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DayBreak featured on Detroit’s Public Television

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It’s estimated that 53 million Americans are providing care for a loved one. If you are a caregiver, you know that it can be a rewarding, but difficult responsibility. Plus, many caregivers are not taking the time to care for themselves. In a report for the New York and Michigan Solutions Journalism Collaborative and in partnership with Urban Aging News, One Detroit’s Will Glover takes us to an adult day program in Detroit that is addressing this major issue and providing some relief for stressed caregivers.

For more information about DayBreak, follow this link or contact Belinda Croft, DayBreak Program Manager, at 313.833.1300 ext. 24 or email bcroft@hannan.org.

Life has been a little overwhelming for everyone lately…

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by Daniel Horrigan, LLMSW

For many, the new year provides an opportunity for self -reflection, goal setting, resolutions, and positive change. In 2021 this might seem more challenging. Many of us have not “shaken off” 2020 and are still experiencing the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. We’re still isolating and we’re still trying to stay safe. As we take care of ourselves and our community, some may be experiencing loneliness, fear, grief, and extreme worry.

A lot of these experiences and emotions can be overwhelming and may interfere with our daily activities, impacting our quality of life and our outlook. When we feel very lonely, worried, or sad, it is challenging to engage in activities we once enjoyed such as cooking, reading, or even enjoying a favorite TV program. When feeling down some may find they are less likely to call loved ones. These unpleasant feelings can also make performing important tasks seem particularly difficult such as cleaning, doing the dishes and laundry or even making the bed. Loneliness, worry, and fear also may result in less exercise and physical activity which can make a person feel even more down and tired.

The good news is there is help. For anybody age 60 or over that may be feeling this way, Hannan Center is here for you. Older adults experiencing loneliness, worry, fear or sadness can meet with a Hannan team member to help find motivation, set goals, accomplish tasks, and experience each day as life worth living. This can safely be done with those interested by phone or video chat. Those interested can contact Daniel Horrigan at 313-908-0183 or dhorrigan@hannan.org.

Hannan Players Holiday Radio: The Regift

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Take a trip back in time to when people gathered around the radio to listen to stories!  Grab a cup of hot cocoa or eggnog and join Patricia Beard and Christine Lawson of the Hannan Players as they bring several characters to life in “The Regift.”  A little holiday present from Hannan Center!

Interview with artist Ira Russell

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The Hannan Center Director of Arts and Culture Richard Reeves recently sat down and did a Zoom interview with artist Ira Russell. Have a look!

Interview with Artist Rosemary Summers

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The Hannan Center Director of Arts and Culture Richard Reeves recently sat down and did a Zoom interview with artist Rosemary Summers. Have a look!

Interview with Artist Carol Cook Reid

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The Hannan Center Director of Arts and Culture Richard Reeves recently sat down and did a Zoom interview with artist Carol Cook Reid. Have a look!

Mood Boards, Playtime, and Music Therapy

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Karolen Coleman
Executive Assistant

How are you doing? Are you finding ways to maintain your sanity and have fun during this time of quarantine? How’s your physical and mental health? I’ll admit it – after several weeks of social distancing, it’s becoming a little difficult to come up with positive, fun and healthy ideas to occupy my mind.

While journaling, I created a list of some things that are helping my mental and physical well-being; I thought I’d share them. Hopefully, some of these ideas will help you also.

Writing or Journaling

Writing is inspiring and healing. Each time something moves you and causes you to smile, jot it down. Bullet journaling will make things easier if you’re not sure where to begin. Do this by writing down single words or phrases that come to mind – perhaps list your favorite things, or places to travel. You’ll elaborate on some of the ideas as you’re writing them. Some you will refer back to when a more intentional idea hits you.

Create Mood Boards or Vision Boards

Tap into your creativity by creating artistic layouts of your moods, thoughts and ideas. These are often called mood boards. I have created mood boards that reflect my favorite colors, hobbies and my zodiac sign.

Create a vision board, which is a tangible way to manifest your desires. Collect pictures and phrases cut from magazines, old books and catalogs of various things you want to come to fruition in your life. Affix these cut-outs onto a large poster board or even in a scrapbook. Utilize different themes such as goals for learning something new, cultivating a healthy lifestyle or other personal development and relationship goals.

Playtime – Revisit Pastimes and Hobbies from your Childhood

It’s important to take out time from adulting to play and recollect the carefree times of your childhood – transporting your mind to a happy place. My playtime go-tos are coloring, hula hooping, and playing jacks.

There are many adult coloring books that have been published lately. By searching Amazon.com or any bookseller, you’ll find many themes including mandalas, religion, beauty, and even swear/curse words. There are themes to satisfy everyone. Word finds, crossword puzzles and card games are other mindful things to do alone.

Music Therapy

Put a song in your heart and sing it aloud. Hear it as you move about the day. Make it your theme song. Choose music that transforms you to a fantastic memory, a time where you were surrounded by people you love and you were dancing and having the time of your life. Play the song and dance along. Listen to music that moves you physically – dance wildly in the mirror. Perhaps choose spiritual or worship music that moves your spirit.

