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March/April 2017

RSVP Volunteer Drivers – Making a Difference, One Mile at a Time RSVP volunteer Bette Marshall has been a volunteer driver for 10 years. She was a school bus driver prior to retirement, so in her case, it’s only natural that she continues to provide rides for seniors and handicapped individuals in Jackson County. Bette is very passionate about what she does and it shows. Bette says, “There’s no way that I can sit and stare at four walls all day for seven days a week and not go crazy”. Jackson County Volunteer drivers provide rides to medical appointments for individuals who are sixty years and older or disabled. So after retirement when she heard about the opportunity to become a volunteer driver in Jackson County, she signed up. Because there was such a need for this service, Bette was able to start right away. Many of the recipients are receiving rides to medical, dental, and eye appointments. However, some clients need more frequent rides to appointments to receive dialysis or radiation treatments. Volunteer drivers transport clients to appointments in La Crosse (primarily), Eau Claire, Marshfield, and Tomah. Ride recipients need to be a resident of Jackson County and the volunteer drivers pick clients up at their home. Including Betty, there are currently ten RSVP volunteers that are providing volunteer driving services for the Jackson County Aging Unit. It is a very rewarding experience for her and she feels blessed to be able to help people. Bette has many ‘regulars’ and remains very committed to this vital volunteer service. Spending five to seven hours with a client puts you on the fast track to making a lasting connection. Many of the clients have no one else that is able to take them to their medical appointments. Their family is either too far away or are not available. Some clients just don’t want to have to ask their family for help, thinking it will burden their loved one(s). Without this service, many individuals would not be able to access the healthcare that they need. Bette has formed special relationships with most recipients and some call her now just to talk. Bette also has some clients that call her to check her availability before making an appointment through the Jackson County Aging Unit. Continued on Page 3



RSVP Contact Information

Have You Moved?

Western Dairyland EOC Inc. is a private, nonWe want to hear from you! profit community action agency established in 1966 for the purpose of alleviating poverty-related The RSVP Program has had the pleasure of working conditions and assisting low-income families to achieve their economic self-reliance. We welcome with many wonderful volunteers and watching the your comments & suggestions about the Western impact each person has made in their own community Dairyland RSVP program. through volunteerism. Address: Western Dairyland EOC Inc. RSVP Program 23122 Whitehall Road Independence, WI 54747

We ask that you please help the RSVP office stay updated. Are you still volunteering? Perhaps you are not feeling well or maybe you have been physically

Phone: 715-985-2391 ext. 1205

unable to volunteer due to an illness or surgery?

Office hours: Monday - Friday from 8 a.m.- 4:30 p.m.

enjoying more time with your family which may result

Website: www.westerndairyland.org Email Address:

We also know summers are busy and you may be

in being too busy to volunteer at this time. Whatever the reason, we would really like to hear

from you. To insure that you receive RSVP volunteer recognition and to assist you with future RSVP volunteer opportunities, we ask that you be sure to record all volunteer hours at your volunteer work site. Feel free to contact us at anytime; we welcome your input, concerns and volunteer stories.

Call us at 1-800-782-1063 ext. 1205 or 1232.

We look forward to hearing from you! The availability of more time now in their lives is just one of the reasons many volunteer. More important, they want to be agents for change in their communities. According to this research, their motivations include: · · ·

99% want to help others 99% want to make a meaningful difference in their community 99% want to provide assistance to causes they care about

* See more at: https://goo.gl/S969j4

R S V P V O L U N T E E R D R I V E R S – J A C K S O N C O U N T Y |3 RSVP Volunteer Drivers continued... She has even chosen to switch personal appointments to be available for others- not liking to have to turn down someone who relies on this service for a ride. Bette feels that she may need the services someday so she is happy to do it for other people while she can for as long as she is able. Bette states that there is a lot of things that she can’t do, but driving isn’t one of them. It is her way to give back. She is very passionate about her volunteer activity and takes it very seriously. She said it is as good for her as it is for those who receive her services. When you ask Bette what is most memorable about being an RSVP volunteer driver, she simply states that it’s the connection that you make with each ride recipient. Many times you are seeing them more than their family or friends. Sometimes you are their only outlet to help them through their hardships. Bette states that they begin to trust and confide in you. For example, some of the recipients are at a very vulnerable time in their life, perhaps receiving radiation, and they are happy to have someone there for them, especially if they don’t have family. Not only are the volunteers providing a ride but they are providing a listening ear too. Bette states that she likes being there for themit’s good for her too. She adds that some ride recipients are reserved at first, but she just ‘jumps in and makes them comfortable’. Lyn Gates, Jackson County Aging Unit Coordinator, plays an integral part in this process. She gets to know her volunteers and clients, allowing her to ‘fit’ volunteer drivers with clients needing rides whenever possible. Lyn and Bette both state that it is very disheartening when a client passes away because you develop a special bond with them. Bette also mentions that most clients are ‘gems’- they are so appreciative of this service. Bette said that it is often asked, “Are you sure that we don’t have to pay you?” Bette simply answers, “No, because then it wouldn’t be volunteering.” In 2016, Jackson County volunteer drivers, using their personal vehicles, made over 900 trips totaling over 51,000 miles, contributing over 1,800 hours of volunteer service! Jackson County Aging and Disability Services Unit has been a Partnering Site of RSVP for nineteen years. Lyn shares that this is the first year that she has had to say ‘no’ to clients simply because there were not enough volunteers to fulfill the amount of requests coming in. Because it is not ideal to turn anyone away for services, there is a huge need for more individuals to become volunteer drivers. We will work with your schedule to find times and days of the week that work best for you. You are even able to sign up as a substitute and “snowbirds” are also welcome. Volunteers will receive mileage at the current IRS reimbursement rate if they use their personal vehicle. Volunteers are needed to provide rides one or more days per week, and primarily for longer trips. Jackson County Interfaith Caregivers program has been assisting to fill the need with local, shorter trips. If you don’t mind driving and would like a chance to meet new people, this rewarding opportunity truly has a lot to offer. Please contact the RSVP Program office at 715-985-2391 Ext. 1205 to get started!



