Many of the programs and activities at the Forum are ongoing, taking place daily, weekly or monthly. Some are coordinated by staff, others by residents or outside volunteers. New residents, and even those of us who have been around for awhile but have not participated in a listed activity wonder about what is going on. So, our 2018 New Year’s resolution: Post a picture and brief description of recurring activities. Use these in conjunction with the monthly calendar our Activity Director publishes and become involved. If the activity requires a bus trip residents need to sign up in the activities book by Barb’s door. If it takes place at the Forum, all are welcome, just come or call the coordinator to see if there are any physical or financial requirements. Unlike the other categories which are organized chronologically, ongoing activities are alphabetical to help you find what are interested in by topic: Artistic Expression, Exercise, Games, Health & Wellness, Mental Challenges, Organizational Support, Religious Activities, Shopping, Sociability.
Flower Arranging – Michele DeSantis, DeSantis Florists
Michele DeSantis comes monthly with a supply of flowers and containers for residents to make small personal flower arrangements for their apartment or as a gift for a friend. She teaches the basics of flower arranging and gently supervises so everyone is sure to leave with an attractive arrangement. Interested residents sign up in the activity book in advance and pay $5 for supplies.
Reach to Improve – Activities Director, Barb Holliday
This is Five Star’s program to help residents maintain physical independence. Activities Director, Barb Holliday, leads residents in light flexibility and strength exercises on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday every week. Some are performed seated in a chair and some standing with a chair available for support. Each resident can do as little or as much as is comfortable. We are all at different places along the fitness spectrum. The important thing is that we DO something!
Tai Chi – Staff Member, Paki Sukwattana
Forum staffer, Paki Sukwattana, offers Tai Chi classes on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons. Originally a series of movements for self-defense, tai chi has evolved into a graceful form of exercise that is now used to reduce stress while increasing flexibility and balance. reduction. Often described as meditation in motion, tai chi promotes serenity through gentle, flowing movements. Beginners are welcome!
Bingo – Coordinator, Barb Holliday plus volunteer callers
Bingo is regularly played on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons under the direction of Activities Director, Barb Holliday, and on Sunday afternoon called by resident, Bill Brewer. A variety of Bingo games are called throughout the hour with winners choosing the next game. Residents put 25 cents into a kitty for each game they play. Winners are awarded each game! On holidays, Administrative Assistant, Judy Swayne, calls bingo and usually offers a special treat. All are welcome!
Bridge – Coordinator – Resident, Karina Neimeyer
Bridge is probably the longest running and most popular card game at the Forum. Groups organized by resident Karina Neimeyer play weekly on Wednesday and Saturday afternoons, and informal groups organized by the participants take place at a variety of times and locations. All residents are welcome, with or without a partner. Sign up in the Activities notebook to make it possible for Karina to organize groups of four.
A small group of enthusiastic euchre players would welcome more players on Wednesday evenings in the Multipurpose Room.
Poker – Bob, Art, Jim, John, Bill
Ask any of them about the Wednesday evening poker games. All residents are welcome, and yes, they’ve had women participate in the past and would be happy to have another.
Tripoley – Resident Norma Colley, et. al.
If it’s Tuesday evening it must be Tripoley. Break out the pennies and join the fun. This group is coordinated by a core group of resident volunteers led by Norma Colley. Tripoley is a bit of three games in one: hearts, poker and Michigan rummy. All residents are welcome if they know a bit about poker and rummy, or anyone who wants to come and watch before joining in. The stakes are low and the fun level is high!
HEALTH & WELLNESS:
Breakfast – Dining Staff
Although breakfast is not part of our official contract when residents enter Forum Independent living, it’s an important option for a loyal group of residents. Many residents prefer breakfast in their apartment in their robe while leisurely scanning the paper, and some do skip this healthy way to begin the day. But a group of regulars enjoy the daily continental breakfasts our dining staff provides, especially on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday when Lil is cooking eggs to order. On Wednesdays you can even order an omelet with ‘everything’ – bacon, cheese, onions, tomatoes, peppers – or just your favorite ingredients. On a typical Wednesday she will make about twenty-two.
