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6/21, 10am – 4pm, Open Garden Day on the Longest Day

Smell the Roses! 40 of 80 rose plants are wheelchair-accessible.

Smell the Roses! 40 of 80 rose plants are wheelchair-accessible.
Smell the Roses! 40 of 80 rose plants are wheelchair-accessible.
SPECIAL EVENT: 6/21, 10am – 4pm: Open Garden Day on the Longest Day.
Stop by anytime during this event to:

  1. Enjoy our Wheelchair-Accessible Gardens
  2. Experience our Memory Café in the Garden Program
  3. Learn more about our Free Programs for Dementia Care-Partners and People Living with Dementia
  4. Donate to Alzheimer’s Association MA/NH
  5. Donate to Grow our Accessible Gardens
"Mister Lincoln" Rose, MargFMac Front Garden Loop, 0.1 mile
“Mister Lincoln” Rose, MargFMac Front Garden Loop, 0.1 mile

ACCESSIBLE Rose Rodeo List
ACCESSIBLE Rose Rodeo List
The Rose Rodeo 2018 List features 78 plants – 40 are wheelchair-accessible. The four access categories are:

  1. Wheelchair-Accessible (green)
  2. Walker/Cane-Accessible (blue)
  3. Walk on Uneven Flat Grass (yellow)
  4. Walk up/down hill or steps (red)

We look forward to seeing you on Thursday, 6/21, 10am – 4pm.

Moving forward with a listening heart,
vision, inquiry, and action,
~ Mary

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Free Programs for Care-Partners! June Updates

Rose Rodeo Begins! Peonies Finishing...

Rose Rodeo Begins! Peonies Finishing...
Rose Rodeo Begins! Peonies Finishing…
GROUP SUPPORT: “I was dying for information and support when I found (and joined) this group…” a member from our dementia-caregiver support group emphatically expressed recently. Dementia Care-Partners: please know we have opened our support group (meeting twice monthly) to all ages of care-partners, dealing with all types of dementia. We continue to be specialists (survivors) of young-onset dementia (onset between ages 45-65), and the group will always have this specialty as long as I am the facilitator. We meet the 2nd and 4th Thursdays of the month, 6pm – 7:30pm. Our groups are sponsored by Alzheimer’s Association and the Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration. Please contact me if you are interested in joining us.

INDIVIDUAL SUPPORT: Any care-partner, age 8-88+, may schedule with me, free-of-charge:

  1. A Spiritual-care visit (30 or 60 minutes)
  2. 2 Hour Respite Retreat
  3. 2 Hour Forest or Garden Therapy

MEMORY CAFE in the GARDEN®: Our next event is July 21, 10am – 12pm. We want more families living with dementia to join us at this monthly event!
Here’s a few highlights from this past weekend (Sat):
We served five people. Three residents and two staff from L’Arche Haverhill. Drums & Dancing was the favorite activity. One resident chose to not participate.

Opting Out, at the Welcome Area
Opting Out, at the Welcome Area

"Band of Hope" Drum Group
“Band of Hope” Drum Group

SUNDAY STROLL: Our next event is July 22, 11am – 2pm.
We want more families (with a member with wheels) to join us at this monthly event!
Here’s a few highlights from this past weekend (Sun):
We served five people. Two residents and two staff from MA DDS Topsfield House. One resident chose to not participate.

Our Topsfield Neighbors Enjoy Sitting under Norwegian Spruce Trees
Our Topsfield Neighbors Enjoy Sitting under Norwegian Spruce Trees

SPECIAL EVENT: 6/21, 10am – 4pm: Open Garden Day on the Longest Day.
Stop by anytime during this event to:

  1. Enjoy our Wheelchair-Accessible Gardens
  2. Experience our Memory Café in the Garden Program
  3. Learn more about our Free Programs for Dementia Care-Partners and People Living with Dementia
  4. Donate to Alzheimer’s Association MA/NH
  5. Donate to Grow our Accessible Gardens

