Monday, June 30, 2008

What to Wear?

We wrote recently in this blog about some of the challenges people have getting dressed. Not only do certain physical injuries and disabilities affect dexterity and range of motion, but the natural aging process also brings weakness and more limited flexibility to many. There is another big challenge in this area, finding a broad enough selection of accessible clothing.

You can find options, especially on the internet, but we find them quite limited in style and design, not to mention price. Transforming everyday clothing into accessible clothing is not all that difficult for someone unafraid to wield a needle and thread. For most of us, though, life has enough to-do lists and adding this one presents one more obstacle for caregivers and individuals with physical challenges.

Janska Clothing is a wonderful addition to our line up because of its ease of use, style and choice of color and sizing. You can see a sample of this terrific clothing here and a full selection at our flagship store. We also have a collection of clothing protectors for adults and children that provide a dignified alternative to bibs while eating. And we just added a big selection of slipper socks and other easy to wear footwear to ensure both comfort and safety while moving around your home.

Just this past week we discovered another Colorado-based clothing company dedicated to helping people with physical disabilities and their caregivers. The clothes, inspired by a care-focused family of physicians, nurses and business people, use snaps, not your every day snaps mind you, but larger, spring loaded snaps. They smartly have color coded them so you won’t end up with a mismatch and look goofy! Pam has already done a bit of a road show with some samples of the clothes to see how our customers and colleagues respond. The feedback has been very favorable, so we are going to carry the line, beginning with a few sizes. You can see some photos here. We will offer them in Our Products shortly. In the meantime, if you are interested, please contact us for more information.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Living Independently

Another July 4th arrives. It’s quite the holiday for us Americans, even with the fireworks and barbeque. I find myself especially focused on the theme of independence in a whole new way since we opened Capabilities. We’ve said it before; individuals will push and shove, fight and make many a sacrifice to stay free, to live independently. I understand more clearly my mother’s resistance to the family’s efforts to “take care of her” as she aged. There was a fine line between caregiving and stepping on her toes. And, she let us know when any of us made that faux pas.

And now, I see it so often in our store. Loving sons and daughters, grandchildren, nieces and nephews want so much to be sure that their relative has what he or she needs to be comfortable. The shock of a negative reaction sometimes inflames all parties, right in the middle of the store. I am often impressed, though, at the quick recovery that takes place, especially when mom or dad, grandpa or Aunt Peggy wins the argument and all parties leave for a cup of coffee or lunch. I remember many a shopping experience just like that.

One of our recent families has struck me with their artful walking of this line of perception. Debbie called to ask for some help preparing their home for Uncle Max, a bachelor who had lived alone up until the decision just a couple of weeks ago to move in with Debbie and her husband, Bill. They assessed their lives and their relationship with Max before they brought up the suggestion to him. And, Max took the time he needed to ponder the consequences of choosing to move out of his assisted living facility. Part of the deal was to be space in their home. So, Debbie wanted some help figuring out just what would have to change. The process is still underway as Debbie, Bill and Max get used to the idea of his new digs. He just moved in a few days ago. Being part of this research and family decision is thrilling for me and all of us, as we see ourselves as problem solvers.

Every step of the way Debbie and Bill gather ideas and talk them over with Max. He still has all his decision –making skills and they are respectful not to step on them. Max is also mindful that he is living in their home now and is respectful about boundaries. I praise them all. Max will most likely live longer as a result and everyone in that house will be happier ultimately. Yes, there will be some sacrifices to be certain. Debbie is slowly reconciling the fact that she will have to redo their bathroom, her pride and joy, to accommodate Max. We talked, though, about starting slowly with a transfer bench and handheld shower, rather than ripping out the tub. They may have to consider a full makeover, but a gradual approach will preserve everyone’s independence along the way.

So, on this holiday, let’s all renew our resolve that while independence is a right, it takes some working on always, especially when physical challenges appear in the family dynamic.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Light Up Your Life

This year’s New Product Showcase held in early June brought some terrific products to the attention of our customers. You can read more about that particular event in an earlier blog. Pam and I have mulling over many of the products and suspect we will adopt quite a few of them over the course of the next few months.

