10/3/17:  Volunteer Fall Training / Dinner:

Theresa Remsberg was the speaker.  She is an Advanced EMT for Aero Methow Rescue Service and has been an active volunteer since 1999 and a full time hired EMT and Injury Prevention & Community Education Specialist since 2006.  Among  her many other duties, she is the SAIL Instructor / Trainer.  Her topic for this training was the SAIL program, which stands for Stay Active And Independent for Life.  It’s an exercise program for people over age 65 that helps improve strength, balance, and flexibility.  

The Methow SAIL program is a one-hour class that meets twice a week, and is taught by a qualified senior fitness instructor.  The program is designed to reduce the risk of falls in seniors and improve their fitness for better health.  There are two classes currently meeting in the Valley.

4/11/17:  Volunteer Spring Training Notes:

The training, held at Cove II was led by Sheila Brandenburg, RN, CHPN and the topic was dementia. She is a long time valley resident and served for 10 years as the Administrator /Nurse for Jamie’s Place and Mountain View Adult Family homes in Winthrop.

Sheila presented the definition of dementia first and emphasized that it is symptom and not a diagnosis.  Even in the case of Alzheimer’s.  There is confusion among the general public about Alzheimer’s being a definition for dementia.  It’s not!  It is the diagnosis and dementia is the symptom.  There are many other diagnosis that have the symptoms of dementia.  Some of the symptoms of dementia are loss of memory, inability to learn new information, language difficulties, and difficulty with familiar activities, decreased judgment, disorientation to time and place, change in mood or personality, frequently losing items, and difficulties with the abstract.

 She gave us very practical ways of communicating with our clients who have these symptoms.  The methods of communication included both verbal and nonverbal communication, emphasizing that these clients depend more on the nonverbal.  Some role-playing was done, and there was time for questions regarding this presentation.  

Fall Dinner Meeting/Training 9/27/16: 

Kevan Coffey, a leader at Jamie’s Place,  spoke on selected subtopics of geriatrics; types of dimentia, the clock drawing test, normal aging vs. mild cognitive impairment, and key features of delirium, mild cognitive impairment, dementia, and depression.

Spring Training Meeting 3/9/16:

Kay MacCready led brainstorming ideas for “working with your client.”  She captured offered ideas on a flip chart which are presented below:

1.     Trust building, under this came listening, being timely, follow-through, no gossip.

2.     Communication.  Ways to promote this were discussed and included: sample conversation starters, taking the client on drives, reading to them, and taking them for walks.

3.     Setting limits and working within expectations of client.  Included in this were client wanting you to fix problems, wanting you to give advice.  Redirecting the conversation was discussed and being firm about what you can do and your own limitations and schedule.

4.     Respecting the clients religious/faith beliefs.

Fall Dinner Meeting/Training 10/27/15: 

On 10/27/15 at the annual Fall dinner meeting, Pastor Don Ford from the Methodist Church spoke on “Exploring Bridges out of Poverty.”  The presentation was an introduction to a class series that Don has taught and a training method that Don has used for several years.  Bridges Out of Poverty community support program provides a family of concepts, workshops, and products to help employers, community organizations, social service agencies, and individuals address and reduce poverty in a comprehensive way.

After a dinner of pizza and salad, the first part of the meeting was recognition of Volunteers. 

  • All Volunteers were recognized by a personal statement about them and their Client.  They were given thanks and a “decorated, dark chocolate” bar. 
  • Special recognition went to:
  • Valynn Putzke: who volunteered the most hours, 166 and miles driven, 1,611. 
  • Susan Gimmestad, who has the longest current Match, 12 years. 
  • Larry Schrock, who has the second longest current Match, 10 years; takes minutes at the monthly Advisory Board meeting, and keeps track of all our data. 
  • Glenn Schmekel, Executive Director of the Cove, founded the Guardian Angel Program. 
  • Special thanks to those who have served since the inception of the Program:  Glenn Schmekel, Karen Dahl, Belva Hoffman, Susan Gimmestad, Walt Havens, Linda Mendro, Sue Sabin, and Eunice Marchbank. 
  • Special thanks to the Advisory Board Members: Kay MacCready, Wayne Mendro, Sue Sabin, Larry Schrock, and Maryann Timchalk.

Spring Training Meeting 3/18/14:

Sheila Brandenburg presented Long-Term care for the elderly in the Methow and encompassed Okanogan County.  The talk, open to the public, was at the Community Covenant Church, 3/18/14, 6:00PM.    

Listening Class Series: by Raleigh Bowden & Maureen Collins; Feb. 18 & 25th, 2014, 4-5:30PM, Aero Methow Facilities.

Raleigh Bowden is a physician who has been working for 25 years to increase communication in families facing difficult health challenges.  She will teach this class with Lookout Coalition partner Maureen Collins, who has 15 years experience with meditation and mindfulness.  This is the 3rd series Raleigh has taught in the Valley to Caregivers or Anyone Who Cares about Someone (which is everybody!).   Past classes have included family or other caregivers, Guardian Angels, to people who “talk a lot”, and couples who want to improve their communication!  It is a 2 class series, which builds from the first to the second.  Teaching structure includes practical information (with humor!), in class practice, and homework assignments.  Please register at or leave a message at (206) 227-2491 to assure sufficient seating.

5/5,12,19/14  Sheila Brandenburg Class Series:   

Sheila Brandenburg, RN, a knowledgable and dynamic speaker, taught a class series on Dementia in May 2014 for three consecutive Mondays, the 5th, 12th, & 19th. The class series is open to the public.

The class series addressed: 1) Gaining knowledge of Dementia;  2) Understanding communication barriers with persons with Dementia;  3) Reducing stress by improved knowledge of communication, behaviors, and caregiving;  and 4) Creating meaningful relationships and activities with a person suffering from Dementia.

All classes were held at Aero Methow, 1005 Highway 20, Twisp, 3PM to 5:30PM.  A donation of $25 for the series was requested to cover costs.

Need additional information?  Call Sheila at (509) 679-7300.

Proposal to Current VolunteersThe Program needs a few more Volunteers to match with Clients on our waiting list.  Think of a person in one of the groups in which you belong and tell them what you do as a GA Volunteer and the benefits you receive (remembering confidentiality).   Initiate the conversation if and when it feels right to you.

3/21/13 Spring Sharing Meeting:  Eunice Marchbank, our Administrator led Volunteers in an unusually open exchange.

10/11/12 Fall/Dinner Training:  Wendy Shrable from Aging & Adult Care spoke on long term care for the elderly and its availability in the Methow.

5/3/12 Spring Sharing Meeting

3/19/12 Health Seminar:  Phylicia Hancock-Lewis, nurse practitioner and Vicki Bringman, mental health counselor spoke on Depression / Suicide Intervention.

10/27/11 Fall/Dinner Training: Michael Wade, Amedisys Hospice educator presented the mission of Amedisys Hospice and its availability in our geographic area.

3/24/11 Spring Sharing Meeting:  Guest speaker: Raleigh Bowden, MD, has extensive training in cancer care and end of life issues. 

6/27/11 Compassionate Listening Class Series: taught by Raleigh Bowden, MD.

10/21/10 Fall/Dinner Training:  Glenn Schmekel, Cove Executive Director, spoke on “Aging in the Methow.”

methow guardian angels is one of several avenues in which the cove offers community supPort.  see []