Moving forward with a listening heart,
vision, inquiry, and action,
~ Mary

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June is Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month

Please, help us raise funds to support the great works of Alzheimer’s Association!
Visit Our MaryMac Missions Longest Day Online Team Page

We’ll also be taking cash and check donations at our event on 6/21:
Open Garden Day on the Longest Day, 10am – 4pm

Free-of-charge June Programs for Care-Partners and People Living with Dementia or Disability (Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month):
June 2 & 16 – Memory Café in the Garden®, 10am – 12pm
June 14 & 28 – Group Support for Dementia Caregivers (all ages, all types of dementia, including FTD and Younger Onset ALZ), 6pm – 7:30pm
June 17 – Father’s Day Sunday Stroll for wheelchair-users and care-partners, 11am – 2pm
June 9 – Topsfield Strawberry Fest, 10am – 4pm (at the Topsfield Common)
June 21 – Open Garden Day on the Longest Day (Fundraiser for Alzheimer’s Association), 10am – 4pm.

Download and Print our June Programs Flyer

Please consider posting our June Programs Flyer at your local Place of Work, Library or Community Board North of Boston! We want more participants enjoying and benefitting from our programs- all free-of-charge!

Thanks!
Mary

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SeniorCare Inc. Visit

SeniorCare Team Picnic, 6/1/18

SeniorCare Team Picnic, 6/1/18
SeniorCare Team Picnic, with Edith Heyck, 6/1/18
A couple of weeks ago, we were at an EXPO for NorthShore seniors, with the MA State Agency who oversees our Northeast Region: SeniorCare Inc. The CEO, Scott Trenti, said to me, “Mary, we haven’t been to your place yet!” I suggested he bring a group from the Gloucester, MA main office for a picnic. They came today, June 1, for a presentation, physical tour, and picnic. They shared they are interested in replicating what we’ve done, in terms of our wheelchair-accessible garden and Memory Café program, in the Gloucester/Cape Ann area. In the presentation, I shared our history, our four programs (Sunday Stroll, Memory Café, Group Support, Individual Support), and our mission, vision, and values. Edith Heyck, Rest.Stop.Ranch Manager, assisted me with hosting the group of six.

It was a healing moment to host these state government representatives at our home and garden. The Dementia Friendly MA Movement means our state of MA government is now prioritizing support for families living with dementia and its effects. The local government now cares and shares our passion to make a difference. This is a great feeling of solidarity – we are no longer alone on the front line.

Moving forward with a listening heart,
vision, inquiry, and action,
~ Mary

Scott, Mary, Deborah, Michelle, Carrie, Dori: Caring faces of local state government
Scott, Mary, Deborah, Michelle, Carrie, Dori: Caring faces of local state government
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Access Improved to Outhouse & Cottage

A Stone-Dust Driveway, Installed 5/21/18

A Stone-Dust Driveway, Installed 5/21/18
A Stone-Dust Driveway, Installed 5/21/18
Dan Jackson and helper Matt helped us install a stone-dust driveway yesterday, 5/21/18. In the morning, Bentley Warren Trucking out of Ipswich delivered a tri axle of stone dust near the Caretaker’s Cottage. In the afternoon, from 2:30 to 3:30pm, Dan and Matt spread the stone dust using a Bobcat and rakes. “This has gotta be the fastest driveway install ever,” Matt expressed a few times.

Karl will finish the project by Thursday ~ he’s putting some finishing touches on the edges, and will stamp the whole surface last.

I enjoyed my outdoor office yesterday in the beautiful 75 and sunny weather – bench, dog, pickup – it’s a great feeling to have left the corporate cubicle.

