Category Archives: Body/Mind/Spirt

Physical, mental and spiritual wellness for people of all ages

Coping with Change

The Affiliated Santé group is hosting a discussion group about the new development which will be occuring at Friends House. The group will meet once a week for 7 weeks on Wednesdays 3:30-4:40 beginning Septmeber 7th through October 19th. Contact Erin Michell at 301-804-4167 or for information.

Museum Workshop: Home and the Meaning of Place

Home and The Meaning of Place – a workshop series

Next All Ages workshop Saturday, March 19, 2016 at Sandy Spring Museum, 1pm to 4pm

Pictures from the February 27th workshop



What can we learn from our treasures and memories?

Our first Meaning of Home workshop was held Saturday February 27.  The meaning of home is complex, and unique. It is connected to your experiences and embedded within your heart. Home is a place for your stuff and for your memories…and can include the homes of grandparents, or other historical places or experiences, a beach or mountain vacation home or annual trips to a home country. Our participants ranges in age from 17-mid eighties! We learned about the special collections at the Museum from Curator Lydia Fraser and were able to examine treasured historic objects and sentimental items of personal use or practical use from the historic residents of Sandy Spring. Participants examined personal meaning of home and created beautiful collages symbolic of their own heart home.

Reflection Quotes and Maxims:

-Home is where the heart is.
-Home is not just a place-it is a feeling.
-It is love that makes any place a “home”
-There is no place like
-With you I am home. My home is a person!
-Nature is not a place to visit. It is home.  (Gary Snyder)
-How often have I lain beneath rain on a strange roof, thinking of home. ( William Faulkner)
-It doesn’t matter whom you love or where you move from or to, you always take yourself with you. If you don’t know who you are, or if you’ve forgotten or misplaced her, then you’ll always feel as if you don’t belong. Anywhere. (xiii) Sarah Ban Breathnach, “Moving On: Creating Your House of Belonging with Simple Abundance”
-Language is the only homeland. Czeslaw Milosz

2016 Feb & March Classes at Sandy Spring Museum

Also check out the creative writing from our Winter Gift Workshop, click on Creativity and then Writing

Aging Well With Friends Intergenerational Workshops at the Museum

2016 Creative Winter Explorations for All ages

Each workshop is being held twice to give more people a chance to attend.

All smiles
All smiles

Exploring the meaning of Home: The Art and Meaning of deeply seeing the places we live
February 27, 2016, afternoon class, 1PM-3PM
March 19, 2016, morning class 10:00am – 12:00pm
Participants of all ages are invited to attend just one of these events or both.
Cost: 20$ for Adults, free for seniors and students
To register contact Carol Cober email:, phone: 240-418-5603

Description: Explore how creative expression using mixed media, creative writing and art journaling can help us understand more about the place we call home throughout the lifespan. Learn how the unique history of the place in Sandy Spring connects with our own personal meaning about our heart-home. Open to all-ages.

2016 Mid week-Opportunities for those who share care

Creative explorations for caregivers: Keeping more joy during times of stress
Wednesday February 10, 2016 from 1-2:30 – to be rescheduled
Wednesday March 9, 2016 from 1-2:30
Cost: $20 for adults-Free for seniors over 65 and students
To register contact Carol Cober email:, phone: 240-418-5603

Description: Explore art practices in mixed media and collage and guided writing exercises to find how creative expression can help you to claim more joy when under caregiver stress. For all ages of caregivers young moms and dads, older caregivers or others curious about this learning.

Alexander Technique helps balance



Robin Gilmore of Chesapeake Bay Alexander Studios taught two different Alexander Technique workshops at Friends House with the help of Peter Legowski of Sandy Spring Friends Meeting.  Robin, using her little friend, the skeleton, “Alex”, showed the participants how to get up out of a chair more easily, and how to feel more confident about  balance whether needing to use helps like walking with a cane or walker or able to walk without aid.  Both workshops were well attended and more are in the planning stages.

The Alexander Technique has been in use since the late 1800’s and aims to increase efficiency and mobility in any activity.    It was invented by F. M. Alexander and is a process of learning to be aware of the way you move and ways you could move better by unlearning old habits of movement that are no longer or were never effective.   The method is used by performers, athletes, musicians and dancers.  It also helps with symptoms of chronic fatigue and tension, the result of tension at work and in daily life.  As Robins says, “We can regain our inherent buoyancy and think on our feet as we respond to whatever comes our way.”

Robin Gilmore is a dancer who learned the Alexander Technique to help her dance healthily.  She is a Teaching Artist for the Maryland State Arts Council and VSA Arts.  She has been teaching the Alexander Technique since 1986 and runs a Teacher Training program in Greensboro, NC.  She is the author of a book, “What Every Dancer Needs to Know About the Body“.  Pete Legowski is currently attending the Teacher Training program.

For more information on Robin and the Alexander Technique, click here.

Improv at the Museum

Describing a face
Describing a face

Another group with their facer
Another group with a face
Great "art" description #3
Great “art” description #3

Aging Well with Friends spent a morning at the IMPROV with Bridget Cavaiola of the Baltimore Improv Group, whose home is the Mercury Theater at 1823 N. Charles Street in Baltimore, MD 21201.  Bridget led us through a series of exercises leading to impromptu skits.  

