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True Grit: Living, Not Just Surviving, with Chronic Conditions PDF Print Email

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By Sherry Saturno, Executive Director, Gramatan Village

Sep. 18, 2019:  Chronic conditions like diabetes, COPD, heart disease, anxiety, and multiple sclerosis (among others) require ongoing medical treatment and challenges. It's so easy to feel overwhelmed and depressed, and that can take a real toll on relationships and careers.

It is natural--and difficult!--to battle feelings of self-pity and resentment when you first learn of a chronic condition. Life undeniably becomes more complicated when you are living with a chronic disease. The good news is that there are still many things you can do to enjoy life.

Mental tools

  • Move toward acceptance; stop thinking, "Why me?" and think, "What can I do now to work with the new normal of my condition?"
  • Empower yourself by learning as much as you can about your diagnosis.  That can help change your mindset as frustration and anger give way to making new life adjustments...and give yourself time. Look for online tools and apps that can help you monitor, track, or adjust medications, diet, or other metrics as needed.
  • Focus on what you can do, not on what you can’t. Love to read but no longer can? Listen to audiobooks and you can still participate in your favorite book club.
  • Adjust your expectations and activities. This is part of embracing your new normal. A person newly diagnosed with diabetes will have to monitor his or her blood sugar and maintain a healthy diet...but that does not have to stop you from still enjoying food.
  • Examine your motivation: What is driving you? Spending time with loved ones? Volunteer work? Seize upon your motivation and use it as a purpose to see past your pain.

Practical steps

  • Be action oriented: Take small steps. It’s not easy to make a major life adjustment. Consider joining a support group or an online community. 
  • Practice PMA: Positive mental attitude can change everything. No one’s life is perfect, but you are here and grateful to be alive. Reflect upon the good in your life.
  • Maintain an attitude of gratitude--keep a gratitude journal. Learn to really savor simple everyday pleasures. Chat with a friend and be fully present in the moment.
  • Consider what brings you joy and seek it out. If you love walking but now use a walker or a cane, you are still moving forward. Don’t give up--create more of what you crave.

Social life

  • Don't take a pleasantry like "How are you?" as an invitation to a long recitation of your condition. Find a safe and compassionate listener or two (a therapist or someone in a support group) so those closest to you are not overwhelmed by your status reports on an ongoing basis.
  • Shift from complaining to accepting who you are now: View it with interest, not disdain. Don’t talk nonstop about your maladies.
  • Fight it with humor, humility, and determination: Laughter is the best medicine. It’s okay to see the humor in your condition; as a matter of fact, it’s essential.
  • Do not let others’ insensitivity bring you down: They don’t know what it is like to walk in your shoes and may express impatience and a lack of empathy. That is their ignorance, not yours.

Don’t let a chronic condition stop you from leading your best life. Happiness takes work. We have to choose happiness and fight for it. Our physical limitations and medical conditions limit what we can’t do, but we focus on what we can do. Embrace your new reality and don’t look back. All of us have scars, seen and unseen. They make us who we are. But it’s what you do with them that counts.

Pictured here:  Sherry Saturno.

Photo courtesy Gramatan Village

Editor's note: As a public service, MyhometownBronxville publishes articles from local institutions, officeholders, and individuals. MyhometownBronxville does not fact-check statements therein, and any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect the thinking of its staff.

 
Gramatan Village Events in September PDF Print Email

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By Sherry Saturno, Executive Director, Gramatan Village

Sep. 4, 2019:  Gramatan Village, a non-profit organization that supports adults ages 55 and up who want to age in the home and neighborhood that they love, will be part of many great events in September.  Below is a list:

September 11, 2019 at 2:00pm:  Gramatan Village is participating in the National Day of Service with Volunteer New York at the Westchester County Community Center in White Plains on Wednesday, September 11th at 2:00pm.  This is an annual community-wide day of service dedicated to honoring the memories of those lost on September 11, 2001 through volunteer service.  Please join local volunteers of all ages who are giving their time to help others and turn a day of tragedy into a national day of doing good. Gramatan Village and its volunteers will be creating gift bags for seniors in need. For more information or to volunteer, please contact Gramatan Village at (914) 337-1338.

September 13, 2019 from 10:30am – 12:30pm:  Gramatan Village invites the entire community to enjoy a light breakfast while shopping the new Fall 2019 Women’s and Men’s Fashion Collections at J.McLaughlin at 75 Pondfield Road in Bronxville and features classic, timeless style for everyone. Please join us for this fun event.  15% of the sales will benefit Gramatan Village.

September 15, 2019 from 12:00pm-3:00pm:  Gramatan Village is participating in New York-Presbyterian Lawrence Hospital’s Be Well Bash which will take place on the front lawn of the Bronxville School. This free wellness and injury-prevention event is intended to provide resources and support for the entire community. Gramatan Village will be available to discuss services for seniors and healthy, active aging. For more information, please contact Gramatan Village at (914) 337-1338.

