Philadelphia Chapter Newsletter  

Susan Gordon
Beth Galinsky
Cary Sellers

Next TTN Talks for New and Prospective Members
 Jan. 10  Center City

See a friend's name on the list?  Contact them via  TTN Member Directory .
Act quickly to sign up for remaining December activities!

Manna Kitchen Jan. 4

Contact Jean Brubaker with questions and recommendations.

Note: Sold Out events not listed.

Take a look at the new COMMITTEES webpage we've created!

 Check out the many volunteer members who give their time and talents to make our organization vibrant and strong.

It takes a Village! 
 If you're looking for ways to be more active within TTN, see what each Committee does and reach out!
TTN provides a limited amount of aid to assist in the payment of membership dues for those in challenging situations.  

Contact Susan Collins, TTN Executive Director, about possible financial assistance.
Chapter Events
Look at our up-to-date
Events Calendar to see what's coming up.

Register quickly to reserve your spot.  
Special Interest Groups (SIGs)

Find complete list of SIGs and let us know ideas for new groups.

In and Around Town
Stay Connected!
Quick Links

*The Transition Network - National


*TTN Resource Center 


*Contact Us

January 2017

Wishing all our TTN Philadelphia Members and Friends a happy, healthy and purposeful New Year. 

We hope you enjoy reading the articles below from Peer Groups, SIGs and The Caring Collaborative, as well as a recap of our special session with Dr. Zvi Gellis on Successful Aging. Also, check our PHL Events Calendar now and again in a few weeks, as more activities will be posted soon.   

Stay warm this winter as you journey out to meet with your TTN community for friendship, inspiration and engaging activities!                           
Current Trends in Successful Aging:  Age Well, Live Fully
Dr. Zvi Gellis, UPenn
O n a glorious Indian Summer day last October, TTN PHL had the pleasure of hosting a lecture titled "Current Trends in Successful Aging" by Dr. Zvi Gellis , Ph.D, Professor and Director for Center for Mental Health and Aging, School of Social Policy and Practice, University of Pennsylvania. 

Over 30 TTN members and guests attended as Dr. Gellis busted a number of myths and presented new insights into key factors predicting "successful" or "productive" aging.  Here are a few highlights from Dr. Gellis's talk:

How much do you know about aging?
  • Adults over age 85 are one of the fastest growing segments of the population
  • In Pennsylvania, currently 21% of the population is over 65.  By 2030, it will be 29% (from 2.7 million to 4.0 million people)
  • PA ranks 4th in the USA in percentage of older adults
  • 65% of 80+ are women
  • Average longevity age growth:   From 58 years old in 1930, to 68 years 1960, to 78.5 years in 2012
  • Genetics only accounts for 10-25% of longevity; 75% is lifestyle, environment, diet and exercise
  • Currently, at birth, female life expectancy is 81 years, male is 78
  • Currently, at age 65, life expectancy is 95 years
Dr. Gellis next discussed several myths about aging.   Myth #1 was about "depression as a normal part of aging".   Not true according to the latest research which shows that as people age, they tend to prioritize emotional meaning and satisfaction, incentivizing them to see the positive rather than negative side of life.   As a result, older adults tend to be happier, less anxious and adapt to their surroundings. 

Myth #2 was about the "inevitability of cognitive decline".  Dr. Gellis shared that, yes, our brains undergo structural changes especially in the prefrontal cortex. However, older adults perform better in the real world than they do on lab cognitive tests which underestimate their true abilities.  Novelty, mental challenge, learning new skills can enhance cognitive functioning.

Transition Peer Groups
Peer Group annual gratitude dinner

Even though every TTN Peer Group (PG) starts out with a similar structure, they develop their own personality over time. The liaisons of each group report that group members still look forward to the stimulating discussions they have each month. But many groups have started their own traditions or added some other events beyond the monthly Peer Group meetings.

One group has developed the tradition of having an annual gratitude dinner. The host sets a festive table and every one who likes to cook brings a dish to share. And for those who don't cook, every table needs some wine, bread or a decadent dessert! They have their meeting first and the topic is a chance to reflect on what is important in their lives. Then it is on to a friendly, filling feast with lots more good conversation and laughs.

Other groups have shared an experience such as heading to The Grounds For Sculpture or a restaurant excursion. One group recently was discussing the topic of "Change". The discussion evolved from personal change to the wider changes so many are feeling related to the current political transition. For this group, they found a commonality of ideals and now plan to attend the Philadelphia Women's March on January 21st as a group. Another group binge watched some episodes of an irreverent HBO series and had fun discussing what they saw.

Every few months the liaisons from each of the TTN Peer Groups gather to share ideas about how to enhance the peer group experience. In addition to the problem solving that goes on it, is a time for them to share ideas for topics that have lead to especially meaningful discussions. It can also be a time to share these other activities that groups have found add to the depth of the Peer group experience.

On our website it gives a description of a peer group as "providing a safe and supportive environment in which women may have thought-provoking and stimulating conversations relating to career or personal transitions".  What we have found is that it is all that and more! 

If you are interested in learning more about peer groups or interested in joining one, contact Marcia Goldstein, PHL Chair, Transition Peer Groups.   

Editor's Note:  Joan Applegate has officially passed the baton to Marcia Goldstein as the PHL Chair for Peer Groups.  We are so fortunate to have had Joan's steady, gracious, dedicated leadership for the past five years, creating a strong program and model that other TTN Chapters have adopted.  Joan will continue to work with the PHL Peer Group Advisory Committee. 
Special Interest Group (SIG) Corner

Our SIGs are busy, enjoying activities and each other's company. Starting this month, you'll get a better idea of what we are doing in a new column called "SIGgestions" (see next article).  See what we're reading, what the potlucks are cooking, what we are drinking, the shows we are going to see and what we are talking about on our walks. We hope you'll find something of interest and join a SIG to get you out in this cold weather!

