Dr. Gregory Petsko, Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School and a major contributor to the Sweet Readers training in three countries over the past 12 years, sat down with Sweet Readers CEO Karen Young to discuss the impacts of the pandemic and social distancing, why finding a cure for Alzheimer’s isn’t the same as finding a vaccine for COVID, the rise of AI and the power of youth, among other things. Dr. Petsko runs a laboratory at Harvard Medical School to identify new potential … [Read more...]
Stuffed Mushrooms Recipe!
Stuffed Mushrooms From The New York Times: By Kay Chun YIELD 4 servings 25 minutes TIME These fun hors d’oeuvres turn humble mushrooms into rich, savory bites with the flavors of escargots (https://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/8810-escargots-in-parsley-garlic-butter-sauce), the classic French delicacy of snails cooked in garlic butter. Here, fragrant and buttery bread crumbs infused with garlic, shallots and parsley fill mushroom caps. The roasted … [Read more...]
Here are the answers to some of the questions we have recently received from our communities: 1. What is the state of scientific research into Alzheimer's? Alzheimer's research continues to ebb closer to finding, for starters, a way to slow or even prevent the disease. There does tend to be a fair amount of false or misleading news surrounding the disease, so for the most accurate information, please visit these resources: National Institutes of Health (NIH) Mount Sinai School of … [Read more...]
Five Components to Resilience
I’ve been thinking a lot about resilience. Last month we brought Sweet Readers back to our long term partner, The New Jewish Home, in Manhattan. It was a pleasure to be able to see so many residents and their dedicated staff again. One particular resident stood out for me, her name is Carol. Carol looked gaunt and withdrawn when she first appeared on the Zoom screen. Living in any nursing home this past year has been by necessity, extremely stressful and isolating. As the 45 minutes … [Read more...]
Interview with Christopher Diaz, 80th Street Residence
Chris is known as a hero in our communities. He patiently listens to and cares for the residents at 80th St. Residence where he works as their Assistant Director of Recreation. I have had the pleasure of working with Chris for many years, watching him facilitate meaningful engagement with our Sweet Readers, first in person in Manhattan and most recently, through Zoom, connecting residents with our Sweet Readers in Chicago, New York, Toronto and Greenwich. I was amazed to learn that Chris … [Read more...]
Participation Across Generations is Key to Human Connection
This term we launched our first Spanish Sweet Readers Program - everyone participated!! It started with Nerea, a high school junior and Young Leader who engaged her school to help us find a talented Hispanic Musician to help us build an authentic and engaging music based curriculum. Then Nerea translated our training and brought the curriculum to life for the students and facilitators. Next came the school De La Salle Academy students were in a hybrid schedule and pandemic learning, as we … [Read more...]
Flipping the Frame from Isolation to Connection!
During this season of thanks, I'm humbled and filled with deep gratitude for the enduring partnerships which form the core of Sweet Readers and resonate through every facet of our work and communities. Isolation can be a terrifying experience and this year, along with partner loneliness, it became a new common ground transcending gender, race, geography and age. The opposite of isolation is connection and that’s what we’re all about. Countless partners have come together to make our work … [Read more...]
Doris & Fred: Partners for Life!
Fred & Doris came to Sweet Readers through our wonderful partnership with Mount Sinai School of Medicine. Although they are only in their first Sweet Readers program, the joy they both bring to the programs, transcending Zoom, was effusive and I was delighted when they agreed to an interview with me - over Zoom no less! Doris and Fred have been married for 34 years (the second marriage for both) and were both middle school teachers - Doris taught Home Economics and Fred was a band … [Read more...]
Stuart & Wilma: Dancing through the Raindrops!
In 2018 I had the pleasure of meeting Shona when she enrolled her parents, Stuart and Wilma, in our programs at the Ramaz School in Manhattan. Stuart and Wilma are Scottish and have enjoyed a marathon marriage spanning nearly 60 years that has brought them from Scotland to England to Massachusetts to Manhattan. Stuart was an electrical engineer and Wilma a nurse. Shona is the quiet enabler, creating art behind the scenes while empowering her parents to engage in life to the fullest, in spite … [Read more...]
Kevin Landesman: Brunswick Facilitator
Now in its 8th year, I remember year one as if it was yesterday. one of my favorite Brunswick Sweet Readers stories was about Mary and Charlie. Mary was a reluctant resident at a local home and was struggling to find the value in her life. When I interviewed her for the program, she was stuck in a repetitive loop, saying, emphatically, "I can't work with kids, I can't remember a thing. I'm worthless." The more she repeated it, the more I insisted she give it a try. I wasn't able to get her … [Read more...]