National Senior Corps week offers our RSVP Program a platform for recognizing each and every volunteer for their service. It is important that everyone is aware of the impact that individuals age 55+ have on their communities (Buffalo, Eau Claire, Jackson, and Trempealeau counties), as well as nationwide! Your dedication to volunteering is creating a long lasting effect on generations to come. We appreciate each and every one of our RSVP volunteers as well as our partnering sites for offering a place for volunteers to serve. The RSVP Program would not be what it is without YOU! Take a look at the picture below. It demonstrates that our [Senior Corps] RSVP Program is an important piece of the national service puzzle. It is definitely something to be proud of!

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Every worker’s dream is to enjoy a secure retirement. Social Security is here to secure today and tomorrow. Part of that commitment is ensuring you have the most up-to-date information when you make your retirement decisions. There are also changes for new Social Security retirement beneficiaries. Full retirement age is 66 and two months for people born 01/02/1955 through 01/01/1956. They are eligible to receive permanently reduced retirement benefits when they turn 62 in 2017. Full retirement age is the age at which a person first becomes entitled to full (unreduced) retirement benefits. It had been 65 for many years. However, beginning with people born in 1938 that age has been gradually increasing until it reaches 67 for people born in 1960 and later. As the full retirement age continues to increase, there are greater reductions in benefits if you claim them before you reach full retirement age. For example, if you apply for benefits in 2017 at age 62, your monthly benefit amount will be reduced nearly 26 percent. You can find your full retirement age, along with other important information, on their website. Some things you must remember when you’re thinking about retirement:

1. You may start receiving Social Security benefits as early as age 62 or as late as age 70. The longer you wait, the higher your monthly benefit will be. 2. Your monthly benefits are reduced permanently if you start them any time before full retirement age. 3. If you die, your retirement date can affect the payment to your surviving widow or widower. If you started receiving retirement benefits before full retirement age, we cannot pay your surviving spouse their full retirement age benefit amount. We base their benefit on the amount of your reduced benefits. 4. If you elect to receive benefits before you reach full retirement age, you should understand how continuing to work affects your benefits. You can learn more by reading their publication, When to Start Receiving Benefits or visiting their Retirement Planner. *See More at:: https://blog.ssa.gov/2017-brings-new-changes-to-full-retirement-age/

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Chippewa Valley Museum (Eau Claire)- Variety of opportunities available! Please see the options below: Front Desk and Museum Store: Greet visitors, accept admission fees & payment for merchandise as well as providing visitors with a museum map & brief description of exhibits. Ice Cream Parlor: Create ice cream treats with our turn of the century soda fountain in operation since the 1890’s in the Chippewa Valley ! Serve customers, accept payments for treats sold, & maintain a clean environment. Sunnyview School House: Greet visitors & share information about the school’s history. Sunnyview was a rural 1-room school active for 80 yrs between 1881 & 1962. Open Memorial Day - Labor Day only. Anderson Log House: Greet visitors & share how the house reflects its owner’s lifestyle & Scandinavian heritage. (Norwegian immigrants Lars and Grethe Anderson raised a large family in this modest log house). Open Memorial Day-Labor Day only. Docent (tour guide): Provide tours for groups ranging in age from preschool through adult. Tours vary in length from 20, 30 or 60 minutes. Average time commitment is one-two hours per visit. Seasonal tours run from April through October (includes the Anderson Log House and Sunnyview School). Year round tours include the Schlegelmilch House & exhibits: Changing Currents; Farm Life; Picture of Health; & History Quest. Programs/Special Events: Assist the Museum Educator with a wide variety of activities & programs for families & children. Most activities are geared toward specific age groups, including preschool (3, 4 & 5-yr-olds) & school age (6, 7, 8, 9 & 10-yr-olds). Volunteers supply the “extra hands” needed to help the children & their parents participate in activities & complete projects. Dove Healthcare (Eau Claire)-Volunteers are needed to visit and/or read to residents as well as assisting staff by helping on various outings. Maybe you would prefer a 1-time opportunity to volunteer? On Friday, May 19th, Dove Healthcare is hosting a Motorcycle Show. If you have a motorcycle you would like to bring to the show, please RSVP by Friday, May 12th by calling Kris with Dove Healthcare at 715-552-1030. Volunteers are also needed to assist staff by getting residents (primarily in wheelchairs) out to the show.