With the help of our customer-product testers, we made a decision about the Indoor Sunshine light bulbs we featured that evening. We have already had some customers grab onto this bulb, an economical way to get full spectrum light into your homes. Research shows that full spectrum light, the same kind of light provided by nature with the sun, offers the same health benefits as spending a bit of time in sunshine without some of the harmful effects of the sun’s rays. We have a special interest in this bulb because of all the customers we serve who experience low vision. Lighting is one of the most important tools when challenged by conditions that affect vision. While there are many types of lighting solutions, many are fairly expensive. This bulb gives folks options while testing just how much a full daylight solution will help them use magnifiers more effectively and feel better besides.

If you are in the metro Denver area, stop by and see the light. If you’re not in town, but are curious about these lights, try one out. We think you will see just what a difference a little light can make.

See product details and make your purchase in Our Products.

We welcome Indoor Sunshine to our impressive line up of products designed to help Capabilities fulfill our mission to provide relevant and appropriate solutions to your life’s challenges, both big and small, and staying comfortable along the way!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Flip Flops, Hard Floors and Plantar Fasciitis

I am reminded every day just how much wear and tear our feet take. I feel it myself when I’m on my feet on a hard floor. I understand so much more from our customers who describe their foot pain and how dramatically it affects their lives. A recent news story featured a reporter and a podiatrist who hung out on a corner in a metropolitan area one work day watching and commenting on foot wear. The doctor remarked just how many young folks he saw wearing flip flops as they scurried along. He finally stopped one young woman who said she wears them to work, but changes into high heels once she gets there. “Aughhh,” he exclaimed. “You are setting yourself up for potential future problems.” “What?” she asked, the idea of being 40 or 50 virtually impossible to imagine.

Plantar fasciitis, often called “flip flop disease” by podiatrists, is the very painful inflammation of the plantar fascia, the ligament-like sheath that runs along the bottom of our foot. This bundle of tissue connects to the Achille’s tendon at the heel. Heel pain is the hallmark of plantar fasciitis, although for many the problem results from too much stress on the ball of the foot. Wearing open back shoes, like flip flops for example, can stir up the problem and certainly aggravate it once your foot is inflamed. Many doctors suggest that overweight and inactivity are also contributors to the onset of this common ailment.

In addition to wearing the right shoes, stretching and flexing the foot is vital both as a prevention and treatment. We discovered the foot flexer, a small, but effective tool to help even the most sedentary keep those feet in motion. The rocking motion stretches the plantar fascia, the Achilles' tendon and calf muscles, the ultimate treatment plan.

Wearing night splints often relieves the pain associated with those first steps out of bed in the morning. The splint keeps the foot in a “dorsi-flexed” position which improves calf muscle flexibility, helping to alleviate morning pain. Stretching the foot and calf before getting out of bed also helps quite a bit. There are many types of splints, although the soft splint and the night boot are among the most popular. The night boot provides a firm wrap around the foot ensuring positioning of the foot during the night. The soft splint holds the foot by pulling back on the toe.

The young woman approached by the podiatrist said at the end of the interview that maybe she would wear her flip flops to work only every other day. If your heels and feet hurt, especially first thing in the morning, try making a few changes. Visit your podiatrist if pain persists.

What have you done to alleviate your foot pain? Post a comment here to share your ideas.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Meeting Nikki

I only met Nikki briefly, and not even personally. Last week Nikki came to the Easter Seals Colorado Board of Directors’ meeting to tell us about how rich her life is. Every June, the Board meets at the Easter Seals camp in Empire, Colorado. As a member of the Board, it is never hard for me to imagine all the wonderful things that go on at that camp. Yet, I am always surprised at how limited my imagination really is once I am on site and see just how much of a difference a week can make in the life of a child or teen with disabilities.

Nikki is 21. She has muscular dystrophy. This summer is her sixteenth at the Easter Seals camp. Her message, delivered with joy and just a touch of sadness that her last week at camp was upon her, was simple. “I have had the chance,” she said, “to meet other kids with disabilities. That just does not happen in my everyday life.” She went on to talk about the lifelong friends she has made. Many of the campers come back year after year for a summer’s week of plain old fun.

S’mores, campfires, sing-a-longs, movies and projects. Horseback riding, swimming, fishing, These activities spell fun for any kid. For someone in a wheelchair a week like this can feel like heaven. These activities certainly figured in Nikki’s description of her summer camp experiences as she laughed at some of the memories. I was struck, though, that she emphasized over and over the independence, the friendships and the confidence she developed over these sixteen years.

