The meeting at the United Parish Church of Auburndale was opened by Anne Harpin at 1:20 P.M. with self-introductions and announcements. Linda Dobkin passed out a Positive Personal Solutions form for a column in TRIUMPH concerning suggestions of members relating to helpful hints and coping ideas. A questionaire relating to the future activities of GBPPA was also distributed.
A three member panel was then introduced to discuss the topic "Making Your Life Easier." Fred Bowers led off with a presentation of his experiences making various decisions in choosing a power wheelchair and a minivan to transport it, as well as heating the garage in winter (to prevent the chair's gel batteries from freezing) and widening its entrance. He left the audience with three lessons: (a) Just because you can do something doesn't mean that you should always do it; (b) Don't postpone decisions - make them early and voluntarily so that they are not forced upon you by circumstances; (c) Do some long range planning - two or three years ahead. You'll make better choices and it will be easier to accept changes when they become necessary.
GBPPA member Steve Anderson then outlined the stresses involved in a hypothetical visit to a doctor, and gave some very practical suggestions to reduce stress in our lives including "To Do" lists and rising earlier than necessary in the morning. He then guided the audience through a relaxation exercise by mentally telling your body to relax, starting with the tips of your toes and working up to the tip of your nose.
Thayer McCain, M.A., OTR/L then spoke about the many ways he helps his clients by exercising his Yankee ingenuity and resourcefulness to develop assistive aids for them. He also showed a number of assistive devices including an aid to tying shoelaces, a combination shoehorn and dressing stick, and a rocking knife for cutting food at meals. He also agreed to help update our resource list with respect to assistive aids.
The meeting then concluded at 3:15 P.M. and there was time for refreshments, socializing and browsing the literature racks. Many thanks to Girl Scout Troop #3465, troop leader Noreen Francis, husband Mike, daughter Laura and troop member Susan Camenker for purchasing and bringing the refreshments, setting up the tables and cleaning up afterwards. Thanks also to Anne Harpin for her time and efforts in taking care of the many details involved in arranging the meeting. Finally, appreciation goes to the volunteers who set up the facilities and restored everything to order afterwards.