer.

Vicky Langer seeks volunteers to serve as pen pals for outbound exchange students during their year abroad.

Jim Prichard announced that the Board is setting a process to evaluate proposals for local projects. In the meantime, the Board is considering working with the YMCA on a matching funds project. Stay tuned; this may affect the way you give to Rotary and/or to the YMCA.

Coming Up

June 5 – Lara Palmquist, Global Grant Scholar (Weber)

June 12 — Beth Gilligan, former exchange student (Benson)

June 19 — TBA

June 26 — Vicki Langer, classification (Williams)