Last June I stared in awe as a squealing kid was picked up out of her wheelchair, bundled into a basket, then sent on a wild ride on the zip line. She screamed with delight and just the right amount of fear. I closed my eyes and thought for a moment that I was standing in the middle of an ordinary amusement park on a summer’s day. Now, this year it’s Nikki and her enthusiastic, charismatic conversation that reminds how wonderful it is to be 21 and on your way, ready to face life’s challenges. How lucky for me that I already know I’ll find something wonderful and meet someone I’ll always remember on my next visit to Rocky Mountain Village.

Have you been to the Easter Seals Colorado camp? Please tell us about your experiences. If you have not visited camp, please put it on your summer list of incredible places to visit. To learn more about camp and Easter Seals please visit

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Capabilities News: More Places to Read Kathryn’s Blog

We are delighted to announce that, a gathering place for women 55+, has asked Kathryn to contribute regularly to their series of informative articles with a focus on caregiving. The Silver Vixens site is accessed through a membership process and membership is free of charge. Once you have a user name and password you can enter the site and review the host of informative articles, participate in online conversations or post comments and questions on a variety of topics. You can also find product suggestions and so many other features that interest and entertain. Now that Kathryn is featured there, we hope you have an additional incentive to go check out Silver Vixens.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Getting Dressed

Having grandkids reminds you just how hard some things are! Being in our business also makes us appreciate this as well. Just the other day as I watched one of the young grandsons tying his shoes, a fairly recent accomplishment for him, I reflected on just how amazing it is that anyone actually learns this task. How on earth do you teach this skill, given how many maneuvers are really involved? And yet, day after day, young ones learn how to tie their shoes. It’s not until something else intervenes that causes most of us to think about this graceful act of ours and just how difficult it can be.

Everyday we meet people, young and old, who are faced with this challenge and so many others. It’s got me thinking about getting dressed and how important this is to our independence. Even my two-and-a-half year old granddaughter exerts force now in choosing her own clothes, putting on her socks, wearing her princess shoes. Of course it’s something we want always to be able to do. And yet, events happen – some permanent, some temporary, some just a natural part of the aging process – that bring us face to face with the prospects that doing what we want is not quite as easy, maybe even virtually impossible, as it used to be.

There are options with shoes, of course. There are slip-ons and the ever-present Velcro. We love our X-tenex shoelaces that once threaded through your sneakers, dress shoes or hiking boots, create an elastic give to your shoes, allowing you to slip them on without having to tie or untie them. I have them on my tennis shoes. We even gave them to the grandkids until their mothers suggested we let them practice tying their shoes. Oops!

Socks can present a problem, especially if you have recently had hip or knee surgery where you must keep bending, especially at certain angles, under control. Lifting a leg to the knee position is also challenging as we get older. The amazing invention of the sock aid makes this activity doable for most again. Its simple, easy to use design is nothing short of a miracle for some! Compression stockings are always a bit more challenging. We love the Juzo Slippee Gator. Made of parachute type nylon with long handles, you slip the gator inside the sock or stocking, drop it to the floor, and using the non-slip pad that comes with the Slippee, you rock your foot into the sock, finally pulling the slippee and the sock along with it over your foot and up your leg. Another incredible creation!

Clothing provides a lot of possibilities, too, what with tee shirts and skirts, sweatpants and others with elasticized waists. The amazing button hook, whose design is over 200 years old. The original button hook came about with high button shoes as a tool to assist grabbing the buttons and pulling them through the eyelets. Gloves, a necessity for Victorian ladies, were tight fitting and also required button hooks to help fasten the top of the glove. These vintage button hooks, usually made of silver, are now collectors’ items. The modern day button hook is a much easier tool to use than those of yesteryear, and won’t cost you nearly as much as the vintage pieces. By inserting the hook through the buttonhole, you can grab the button on the other side and slide it through the opening. There are a variety of sizes and different hand grips to ensure you find the perfect tool.

Sewing cuff buttons on with elastic thread also provides more freedom putting on and taking off shirts. Adding Velcro strip inside the placket, along with a few other changes, will make button down shirts accessible without having to consider buttons at all. We have a lot of ideas about to adapt clothing, although finding accessible AND affordable clothing is more of a challenge. We are happy to have found Janska easy to wear clothing and love that it’s a Colorado-based company besides. The wraps, mocsocks, and jackets are well-made, stylish and functional, the perfect combination as far as we are concerned.

