Saluting Our Caregiver Heroes
Photo by Fernando Salazar/ Wichita Journalism Collaborative
Whether you’re working with her or receiving care from her, you can’t help but feel grateful to be in the presence of Dr. Kimberly Allman. Compassionate, comforting and giving, Dr. Allman’s skill as a physician, and Heart & Soul’s medical director, is only matched by the size of her heart. In times like these—and all others— we’re incredibly thankful to have her as a part of our team and caring for those we serve.
HeartAndSoulHospice.org | 316-652-6212 www.theactiveage.com
Dr. Kimberly Allman
Saluting Our Caregiver Hereos
Memories worth keeping and passing down By Dave Gear The people we love and admire deserve to be remembered for all they’ve done for us and honored for what they’ve accomplished. Here are a few of my favorite ways to chronicle the lives of loved ones. Memory Jar. After Opa—my German grandfather—passed away, Oma—my grandmother—was living alone six hours away in St. Louis. I enjoyed an especially close bond with my grandparents. I was their only grandchild for many years and they took me along when they traveled, creating wonderful memories for all of us. I wanted my Oma to understand how much I treasured those memories, so one year I created a memory jar for her birthday. I purchased an elephantshaped glass jar with a cork stopper and began filling it with my memories of our times together, each one written on a small piece of paper. Oma’s instructions were to remove a slip of paper each day and read my memories of her and Opa. When the jar was empty, she could put the papers back in the jar and start over. Several years later I did the same thing for my mother, this time including the memories of my sister
and my children. Today I have both jars and I can remove slips of memories for myself. It is still gratifying to know how much they loved receiving their gifts and reading happy memories. In addition, it helps me experience a feeling of gratitude for these women who shaped me into the person I am today. Journaling. Over the Christmas holidays I spoke with an elder relative who lives in Florida about his immigrating here from Germany. His stories, previously unknown to me, were fascinating. I marveled that I never knew these stories because I had never asked. I hope to have him document his past in a journal. If your elder loved one is still able and inclined to write, beginning a journal about their life can be fulfilling for you both. You can offer your special person a beautiful book that has blank pages in which they can record their memories, or you may choose to purchase a book for them that includes prompts that can jog remembrances. If they don’t want to or are unable to write, you can offer to write down their thoughts for them, or it may be easier these days to record their memories in audible or video digital
formats. These thoughts will become more and more valuable to their descendants over the years. Gratitude Journal. This is a subset of regular journaling, where the writer can state what they are grateful for and why. You can be the writer and then read your thoughts to the elder. Or your loved one can be the writer, giving you an indication as to what is most important to them. Some memories may be too painful for your elder to speak of. Don’t try to force them to share if they seem unwilling to do so. However, they may want to tell you about their past if they learn to trust that you want to know simply because you love them. Our elders are to be honored and remembered. If you have other ideas on ways to do this, please email me and I’ll be glad to share them with our
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readers. David Gear is a Certified Sage-ing Leader Intern at Sage-ing International. His email address is dave@theactiveage. com.
