Fairfax County Library Access Services visit Cafe Fairfax

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I love to read! Do you? If there were ever to come a time when I had difficulty reading it would be a very upsetting time for me. So I was delighted to introduce Ken Plummer from Fairfax County Library Access Services to the folk who attended Cafe Fairfax on Monday. Ken talked about three important services that many of us didn’t know about, and can help us to keep on enjoying the written and spoken word available from our local library. You will need a library card but if you no longer have one or you haven’t used it for several years, it is easy to apply for a new card.

1)  Free home delivery service
There is no cost for books to be delivered to your home and for you to return them. A dark blue zippered bag, clearly labeled “Access Services” is used to hold the books, large print books, CD’s, audio books, magazines, etc. that you order. The mailing label is located in a clear pouch and has your address on one side with the library address on the other. When you want to return the items to the library you simply lift the label out, turn it around to the side that displays the library address, and pop it back in. There is no need sign for the bag when it is delivered.

This service is available to anyone who is unable to travel to a local library due to disability, illness or frailty. You can use it for a short period of time, for example while you’re recovering from a hospitalization, or long term. Reader Advisers will help you select the books you’d like to read. If you’d like to apply for this service you can fill in an application online (click here) or call 703-324-8380.

2)  Talking Book program
This service provides audio books and playing equipment to individuals of all ages who are unable to read or use standard print due to blindness, visual impairment or physical limitations such as being unable to hold a book. The books are read by professionals and they make the effort to read everything in a publication. Sometimes they even contact the author to ask about pronunciation for foreign words. They record 2,000 titles each year!

The National Library Service (NLS) for the blind and physically handicapped provides the Talking Book program and it is a national program. If you think this might be useful for someone who lives outside of Fairfax County please share this information with them. There is a catalog, Talking Book Topics, available in large print, on cassette, and online that lists what is available.

There are two ways you can listen to Talking Books:

  1. You can download an app to your smart device. It’s called BARD mobile app.
  2. You may need special equipment to play the NLS books and magazines but it is also loaned for free. Ken brought one to show us and it was portable, weighs two pounds, has a long battery life of 29 hours plus, and is easy to use with spoken instructions guiding the user. You can adjust the speed as well as the tone (from a high pitch to a lower one) for people who are hard of hearing. One of our friends at the cafe was familiar with an older version of the device that weighed seven pounds and could only run two hours on battery! Lots of improvements since then.

The Talking Book program is available through Access Services (contact info below) and you’ll find more information about it on the NLS website: . An application form is required for certification and there’s info about it on the library website (click here).

3)  Borrow e-books for your Kindle device or reading app
You can borrow e-books, audio books, and more using an app called Overdrive. You can search for titles and authors and it’s easy to see if the book is available or if there is a wait list. Check out time is 3 weeks and it is user friendly to how long you need to read it. You can download to your device or just read it through the app. Click here to check it out.

For more information about Library Access
Visit their website at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/library/branches/as
Phone: (703) 324-8380     TTY (703) 324-8365
Email: access@fairfaxcounty.gov 
If you would like Ken to present to your group, his email address is:

Ken also left brochures, application forms, catalogs and lots of other good information with me so I can share them with you when we meet at cafes and other events. It looks like there is a lot to explore at our local library either in person or from our homes!

email: Sonia@ParkinsonSocialNetwork.org


New cafes and a cafe shuffle

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Exciting changes for our cafes beginning in April . . .

We have some exciting news about our cafes! Beginning in April, we will have two new cafes – one in McLean (2nd Wednesday) and the other in Alexandria (3rd Monday). Both will be from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm as our new hosts have generously offered to provide us with a light lunch. We will be reaching out to both communities to get the word out but if you would like to help us, please send me an email and I can send you the flyers.

We were also asked if we could change the date of our Cafe Fairfax because our host, Insight Memory Care Center, is expanding their Reconnections program. This is exciting news for Insight! The end result is that beginning in April we have new days and times for our established cafes in Fairfax (3rd Wednesday, 10:00 am to 12 noon) and Ashburn (4th Wednesday, 11:00 am to 1:00 pm). You may have noticed that Cafe Ashburn also has a new time, as it will also include a light lunch. We are very fortunate to have such generous hosts at all our cafes!

I’ll be doing my best to keep you updated with our new schedule through our newsletters and on our website, trying to keep our new schedule easy to follow.

If you haven’t been to our cafes, they are an informal, social alternative to support groups. All those touched by Parkinson’s, including caregivers, families and friends, are welcome. While Parkinson’s is one thing that we have in common, it is definitely not the only thing. We all have so much more to share. To get the conversation started we offer programs that are fun and educational, with the hope they will inspire people to make the most of their lives with Parkinson’s.

Remembering David with an act of kindness

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This is a photo of our friend David. David, his wife Regina, and their children, were part of our support group at Fair Oaks for many years.