There are many DJs playing musical sets on Facebook, YouTube and Instagram. Follow D Nice on Instagram at instagram.com/dnice. He hosts several sets per week and plays feel good music from many genres and eras.

We will be on the other side of this pandemic soon. Let’s do what we can to make sure that we come out of it even better than we were before. We got this!

All the best,

My COVID-19 Survival Toolbox

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My COVID-19 Survival Toolbox


Richard Reeves, Jr.
Director of Arts and Culture

I am an artist.  I have created art since my schooldays, in graphite, pastel and watercolor, and as a photographer and videographer.  All along I have sought out and been open to new forms of artistic expression, especially involving new technology.  I work at my art and enjoy my work.  I also am a serious collector.  With my husband Michael, I have acquired visual artworks in the broadest range of media—and in numbers that defy us to cover every last square inch of our wall space at home.  Art can be uplifting, thought provoking, strange, enraging, alarming, frightening or just plain beautiful.  My appreciation of art and of the community of working artists has always helped both to ground me and to nurture my growth as a person.  So it is no wonder that, with the world now in quarantine, my survival toolbox relies so hugely on this highest of human endeavors and liveliest of human associations.

Like an extended family, the arts in Detroit give me the support, safety, and sanity to keep going at what I do.  But the strangeness of the “new normal” and the urgent but unanswered questions that loom over everything have steered my art in directions I might not have taken before.

Here’s an example.  At this time, Hannan Center is offering two six-week online art courses, each meeting for 60 minutes once a week.  They are Art and Design 101 and Fine Arts.  Art and Design 101 is led by artist/instructor Nancy Wolfe and meets on Thursdays at 10:30 a.m.  This course is perfect for artists of all abilities.  It incorporates practice in basic art design with art philosophy.  Nancy usually ends each class with a poem.

Fine Arts meets on Fridays at 12:30 p.m. and also is accessible to artists of all skill levels.  This class is lead by longtime Hannan art instructor Jim Puntigam.  Jim maintains a cool, comfortable vibe in his classes.  He introduces and leads students in basic to advanced techniques, and helps each participant to discover the unique fine artist within.

As Hannan’s director of Arts and Culture, I enjoy sitting in on our art classes and producing new work along with our students.  This post includes photos of some of the work that I was inspired to create while participating in pilot sessions of these two new virtual courses, as well as some examples of my latest photography.

Also in my survival toolbox, and broadening my view and practice of art, are my Facebook art groups. Two of my favorites are “Detroit Fine Arts Breakfast Club” and “Art in the Time of Corona-V.”

The Detroit Fine Arts Breakfast Club is a weekly meeting of artists and collectors, most of whom reside in the Detroit Metro area but who include members based around the country and world.  There is no fee to join.  The DFABC gives artists a place to show their work, learn from each other and from experts in the business of art, and gain valuable exposure to many of Detroit’s most influential collectors and gallerists.  Until recently its regular meetings were held on Mondays from 5 to 7:30 p.m. at a restaurant, Noni’s Sherwood Grill, on Livernois Avenue in Detroit.  Yes, the Breakfast Club meets at dinner time!

Now the DFABC meets online via Zoom, each week at the same time.  The meeting format is mostly the same as when we met in person.  It starts with an introduction of all new participants; then members are invited to make announcements of upcoming arts events and exhibits; and, finally, artists with new work to show have two minutes each to present up to two pieces and discuss them.  “Show and Tell” is the most exciting part of the meeting, as much of the art sells on the spot to interested collectors or is traded between artists.  One tradition we have had to drop for the time being is the in-person raffle of an original work contributed by a different member each week and won by someone present for the five-dollar price of a ticket.

The live meetings of the DFABC are augmented by the ongoing forum of artists and collectors who share their pictures, news and commentary about art on the Club’s Facebook page.

“Art in the Time of Corona-V” is a new Facebook group for artists and lovers of art.  It was created as a virtual gallery where artists can react to and comment on the coronavirus pandemic through their art.  The page posts many topics to explore through art, like self portrait, studio visit, sketchbook Sundays, still life, collaboration, printmaking and many more. This group is made up of artists from all over the world but is heavily supported and utilized by working Detroit artists and Detroit art lovers.

So my art is helping me get through this and, in a way, I am helping my art get through this too.

When I simply want to put down my pencils and brushes and camera, and relieve stress by indulging in the pure enjoyment of art, I take virtual tours.  Many museums and art galleries around the world have placed works from their collections online.  Some of my favorites are highlighted below.

My advice as to what to include in your own COVID-19 survival toolbox is anything that makes you happy and keeps you safe.  There are many support groups available online; and Zoom and virtual meeting services are a great way to social distance but still connect.

If you need assistance connecting with any of the resources I mentioned, drop me an email at rreeves@hannan.org.

