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Where Westport Meets the World

Town Christmas Tree Lighting

As part of WHS’ Holly Days Series in connection with the Holly Days exhibits., join us in a town-wide celebration on Thursday, Nov. 29, from 5 to 7 pm for the annual Christmas Tree Lighting.

After Town Hall lights the holiday tree on the front lawn, pop across the street to Westport Historical Society for an evening of holiday cheer! Warm up from the cold with a cup of hot cocoa donated by our friends at Starbucks. Explore our holiday exhibits, shop for festive finds and take a quick photo with Santa! This is a free event, please join us before or after the tree lighting! 


32nd Annual Holiday House Tour

Take a break from the holiday madness to indulge yourself in a journey to the past.  The Westport Historical Society invites you to join the 32nd Holiday House Tour on Sunday December 9th, from 11 am until 4 pm.

This is your chance to peek inside the historic buildings you’ve always wondered about. 

The tour is self-guided and begins at Wheeler House which will be decorated in traditional Victorian style. Visit a historic dairy barn dating to 1755 and a house that served as a tollbooth in the 1700s. Tour a meticulously preserved house from the 1700s that has a surprisingly post-modern interior.

Have you always wondered about the yellow schoolhouse on Morningside Drive? Adams Academy was a private school from 1837- 1867 and is rarely open to the public. Come visit and see how students celebrated the holidays 180 years ago!

The history of each house and site will be interpreted by Westport Historical Society and enhanced by holiday decorations courtesy of local designers.

Pre-register and purchase tickets online at www.westporthistory.org.  Members: $50; non-members $60; Tickets purchased day of event: $70


Gingerbread Decorating Workshop

As part of WHS’s Holly Days Series in connection with the Holly Days exhibitions,  bring the whole family to decorate gingerbread for the holiday season. Add icing to gingerbread people, snowflakes, and penguins!

This event takes place at Westport Historical Society on Saturday, Nov. 17, from 11 am to noon.

Online pre-registration $8 for members, $12 for non-members. At the door $10 suggested admission for members, $15 for non-members. Students $5 with ID. No charge for children 5 and under.

Reservations are recommended, register online at www.westporthistory.org or call (203) 222-1424 x5.


 



Saint Luke Church Harvest Fair

Saint Luke Church will be hosting its annual Harvest Fair tomorrow from 10 am to 2 pm. The family-friendly event features local vendors from around Connecticut who sell items ranging from unique soaps to clothing. The fair also features the Shabby Chic Boutique, where visitors can look through discounted jewelry, home decorations and more. 

Come to visit Saint Luke's Harvest Fair on 49 Turkey Hill Rd North in Westport. 


SOUNDS FOR A STARRY NIGHT Concert on December 7, 2018

The Westport Woman’s Club is presenting “Sounds for a Starry Night” on Friday, December 7 at 7:30 pm at the WWC clubhouse (44 Imperial Avenue, Westport, CT).  This special concert will feature two acclaimed Westport musicians:  international violinist Igor Pikayzen, and famed Russian pianist Tatyana Pikayzen. 

Grandson of the legendary Soviet violinist Viktor Pikayzen, Igor was born in Moscow, Russia.  Since his concert debut at the age of eight, Pikayzen has performed with major orchestras in Europe, Asia, North and South America.  Igor was a winner of a Horizon Award, presented by the Westport Arts Advisory Committee to an outstanding Westport artist, under the age of 30 with a national/international reputation.  Praised by critics and audiences alike for his astounding technical ability and majestically lush tone, Mr. Pikayzen is regarded as one of the most promising young artists of his generation. 

Tatyana Pikayzen has performed to tremendous critical acclaim across three continents.  A top prize winner at the Chopin International Competition in Warsaw, she has appeared as a soloist with major orchestras in the world’s most prestigious concert halls.  Featured composers for the violin-piano program will include Beethoven, Schubert, Tchaikovsky, Gershwin, among others. 

Tickets are $50 ($25 for students up to 18 years) to experience this live concert in an intimate setting.  Your ticket includes a reception following the performance. To purchase tickets, visit www.westportwomansclub.org.  

Igor Pikayzen, a graduate of Staples High School, Juilliard and the Yale School of Music, loves to perform in Westport and give back to his community.  Proceeds from this “Sounds for a Starry Night” concert will benefit need-based scholarships for Staples High School seniors. 