I have something very special to share with you today. Regina has asked us to mark our calendars for David’s birthday, March 7, to remember to show some act of kindness to others in honor of her loving husband. We realize that many of you didn’t know David, and that it’s only one day, but we hope to show that we care for one another, and we can do our part to make this world a better place. Our hope is that the more people that read this, the more acts of kindness will be shared. David was a loving and gentle soul and his wife and family believe this would bring him great joy.

When I first heard about Regina’s request it reminded me of two qualities I’ve seen time and again amongst my friends in the Parkinson community that are so special – kindness and compassion. Regina, thank you for inviting us to honor and remember David.

One of the ways David and Regina always amazed us is how often they would get out and about even after David needed his wheelchair to get around. They traveled to other states to visit family and went on a cruise. Locally, they attended Fair Oaks support group events, and Café Fairfax as often as possible. Regina continues to help her friends in the Parkinson community in all kinds of ways. An awesome, inspiring couple.

How beautiful a day can be when kindness touches it.

Out & About – Cafe Ashburn 2.21.18

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We were fortunate that Marney Kennedy could visit our Café Ashburn this morning, bringing us a sampling of what we might see if we visit the National Gallery of Art, and leading us in a conversation about how artists see the world. We enjoyed hearing some of the stories behind the paintings, and art history, too. Having seen Marney Talking Art twice now, I thought it was interesting to hear the variety of comments based on each individual’s experiences, and how we relate these experiences to what we’re seeing. Thank you Marney, for sharing your love and appreciation for art. Afterwards, Marney talked about some of the many programs offered at the National Gallery of Art. One of our friends suggested that he would like her to talk about Modern Art, and we hope we can entice Marney back to our cafés to talk about this different perspective sometime soon.

In March, we’ll be talking about books and libraries. We are working on bringing you information about access services offered by the libraries, and someone from Fairfax county libraries to visit our Fairfax café. If you are having difficulty reading and have suggestions for a work around, please send them to me and I’ll share them at our cafés. Better yet, how about if you came and shared them in person – we’d love for you to join us!

Cafés in March:   Fairfax – March 12        Ashburn – March 21


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Thrive: Supporting People With Parkinson’s Through Yoga Therapeutics

Carolyn Bagdoyan, the yoga therapist who visited Café Fairfax in October has created a program to support people with Parkinson’s. It is a specialized, intimate program to designed to help build a toolbox of techniques to apply to the unique needs of each participant–to help respond to “what shows up” each day–whether the need is to manage energy, uplift mood, reduce anxiety, alleviate body tension, or build greater internal physical balance, stamina and support.

The program will use a unique combined format of private sessions and supportive small-sized community classes to help participants nurture a personal customized self-care practice. The community classes will include time to review and reinforce what each student is working on with their customized program so that the practices can become more integrated and supported in daily life.

For more information contact:
Carolyn Bagdoyan, RYT 200, LFYP
Heart Tree Yoga LLC, www.hearttreeyoga.com

Change of the plans for February cafes

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February is . . . (renamed) and we’ll be Talking Art!

Seeing Art All Around Us with Marney Kennedy

We see trees all around us but how do those same trees inspire artists? How do different artists see trees? Or faces, colors, animals? How do artists use these same images for their art?

Join us for our February cafés as Marney Kennedy, a long-time docent at the National Gallery of Art visits us for an interactive presentation and a different perspective on how we look at the world around us.

About Marney 
Marney has been involved in giving tours at art museums for over 30 years, the last 27 at the National Gallery of Art. While at the National Gallery she led and participated in many docent programs including the training of new docents, evaluation of tours and themes and outreach into schools in the metro area.
Marney has also practiced art since the 1980’s, working in pastels, oils and watercolor. Her present concentration is on landscape painting in oils.

We’ve also added a new activity we’re calling Movement and Memory. We’ll start the fun at 10:10 am.

And let’s not forget a Very Important Celebration in February . . .

It’s chocolate month! We’ll have lots of chocolatey munchies, but you are always welcome to bring your own creations or finds!


Come for the coffee, stay for the company and conversation!
Our cafés are free, and you’re welcome to bring munchies to share.

Monday, February 12, 10:00 am – 12 noon
Café Fairfax

Insight Memory Care Center

Linda and Lou Mazawey Education & Support Center
3955 Pender Drive, Suite 100, Fairfax, VA 22030
Directions and map

We meet here on the 2nd Monday of each month and welcome people living with Parkinson’s, their families and friends.

Click here to RSVP – it really helps us with planning!

Wednesday, February 21, 10:00 am – 12 noon
Café Ashburn

Coffee and munchies are provided by the friendly folk at Tribute, in case you need a morning jump start. And we always bring information about local resources and services to share.

Tribute at One Loudoun

20335 Savin Hill Dr, Ashburn, VA 2014

We meet here on the 3rd Wednesday of each month and welcome people living with Parkinson’s, their families and friends.

Click here to RSVP – it really helps us with planning!