SHINE: Senior Health Inventory Network Endeavor

Covers: SHINE serves older adults in the greater Goffstown community

Mission, Vision & Goals

As a ministry of St. Matthew’s Church SHINE falls under its mission and vision. The goal of SHINE is to enhance the quality of life of older adults through socialization and promotion of a healthy lifestyle.

Broad Overview

Fifteen years ago the rector of St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church in Goffstown, Rev. William Exner, recognized a need for socialization in several of his older parishioners. After discussing this matter with Catholic Medical Center’s Parish Nurse Program, a partnership was forged that has grown and flourished in the ensuing years.

There is an Algebraic equation that has been proven to work here at St Matthew's: 3F = SHINE. Food + Free + Fun = Senior Health Initiative Network Endeavor

Here’s how it works: 10-12 Seniors 70’s – 90’s living in our community gather on Wednesdays at 10:30 at the Parish House and are greeted with age appropriate music where they: Socialize, Eat a healthy, light luncheon, Exercise their brains with games, discussions, and a monthly speaker, Exercise their bodies: Strength, Flexibility/Balance/Agility, Aerobics & Relaxation, Visit the Parish Nurse for BP test, sharing concerns & getting information. Our usual program offers a guest speaker once a month with Sue, our Parish House and coordinator planning specific activities that can be accomplished within our timeframe of thirty to forty-five minutes.

It has been our policy to take the summer months of July and August off and resume our meetings right after Labor Day.

This formula is working as evidenced by the sounds of the laughter, support and sharing emanating from the room. Help is always welcome in the form of occasional or weekly: Driving, Baking or cooking, Sharing a skill or experience.

Those of us who help run this program are careful not to tell seniors what they CAN’T do but rather what they CAN do. We learn more from the SHINErs than they do from us, especially that YOU ARE NEVER TOO OLD TO FEEL YOUNG!

They may come into the room with an ache in their back or their knee or their heart but they usually leave with a smile on their faces making them really SHINE!

How is your age-friendly initiative structured?

SHINE, a program of St. Matthew’s Fellowship ministry, is run by volunteers including a registered nurse and three retired parishioners. During COVID, Barbara, the program leader, has made an effort to connect with each participant by phone to check in with them.

Describe any partnerships you have developed?

Catholic Medical Center’s Parish Nurse Program has been an active partner in SHINE.

What is the role of volunteers?

SHINE is 100% volunteer run. The volunteers plan, implement and evaluate the weekly programs by engaging monthly speakers and activity providers, bringing healthy snacks, driving participants, and more.

Strategies that have contributed to your success? Barriers you have encountered?

“I have seen participants go from being somewhat depressed to loving life again. For some of these folks, this is their only opportunity to gather and socialize with others of their age cohort. I cannot say enough about the success of this model.” Rev. William Exner, now retired.

Those of us who help run this program are careful not to tell older adults what they CAN’T do but rather what they CAN do. We learn more from the SHINErs than they do from us, especially that YOU ARE NEVER TOO OLD TO FEEL YOUNG!

Participants report that it is fun learning and gives them something to look forward to each week. They may come into the room with an ache in their back or their knee or their heart but they usually leave with a smile on their faces making them really SHINE!

Types of funding that your initiative has received

SHINE is supported by St. Matthew’s Church in collaboration with CMC’s Parish Nurse Program and its generous volunteers.

Community Initiatives

Transportation

Most SHINE participants transport themselves to and from this program but there are several each year who rely on the kindness of other participants or of one of the program leaders. We are currently exploring using the Manchester Transit Authority’s little bus which provides transportation for seniors to health appointments.

Chores, Handyman & Upkeep

Resources on all manner of services are discussed and provided as needed.

Home Repair & Modification

Resources on all manner of services are discussed and provided as needed.

Health & Wellness

CMC’s Parish Nurse provides information on health & wellness as do some of those invited to speak at SHINE. Topics covered include but are not limited to medications, physical therapy, hearing, fitness including stretching, Tai Chi, light aerobics and balance.

Outreach & Resource Information

Timely vetted information is shared as appropriate.

Social, Educational & Recreational

SHINE focuses each program on socialization, healthy snack and brain and physical activities. Presenters have included MA College of Pharmacy, Apotheca Florist, Library, Historical Society, NH Hearing program and more.

Food, Gardening & Cooking

A healthy light lunch is served at each session and recipes for food offerings are shared when participants desire. Food left from each session is sent home with one or more participants. Panera bread and pastries are usually available as are eggs by the dozen.

Family, Caregiving Support & Respite

A few families bring or send family members to SHINE to provide a bit of respite for themselves. Some stay to observe.

Fraud, Abuse & Exploitation

The subject of fraud has been communicated using AARP materials.

Accessibility & Walkability

St. Matthew’s Parish House is handicapped accessible.

Communication

SHINE is promoted on St. Matthew's website at stmattsepiscopal.org and via Catholic Medical Center's monthly newsletter. The rest is done via word of mouth. and get referral information, do some mind games (fondly referred to as brain aerobics), do some physical activity such as strength training or Tai Chi to age-appropriate fitness music, and do a relaxation activity such as meditation or chair massage. Once a month a speaker comes to talk about issues important to older adults. They are anxious to learn what TO do rather than what NOT to do.

The program is coordinated by four volunteers: retired teacher Barbara Carbonneau, CMC parish nurse Sue Jepsen,RN, St. Matthew's parishioner, Judy Johnson, and retired health educator Joan Alayne Stevens. The program leaders take turns bringing health foods for the SHINErs to try and an activity to stimulate their brains. Some of the food sampling has included quinoa, edamame beans, tempeh, tofu, couscous and the like.  SHINErs have remarked “You use weird ingredients but they taste good!”

Brain activities have included:

  • Bag dramatics where teams of participants make up and act out a story using props in a bag they are given.
  • Charades
  • Name That Tune

Guest speakers have talked on such things as skin care, spine care, healthy eating, local Historic Society, DOC talk, etc. Participants vote each year on topics they would like to learn more about.

Our former sole male participant, then 87 year old Harold, worked with one of the program leaders last year to write and produce a book about his life. He distributed and signed copies at an after-church coffee hour.

Region

Models

Contact

St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church
7 North Mast Street, Goffstown, NH 03045
office@stmattsepiscopal.org
603 497-2003