February/March Insights from the GCCOA

Are You Ready to Listen?

We have all asked and been asked the question, “How are you doing?” The intention is lovely, but is our honest response what the person really wants to hear?

Council team members and volunteers, like most people connected to a helping organization, regularly ask this question. And it would be our contention that we are ready to receive an honest answer. Of course it is always wonderful to hear a response that is full of joy and positivity, which is not only a gift to the person sharing but also a gift to the person on the receiving end.

More often than not, the response is one of concern, sadness, frustration or fear. The caller, individual coming into the office or stopping by an event, or the senior/caregiver with whom we are following up are dealing with any number of things which warrant a complex response to our asking them how they are doing. For some, especially caregivers, their response is diverted from their well-being to that of their loved one, neighbor or friend. For others, their response includes as few words as possible, such as ‘fine’, ‘pretty good’, or ‘doing the best I can’. And there are those who offer a more straightforward response, laying out health, financial, family and other challenges they are facing.

For those of us on the listening side, whether as a professional or as a family member, friend, or colleague, our role is to make sure the person knows we are truly listening. This is not always easy, especially in certain circumstances. But without listening, we don’t even have a chance to be of help or support. Listening is not about having the answers or making a difficult situation go away. It is about giving someone a chance to be heard, to appropriately vent, and to hopefully find the energy to acknowledge their situation and take the next reasonable step or steps.

For some, we may be the only person who will listen. They literally may not have anyone or they may have exhausted their listeners, for any number of reasons. Listening also leads to questions, which can help identify what help or support is needed. Sometimes we are so caught up in our situation and what we cannot do that we aren’t able to consider options that might be viable. We ALL need to be heard but ALL of us also need to be good listeners.

Happy Retirement!

We are both happy and sad to celebrate the retirement of two long-time team members:

Steve Benson joined the Council in March 2000 as the Council’s Fiscal Manager and third team member. For nearly 23 years, Steve served the Council and community well by sharing his expertise to forward the Mission of the Council.

Susan Allen joined the Council in July 2006 as the Council’s Benefits Specialist, soon after Medicare Part D became an official benefit. For the 16+ years that followed, Susan was a tremendous resource to Medicare beneficiaries. Susan will continue with us as an OSHIIP volunteer.

Soirée ~ Thanks To All

Thanks to everyone who came to the 2022 Holiday Gift Soirée and made it a huge success!

Congratulations to our door prize winner Donna Downing of Fairborn (left) and to Alberta Hutchison of Xenia, winner of our quilt raffle. Alberta (right) is posing with Jackie Markunes, who made and donated the quilt.

Calling All Senior Artists

Greene County has many fabulous senior artists. If you are one, why not exhibit your work at our Senior Artisan Show March 12, 19, and 22 at the Fairborn Art Association? The show is open to artists at least 60 years of age who live in Greene County. All artwork MUST be original and should have been created after your 60th birthday, with recent pieces preferred. Genres include paintings, photos, drawings, sculpture, mixed media and more. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information or to request your application.

Spring Shredding Event

Saturday, April 1st, from 9 am until Noon is our Spring Shredding Event. Perhaps you are decluttering or doing a spring cleaning this year. Be sure to collect all your financial, medical and other private papers to bring to Xenia Community Center parking lot for shredding. Up to 3 boxes for individuals; no businesses please. We will send a reminder email in March for those on our email list. If you would like to be on our email list(s), click here.

It's Your Money ~
Mobile Device Security

Did you get or give a new smart phone, watch, or tablet for Christmas? If so, you have a very important task before you get rid of the old device. Smart devices contain all kinds of personal data, and you don’t want it to get into the wrong hands. Click here to read the details.

Thank You To Our Donors

Thank you to the individuals and organizations who shared a financial gift with the Council in 2022. These gifts came in all sizes, with many designated for special projects, specific programs, or for the Council’s endowment account for future programs and services. Click here for a list of our many donors in 2022.

The Council couldn’t do its work without our wonderful volunteers. Have you ever thought about volunteering? One of our greatest needs, other than folks sharing their time and heart as friendly visitors, is for tasks such as picking up and delivering groceries or other items (already ordered and paid for). This is especially helpful for those who have returned home from the hospital or rehab and are not yet able to take on this task.

