Army of volunteers cook and deliver Thanksgiving dinners to 200 CICOA clients

Beginning Tuesday, Barb Sell, her three brothers and dozens of volunteers will begin preparing Thanksgiving dinner for about 500 in the kitchen at Broadway United Methodist Church. Dinner isn’t for church members, although some may attend. This dinner is for people in the Indianapolis community who have no one to spend Thanksgiving with. About 300 people will come to the church and share a meal together. For those who can’t make it to the church, volunteers will deliver meals on Thursday morning to 200 homebound, low-income seniors, who all are clients of CICOA Aging & In-Home Solutions.

This is the Betty Sell Memorial Thanksgiving Dinner—a dinner that began quite simply at Betty and Ken Sell’s Indianapolis home in the 1980s. Of course, it didn’t have a name back then. Betty was just the kind of person who wanted people to feel comfortable stopping over, her daughter, Barb Sell explained.


So Many Ways to be Thankful

Thankfulness and gratitude, like many things in life, require practice. Cultivating a thankful heart often is a matter of perspective. A friend of mine recently gave up driving.  He said, “I’m grateful that I was able to make the decision.” Instead of focusing on the loss of mobility, he celebrated his ability to think clearly and to be in control.


Holiday Survival Guide for Caregivers

With the holidays just around the corner, most people are excited and joyous. But as a caregiver, you might be feeling anxious or even dreading the holiday season. Managing everyday life on top of decorating, shopping and parties can be a juggling act for anyone. When you’re also a caregiver, it can be overwhelming. But there are things you can do to help reduce your stress and spend more time enjoying the holidays.


Don’t Let the Holidays Sabotage Your Diet!

It’s hard enough to make healthy choices during the year, and between the 63 days from Halloween to New Year’s Day, it gets even more complicated. With sugary cocktails, sweet treats and calorie-packed casseroles everywhere you look, it’s easy to pack on a few pounds.


Connecting Hearts at Home

CICOA received a $1,000 Connecting Hearts at Home grant through a unique partnership between Eli Lilly & Company and United Way of Central Indiana. Grant funds covered the cost of flowers, soil and mulch used by more than 100 Lilly employees to clean up and beautify the yards of 15 CICOA clients this fall.

In 2015, Lilly launched the Connecting Hearts at Home program, which pairs teams of Lilly employees with United Way partner agencies in Central Indiana to help advance their missions. CICOA received the grant and a team of Lilly volunteers to carry out the beautification and safety project.


Great American Songbook Foundation and CICOA team up for Perfect Harmony

The Great American Songbook Foundation at the Center for the Performing Arts in Carmel became the first dementia friendly organization in Indiana after hosting CICOA’s Dementia Friends Champions training in October.

The Foundation has a program called Perfect Harmony, designed for caregivers and people with early-stage dementia. After learning about CICOA’s Dementia Friends pilot program in Hamilton County, Director of Programs Cathy Burton was intrigued.