Moving forward with a listening heart,
vision, inquiry, and action,
~ Mary

Tri Axle Truck, Bentley Warren, Ipswich
Tri Axle Truck, Bentley Warren, Ipswich
A Tri Axle of Stone Dust
A Tri Axle of Stone Dust
Morning Sun on the Stone Dust
Morning Sun on the Stone Dust
Bench, Dog, Pickup ~ Outdoor Office
Bench, Dog, Pickup ~ Outdoor Office
Lily of the Valley, Cut Flower Garden Trail
Lily of the Valley, Cut Flower Garden Trail
Matt rakes Stone Dust
Matt rakes Stone Dust
Dan Jackson with Matt, raking Stone Dust
Dan Jackson with Matt, raking Stone Dust
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Kiosk Flower Show Installed

'Flower Show' Tray Offers Portable Access & Education

'Flower Show' Tray Offers Portable Access & Education
‘Flower Show’ Tray Offers Portable Access & Education
Monday, May 21, 7am, I installed our “Kiosk Flower Show.” I aim to update the show daily with fresh flowers from our garden, and provide identification for public education. We have noticed bicyclists and walkers stopping by to read our kiosk, and this will be added fun and joy for them. Additionally, the flower tray allows me (and others) to bring the fresh flower show to anyone unable to visit our gardens.

Moving forward with a listening heart,
vision, inquiry, and action,
~ Mary

Kiosk Flower Show
Kiosk Flower Show
Kiosk Offers Street-side Access & Eduction
Kiosk Offers Street-side Access & Education
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North Shore Alzheimer’s Partners Visit

North Shore Alzheimer's Partners Visit Rest.Stop.Ranch, 5/15/18

North Shore Alzheimer's Partners Visit Rest.Stop.Ranch, 5/15/18
North Shore Alzheimer’s Partners Visit Rest.Stop.Ranch, 5/15/18
Since 2010 I’ve been a member of the North Shore Alzheimer’s Partnership. Historically, it’s been a group of mostly business people involved in serving families dealing with dementia, who meet monthly to network, share updates about services, and plan educational events in the community. I remember in 2010 I introduced myself as a survivor of dementia-caregiving and passionately expressed through tears, “I’m making it my business to make a difference for families impacted by Alzheimer’s.

Yesterday was our first time to host this group at our home and gardens. Group members (11 total guests) appreciated the change of meeting environment (most meetings are held at long-term-care and dementia-care residential centers), and enjoyed a tour of the Caretaker’s Cottage and Accessible Gardens.

Current Co-Chairs of the group are: Donna Sordello of Spano & Dawicki Law Firm, and Karen Halloran of Care One LLC. Christine Bunnell is the new Alzheimer’s Association Regional Manager (Greater Boston & Northeastern MA), and presented updates from the Association. We discussed and began planning for a fall community education event.

On the tour, I was asked when the idea for our Accessible Gardens came to us… I shared it was Mother’s Day, 2008, when we took my mom Margaret to Tower Hill Botanical in Boylston, MA, and we were disappointed that there wasn’t more available for wheelchair-users and care-partners to interact with (we didn’t smell the roses, or anything else, that day). By 2011, we had designed and implemented a highly interactive and therapeutic experience where people of all abilities may see, smell, touch, pick, and taste many different flowers and fruits. Each year, the interactive and therapeutic experiences available in our Accessible Gardens grow.

Group members enjoyed the visit and plan to return soon with small groups from their dementia-care residential care locations (assisted living and long-term-care).

Our next Memory Café in the Garden® is this coming Saturday, 10am – 12pm. Highlights will include smelling the lilacs and playing with goats! All are welcome, free-of-charge.

Moving forward with a listening heart,
vision, inquiry, and action,
~ Mary

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April Showers Grow Inclusion & Access

Debbie's Hat

Maggie and Joan Chiffer Facilitate Drumming & Dancing Group 4/21/18
Maggie and Joan Chiffer Facilitate Drumming & Dancing Group 4/21/18
Our Saturday, 4/21, Memory Café in the Garden® hosted six participants, five volunteers, and one staff member. Four of the participants were from the L’Arche Community in Haverhill, Dan (staff/driver), Debbie, Ryan, and Donald. Two participants were Topsfield residents, Gloria and Bizzy. The volunteers included Sue, Bonnie, and Penny from the Topsfield Council on Aging, and Joan and Maggie Chiffer, a Topsfield mom and daughter (a high-school student, creator and facilitator of the program “Dance out Dementia“). Topsfield Cultural Council funded the Sun Hat Making activity for our March indoor Memory Café at River Road, which was cancelled due to snow, and rescheduled for our Saturday Memory Café in the Garden®. Raquel helped me as a Program Assistant to set-up, break-down, and provide general assistance during the event.

