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Hi, I wonder how many of you attended state Sen. Bill Dodd’s Senior Issues Forum at our Napa Senior Activity Center on Sept. 28?

Sen. Dodd not only made the gathering fun and upbeat, but we learned a great deal from him about upcoming bills. Plus he had invited several interesting, informative speakers to educate us on health care issues, fraud protection, services available for seniors, and other helpful issues facing us here in Napa County.

Whether we’re a Democrat or a Republican, we should take advantage of every opportunity that arises to become more familiar with bills we’ll be voting on, and the many services there are in our county for seniors.

We’re grateful to our senator for giving us a ‘heads up’ morning in areas that are of interest and assistance to us seniors. Thank you, Sen. Dodd.

I read something pretty wonderful about a dear friend of mine, one of an army of good friends who value her friendship and dedication to services for Napa Valley seniors.

I’d like to share with you part of the story Robert Hayes has recently written about our good friend, Celine Regalia, plus learning a little more about Adult Day Services, now known as Collabria’s Day program.

Robert begins: “Twenty years have passed since an ambitious young social worker, Celine Regalia, opened the doors of Adult Day Services here in Napa. With one participant—one who still attends regularly—she set to work on building what would become an award-winning, leading edge program, which has become the model for many others in California and beyond.”

A little personal note from me: I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Celine for almost 20 years. She has worked diligently for Adult Day Services, as well as forming a group of like-minded leaders of various senior organizations here in Napa. The group she formed is called HAPI, co-chaired by Naomi Dreskin-Anderson, another champion, and hard worker for fair play for Napa seniors.

In addition to the kind words Robert has to say about Celine Regalia, you will also learn more about this amazing program. I’m hopeful that you will find it interesting if you happen to be someone caring for another who can no longer care for themselves.

Robert continues: “Approximately 155 participants are served in Napa County. The Day Program recognizes the family (both participant and their care partners) as the unit of care so support and educational opportunities are available to family members, extending the benefits of care to a much larger population. The Day Program offers dignity and independence to those who may otherwise need institutional care. It offers much needed respite to the care partners, who can engage in other activities confident that their loved one is being very well cared for while having a lot of fun.”

“We offer wrap-around services for the families,” says Celine Regalia. “Our professional staff includes nurses, social workers, physical and occupational therapists, and a host of talented volunteers – all problem solvers who address the many issues that program participants and their care partners face. The program is built on the idea of using respect and empowerment to protect or, in some cases, restore participants’ personhood. Their life stories drive the program, so rather than placing individuals in existing activities or programs — putting the peg in an existing hole — person-centered care modifies the hole to fit the peg.

“If Joan likes quilting, or Tom likes singing, programming is created around those activities in a way that allows those participants to help develop, and often facilitate, the activity.”

Collabria Day program is particularly supportive of the care partners, who often suffer isolation, ill health, and financial difficulties while caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease or other serious illness.

“We are in it for the long haul,” says Regalia, “and the care partners know they can rely on us as a long-term solution. Twenty years from now,” says Regalia, “we plan on being a flourishing program, caring for the Napa community with the same care, compassion and dignity that we have built our reputation on.”

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Congratulations, Celine, on your 20 years with The Day Program, and all of your many friends will be sending you congratulations, as well. We wish you many more successful years ahead.

Thank you, Robert, for letting me borrow parts of your lovely story about Celine, and the amazing services Callabria Care offers.

Oct. 23 is drawing closer. You probably already have this date marked on your calendar. It’s time, once again, to enjoy one of Kal Edwards’ Retirement Renewal Forums. I know we all love to laugh, to be around folks who laugh….it just makes the world a little brighter. Laughter is part of what we’ll be enjoying on Tuesday, Oct. 23.

Last time I attended one of Kal’s Forums, I saw many people who have become ‘regulars’, so even though we’re a little over a week from the Forum; I strongly urge you to make your reservations. We’ll be meeting in the Gasser Community Room at Collabria Care, 414 South Jefferson St. in Napa, at 5:30 to 7 p.m. This is a free community event. Early reservations are strongly advised: 707-258-9087 ext. 272 or

“Keeping the Lausashaghter in Our lives! Strategies for Good Health and Feeling Alive” is the program’s title, and Kal reminds us that one of the challenges of being retired or thinking of retirement is to keep smiling when things grow difficult. Attendees need not worry; the speaker will be Dr. Miki Paul noted humorist and geropsychologist. Dr. Paul will explain the health benefits of laughter and how it affects our mental and physical health as we age. The Retirement Renewal Forums are part of the Community Conversation Series sponsored by Collabria Care and Aegis Living of Napa. Remember, this is a free community event.

Looking forward to seeing everyone. These Forums are always very entertaining and well done. We’ll ‘meet’ Kal’s Crew next week.

I hope we were helpful in finding something of interest for you. Thanks for your good company. Sorry I missed seeing you last week. I was delighted to have family visiting from out of town for the week. See you next week with more ideas to encourage you to join the fun, and meet new people.

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