September 18, 2019 from 10:00am - 2:00pm: Gramatan Village will participate in the Seventh Annual Livable Communities Celebrate Aging Fair at the Mount Pleasant Community Center  at 125 Lozza Drive, Valhalla, on Wednesday, September 18th from 10:00am-2:00pm. Please join us for discussion, interactive learning, and fun with inspired thinkers in the field of aging services. Gramatan Village’s Executive Director Sherry Saturno will be available to answer questions about becoming a Gramatan Village member and membership benefits. This event is sponsored by the Westchester County Government, with free admission  and parking. A continental breakfast and lunch will be provided. To RSVP, please contact CLOAKING or call 914-813-6263.

September 25, 2019 from 10:00am – 1:30pm:  The last week of September is Active Aging Week. It is a weeklong campaign that celebrates vibrant and empowered aging. In honor of Active Aging Week, Gramatan Village is hosting an Empowered Women Leaders speaker series on Wednesday, September 25th from 10:00am-1:30pm featuring speakers Bronxville Mayor Mary Marvin and Concordia College Presidential Scholar Christina Staudt. Please join us for a lively and interactive discussion about community, leadership, and living your best life at any age.  A light lunch will be provided. RSVP to Gramatan Village at (914) 337-1338.

 

 

Photo courtesy Gramatan Village

 

Editor's note: As a public service, MyhometownBronxville publishes articles from local institutions, officeholders, and individuals. MyhometownBronxville does not fact-check statements therein, and any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect the thinking of its staff.


 

 

 

 
Gramatan Village Celebrates Friendships at Underhills Crossing PDF Print Email

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By Sherry Saturno, Executive Director, Gramatan Village

Jul. 24, 2019:  Gramatan Village members participated in a festive celebration of summer and friendship at a brunch at Underhills Crossing restaurant on Saturday, July 13. 

Village members were joined by volunteers Leana Walsh, Ann Marie Mazzucco, and Sue Brownie, board member Susan Salerno, and Executive Director Sherry Saturno to welcome midsummer and socialize.

New members mingled with founding members as they chatted and laughed together. Executive Director Sherry Saturno stated, “We are so grateful to Underhills Crossing for providing such a wonderful venue for our members. Everyone enjoyed a beautiful afternoon spent with good friends and delicious food.”

Gramatan Village is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that supports adults ages 55 and up who want to age in the home and neighborhood that they love.

Photo courtesy Gramatan Village

Editor's note: As a public service, MyhometownBronxville publishes articles from local institutions, officeholders, and individuals. MyhometownBronxville does not fact-check statements therein, and any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect the thinking of its staff.




 
Gramatan Village Receives Award PDF Print Email

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By Sherry Saturno, Executive Director, Gramatan Village

Jul. 17, 2019:  Empowered aging-in-place community Gramatan Village has won the 2019 Agency of the Year Award for the State of New York from the National Association of Social Workers. The award is given annually to an organization that provides outstanding services and exemplary advocacy and demonstrates innovation in programming.

Gramatan Village’s executive director, Sherry Saturno, attended the National Association of Social Workers of New York State’s annual conference in Saratoga Springs this June, and accepted the award on behalf of Gramatan Village. Saturno stated, “Gramatan Village is deeply grateful to the National Association of Social Workers for this honor and to our amazing members, board, volunteers, and staff. As we grow older, we may become indoctrinated to believe we somehow become less as we age. Less visible, less relevant, less significant. Gramatan Village repudiates that concept every day. On behalf of the vibrant older adults that we represent, thank you to the NASW for seeing us and hearing us.”

Pictured here: Sherry Saturno with the 2019 Agency of the Year Award.

Photo courtesy Gramatan Village

Editor's note: As a public service, MyhometownBronxville publishes articles from local institutions, officeholders, and individuals. MyhometownBronxville does not fact-check statements therein, and any opinions expressed therein do not necessarily reflect the thinking of its staff.

 
Bronxville Resident Appointed to Serve on Age-Friendly NYC Commission PDF Print Email

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By Kathryn S. Urbina, Director, Member Services and Programs, Gramatan Village

Jul. 10, 2019:  Dr. Julio Urbina of Bronxville has been appointed by the mayor of New York City and approved by the New York City Council to serve as a member of the Age-Friendly NYC Commission.

Jointly and individually, commission members are charged with exploring, creating, and leveraging new opportunities in the corporate, non-profit, cultural, health, and social care, labor, faith-based, service, and academic sectors to support a rapidly increasing population of older New Yorkers and make the city a world leader in aging and urbanization.

Deploying the wealth of experience, commitment, and energy each member brings, the commission will deliver sustained leadership toward achieving a bright vision of enhancing the health, well-being, and full participation of older New Yorkers and making the city an age-friendly place in which to live and thrive.

Dr. Urbina has a long history of serving the community, initially as a paramedic with EVAC. He served on the Tuckahoe Board of Education and has volunteered as an assistant Scoutmaster for local Boy Scout Troop 353 and is currently the advisor for Venture Crew 343.

Dr. Urbina is the vice president and director of the Healthy Aging program at The Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation. He earned his master’s degree from the Yale School of Public Health and his PhD in Social Policy from the Heller School of Brandeis University.

Pictured: Julio Urbina.

Photo courtesy Kathryn S. Urbina, Director, Member Services and Programs, Gramatan Village

Editor's note: As a public service, MyhometownBronxville publishes articles from local institutions, officeholders, and individuals. MyhometownBronxville does not fact-check statements therein, and any opinions expressed therein do not necessarily reflect the thinking of its staff

 
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