As guests arrive to our Memory Café in the Garden®, they are able to choose from a few options:

  • Enjoy the gardens/picnic
  • Enjoy Bird Tales (bird observation & play)
  • Enjoy Fish Tales (fish observation & play)
  • Enjoy Drums & Dance (music and movement)
  • Enjoy Flower Fun (craft)

Dan, Debbie, and Bonnie at the Craft Table
Dan, Debbie, and Bonnie at the Craft Table
Bonnie assisted at the “Flower Fun” area. She helped Debbie make a very stylish hat featuring silk flowers and craft butterflies.

Sue speaks with Karl, Karl and Bizzy dress garden beds with compost
Sue speaks with Karl, Karl and Bizzy dress garden beds with compost
When I asked Gloria if she and Bizzy would like to make sun hats (wide-brim hats and ball caps were available to decorate with paint and silk flowers), she suggested another option when she saw at Karl in the distance, working in the garden. “I think Bizzy would enjoy helping Karl with the garden.” Bizzy chose to help Karl and me with garden chores, including dressing garden beds with compost and filling bird feeders.

Drums & Dance is a Favorite Activity
Drums & Dance is a Favorite Activity
Maggie and Joan Chiffer started playing around at the “Drums and Dance” area – Dan, Debbie and Bonnie noticed, and decided to walk over and join. What started as play with percussive instruments, became body percussion and dance moves with song, and finished many minutes later with ribbon wands up, down, and around. This activity was enjoyed by the majority of the group for the majority of the time.

Drumming turns into Dancing
Drumming turns into Dancing
Dancing with Hands in the Air
Dancing & Singing with Hands in the Air
Dancing with Ribbon Wands
Dancing with Ribbon Wands

Debbie and Bonnie Appreciate their Sun Hat Creation
Debbie and Bonnie Appreciate their Sun Hat Creation
Towards the end of the program, having had the breeze blow the sun hat off Debbie’s head, Bonnie suggested she bring the hat back next time to add a tying ribbon. As she climbed back into the van to depart, Debbie expressed, “I love leaving our home to come here for a fun time!”

At our Sunday Stroll program, 4/22, Earth Day, we hosted one volunteer, Marlene, three participants from a NE ARC Group home in Danvers, Fatoumata (staff/driver), Gary and David, and one local Topsfield resident and friend, Darcy Fulton, also a landscape designer. Darcy stopped in to see what was new. Fatoumata assisted Gary (wheelchair-assistance) and David (walking) in getting around and experiencing the garden’s highlights. During their visit, we learned more about non-verbal communication through a communication book Gary shared with us. Gary gave me and Karl two sticks of Juicy Fruit gum, which we enjoyed. Fatoumata was surprised we didn’t have plants for sale, to take home. She suggested this would be nice for the future.

The horticultural event of the weekend was witnessing our first standard-size yellow trumpet daffodils open-up. Crocuses are still blooming, along with Ornithogalum balansae.

Moving forward with a listening heart,
vision, inquiry, and action,
~ Mary

Debbie's Sun Hat Creation
Debbie’s Sun Hat Creation
This Event is Sponsored by Topsfield Cultural Council A-Frame Sign
This Event is Sponsored by Topsfield Cultural Council A-Frame Sign
Bizzy and Karl Talk
Bizzy and Karl Talk
Bizzy helps to fill the bird feeders
Bizzy helps to fill the bird feeders
A Non-verbal Communication Book

Yellow Trumpet Daffodil

Purple Crocuses

Ornithogalum balansae
Ornithogalum balansae