Just For Seniors



Remembering Materials

The following materials are suitable for group or individual use and are available for loan through the CEF Outreach Department. 

Click on one of the links below to see what topics are available.

Please call Karen Batchelder at 563-5190 x 20 for more information or to reserve a kit.

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Taking time to listen to another person reminisce gives the powerful unspoken message that "Who you are, what you have done, and the things you care about are very important to me." The opportunity to reminisce can help our elders unlock what may be long forgotten resources within themselves. Remembering a time when they felt strong and capable, when they overcame problems, made difficult choices, or dealt with losses, can again fill them with a sense of power and capability. Research has found that older people who undergo life review are less withdrawn and apathetic. Reminiscing promotes mental and emotional well-being and combats isolation, loneliness and depression. Plus, it's just plan fun for both the listener and the rememberer!

Bi-Folkal Kits

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These prepackaged kits come with everything necessary to help you present a creative, stimulating program that involves use of the five senses. Kit activities can easily be adapted to match the age and skill level of your audience. Activities vary with the kit topic and include everything from crossword puzzles to mask patterns. A variety of objects with shapes, textures or scents add another dimension to the site and sound of each program. Each kit comes in an easily transportable traveling case and contains the following items:

  • A program manual (to help you plan your program). Each manual contains:
    • A chapter on intergenerational ideas and resources as well as step-by-step instructions for using each kit piece.
    • 25 copies of a participant booklet which prompts singing and discussion. Each booklet is printed in LARGE TYPE and includes sing-along songs, poetry, illustrations and other discussion starters.
    • Scripts for a skit or short play in LARGE PRINT.
    • 80 slides in a carousel plus a video cassette version of the slides.
    • Two cassette tapes to accompany the slides. On one side of Tape 2, voices and a piano perform the songs in the sing-along booklet.
    • Memorabilia for all five senses that can be passed around the group to stimulate discussion.

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For further ideas about how to use the Bi-Folkal kits, request the "Learning From the Past" guide. A hand-held slide viewer is available for loan from the Outreach Department, and slide projectors may be borrowed from the AV Department.

Kit Topics:

NEW! Remembering the 50's
Remembering the Home Front
Remembering Birthdays
Remembering Music
Remembering County Fairs
Remembering 1924
Remembering the Depression
Remembering Pets
Remembering Fall
Remembering School Days
Remembering Farm Days
Remembering Summertime
Remembering the Fashions
Remembering Train Rides
Remembering Fun & Games
Remembering Work Life
Remembering Home
Remembering Automobiles


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In addition to the complete kits listed above, we have four "mini kits" that are also produced by Bi-Folkal. These kits are designed for a shorter program series. Each mini kit contains a leader's guide or manual, slides in a carousel tray with audio tape narration, a videocassette, 25 reproducible handouts and a skit or play. Mini kits are available on these topics:

Remembering Aprons
Remembering Friends
Remembering Christmas
Remembering Valentine's Day

SLIDEAS (Slides + Ideas)

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Slideas are another effective and easy to use program aid. We currently have eight volumes available for loan on the topics listed below. Each volume is packaged in a hard cover three ring binder and contains the following materials to support four program topics:

  • Slides - twenty in a plastic sleeve, ready to use with a slide projector or hand-held viewer which may also be borrowed. Historical black and white and current color slides offer the focus for remembering a time or topic in the past, or for learning more about it today.
  • Guide - a script to read with the sides allows you to go through the program without stopping or to discuss each slide individually (you set the pace).
  • Activities - ideas to expand your program into a whole series that you can use with little or no cost.
  • Discussion starters - thought provoking questions to think and talk about relate to the topic or individual slide.
  • Resource List - books, records, songs, poetry or a film especially chosen for older adults.
SLIDEA Topics:

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Volume I: Sweet Memories, Mothers, Vacations, Advertising
Volume II: The Joy of Food, Weddings, Elections, Quilts
Volume III: Spring in Bloom, Summer Porches, Fall Color, Winter Snow & Ice
Volume IV: Shopping in the Old Days, Postcards, Fathers, Table Manners
Volume V: My Favorite Toy, Toy Store Window, Our Heroes, How to Be a Kid Again
Volume VI: Reading, Airplanes, School, Thanksgiving
Volume VIII: Christmas, New Years

