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Newsletter Keeps Life Interesting for Residents and Writer

Anticipation for the little newsletter builds every month, starting about a week before it’s due to hit the stands. Most of the residents at Carillon Assisted Living of Fayetteville aren’t shy about asking their friend, Betty Daugherty, when they can expect their copy of The Belle, and Daugherty – being the conscientious, assiduous person she is – is all too happy to oblige.

“People do seem to look forward to the newsletter; residents and staff, too,” says Daugherty, the newsletter’s author, editor and scribe. “It’s just four pages, front and back, but it connects us to the community and to each other.”

A recent edition of The Belle includes a feature story with little-known facts about a beloved team member, a collection of residents’ favorite memories, recipes and how-to tips. Daugherty produces the newsletter using minimal graphics, little if any photos, and without any fancy design template.

She prefers to stick with what she knows, and what she knows is how to tell a story. An avid reader and journal writer, Daugherty’s love of story partly stems from a lifelong hearing problem that makes everyday social interactions somewhat of a challenge.

“If I didn’t have the internet, to be honest with you, I would probably be somewhat of a recluse,” she said. “And look – I do Facebook! I use it to stay connected to my children and grandchildren, especially the ones who don’t live close by.”

Using technology to make and maintain personal connections has been so beneficial to Daugherty, she wonders why more seniors don’t make more of an effort to learn basic computer and social media skills.

“It’s not difficult, once you start poking around with it,” she said. “And it keeps you sharp, keeps your thought process strong and clear.”

As Daugherty scans the story ideas and interviews she’s collected thus far for the next issue of The Belle, she looks up from her stack of papers, and says, “And it helps keep things interesting. Who wants to be bored and boring?”  

Posted in Resident and Community Life, Resources, Sage Stories on June 4, 2013

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