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*The following is the output of transcribing from an audio recording. Although the transcription is largely accurate, in some cases it is incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors.
And Welcome back to answers for elders radio. Everyone. I am here with a brand new guest and his name is Mr Roland, right, and he is with the Widows Project. I’m Roland. Welcome to the program thank you, it’s an honor to be here. Tell me a little bit about the Widows Project, like how did it start and what do you do? Well, I tell people that it really started from a culmination of years of Personal Bible study and and then reading a book called the Hole In our Gospel, Richard Stearns, if you’re familiar, and it just became a aware to me from the Scripture and from this book that we have a responsibility to those that are vulnerable and disadvantaged. And and so I purpose to finally lie. Think the book of James. He talks about your due and doing. Be Doers of the word, not here is only, and so I set up from that point to find my due and from research and so forth, I felt that the widowed of our our communities were underserved and that that’s what I purpose to do. Well, and it’s like what we were talking earlier. Excuse me, I just as a caregiver. I was not a spouse but I know the overwhelming time it was when my mother past and I talked, I’ve talked about this several times on the show, about when someone passes it’s like you’re all your lifeline that you relied on, the caregivers that they that she had, the care managers, the doctors, the nurses, the you know even you know, even her you know, pediatrist, things like that. I had that lifeline for myself. I could talk to them about the process, about what we were going through, and the minute she passed away, was like it was all gone. It was like there was this umbilical court. It was cut and I can only anticipate, you know, I was her caregiver. That isn’t anything close to being a spouse and you know, I can only imagine, especially with the large Alzheimer’s population too, of watching a spouse decline over time and, you know, having to say goodbye a little at a time. It’s like it’s like part of your soul is being ripped out. I can only imagine that that’s the case. Is that you know in M destrict, describe it accurately. Well, I have set through several of our sessions that we provide grief support and I just hear the wrongness of and also the loneliness and a loneness and how they talk about their friends. Response is so much differ, different to them, sure because they don’t friends say what to say exactly. And I think the to the next thing is, especially as a spouse, I can only imagine that every waking moment you’re thinking about the care of your loved one. You know your partner sure in life and I know many couples out there that are our seniors. They’ve been married forty, fifty, sixty years. They never known really life without that person exactly. You know and and understanding that now all of a sudden that purpose is gone. It’s how do you how do you build a life again when you don’t even know? So I am so glad for the work that you do. So tell me a little bit about us. So that’s the framework. Obviously, what do you do for widows and widow I’m assuming widow words as well. HMM. Well, yes, it is for widowers and I appreciate you mentioning that because our title doesn’t exactly say that, but we were define it. We want to give the definition that in our sense, we meet it in general way we want. We’re included in the men as well. So another thing that you find and one thing that we’re doing is we’re purposing to build a directory of businesses and services that will deal with the widowed, the clay and honestly, they’re vulnerable and they’re also besides the loss that you were just talking about, they’re cast into a new role that the very nice that they’ve never had before. If he took care of the mine, are always more the money or whatever it was, all the sudden she’s cast into what do I do? And and hopefully we want to create a safe community with vendors, with businesses, people that that will were we vet them, we have them sign off on a on a on a contract that basically says yes, I will purpose to deal with them ethically and honestly. Huh and and because we want to create that safe environment, they don’t know who to go to. They haven’t done that before and and we experience that here. This past year we had one that was directed to us. She had never bought a car before. She was obviously nervous about that. We put her in touch with a local company and I just asked for an agent that I said, I want you to deal with her like you would do with your grandmother, right, would you do that for me? And he did and it was a great experience and and they did great job. It was actually Bickford Ford. I’ll put a plug in for them all. They should be lucky. Yeah, so it’s great. Yeah, so, Rowland. Obviously it’s a process and and if you have a family member, let’s just say, for example, there’s a lot of families out there right now that probably had the loss of a loved one and mom or dad are still left behind. What are some, I guess, warning signs that you should look for that they might need some extra support from. Well, again, from my experience, many of them talk about that it being kind of a fog or, you know, they’re distracted, they’re not able to focus as well. I think if you see those types of signs, they probably will even just be a little bit feel vulnerable and scared. They’re just again, they’re put into a role, cast into what we may call a new normal, and they hope that it’s not a long term normal. Right in the depression or grief or and so we want to be compassionate and that regard and and hopefully we can come alongside them