We have one brand new SIG and two that are being reshaped:

Wine Lovers: This new SIG will meet monthly to learn about and (of course) taste wine. There may be trips to wine bars, or the SIG might engage experts to teach the members. To check it out, contact Mary Costello

Art Appreciation: One of the first SIGs that started in the chapter, this SIG has gone through a major overhaul. It will now meet monthly and hopes to attract the same group each month. First event is January 6th at the Philadelphia Art Museum to see the Mexican Modernism show and next month the plan is to see the WWI posters exhibit at PAFA. If you are interested, check the time on the TTN webpage and contact Carol Greco or Joyce Krain

Montco Munchers: A potluck for all of those who live in Montgomery County.   First meeting is Monday, January 2nd, 6:00 - 8:00pm. Contact Carol Seelaus for the details and to see what you can bring!

Don't forget to let me know if you have ideas for new SIGs. Also, if you are having any trouble getting into a SIG. We want to make sure that everyone who wants to participate is able to, and if we have enough people, we'll start another group.


Here is the link to the PHL SIG Webpage .
SIGgestions:  What We Are Reading.....

Judging by the number of SIG Book Clubs, our PHL chapter members are avid readers.  Fiction and non-fiction - we read it all.  Here are some selections you may find worthwhile.

The Rent Collector by Camron Wright
Anything Goes Book Club

A secret about the ill-tempered rent collector who comes demanding money sets in motion a tide that will change the life of everyone.

Commonwealth by Ann Patchett
Fictionary and Thursday Morning Book Clubs

The enthralling story of how an unexpected romantic encounter irrevocably changes two families' lives.

Reputations by Juan Gabriel Vasquez
Juried Reads Book Club

An unexpected visit by a young woman upends a legendary political cartoonist's personal history and forces him to reconsider his life and work, questioning his position in the world.

Anatomy of Deception by Lawrence Goldstone
Murder, Ink. Book Club 

A mesmerizing forensic thriller that thrusts the reader into the operating rooms, drawing rooms, and back alleys of 1889 Philadelphia.

My Life So Far by Jane Fonda
People Readers Book Club

The actress, activist, feminist, wife, workout guru and role model reveals universal insights about her personal struggles as a woman living a full and engaged life.

Thin Air by Ann Cleeves
Murder by the Book, Book Club

A group of old university friends travel to Shetland to celebrate the marriage of one of their friends. But one of them disappears--apparently into thin air.

Check out all our Special Interest Groups!
News from The Caring Collaborative Committee

It's hard to believe that nearly a year has passed since we began the Philadelphia chapter of The Caring Collaborative (CC). It started in February 2016 with ZIP Code parties to explain what we hoped to accomplish by bringing the CC to Philadelphia. The enthusiastic response at these events in Center City and the suburbs encouraged us to continue with our plans. When fifty TTN members signed up at our first Orientation, we knew we had a good thing going. We have since expanded to 88 members.

Just to remind everyone that your "help insurance" includes MIX (Member Information Exchange) for doctor referrals and hearing about personal experiences with medical procedures, and Service Corps where members are waiting to help other members in times of short term medical need. All you need to do is contact our designated mailbox and someone will reach out to you within 24 hours. Our mailbox is checked every day. You are never alone when you belong to The Caring Collaborative.

Our busy first year included the addition of Resource Groups. We now have two groups formed: Fibromyalgia and Heart Healthy, with Health & Wellness on the way in the new year. We have a few members waiting for a Care Giver's Group, and A Bone Healthy Group. If any of these groups are of interest, or you have an idea for an additional one, send an email to our CC Mailbox

We also introduced our Speaker Series with a talk about the health benefits of acupuncture. Next on the schedule on January 9th is "How Essential are Essential Oils?", a program about their benefits and uses.  Check it out on the Events page of our website.

We wish everyone a most Happy and Healthy New Year
Cindy Benemy, Karen Kanter, Susan Levin, Lynda Meshkof, Maureen Marcus, Donna Root and Beth Simonowitz
How to Set a New Year's Intention (Not Resolution)

Resolutions can be broken. In fact, according to an article in the Huffington Post by Lodro Rinzler, co-founder of MNDFL, only 8% of the millions of people who set a New Year's resolution are successful at achieving them.

So what should you do instead? You should set an intention! Something you intend to do in the new year. Whether it's being healthier, kinder, or slowing down to just smell the roses, setting an intention you can keep can make 2017 brighter!

The basics to set an intention for 2017 include following these steps:
  1. Understand your motivation on setting an intention. Spend a few minutes centered and meditate on "why you want to make a change."
  2. Find your personal "mandala" - or primary motivation on setting the intention.
  3. Once you understand that motivation or core that you want your life to focus on for 2017 (like being kinder), look at the "outer circles" of how you can bring more kindness to your family, friends, co-workers, and those you come in contact with (as you go from your inner circle outward). 
  4. Keep that intention or motivation in focus and start putting principal into practice. Enjoy the "aura" you will emanate in 2017!
Perhaps you intend to connect with others in a positive way, to increase your involvement in the Philadelphia TTN Chapter and have some fun filled times with your TTN friends. Whatever your intention is, we hope you find happiness, friendship and fun throughout the whole year! 

To learn more about the details on setting your 2017 intention, click this link to the Huffington Post article.