Dressing sticks, long-handled shoehorns, and the Shoe Boot Valet are additional tools that bring independence to your day-to-day activity of dressing.

We see an awful lot of hip and knee replacements going on these days. In the lead up to the surgery, you will want to get your “kit” together for when you leave the hospital and have those early days of recovery. You will surprised at just how difficult some of the everyday tasks can be when you cannot bend, twist, or reach. We help you package these tools so you are ready and able to stay independent through the first weeks of recovery. Many of the items above are suggested, depending on the nature of your surgery, in addition to a host of other tools, such as reachers, bath benches, raised toilet seats, bed wedges, ice packs and a variety of brain fitness tools to keep your mind active while your body recovers.

Tell us your tips and tools for dressing if you (or a loved one) have challenges getting dressed. Send us a comment with your contact information and we’ll put you into a drawing for a pair of the terrific X-tenex shoelaces.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Choices, Choices, and More Choices.

How fun it is this week to write about our very successful New Product Showcase! As you know from the build-up, we held this event on Tuesday, June 3, and Pam and I are still making our way through all the great feedback we received from the many folks who attended. We had a full house!

First of all, our deepest thanks to those of you who participated as testers. We appreciate your time, attention and terrific perspectives. Your generosity and input help me and Pam find the right products and offer them at the right time. You are what makes Capabilities all that it is!

Secondly, we thank the vendors and inventors who agreed to come to our event and showcase your products. It’s one thing to have to convince people like me and Pam. You have plenty of practice doing that. It’s quite another to be in a roomful of customers and potential customers who can tell you right away if you are barking up the wrong tree or not. Sharing your evening with us all made a big difference!

We have lots to write about regarding the products themselves. I’ll give you an overview in this blog and write individually about some of the products and the specific feedback in the coming days and weeks. We are certain to take on a number of these products after the great reception they received by our customer-testers.

We wanted the product list to be varied and we certainly achieved that end. For example, we featured copper sheets! These are comfy, ordinary looking sheets with microscopic copper threads woven in to give the sheets antimicrobial properties. Whether you are in bed the usual 7 or 8 hours or must spend more time due to an illness or injury, we all know that the warm environment between sheets is host to lots of bacteria. While most bacteria is just fine, the more we learn about ways to dissipate it, the more options we have for ensuring that we stay healthy…or get back on the road to health if we are battling something that will not do well in a bacterial environment. These sheets wash and dry normally and their copper threads will not wear out.

We invited Eschenbach, a world leader in the manufacture of vision products, to attend to feature their newest products. As you know, we already carry a wide selection of magnifiers manufactured by Eschenbach. The “temple glasses” are perfect for us Boomers who need “cheaters” tucked away in every corner of the house and car. These tiny, but powerful glasses, take up very little room, can hang from a cell phone (I always need my glasses to see the screen!), or a purse. They slip easily onto your face, stopping just around the temples. They are truly meant for the quick on and off to see something in the moment.

The folks from Light for Health brought simple light bulbs that emit full spectrum light. They are an easy way to transform your work or leisure space into well-lighted zones that assist your vision, not to mention provide much needed access to that full spectrum light while you are indoors.

Local inventor, Bill Tyree of Tyree Designs, brought his grown up tricycle that he uses for everyday errands. He stores it in his truck and pulls it out when he gets to where he is going so as not to drive to every store and hitching post. Its simple design makes it easy to maintain and repair, not to mention the low cost. Folks had fun test driving this vehicle…outside the store. It has a lot of speed for a small thing!

A product brand new to the marketplace is Meddock, a slick way to keep your medical and personal records at your fingertips. The team at Meddock help you compile your data onto a simple jump drive that you can wear around your neck or keep in your pocket. It is password protected. Here’s the great part. If you are injured or unable to tell anyone your password, there is a phone number to call right on the stick drive. With identifying information the folks treating you can explain to the customer service people at Meddock and gain access to your information 24 hours a day. The peace of mind this tiny tool brings is remarkable!

Fractiles have been around for a while. Created right here in Colorado, these magnetic tiles garnered the prestigious Parents’ Choice Award for play and educational value, quality and design. We like them because they are one more simple tool for our focus on brain fitness. Creating dynamic designs with these easy to manipulate tiles both challenges and entertains.