The Westport Woman’s Club, organized in 1907, is a non-profit philanthropic organization dedicated to volunteerism and the raising of funds in support of the educational, charitable, cultural and public health services in Westport and surrounding towns.  You do not have to be a Westport Resident to join The Westport Woman’s Club.  To join as a member please call the WWC Office at 203-227-4240.


Joe Jencks, No Stranger to Voices Cafe

Joe Jencks, no stranger to Voices Café having sung there four times with the harmony trio Brother Sun, returns for his first solo engagement. 

Tickets are $25 and are available for purchase online at .

Joe is noted for his unique merging of musical beauty, social consciousness, and spiritual exploration. Blending well-crafted instrumentals and vivid songwriting, he serves it all up with a lyric baritone voice that has the edgy richness of a good sea-salt caramel.

The next time someone says that folk music has lost its conscience, lacks great protest songs, and has lost its connection with its causes, sit them down to listen to Joe Jencks.

John Platt, WFUV, New York, wrote of Joe’s “resonant, honey-rich voice, his open-hearted humanity, and his commitment to social justice” and continued, “We need artists who inspire our better selves more than ever, don't we?"

Joe’s music is soul-moving, toe-tapping - call it poetry - that rises from his Irish working-class roots and combined with his conservatory training is delivered full of heart, groove, and grit.

Praised by Pete Seeger – “Joe is a fantastic singer who carries on the traditions” – and Holly Near – Joe Jencks is among the fine next generation singers who are ready to carry on the tradition as well as look into the future” – he has penned several #1 Folksongs, including the ever more relevant almost on a daily basis now, “Lady of The Harbor”.

From coffeehouses to Carnegie Hall, Jencks has made a mark on the American music scene, singing and telling stories that educate, illuminate, and are uplifting.

Opening for Joe will be Heather Pierson, an award-winning pianist, multi-genre singer/songwriter, arranger, bandleader, and performer.  From New Orleans-style jazz and blues to rousing Americana and poignant folk narratives, Heather’s memorable live performances feature her virtuosity on piano, her bell-tone vocals, and her commanding yet playful stage presence while wielding a tenor banjo, melodica, or acoustic guitar.

"Heather is like two great acts in one” wrote DC Bloom, LoneStar Music Magazine, “sliding from sweet acoustic Appalachian old-timey vibe with Patty Griffinesque lyrics to brassy New Orleans blues piano with a bone thrown to Bessie Smith."

Seating at Voices is at tables, cabaret-style. Snacks and beverages can be brought; coffee and desserts are for sale at intermission.  Table reservations (minimum 4 people) are accepted by contacting David Vita, david@uuwestport.org or calling 203.227.7205 x14.  Walk-up tickets are $30 and the doors open at 7:30.  


Election 2018: What Happened?

Back by popular demand! Join us for coffee and continental breakfast to hear one of our favorite speakers. Tanya Rhodes Smith, MSW is an Instructor in Residence at the Uconn School of Social Work. She teaches in the policy practice concentration in the areas of program planning and evaluation, political advocacy and political social work. Tanya is the Director of the Nancy A. Humphreys Institute for Political Social Work. Her areas of specialization include policy development, nonprofit administration, voter engagement and legislative advocacy. Tanya will discuss the ramifications of this week’s election to our state and our country. This is the perfect opportunity to learn, see old friends and bring a new friend to this informative event.

Free & Open to the Public. 

Suzuki School of Music, 246 Post Rd E, Rear Entrance, Westport





Annual Interfaith Thanksgiving Celebration


The Unitarian Church in Westport will host this year’s annual Interfaith Thanksgiving Celebration at 7:30pm on Thursday, November 15.  The church is located at 10 Lyons Plains Road, Westport.

The service is sponsored by the Interfaith Clergy Council of Westport and Weston.  Members of the Council, made up of religious leaders from local churches and synagogues, will lead us in prayers and songs representing a cross section of religious traditions including a reading and translation from the Qur’an.  Local community leaders will also be participating. 

Reverend John Betit from Christ and Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, Westport will give the sermon, “Finding Our Way Back Home,” a combined Norfield Congregational Church (Weston) and Unitarian Church choir and the Norfield Bell Choir will provide music. 

Reverend Betit, in describing his sermon, reflected:


‘He turned to Jesus and asked, “and who is my neighbor?"  This question remains shockingly relevant 2000 later.  Who is my neighbor, my sister, or my brother?  Have we forgotten who we are?  What better time to remember than Thanksgiving?  May we ask the question afresh and begin finding our way home to one another.’