in least the two areas that we have right now. We’re offering to grief support classes that we do at Brookdale Arbor play base in South Everett. So if people are located close to that area, we meet on Tuesday nights and they can find that information wonder on our website and on we have facebook to so and we are talking to Mr Roland right and he is the president and founder of the Widows Project and Roland, you talked about you have your meetings and South Everett. What kind of I mean? Is it just for people in SNAHAMAS county? Do you do service widows all over a puget sound? What is kind of your beat? I tell people right now that we are local entity with with a national vision and we purpose that we hope that by next year we could be having satellite grief support services available and that we would have businesses throughout the puget sound that would that they could trust. So we want to we want to build that as a as a zip code specific type of a website where they can go and put in their zip code and find those businesses and find those places that provide our grief support. That’s great around the area. That’s great, and so you know, obviously you talked about the classes. What could somebody expect in the classes that you do? Well, currently we’re using the grief share material, very national entity, and it’s a third week, thirteen week video based series that also has an accompanying workbook, and so they take the work book during the week and it has some exercises and things for them to reflect and to look at and and give them some tools to help them process they’re early stages at least, of grief and their loss. And then, obviously, you know, it’s I’m assuming it’s really learning on your own level to find new purpose again. I can only anticipate it’s that feeling of, you know, there’s a reason to live to. I mean I know that there’s some sad statistics out there that oftentimes the long term, you know, husband will pass and the wife will pass away, not soon, they’re after so you know, my my anticipate in my thought process is is to really understand that they’re that they can find life again and that I think is so valuable out there well, and we believe that there’s hope in the word. Yeah, Christ and so we are. We call ourself a faith based organization. We believe that that Jesus is that answer and and for those that were without Christ or without hope, and so we do. You know, the curriculum is faith based as well. It’s directed at the Scriptures and the I have a facilitator, Rick McGregor. He’s a professional counselor. He’s on my board and he’s also the facilitator for these classes, doing an excellent job. That’s great. That’s great. It’s so to a little bit more about you. Your say you do a networking widow state banquet. I would love to talk about that. Well, may third is National Widows Day. I had purposed, once I started the organization, that we should have something. It is, it’s almos, same as the day of prayer exactly, and so I googled it and I discovered it and I was going to start it anyway if it wasn’t so. But May third. So what we’re purposing to do this year on April twenty eight, Brook Dale all replace also has come to us. They want to participate and they’re going to host a banquet. We’re going to be able to host up want up to one hundred and fifty, guess, and so we want the men as well. But as for little water, yes, and we’re seeking to talk to the business people the area as well. and gets gift certificates and and so forth. So we will gift them at that evening event and so be at five o’clock on April Twenty Eight, Uh Huh, and then they can use them during that week of May Third National Widows Day. That’s awesome. And can you register for that online or how did people get registered for that event? Yeah, the best way right now is to is to use our email address. It’s Info at the Widows Project Dot Org. And now you have a couple events coming up here April six for those businesses listening to us today that would like to participate in some way. We’re having a breakfast, what we call Full Circle Business Directory Breakfast on Friday morning, April six thirty in the morning’s at Mill Creek Four Square church in Lynwood, Washington, and that address is fourteen fifteen one hundred and sixty four street southwest in Inwood. And please, RSV at that same email address, inform the Widows Project Dot Org. Okay, and then you have another widows banquet. That’s April twenty eight. It is in conjunction with Brookdale Arbor place they’re hosting. Were looking to guest one hundred and fifty widowed people of the area and if they will RSV as well. That would be at five o’clock on April Twenty eight. You can rs VP that to info at the Widows Project Dot Org. Rolin, thanks so much for being on the program thanks for having me
Suzanne Newman, host of the Answers for Elders radio show and podcast, proclaims often, “Caring for my mom was the hardest thing I ever have done, but it was also my greatest privilege.” Following a career of over 25 years in sales, media, and marketing management, Suzanne embarked on a 6-year-journey caring for her mother. Her trials and tribulations as a family caregiver inspired an impassioned life mission outside of the corporate world to revolutionize the journey that so many other American families also find themselves on. Answers for Elders provides education, help, and support to families, caregivers, and seniors across the country who are experiencing their own unique journey within the complicated world of Eldercare. Each week, Suzanne is joined by vetted professional experts in over 65 categories including health & wellness, life changes, living options, money, law, and more. Suzanne lives in Edmonds, Washington with her husband, Keith, and their two doodle dogs, Whidbey and Skagit.