Participants were of all ages and conditions from very athletic young people to an elder in a wheelchair. Bridget

Great "art" description #3
Great “art” description #3
started by having us learn each other’s names through movement and paired us up in random groups based on the alphabet or numbers.  The final skit was a cartoon face drawn by two people taking turns.  Then we had to name the face and describe the character behind the face by turns, without being able to talk to each other first.  The results were hilarious!

Writing Together: Celebrating our Gifts 11/24/2015

Writing Together Workshop
Celebrating the Gifts in our lives

Time: Tuesday, November 24 from 1:00-2:30 PM
Location: Miller Center at Friends House


Our workshop guides are  Nancy Preuss and Mary Stevenson

Nancy Preuss taught at Sandy Spring Friends School for many years and lives at Friends House.  Her art work is displayed in the Flower Alley Gallery at Friends House.  Mary Stevenson taught English at a community college in Prince Georges County until she retired last year and lives in Hyattsville.  She is also an avid gardener.

Call Carol Cober at 240-418-4603 to register, or use sign up sheet by the Country Store.

Let us know if you need any assistance with writing, for example one might need a scribe to put ones writings down on paper.



This page will have news and tips for caregivers.

Alzheimers Caregiving

Here’s a page with many tips for people giving care to people with Alzheimers.  Click here to access the page.

Family Caregiving

Click to access Family and home caregiving resources from AARP

Getting Paid-For Caregiving

Click to access How to find paid help for caregiving

Caregiver Do’s and Don’ts for new caregivers

Click to access 8 rules for new caregivers 

Maryland Caregivers Support Coordinating Council – click on the service name

National Family Caregiver Support Program – info on available services, assistance locating resources, financial assistance for respite care, education and supplemental services.

Maryland Access Point (MAP) – a gateway for older adults and those with disabilities. Info and assistance to allow one to stay in one’s home and plan for future needs.  State partners include MD Dept of Aging, Disabilities & Health & Mental Hygiene, also Centers for Independent Living.

MD Technology Assistance Program – helps families get assistive technologies such as wheelchairs, adapted technologies, ramps and other home modifications.

Office of Adult Services Respite Care Program – provides a break to family caregivers, caring for an adult or child with disability or chronic health need.




Technology is often daunting if not frightening to seniors. Where can they go to get more information? How can they learn about it?

A computer is a tool that most kids learned how to use when they were very young and most elders did not have much reason to use. New tools are sometimes hard to get used to. While learning one can feel very very clumsy which can become a stumbling block. Its hard to remember that feeling clumsy at first is normal. At a certain point the clumsiness stops and it begins to be comfortable and fun.

All you need is someone to teach you who is patient and willing to repeat things over and over again. Here’s a link to a site with a film about a group of elders who teamed up with some kids to learn how to use the computer. It took a while but they ended up having a lot of fun!

Click here to go to the CyberSeniors project!

Art Journaling Workshop

Caitlin Sherwood, artist, gave two workshops at the Sandy Spring Museum on Art Journaling, one to a mixed age group and one to an older group. Her process is to first write a journal entry and then to paint the page, often painting over the writing. The writing gets her started and then she uses many different kinds of paint, markers, collage, markers, glitter, to fashion an art journal entry that seems real to her for that day. She tries to do at least one page a day.

She gave the students several pages to work on and provided paints, glue, old magazines and old books from thrift stores from which to cut pictures for collages.

Students, young and old, commented that they liked the freedom and would try to contine with art journaling at home.

Janet and Ollie’s wedding!

There is a season – Turn, Turn, Turn
And a time for every purpose, under heaven
Pete Seeger’s adaptation of the biblical passage Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

  • Couple & Families
  • Getting ready - Wedding Crew
  • Getting ready - ironing
  • Bride & Groom at their Wedding Reception

This was a season for new love, deepening commitment, and community in Sandy Spring.
At Friends House – a community of older adults who live, laugh, love and cry together – we are blessed frequently by the out breaking of the Spirit at times of joy, and in times of sorrow. The events leading up to and including the wedding of Janet Riley and Ollie Moles on September 12 was a time of great JOY, where the milk and honey flowed throughout this community and touched the lives of many, here and far away.

Janet and Ollie reconnected after having known each other for many years. The friendship blossomed into a deeper love and a desire to commit to each other to live together in marriage for their remaining years. The two families, who also have known each other for years, joined in this commitment and celebrated the joining together of their parents, grandparents, aunt and uncle. Friends, both near and far, created a network of Love and Care that wove threads of support and care.

Married under the care of two Friends (Quaker) Meetings (Sandy Spring and Langley Hill), these communities provided ongoing Spiritual support and practical support by creating teams of Friends who catered a rehearsal dinner/celebration on Friday evening and then a reception after the worship in which the marriage service was conducted on Saturday. Here at Friends House and at Sandy Spring Friends School, food was prepared in the kitchens, hospitality was provided to family members and friends for several days before and after the wedding, flowers were arranged and delivered, tents were put up and tables, chairs, tablecloths were assembled, and even ironing boards, irons and sewing machines were rounded up for last minute preparations.

Our street, Quaker Knoll Road in Sandy Spring, became Wedding Central, as family and friends moved back and forth between cottages, getting to know one another, making wedding preparations, and celebrating this NEW SEASON of LOVE between Ollie and Janet. This was a community – an intergenerational community – coming together in a season of Love. It was a time to gather stones together, a time to build up, a time to laugh. For us it was a time that a little piece of heaven was here on Earth.

May we all be Blessed with times under heaven in our lives here on earth.
Joan Dyer Liversidge for Aging Well with Friends