Saluting Our Caregiver Hereos
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Saluting Our Caregiver Hereos
Photography, flying and family keep Jack Turner going
By Debbi Elmore At 102, Jack Turner has lived through not one – but two – pandemics. He was too young to remember the Spanish flu and has not contracted COVID-19, but he experienced plenty in between. Born in Chicago, the oldest of three children in his family, Turner lost his father while still in school. “I knew I had to provide the income for my mother and siblings,” he said. “I would work on the railroad from 6 p.m. to 3 a.m. and then go to school from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Every chance I got, I slept.” He came to Kansas to serve in the Army Air Corps — predecessor and then training arm of the Air Force — during World War II. When a friend told him about an opening in photography, he jumped at the chance, attending photography school at Lowry Field in Denver. He returned to the air base in Fort Leavenworth after completing training, serving as lab chief photographer. Eventually, the base’s aerial photographer shipped out and Turner was asked to take aerial pictures of a war plant. “No, I’ve been doing most of the aerial work already and I’m not getting the pay nor the ranking for it,” he told
Jack Turner, pictured with his late wife, Isla, is an avid photographer . the adjunct. He received another stripe and a pay raise. His photography was used for
engineering, portraits, weather and aerial mapping of war plants. “In Parsons, they had a really big ammunition
factory. I flew there and took pictures. Once they saw the pictures, they were See next page
March 2021 able to secure the plants.” He recalls one incident that took place just after their base received 15 brand-new P51s, a single-seater fighter often used to escort bombers into Germany. All the pilots wanted to fly one and get their pictures taken. Jack and his pilot loaded up in an AT-6, a two-seat trainer. The pilot was up front and Turner strapped into a swivel seat in the back with his camera. The swivel seat wasn’t working, so he unstrapped to be able to move and take photos of the pilots in the P51s. He remembers the AT6 he was in going as fast as possible and the P51s going as slow as possible to stay close to each other. After taking the pictures, he waved the last P51 off. That pilot decided to play a prank, flying above them and then dropping directly in front of Turner’s plane. “It spooked my pilot, so he dropped the nose. I would have fallen out had I not got caught up in the webbing. Looking back, we always wore chutes, I probably would have been okay, but you never know.” Turner met his wife, Isla, at a USO dance in Kansas City. She had just completed nurses training in Kansas City. “I guess the rest is history,” he chuckled. “I made sure to walk her home that night, so I knew where she
Saluting Our Caregiver Hereos lived. The next time I was in Kansas City, I stopped at her place and knocked on the door. No answer, so I sat on the steps for a little while. Soon enough, here she came. When she saw me, she said, ‘Oh, you came back, did you?’” They started dating and were married a year and a half later. The newlyweds lived off base in Kansas City. By this time, he was a staff sergeant. “I was a ‘paper bag soldier,’” he says, explaining that soldiers of his rank received extra rations but had to pay for meals in the mess hall. Wanting to save money, they would take their lunch in a brown paper sack. Turner was discharged from the service on Dec. 3, 1945, in Chicago. He and his wife decided to move back to her home town of Lindsborg. “I had seen what Kansas was like and I just couldn’t see myself going back to that Chicago business again,” he says. “I was able to land a job at the local post office.” Later he worked in maintenance at a local nursing home, eventually becoming the department’s director. The Turners had four children. After his wife’s death, Turner looked at retirement communities in Wichita to be closer to a daughter who lives in Andover, eventually choosing one in east Wichita. “My great-granddaughter says, ‘I love where Pops lives. It’s
a big hotel with his own restaurant!’” Still a skilled photographer, Turner uses his talent to record special events. He is also a selftaught woodworker. “I’ve built toys for each of my kids and a walnut crib for them to use with their kids,” he says. He’s also made seven Dala rocking horses, as the traditional toys from Sweden are known. The walls of his apartment are adorned with framed photographs he has taken. One highlight of his retirement years was participating in an Honor Flight to Washington, D.C. “There was so much to see in the small amount of time. When we arrived back in Wichita it seemed Courtesy photo like there were at least Jack Turner served in Army Air Corp in WWII. 2000 people at the airport “They only allow you one ride in a welcoming us home. I had tears in my eyes to see all that support.” lifetime, unless you are 100 years old. Then you can ride every year. I rode He’s also made three Dream when I was 99, 100 and 101. Covid Flights, staged by an organization that provides seniors with flights on vintage had other plans for this year’s ride.” Stearman biplanes.