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Food Safety Myths We learn by example, and unfortunately some examples are just not good. There are too many inaccurate food safety ideas passed down from generation to generation. Below are some of those ideas. MYTH:


It’s OK to thaw meat on the counter. Since it starts out frozen, bacteria isn’t really a problem.

Actually, bacteria grow surprisingly rapidly at room temperatures, so the counter is never a place you should thaw foods.

To get rid of any bacteria on my meat, poultry, or seafood, I should rinse off the juices with water first.

Actually, rinsing meat, poultry, or seafood with water can increase your chance of food poisoning by splashing juices (and any bacteria they might contain) onto your sink and counters.

The only reason to let food sit after it’s In fact, letting microwaved food sit for a few minutes (“standing been microwaved is to make sure you time”) helps your food cook more completely by allowing colder don’t burn yourself on food that’s too hot. areas of food time to absorb heat from hotter areas of food. Leftovers are safe to eat until they smell bad.

The kinds of bacteria that cause food poisoning do not affect the look, smell, or taste of food.

(GWAAR Food Safety Scraps September 2012)

Serve Safe Leftovers · Leftovers should be eaten, frozen or discarded within 3 to 4 days. Use food storage labels to help keep track. · Refrigerate cooked leftovers promptly - within 2 hours. Use an appliance thermometer in your refrigerator to ensure it's at 40 °F or below. · Divide leftovers into smaller portions and store in shallow containers in the refrigerator. · Wash hands with warm water and soap for 20 seconds before and after handling food. · Reheat cooked leftovers to 165 °F as measured with a food thermometer. Sauces, soups and gravies should be reheated by bringing them to a boil. · When microwaving leftovers, make sure there are no cold spots in food (where bacteria can survive). Cover food, stir and rotate for even cooking. *See more at: http://www.fda.gov/default.htm

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SLEEP BETTER WITH THESE TIPSTips To Get Better Sleep 1. Stick to a sleep schedule- Go to bed and get up at the same time every day, even on weekends, holidays and days off. Being consistent reinforces your body's sleep-wake cycle and helps promote better sleep at night. 2. Pay attention to what you eat and drink- Don't go to bed either hungry or stuffed. Your discomfort might keep you up. Also limit how much you drink before bed, to prevent disruptive middle-of-the-night trips to the toilet. Nicotine, caffeine and alcohol deserve caution, too. The stimulating effects of nicotine and caffeine take hours to wear off and can wreak havoc on quality sleep. And even though alcohol might make you feel sleepy at first, it can disrupt sleep later in the night.

3. Create a bedtime ritual- Do the same things each night to tell your body it's time to wind down. This might include taking a warm bath or shower, reading a book, or listening to soothing music — preferably with the lights dimmed. Relaxing activities can promote better sleep by easing the transition between wakefulness and drowsiness. Be wary of using the TV or other electronic devices as part of your bedtime ritual. Some research suggests that screen time or other media use before bedtime interferes with sleep. 4. Get comfortable- Create a room that's ideal for sleeping. Often, this means cool, dark and quiet. Consider using room-darkening shades, earplugs, a fan or other devices to create an environment that suits your needs. Your mattress and pillow can contribute to better sleep, too. If you share your bed, make sure there's enough room for two. If you have pets try to set limits on how often they sleep with you or insist on separate sleeping quarters. 5. Limit daytime naps- Long daytime naps can interfere with nighttime sleep, especially if you're struggling with insomnia or poor sleep quality at night. If you choose to nap during the day, limit yourself to about 10 to 30 minutes and make it during the midafternoon. 6. Include physical activity in your daily routine- Regular physical activity can promote better sleep, helping you to fall asleep faster and to enjoy deeper sleep. Timing is important, though. If you exercise too close to bedtime, you might be too energized to fall asleep. If this seems to be an issue for you, exercise earlier in the day. 7. Manage stress- When you have too much to do and too much to think about your sleep is likely to suffer. To help restore peace, consider healthy ways to manage stress. Start with the basics, such as getting organized, setting priorities and delegating tasks. Give yourself permission to take a break when you need one. Before bed, jot down what's on your mind and then set it aside for tomorrow. *See more at: https://goo.gl/j7fjSX

❋♦ ✁✂ ✄☎✆♦✝ ✞✁✟✟ ✠✡☛☞☞✡✌✍☞✡✌✌✍✎ ✏ ✑✑✑✝✳✟✒✄✝✞♦✓

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RSVP Volunteer Office 23122 Whitehall Road PO Box 125 Independence, WI 54747


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Western Dairyland’s RSVP program serves Buffalo, Eau Claire, Jackson and Trempealeau counties.


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March April 2017 RSVP newsletter  

The Retired & Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) connects individuals age 55 or older with meaningful volunteer opportunities in their communit...

March April 2017 RSVP newsletter  

The Retired & Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) connects individuals age 55 or older with meaningful volunteer opportunities in their communit...


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