All the best,

COVID-19 and Higher Risk Individuals

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By Melissa Draughn, LMSW, Director of Social Work

I have been diagnosed with two autoimmune disorders, hyperthyroidism and Multiple Sclerosis. It has been a long, difficult journey that ultimately taught me to be more mindful of my health. I won’t say I have been perfect about it but I have definitely become more careful and consistent. I also had to adapt to a new normal. And so of course, when I had just reached my best level of health maintenance, a pandemic happened. I was forced yet again to adapt to a new normal.

A big part of my new normal has been to severely limit my in-person social interactions. As a social worker and member of a fairly large family, I was accustomed to being around people, but I didn’t realize it until it became unwise to do so. The hardest adjustment was ceasing my weekly visits with my grandmother and parents. My grandmother is 92 years old and my parents, who are also her main caregivers, are in their mid-60s. We are in two different high-risk populations and the way I could show I cared was to stop physically showing up. We do however maintain contact by phone on a regular basis and the occasional video chat. It has been enough so far.

With the subtraction of face-to-face social interactions came the addition of increased fear. Fear has perhaps been the biggest obstacle during this time. Every sneeze was followed by a ‘what if’. It took me two weeks to leave the apartment for anything. I spent those two weeks distracting myself with work and streaming services. This phase, however, wasn’t sustainable. I am far from an extrovert or an outdoors person, but the first walk I took in the driveway greatly improved my mood and motivation.

As the fear lessened, I was able to absorb the facts. People, such as myself, taking disease-modifying treatments are more at risk for severe illness should we become infected with COVID-19. The stakes are higher but taking the necessary precautions, such as social distancing, increased hand washing and cleaning frequently used surfaces is still the best game plan. I was already doing some of these actions, but I am now more mindful of their importance. I also continue to take my medication as prescribed and will only make changes after speaking with my specialist.

The source of your information is also an important factor in managing fear. It is easy to become overwhelmed with multiple and conflicting pieces of information. I rely on updates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or trusted organizations such as the American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association (AARDA) for guidelines and recommendations rather than word of mouth.  There are also different national societies for different diseases such as The National MS Society and National Lupus Resource Center that might be more helpful if you are looking to be more specific. Finally, I check in with my family members on a regular basis so that they know I’m okay. I find that it’s important to do this because it’s not just my fear that matters.

In closing, I want to remind you that our Zena Baum Senior Center hotline is available Monday through Friday from 9am – 5pm to help connect you with the resources you may need or to just lend a listening ear. You can find the phone number and email address below.

Be well,

A Note From A Millennial

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By Corey Achambault
AmeriCorps Program Director

Full disclosure: I am, in fact, a Millennial. Born between the early 1980s and mid-1990s, I grew up watching cable TV, am skilled with a smartphone, and have no real memories of a time before the internet. I’m also an avid reader, love dogs, and consider volunteering to be my favorite hobby. Even though I may sometimes act like I know more than I do, when it comes to COVID-19, I’m paying close attention to those who know more than me and following the recommendations laid out by the CDC and State of Michigan.

As such, it really gets my goat when I read articles or social media posts criticizing Millennials for traveling to exotic spring break locations. Frankly, the last time I went to a beach for spring break was over ten years ago! And while I, too, may find myself being a little critical of those who travel for recreation right now, I think it is important at this time that we suspend assumptions and avoid mislabeling behaviors or giving in to gross overgeneralizations.

One stereotype about Millennials is that we try to make everything about ourselves and I promise that is not my intention with this note. I only share this experience to let you know that I get it – people have a lot to say about other generations, and all too often, it’s negative or misplaced, and it’s usually directed at either my generation or yours.

While logging onto social media, I often see sarcastic posts that end with “okay boomer” and an eyeroll emoji. Typically, my policy is to ignore the post and keep scrolling in search of content that is more interesting, more relevant, or, if I’m lucky, includes a dog video. However, I cannot take this same passive approach when I see an extension of this “joke” in posts now referring to COVID-19 as #BoomerRemover. It baffles me that people think this is humorous or okay. It is not.

If we stick to the facts, then yes, COVID-19 disproportionately presents serious, life-threatening symptoms in older adults. However, these symptoms are not exclusive to aging populations and can affect anybody, regardless of age. Furthermore, #BoomerRemover fails to account for the sum of the human experience. Now is a time for our community to come together and support each other, not reinforce divides or prejudices, passing them off as “harmless” humor. My generation is still getting our lives together and we need you to continue showing us the ropes! I need my aging family and friends in my life. They matter to me. You matter to me. You matter.

So here are some of the ways I’m supporting the older adults in my life at this time:

  1. Staying home to the fullest extent possible
  2. Promoting social media content that is actually humorous and educating those who post insensitive material
  3. Checking in regularly with the important people in my life
  4. Talking others through using grocery delivery services and apps that link library cards to eReaders or tablets
  5. Preparing a meal for neighbors diagnosed with COVID-19 and sharing via porch drop-off

Our world is about to change and nobody knows what it is going to look like. But if we come together and support one another through this time, then our community will come out that much stronger. It’s my hope that we can close the gap between our generations and find mutual understanding and respect that extends well beyond COVID-19.