Personal Aspects of Aging in Community

//Personal Aspects of Aging in Community

Includes but not be limited to medical alerts, staying socially connected, volunteer opportunities when mobility is limited, deciding to stop driving, exercise and stretching, advanced directives, changes in nutritional needs, etc.

A Letter from Karen Metzguer, FC Nurse & Executive Director

Brother David Steindi-Rast, Benedictine Monk, Author, Lecturer

Hope looks at all things the way a mother looks at her child, with a passion for the possible. That way of looking is creative. It creates the space in which perfection can unfold. More than that, the eyes of hope look through all imperfections to the heart of all things and find it perfect. The eyes of hope are grateful eyes. Before our eyes learned to look gratefully at the world, we expected to find beauty; grateful eyes expect the surprise of finding beauty in all things.– Br. David Steindl-Rast

Karen’s Message

It is only good and right to expect to find beauty in all things. I can say honestly that when I am able to live with intention, to serve, to move in deliberate fashion, and always, always PAY ATTENTION… I find the beauty that Brother David describes.

I hope you are finding some as well, and able to draw a deep breath and to rest. The toll this past year has taken is impossible to miss for some, and difficult to acknowledge for many. Don’t be embarrassed to do some reflection and put words to the feelings of loss. You do not have to be always strong, always a role model, always “fine.”

I was recently introduced to the suggestion that we may be “pandemic fine,” which is not to say, altogether fine. Reach out to more people in the next 4 weeks, keep moving your body and consider making music or writing. I’m convinced that communal singing will be part of our healing journey! We have reason to hope, if you doubt it, please call me!

A Letter from Karen Metzguer, FC Nurse & Executive Director 2021-02-22T22:49:32-05:00

Chatham County Public Health Director Mike Zelek Offers Update on COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution

The County Posted This Notice on Their website on 01/07/2021 at 5:43 PM

The following statement is attributed to Mike Zelek, Chatham County Public Health Director:

“The Chatham County Public Health Department has received a great deal of interest in the COVID-19 vaccine over the last several days, and we are encouraged to see so many are ready to roll up their sleeves. This process is in its early stages, and it will take several months to get the vaccine to all who want it.

“We continue to administer the COVID-19 vaccine to members of Phase 1a, according to the state’s prioritization guidance. This group includes health care workers caring for and working directly with patients with COVID-19 and those supporting vaccine efforts. At the same time, we are compiling a list of individuals in Phase 1b, group 1 (adults aged 75 or older) who want the vaccine. To be added to this list, visit and complete the form. Additionally, we will be sharing a COVID-19 vaccine hotline for Chatham County shortly.

“We are beginning to schedule appointments with those on this list who qualify under Phase 1b, group 1. This process will take several weeks to reach all interested due to limited resources, and we appreciate your patience. We will also be working with other vaccine providers to get this group vaccinated as quickly as possible.

“CCPHD will be conducting these vaccinations by appointment only, due to limited supply of doses and to avoid crowds that may lead to spread of COVID-19. COVID-19 cases continue to rise, and the last thing we want is to risk infection when individuals get their vaccine. Those receiving the vaccine will have the opportunity to ask questions and must give their consent before vaccine administration.

“CCPHD is also planning vaccination clinics to allow many to be vaccinated on the same day in central locations within Chatham County. Details on those events are still being worked out, and relevant information will be shared when the time comes. Please keep in mind these events are only open to those with appointments.


Chatham County Public Health Director Mike Zelek Offers Update on COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution 2021-01-08T22:41:35-05:00