Visit Kits

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These kits can be a great help to volunteer visitors, family members, and others who visit with older adults. Each kit contains materials that the visitor can use to look at and talk about during a home or hospital visit. The kits contain a "Time Well Spent" manual, historical photographs, reproductions from old catalogs and magazines and special props. Visit kits are available on the following topics:

Main Street
Table Games

First Writes

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Each "First Writes" volume contains forty sentence completion exercises for writing and discussion with older adults. These lessons are suitable for groups, visits, or individuals. At least one page of sentences prompts the memories that turn into stories to share on each topic. These large print lessons can be photocopied and are conveniently bound together in a three ring binder. A "How to Do It" chapter is especially helpful. Lesson titles include:

I Am, Home Remedies, School Days, A Memorable Teacher, Birthdays, Toys, My Unforgettable Moments, Weddings, My Heroes, Friends, Shopping in the Good Old Days, Colors in My Life, Early Appliances and Other Conveniences, My Relatives, Jewelry, Doctors in My Day, The Silver Screen, Trips and Travel - Travel and Trips, From Victrola To Television, Home, Table and Chairs, The Weather, Flowers in My Life, Bridges, Superstitions, My Kind of Music, Books in My Life, Old-Time Religion, Happy New Year, Eastertime, When It's Springtime, Memories of Mother, Memories of Father, When the Fourth Was Glorious, The Long Hot Summers, Heigh Ho! Off to the Fair, Eyewitness to History: Assassination, I Give Thanks For, Eyewitness to History: Pearl Harbor and WWII, and Christmastime.

More Writes and Visits:

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Now I'm Going to Be a Teacher, Changes in Our Lives, Personal Changes in My Life, Telephones, Recipes, Hats, Pet Peeves, Cure-alls, Laughter, What's In a Name, Parades, Hair Care and Styles, Shoes, Spring Housecleaning, Winter Fun, Christmas Shopping, Souvenirs, Reunions, Confidence, Noise, Hankering For Handkerchiefs, The Subject is Art, I Wish I Had a Picture, Notions and Sundries, Church Memories, Dollars and Sense, Quilts, Blankets, and Bedspreads, Cosmetics, Aprons: On the Endangered List!, Windows, Candy, The Wives of the Presidents, Poetry, Patriotism, Chairs, I Must Be Dreaming, For the Birds, I've Set My Sights, No Accounting for Taste, Trees, and Valentines.

Picture Sets from Eldergames

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The goal of Eldergames,a non-profit organization, is to provide family members, recreational therapists and activities directors with simple and inexpensive activities for older people. Eldergames produces a variety of materials:

Flashback - provides a glimpse of familiar people from the past. Each set contains 24 pictures on 8 ½ x 11 cards with a caption on the back. "Dramatic Stars" and "Music and Comedy Stars" contain photos of never-to-be-forgotten movie stars from the golden years of 1927 to 1947 and include a description of each star's impact on the movie-going public. "Precious Moments" (graduation, weddings, the birth of a child, family vacations) and "Seems Like Yesterday" both look at family relationships and day to day activities of the past.

Imagine That! and Imagine This! are designed to entertain, encourage laughter and stimulate imagination and memory. Using a series of 24 witty pictures, participants are asked to let their "minds run free" and imagine what might have caused a particular intriguing situation and what might happen next. Photos are on 8 ½ x 11 cards with discussion questions printed on the back.

Actiphiles include photocopy masters in large print for more than a dozen activities on a single topic. There are skits, poems, short stories, recipes, songs, writing exercises and more. Topics include: Valentine's Day, Arbor Day, Fourth of July, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's.

How Things Have Changed (compared with today). These folders cover topics such as: Town Life, Fashion, Leisure Time, and Home Life.

Picture Sets from BiFolkal Kits are worth a thousand memories when you look at them with older adults. The photos and drawings in these sets are suitable for discussion groups and one-to-one visits. Topics include: Days of Lumbering, Wisconsin Circus Days, 19th Century Skills and Crafts, Paws for Pictures, Up and Down the Streets of Town, and First Killing Frost.

Stirring Up Memories contain approximately 50 large print recipes for homemade bread, popcorn, butter, and tea.

Almost Anything For a Laugh is a collection of short skits for older adults that encourage discussion and provide plenty of laughs.

