October, 1999 Meeting Notes

by Fredson T. Bowers, Jr.

The October annual meeting of the Association at the church drew approximately fifty members and guests. Joel Samuels, Pat Prell and Barbara Johnson are retiring from the Board of Directors at this time after many years of service. All were given certificates of appreciation and gifts in recognition of their contributions to the Association. As one of the GBPPAs three founders, and in recognition of his tireless efforts and dedication, Joel Samuels was named to the Honorary Board.

The following Board of Directors was elected by unanimous vote: Betty Anderson, Fred Bowers, Ali Buckley, Elaine Burns, Linda Dobkin, Anne Harpin, Jack Memishian and Doreen Smith. The following officers were also elected unanimously: Elaine Burns, president; Betty Anderson, vice president; Doreen Smith, treasurer; Fred Bowers, secretary.

Our first speaker was Maria Cole, O.T.R., an occupational therapist at Spaulding Rehabilitation Services in Wellesley, whose topic was "How to Simplify Your Life." Individuals need to decide upon their goals and priorities, and the occupational therapist can then help to determine how best to accomplish these. She mentioned the importance of techniques such as pacing oneself, rest period(s) during the day, good posture which uses less energy, avoiding falls and the need to control weight through good nutrition as activity decreases.

Maria emphasized the importance of organizing ones daily life as well as simplifying and prioritizing activities. Keeping a three day log of activities provides information on which to base decisions. Eliminating unnecessary motions or rearranging their sequence and applying new methods can all be quite effective. She also demonstrated a number of health aids such as reachers, long handled sponges and kitchen utensils with wide grip handles.

Our next speaker was Steve Anderson, GBPPA member, who spoke on "An Innovative Approach to Pain Reduction." Studies show that high emotional stress leads directly to susceptibility to illness. He told us that there are thirty recognized Type A behaviors including the inability to sit down and do nothing, exhibiting a compulsion to win and eating-talking-walking fast. These behaviors demonstrate a demeanor of impatience, aggressiveness and hostility.

Chronic pain can be alleviated by concentrating on something else so that we pay less attention to the pain. Steve described the use of relaxation exercises and then demonstrated this technique. We closed our eyes and listened to relaxation music while he talked to us soothingly. This technique can be used at home, but one should try it for at least two weeks before making a judgment as to its effectiveness. Steve was also presented with a certificate of appreciation and a gift in recognition of his numerous services to the Association.

Many thanks to our speakers, Maria Cole and Steve Anderson for sharing their expertise with us. Thanks also to the volunteers who help out with all aspects of putting on our meetings.


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