We come together from across the community for this festive celebration of Thanksgiving and giving thanks.

A reception with light refreshments will follow the worship service.


Boy Scout Troop 36 Pancake Breakfast

Boy Scout Troop 36 will be holding a Pancake Breakfast on Saturday November 10th from 11:00 AM until 1:00 PM at Saugatuck Congregational Church 245 Post Road East. Tickets may be purchased at the door. All proceeds will be used to support Troop 36 activities and Council Camps and programs.


WANDERING - Mirrors, Black Holes and Dementia

by Dennis Patouhas

Several years ago, I learned some very useful tips to help families protect their loved ones from wandering. The chance that someone with dementia may wander is a very real risk. When we meet with families seeking help with mom or dad who has developed dementia, we do not ask if they wander? instead we ask, “have they wondered yet”?  According to the Alzheimer’s Association “Anyone who has memory problems and is able to walk is at risk for wandering. Even in the early stages of dementia, a person can become disoriented or confused for a period of time.” 

What I learned was that a person with dementia is not going to walk through a door with the reflection of someone that they don’t recognize right before them. Because the disease has progressed to a point where what they see in the mirror is a stranger. They don’t recognize and as a result will not go forward.

Having just read another article, Mirrors and Dementia: 10 Solutions for Challenging Behavior, I learned another perspective on how mirrors affect someone afflicted with this condition. In that article they point out that “seeing their reflection in a mirror can cause anxiety, anger or even hysterical terror”. The article proceeds to list a number of reasons why mirrors can be a bad combination when mixed with dementia. Clearly seeing what they think is a stranger instead of their own reflection can be frightening. Taking that a step further, they might consider that person to be an intruder and that would provoke fear. And if that were not enough, the person may have agitation in the bathroom and resist bathing when a mirror suggests that there is a stranger in that room. One solution with two differing viewpoints. Are the consequences worse than the cure? Depending upon the individual, pursuing some of the many other solutions might be tried first.

WHY DO PEOPLE WITH DEMENTIA WANDER

Esther Heerema author of Prevent Wandering in Dementia by Understanding Its Common Causes attributes numerous reasons for why dementia persons wander; 

Searching for a Bathroom - taping a large picture of a toilet on the bathroom door can sometimes assist with this.

Hunger - try offering small, healthy snacks more frequently to make sure this need is met.

Attempting to Go to Work - This person may benefit from a more structured day, such as an adult activity program or being given specific tasks to do.

Restlessness - Give adequate opportunity to exercise. If your loved one already has had a long walk, it’s less likely that she’ll want or need another long walk right away. 

Discomfort or Pain - Sometimes pain or discomfort that is relieved by frequently walking. 

Hallucinations or Paranoia - seeing or hearing things that are not there, they may be experiencing some psychosis. 

Searching for Home - "home" in dementia might mean their actual current or most recent house, their childhood house, or simply something that looks and feels familiar.  

Boredom and Loneliness - Offering engaging and meaningful activities can improve quality of life and may decrease restlessness and wandering.

Other Wandering Prevention Tips

Locks on Doors - Install a deadbolt lock on the exterior door. You may want to install it a higher or lower level than you usually would so that it is not near eye level. Do ensure that someone with dementia is not locked in a home alone in case of an emergency.

Dark Floor Mats -Placed in front of an exterior door looks like a hole to someone suffering from dementia and will probably be avoided.

Stop Signs on Doors or Areas - Place stop signs on doors you don’t want him to go through. The usual response to a stop sign is so ingrained that it often continues to evoke that same response.

Alarms / GPS Monitoring Service - You can install an alarm on the exterior doors so that if, for example, you’re sleeping at night, it will sound if someone tries to exit the door.

You can also consider a Global Positioning System service. These are available through several online companies and offer different options. They usually have an initial cost and often an ongoing monthly cost as well.

Enroll in the Alzheimer's Association MedicAlert + Safe Return program

This program provides you with an ID bracelet or pendant with information about your loved one, as well as a 24 hours/day emergency response system including law enforcement notification if your loved one is missing.

Comfort Keepers of Lower Fairfield County has been providing senior care services for over 17 years. As one of the oldest agencies in the area we have helped hundreds of families with elder care for their loved ones. Our area of home care service covers Greenwich to Bridgeport and includes such towns as Stamford and Norwalk. As part of one of the largest systems for in-home care with over 700 offices nationwide we have solutions to senior care issues where you need them. Call us at (203) 266-1227.