Another volunteer task, as we move towards spring, is helping out with some yard and flower bed clean-up for those no longer able to do so. Our volunteers also help with tech support for seniors, assist with this newsletter and community events, and more.

If you are interested in volunteering with the Council, contact our Community Liaison, Carol at 937-376-5486 x122 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Healthy Living

Formerly called Healthy U, these workshops help you to better health. The Council offers two workshops:

Chronic Conditions, for people living with one or more ongoing health conditions, teaching simple skills and new habits to handle symptoms and daily challenges.

Chronic Pain, for people wanting help specifically to manage chronic pain.

The next workshop is
Healthy Living with Chronic Conditions
Xenia Community Center
Tuesdays, 1:30 to 4pm,
February 14—March 21.

There is no charge but you must register in advance. Contact Jeff at 937-376-5486 x112 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

It's My Money, My Stuff,
and My Life!

This popular 4 week program returns for spring. The sessions, presented by local professionals, will be held in the Xenia Community Center on Tuesdays from 6pm to 8:30pm starting March 7th. The cost is $40 per household and includes a binder with all program materials and a box supper. Space is limited and reservations are required. For information or a registration form, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Signs of Spring

It's the dead of winter but that means spring is on the way. Many of us eagerly look for signs of spring as nature awakens after the long winter. Here are some signs of spring: 

Spring flowers — Snowdrops, purple crocuses, yellow daffodils, tulips and bluebells

Tree buds — If March is warm, redbuds and cherries will burst into bloom.

Nest building — Bird song can be heard as birds start looking for mates. Soon they will be building nests.

Volunteer Spotlight

Please join us in acknowledging the volunteers since the last newsletter. During December and January, some of the talents shared included helping with our Holiday Soirée. 

Greg Atwood
Peggy Blankenhorn
Cindy Clark
Tingle Cook
Debbie Dircksen
Leah Donohue
Pam Dorsten
Don Dunn
Jennifer Eddy
Sheryl Fischer
LB & Gail Fred
Joan Green
Barb Hawk
Jim & Linda Jones
Letha Kimball
Beth & John Kinsel
Holly Knight
Jean Lockwood

Jackie Markunes
Lynn Martin
Bert MasonChris Middleton
Peg Moser
Lauren Myers
Sherry Newcomer
Karen Paulsen
Alan Puterbaugh
Joe Radin
Megan Randall
Mark Rasch
Ken Richardson
Kelly Rickabaugh
Tracey Rickey
Joan Seaton
Barbara Vandecreek
Ginny Vikmanis
Lisa Weinstein
Polly Werth
Roberta Wilhelm
Denise Williams
Dee Willis
Judy Woehrman 

~ Important Info ~

To ensure you receive information and alerts, sign up for our various mailing lists, or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., and like us on Facebook.

For more information on any of these events, or to make a reservation, contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or 937-376-5486.

There has been a surge in Covid, flu and other health challenges. Please be cautious. If you arein need of masks, they are available at the Council and the senior centers.

 Medicare 101
       Wednesday, February 8th, 2:30 - 4:00 pm, Xenia Community Center

 Healthy Living ~ Chronic Conditions
       Tuesdays, February 14th - March 21st, 1:30 - 4:00 pm, Xenia Community Center

 Legal Chat ~ Taxes  
       Thursday, February 16th, 2:30 pm, Peace Lutheran Church, Beavercreek

 Memory Loss, Dementia & Alzheimer’s Disease
       Wednesday, March 8th, 2:30 - 4:30 pm, Xenia Community Center

 Grief & Loss Group
       2nd Mondays (Feb 13th, Mar 13th), 10:00 am - Noon, Peace Lutheran Church, Beavercreek

 In-Person Caregiver, Parkinson’s & Kinship Support Groups
       This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information

The Council’s 2023 printed calendar is available at our Xenia office and the senior centers.

Weekly Programming with our Partners at Real Roots Radio, WBZI FM 100.3:
          Boomers and Beyond on Wednesdays around 12:05 pm
          Partners in Caregiving on Thursdays soon after 6:00 pm

We have several mailing lists tailored to specific interests, from special events to educational programs, and more.
Click here to select which mailings you receive.

Greene County Council on Aging


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Our mission: To promote independence and quality of life for Greene County senior citizens and caregivers by facilitating and supporting the development, implementation and continual improvement of a comprehensive and coordinated system of contact and care.
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