I would like to give a heartfelt thank you to all of the great people on our team at Hermes Healthcare during these difficult times. Your hard work, compassion and dedication to our patients inspires me everyday. Sincerely, Jayne Hermes, APRN Owner, Hermes Healthcare PA www.theactiveage.com
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Saluting Our Caregiver Hereos
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Saluting Our Caregiver Hereos
Station house museum tells stories of city’s firefighters
Lu Anne Stephens KMUW On Broadway, just south of Lincoln, is a Wichita landmark that is hidden in plain sight: the Kansas Firefighters Museum. The museum is small in size but uses the space wisely. The walls, ceilings — every square inch, it seems — is full of memorabilia. David Wilson — “DD” to his friends — is a retired firefighter and recording secretary for the museum. He’s passionate about the vocation and its history. The museum was once Wichita’s Fire Station No. 6; it was built in 1909. “At the time, seven firefighters were here and those seven firefighters worked seven days a week,” Wilson said. There’s a photo of the original firefighters and of the horses — Bill and Jerry — who pulled the first wagon. The horses were stabled in the firehouse on either side of the wagon. An interesting fact: Old fire stations had circular staircases or staircases that turned left or right part way up, designed with horses in mind. “Because the horses would come upstairs,” Wilson said. “Horses don’t
like to turn [a] corner.” The second floor is divided into two rooms: a dayroom that would have had a large table and chairs and a kitchen of sorts. The other side is where the men would have slept. “This is what we call the bunkroom,” Wilson said. “[I] don’t know how they had it arranged, but they had seven beds on this side.” There’s just one now, with boots next to it with the fireman’s pants tucked in. The room is filled with more history. Bright red buckets, pointy on the bottom instead of flat, to keep them from being stolen. A bucket that won’t stand up isn’t of much use to most people. There are augers, used to drill into water lines; fire trucks didn’t carry their own water and there were few hydrants in place. The fire pole also is in the bunkroom, carefully cordoned off, the opening blocked by plexiglass so people don’t try to slide down. “Most kids know better,” Wilson said. “It’s the adults I worry about more than anything, especially if you let them up here by themselves. You’ll find somebody just standing on the plexi-
David Wilson is secretary of the Kansas Firefighters Museum. glass ready to go down.” South of the building is a memorial listing the names of more than 100 Kansas firefighters who have died in the line of duty. The earliest is from 1887. Wilson and other volunteers are responsible for everything in the museum. “We’re here to help, and we’re here to tell,” Wilson said. “Everyone has a
story to tell, and we hope people come down to listen to the stories.” The Kansas Firefighters Museum is currently closed due to the pandemic but plans to open in late spring to host Honor365’s traveling Sept. 11 exhibit. For more information or to book a tour, you can visit the museum’s website or call 316-264-5990. For more photographs of the museum, visit kmuw.org.
to our Caregiver Support Group facilitators who have transformed the way Prairie View provides support to those desiring education to help them be more effective caregivers to their loved ones.
Thank you! Homestead Health Center Staff Homestead Health Center staff are to be recognized for their commitment to Homestead’s vision…. Be Exceptional, No Exceptions Mandi Turner, T-LP East Wichita
Debra Voth, LSCSW Harvey County
Andrea Reed, LMLP West Wichita
Prairie View’s Caregiver Support Groups are free to caregivers of older adults. Due to COVID protocols, all groups are currently provided in a virtual format. For information about these groups and individual caregiving sessions, please contact us.
During 2020 they have stepped up to the challenges of the pandemic, facing COVID up close and personal. The tenacious exhibit of their resilience throughout 2020 is a testament to the commitment and compassion each member of our staff has for those for whom we care. Thank you, Staff!
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Saluting Our Caregiver Hereos
Saluting Our Caregiver Heroes This resolution, introduced in the Kansas House of Represenatives on January 14, 2021, aptly sums up the feelings of Kansas residents toward their caregivers. House Concurrent Resolution No. 5005 By Representatives Ryckman, Finch, Hawkins, Sawyer and Probst A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION honoring the hard work and resiliency of frontline workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. WHEREAS, On March 13, 2020, President Trump declared a public health emergency due to the outbreak of COVID-19; and WHEREAS, COVID-19 presents a daunting challenge that our healthcare workers, food service workers, childcare workers, transportation workers and other frontline workers face everyday; and WHEREAS, The state of Kansas has called upon our frontline workers to serve their state during this pandemic; and WHEREAS, Frontline workers have answered this call and carried out critical work to protect the health and safety of our communities and minimize the disruption that COVID-19 has caused; and WHEREAS, Kansans owe a debt of gratitude to Kansas frontline workers for their selfless service during the COVID-19 pandemic: Now, therefore, Be it resolved by the House of Representatives of the State of Kansas, the Senate concurring therein: That the State of Kansas honors the hard work and resiliency of all frontline workers who continue to serve Kansas during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Photos by Fernando Salazar/ Wichita Journalism Collaborative
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