White Tablecloth Dining – Chris Vehr & Staff
For lunch and dinner the Forum proudly produces white tablecloth elegance. Executive Chef Linda Meoak surpervises a kitchen staff that produces a choice of two lunch entrees and three dinner entrees and daily. These are three course meals from soup/appetiser through dessert and a variety of side choices. Kirsten Rahaman-Little supervises a dining staff who treat us as though we had reservations at a gourmet restaurant. Best of all, we neither have to cook it or clean up and wash the dishes! This may be the greatest benefit of retirement living!
Wellness Clinic – Laura Coulter, RN
On the first and third Wednesday mornings of each month, Laura Coulter, RN, Director of Ambassador Suites conducts a Wellness Clinic in the exercise room. She takes blood pressure and heart rate readings and residents weigh themselves. First time participants receive a card to record results and regular participants bring their card to record new readings. This provides a record to take to one’s personal doctor and discuss trends or changes.
Coffee and Conversation – Leader, Resident A.J. Miller
This program is exactly what the title says and it happens weekly on Monday mornings. The dining staff prepares coffee and cookies and resident coordinator A.J. Miller leads discussion on a topic he and the group have chosen. In early January, the timely topic was giving gifts with A.J.’s discussion prompts asking why we give gifts, do we enjoy giving and receiving gifts, how do we decide what to give, do we give to both children and adults, is gifting creating too much commercialism? Sound interesting? New members are welcome — just come.
Current Events – Resident, Dr. Al Soloway
This group meets every other Friday for a thought-provoking look at current events in the news. Facilitated by retired OSU professor Al Soloway, the topics might range from the legalization of marijuana to the conflict between Israeli Jews and Palestinian Arabs. Everyone one is welcome to participate.
Great Courses: Ancient Civilizations of North America
Great Courses are college level DVD courses produced by The Teaching Company in cooperation with college professors and the National Geographic Society. Everyone is welcome to attend, there are no grades or requirements, just intriguing information. Our current twenty-four week course is Ancient Civilizations of North America by Dr. Edwin Barnhart, Professor of Anthropology at the University of Texas, Austin. He is Director of the Maya Exploration Center and has appeared multiple times on the History and Discovery Channels. Resident Coordinator: Jennie McCormick
Town Meeting – Executive Director, Rebecca Converse
Each month our Director, Becky Converse and Program Director, Barb Holliday conduct a town meeting open to the entire Independent Living Community. Becky updates us on Five Star plans, new staff hires, problems that have been or are being resolved, etc. Barb Holliday summarizes upcoming activities and both take numerous resident questions. Residents are free to make suggestions. It is definitely the place to “Be in the know. . .”
The Forum encourages resident input to support staff operating the independent living community. An elected Resident Council, Food Committee, Program Committee, and Welcome Committee each meet monthly with the staff members responsible for that area. Residents are eligible to serve on two committees annually. Elections are in May, so nominate yourself for the committee of your choice, or ask a friend to do so. Minutes of these group’s monthly meetings are in a notebook in the library for all residents to review.
Resident Council – Executive Director, Becky Converse
The Resident Council is an advisory group to the Forum administration. Eleven members are elected on a rotating basis for three year terms. They communicate the interests and concerns of residents, participate in planning and assisting activities that promote the Forum as a retirement community of choice to residents and prospective residents, and provide the Executive Director a forum to present corporate and staff ideas and concerns for resident discussion.
Food Committee – Dining Services, Chris Vehr & staff
The Food Committee consists of twelve resident members elected in May for one-year terms. They act as a sounding board for the Director of Dining Services, Executive Chef, and Dining Room Manager to foster a quality dining program. They suggest, or respond to staff suggestions, for potential new menu items or dinner themes. They share resident responses to menu items and recipes, and to dining room service.
Program Committee – Activities Director, Barb Holliday
The Program Committee has eight members elected in May for one-year terms. They meet the second Tuesday of each month to review programs the past month, suggest educational programs, movies and entertainers for at the Forum, suggest trips outside the Forum, suggest restaurants for lunch and dinner out on the town, and assist the activities director in promoting planned activities, calling residents who sign up for programs, and jobs like serving refreshments for activities.
Welcome Committee – Activities Director, Barb Holliday
The Welcome Committee has six resident members elected in May for one-year terms. They meet the first Tuesday of each month and a member is assigned to mentor each new resident, act as host or hostess for meals their first week, introduce them to other residents, answer questions about Forum activities, and interview them and prepare a bio for their introduction to the community. They assist the Lifestyle 360 Activities Coordinator in conducting a bi-monthly New Residents Reception where new residents are formally introduced to the community.