December 2020 Letter From Karen Metzguer

A Letter from Karen Metzguer, RN & Executive Director

Good day all! Even if no one you know personally has had the novel virus this year, you have lived through another year of “new arrivals” to your life. For some it is a new skill, a new pet, baby or partner, opportunity to work, or opportunity to retire. For others it is a broken bone, loss of income, a broken relationship, an unwelcome move, or a new health concern. Each year we have the opportunity to welcome something new in our lives…even if it is unexpected. Rumi, in his poem “The Guest House,” implores us to “welcome and entertain them all!” How are we to do that?
In my opinion, we do that best when we can rely on our community and circles of friends. Our usual supports for celebrating and coping with what life brings have been severely curtailed. We find ourselves not gathering, not hugging, not cooking for one another, not quilting or playing cards (in the same room), not singing together, the very things that make us friends and community.
The solstice season approaches. Nights seem endless. We long for spring. While we expect a challenging winter, I have a challenge for you with the chance to win a prize! Keep reading!
Public health officials have repeatedly demonstrated that “abstinence only” messages are not the most effective, and many of you are experiencing the real burden of extreme social distancing. In this infectious disease crisis, here is my 3-part challenge for the next 90 days:
 I. Eliminate all time indoors exceeding 15 minutes where anyone you don’t live with is unmasked. For example, no indoor leisurely dining, whether in a friend’s home or in a restaurant, or, no gym workout if people are unmasked even if equipment is well spaced. Please contact me if you would like to discuss guidelines for a “pod or bubble mate.”
 II. Add a new physical activity that you will do each week. Pick something you can look forward to and enjoy like a yoga class, a walk in the park, any new activity of your choice that you do at least 15 minutes a week until the Spring Equinox. Exercises done from your chair count – just one new thing and do it every week.
III. Stay curious about the vaccine, curious about how folks are thinking about it, curious to learn how distribution is unfolding. This is the largest public health undertaking in our history, this is no time for harsh judgment or Monday morning quarterbacking. Stay curious and let me know how you are thinking about this. We are in this together with people who will be eager to get the vaccine when offered, and people who won’t – just stay curious!
I am reminding you that you are both clever and resourceful and that challenging times won’t last forever. “The presence of beauty doesn’t magically remove all pain, but the absence of beauty makes things a lot harder to bear.” Look for beauty everywhere. It is still there. This protracted period of correctly choosing the safety of staying home may have caused you not to notice. I count the beauty of your friendship and of your support among my treasured blessings!
 The Guest House
This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice.
meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.
Be grateful for whatever comes.
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.
 — Jalal al-Din Rumi,
        translation by Coleman Barks

10 prizes will be awarded in a drawing from the collection of Villagers who drop me an email; let me know that you’re up for the mask challenge, the new activity, and that you plan to stay “mostly curious” from now until March 20, 2021, the Spring Equinox! Email me: I hope to hear from at least 100 of you before the New Year begins! All email received by January 15, 2020 will be eligible for a prize in a drawing to be held on March 20, 2021. 

December 2020 Letter From Karen Metzguer 2020-12-17T10:15:24-05:00

Gratitude in Challenging Times

Gratitude in Challenging Times: A Note from Karen Metzguer, RN, Nurse & Executive Director

One of my favorite authors, Parker Palmer, writes that people with hope acknowledge the tension created by seeing both “what is” and “what could and should be,” and do something each day to narrow the gap between the two. I believe this is what each of us is being asked to do as we paddle our small boats into uncharted waters. For several months I have encouraged you to create quarantine care circles: just a few individuals you see regularly, at a safe distance, and speak with often. It’s great to speak with lots of folks if you can, but we all need a few individuals we can open up to and lean on when we’re weary and the going gets tough.

In addition to friends, there are three resources I can recommend that are just a phone call away. Both the Disaster Distress Helpline (800-985-6990) and Hope4NC (855-581-3463) are open 24 hours a day and you can speak with trained volunteers and professionals about coping and anxiety. I am also happy to return your call if you reach out to me; just leave a message in my voice mailbox (919-542-6877).

Fearrington Cares is actively providing virtual programs, movement classes, support groups, grocery and pharmacy home delivery, equipment loans, outdoor handyperson assistance, health consultations, and information and referrals by phone. We are offering a series of programs this fall; join us and polish up some of your tried and true resilience tools for dealing with the unknown. Let me know if you’d enjoy a “video date” to catch up with someone you haven’t seen in several months. I’ve set those up for a couple of villagers and they were delighted and surprised with how much fun it can be.

I’m grateful for the flowers and the wildlife, for friendships, for books to get lost in, and for each of you! Fearrington residents are supporting this organization financially and are generous volunteers. Although 100% of our temporarily-suspended services put a volunteer within six feet of a resident and almost all of the residents with needs and our volunteers are over 65, I am working with our volunteer Board of Directors (virtually) to plan new ways that we can be of service. Please explore our website to join our programs and to see updated health information about COVID-19 and other news articles.

Gratitude in Challenging Times 2020-12-17T14:02:02-05:00
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