Community Partners conference explores creativity
By: Tammy Francois, Lake County News Chronicle
Superior Shores was the site of a unique and well-attended event earlier this month. On May 14, Community Partners hosted its 14th annual conference. Over 100 people participated in six interactive workshops, received information about local services and resources, had dinner and enjoyed a program recognizing area artists for exemplifying lifelong creativity. Artists included Joyce Gow, Elaine Saine, Arlee Wilkes, Ruth Ferguson and Delores Abrahamson.
The conferences’ theme was “Colors of Aging Creatively” and activities were designed to encourage participants to celebrate and practice creative expression through movement, arts, healthy eating and self-care. Workshops entitled “Just Breathe and Relax! Lowering Stress and Anxiety by Breathing Correctly,” “Art in the Second Half of Life,” “Creating Healthy Relationships,” and “Senior Surf Day: An Introduction to the Internet,” explored a range of important topics for seniors, but with relevance to attendees of all ages.
“The event is a chance for senior citizens, family caregivers, service providers and volunteers to get together, share information and learn about healthy lifestyles as we age,” said Community Partners director, Kirsten Cruikshank. In keeping with the conference’s focus, attendees were given art supplies and a nudge toward finding their own inner Picasso or O’Keefe.
“We gave away over 100 watercolor paint pallets to all the participants and encouraged to go home and try something new,” she added.
Julie Luchsinger, housing director at Ecumen Scenic Shores, said the conference was a great one-stop opportunity for people to learn about the wide range of resources in the community, including senior housing options. She attended the event and Ecumen signed on as a major sponsor, too.
“We try to be a hub in the community for seniors and Community Partners is such a good resource that we like to be a part (of the conference,)” she said.
Community Partners’ mission is to provide services and support so seniors are able to live in the community as long as possible.
“We offer volunteer services like assisted transportation to doctor’s appointments, caregiver support services like a caregiver support group that meets once a month, and service coordination for seniors and their family members when they need help,” said Cruikshank.
If you know of a senior or a caregiver who may benefit from additional support or help accessing resources, call Community Partners at (218) 834-8024.