Bible Study: Volunteer Joe Bartezak, Facilitator
This weekly non-denominational discussion group on Thursday mornings is led by volunteer Joe Bartezak, a retired Lutheran pastor who serves a congregation at Sugar Grove part time. The group is currently using “Grip of Grace” by Max Lucado as a guide for an open, free-flowing discussion. Residents have a chance to explore parables and stories of the Bible and how they influence our faith. All are welcome – and the dining staff provide coffee and cookies!
Catholic Communion – Volunteer, Elaine James
This weekly communion service on Monday mornings is led by Elaine James, from St. Timothy Catholic Church. All residents of the Catholic faith are invited to participate.
Protestant Worship Service – Volunteer, Elwin Rasmussen,
This weekly non-denominational Protestant worship service on Wednesday afternoon is led by Elwin Rasmussen, a volunteer from the Retirement Home Ministry of the Upper Arlington Lutheran Church. It normally includes a brief inspirational message and singing of hymns with an occasional communion service. All residents of any Christian faith are welcome to attend.
Sunday Chruch Services: St. Mark’s Episcopal, St. Timothy Catholic, Trinity United Methodist, Upper Arlington Lutheran, Covenant Presbyterian
Every Sunday morning our bus takes residents who sign up to St. Mark’s, St. Tim’s, Trinity, UA Lutheran, and Covenant Presbyterian Churches to attend services at the church of their choice.
Groceries – Kroger’s
Despite the fact that the Forum offers three meals a day in the dining room, trips to the grocery are popular. A few residents enjoy preparing a special meal for themselves, family or guests but many more like to keep snacks on hand or prepare breakfast in their apartment. Our buses make weekly trips to Kroger’s on Monday, Tuesday and Friday. Shoppers have an hour in the store and, best of all, when they get back the bus driver delivers their bags of groceries directly to their kitchen counter!
Clothing, Cosmetics, Bed & Bath, Shoes, Jewelry, Etc.
We offer a variety of shopping options to nearby malls, discount stores, and drugstores for both necessities and desires. We offer monthly extended shopping trips to Tuttle Mall or the Shops on Lane Ave.; or weekly trips to Kohl’s, Target; or Walgreens.
Birthday Luncheon – Barb Holliday, Activities Director
On the second Tuesday of each month the Forum invites all residents who have a birthday that month to a special champagne luncheon for a group celebration. This usually includes some good-natured kidding about who is the oldest and it always includes a particularly sumptuous dessert and a ‘Happy Birthday’ serenade from the entire dining room.
Happy Hour – Friday and Saturday
Every Friday and Saturday evening from 4:30 to 6:30 is Happy Hour in the lounge. It’s a sociable way to meet friends before the 5:00 to 6:30 dinner seatings. Beer, wine and various soda choices are offered at the bar. Residents are welcome to invite family members to join them. Sometimes various musicians provide entertainment. There are always chips and nibbles but for special occasions such as Halloween or New Year’s Eve the dining staff will provide a nice buffet of hors d’oeuvres.
4 Paws 4 Ability – OSU Student Volunteers
On Wednesday evenings during the OSU academic year, OSU students who are raising puppies who will be trained to become companions and assist persons with disabilities bring them to visit Forum residents. This is an opportunity for residents to socialize with the students and their dogs and for the dogs to become socialized to a variety of people petting and playing with them. It is a wonderful opportunity for those who once enjoyed having pets but are no longer physically able to care for one. Stop by after dinner and check it out.
Sing with Joanie’s Kids – Music Teacher Joanie Calem
On Tuesday mornings the Forum living room overflows with joy as Joanie Calem, assisted by a variety of hand puppets and soft cuddly animals, leads intergenerational singing. A dozen or so preschoolers, their parents, and Forum resident “grandparents” join in songs with fun motions. The day we visited Grandpa Groundhog was hibernating but wondering about spring, frogs and fishes were sleeping but waking to jump and swim when the sun came out, and a ‘river’ of colorful parachute cloth invited everyone from small fishes to whales to swim as they sang. Everyone is welcome to join the fun, especially those who have great-grandkids far away who they see only infrequently.