The Challenge of an Aging Society gives caregivers an insight into the aging society and suggests ways to help make the lives of older adults more interesting. This title includes a video to help the caregiver provide the services that our aging society wants and needs from libraries.

Reminiscence is a training guide that helps caregivers prompt memories with an older person.

Sites for Seniors

The Social Security Administration’s website has many forms you can download, print and fill out. Available forms include applications for disability benefits and child's insurance benefits, enrolling in Medicare, appealing a medical decision and requesting a waiver on an overpayment. Of course, you can also apply for benefits and take care of other Social Security business online. For more information, read Disability.gov's Guide to Disability Benefits or call 1-800-772-1213 (TTY: 1-800-325-0778) or your local Social Security office.

Fancy Footwork

    The UK’s Nidirect Government services web site at http://www.nidirect.gov.uk/index/health-and-well-being/healthy-living/avoid-slips-and-falls-in-icy-conditions.htm offers the following tips and suggestions:

  •   Think about the best route to your destination and plan on a little time to get there

  • Avoid rushing or taking shortcuts over areas where snow or ice removal is incomplete

  • Select appropriate footwear – flat footwear with rubber soles provides better traction on ice and snow than leather-soled or high-heeled shoes

  • Use handrails where you can

  • Take small steps to keep your center of balance under you

  • Keep both hands free for balance, rather than in your pockets

  • Many slips and falls occur during entry or exit from vehicles – be careful and hold on to the vehicle for support

  • When entering a building, be use to use floor mats to remove moisture from the soles of your shoes – this will help protect you as well as others from having to walk on wet or slippery surfaces

For more information on slips and falls in winter conditions, please check out this web site:

Your local library takes great care to keep entrance ways and steps clear and accessible for all patrons. Be to stop by for a warm welcome!

-          Excerpted with permission from the CVPH Medical Center Library’s February 2012 newsletter, Issue #2  Chris Ransom, Director

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Outreach staff has browsed the Internet and found the following sites that we believe will be of interest to seniors, their families, caregivers, and practitioners. They are listed in no particular order. Check back often to find our latest updates and please be sure to let us know what you think of the sites by emailing us at info2@cefls.org.
This site contains activity schedules and nutrition schedules for the Senior Citizens Council as well as recipes, news and other items of interest.
SeniorNet is a non-profit organization of computer-using adults, age 50 and older. The organization’s mission is to provide older adults education for and access to computer technology to enhance their lives and enable them to share their knowledge. For a $20 fee per course, members can take online courses on topics such as web searching and writing memoirs. The site also features discussions on crafts and WWII, current information on investing, and much more.
This site is a good first stop for anyone searching for answers about health insurance, housing, consumer rights, transportation, crime prevention, and lifestyle matters. A quick link to the New York State AARP is very useful.
This is a surprisingly upbeat but no-frills site devoted to grief, bereavement, and recovery. WidowNet lists current information on recommended books and support groups. Sections such as “Getting Through the Holidays” and “Grief or Bereavement in the News” are especially pertinent.
For most Americans, Social Security will provide only 20% of the income they will need in retirement according to a recent report from the US Treasury Department. This site will help you to estimate how much you can expect. Users can order a benefits statement that will be sent by mail or download a Windows-based calculator to do the math.
This useful site provides current information for older persons and their families, practitioners, researchers and students. We especially liked the quick index feature which provided easy referral to statistics about older people, caregiver resources and much more.
Grandma Betty, a real life grandmother, developed and maintains this site for seniors and grandparents from around the world. Betty visits each site and checks them for “quality and relevance” to seniors. Links range from “Health and Fitness,” “Wine Cellar” “Games” and “Auctions” to “Toys and Stuff for the Grandkids” and “100’s of Free Catalogs”. Includes a chat room that will soon feature prominent authors and entertainers as special guests.
This is a straightforward site where senior citizens, their families, attorneys, social workers, and financial planners can access information about Elder Law, Medicare, Medicaid, estate planning, trusts and the rights of the elderly and disabled. The site, which has received numerous recent awards and listings in retirement literature, is sponsored by Goldfarb & Abrandt, a NY City based law firm.
This highly authoritative site covers the basics of aging and related health issues, and provides links to current information resources. An equally extensive section is devoted to Alzheimer’s Disease. NOAH is a joint project of the City University of New York, The Metropolitan New York Library Council, the New York Academy of Medicine, and the New York Public Library.

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