The About Face Remote is still at the prototype stage. We featured it at our showcase because we learned about it at the conference on aging we wrote about last year. We met its creator, Kim McRae, who was inspired to create this simple remote as she has cared for her mother at all stages of Alzheimer’s Disease. The unique aspect of this remote is that the buttons are arranged to mimic the human face. The eyes control the channels (up and down only). The ears have volume control (up and down only). The mouth controls on and off. The human face is universally recognized and even with the ravages of Alzheimer’s, individuals do still recognize the shape of the human face. The simple to use and highly intuitive button placement also make it a great tool for kids and others who are learning or relearning to control some of the universe around them. Kim was just named a finalist in the Silicon Valley Baby Boomer Business Summit, a forum for entrepreneurs to pitch their business models for investment funding. All the best to Kim and her team at About Face as she moves forward.

We invited back Bob Williams, inventor of unique and highly functional wheelchair handles. This product, also still in prototype phase, is one of those things that you see and cannot imagine why they have not long ago been developed. Meant to slip onto a standard wheelchair handle, these grips can adjust 360 degrees providing more comfortable positions when pushing a wheelchair. Especially useful for those with weak grip (many of us over the age of 50, I think!), they are a tool that everyone who has maneuvered a wheelchair can use. I recently worked with someone who was well over 6’5” who had an aching back from pushing his mother in a wheelchair, so stooped over was he trying to drive the thing. These handles cock upwards to provide a taller gripping surface. Bob is presenting to various manufacturers and we wish him good luck in bringing these great devices to market.
Last, but not least, we also featured, as we did last year at our New Product Showcase, a product we already carry that we think is quite innovative. We have written her before of our Mobile Art collection, inspired by the creations of local artist, Amy Vicioso. Amy came with her latest iterations of hand painted canes, using color and symbols for healing and those associated with first names. It’s a whole new way to decorate your mobility equipment in meaningful ways. Amy has also created our Capabilities label of crutch covers, designed with extra layers of comfy foam and wonderful colors. Her latest additions are sure to please the young crowd, in particular. Camo and Skulls + Crossbones! We have already sold out of these styles a few times in the past few weeks. Amy is working on brand new product that we will release under the Capabilities label this month. Stay tuned! (The folks at the New Product Showcase got a sneak preview and raved! In fact, one of our customer-testers helped Amy solve the last tiny issue was working on in the design! Thanks so much.)

So, I hope I have tweaked your curiosity a bit more about these products. Stay tuned for more details on them, including some of the feedback from our testers. We will let you know which products we start carrying and when, giving them their due in these pages online.

Once again, Pam and I are so grateful to all of you who participated and made this event such a terrific success! We will most certainly host another one in the future!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Listening and Hearing

I remember some of the many exhortations the good Sisters of St. Joseph made to me and my classmates as students in Catholic school. One of them was always about listening and hearing. “Do you hear me?” Sister John Phillip would say as the buzz of the classroom grew. When no one would answer, she would query, “And, who is listening to me?” She would usually clang the bell or drop a book on the desk to get our attention. Then, the lecture on the difference between hearing and listening would come. Hearing describes the mechanical functionality of the interplay among sound waves, ears and the brain. Listening is more about the quality of attention being paid to the particular sound, in the classroom case, the human voice and spoken word.

This distinction is often lost on the young, of course, as are many things…although they do make an impression, causing us years later to muse, as I am today, on such things as the difference between hearing and listening.

Our loud culture often contributes to compromising our ability to hear well and long into our later years. So does heredity. If you have or had a parent or grandparent who experienced hearing loss due to “nerve damage,” that is often code for hearing loss due to aging. Hearing loss is not necessarily a fact of aging for everyone, although it does affect thousands.

The world of hearing aids and other devices is a fast changing one due to so many technological possibilities. Phones developed to assist those who are hard of hearing, for example, are hearing aid compatible now, reducing the annoying feedback problem that so often plagues those who try to speak on the phone with a hearing aid in place. We offer corded and cordless options. The XL-50 model amplifies incoming conversation up to 60 decibels louder, making this phone a very useful tool for those with pretty severe hearing loss. The ring is measured at about 95 decibels, which for the healthy ear is as loud as a subway train at about 200 mph.

Listening is another kettle of fish. While these two skills are clearly related, one can have perfect levels of hearing ability and not be a terrific listener. Don’t we all know someone like this? Or, perhaps we are that person. In any case, cultivating the fine art of listening requires will and determination, especially in a culture that is focused on speaking and multitasking. There are executive coaches, for example, who work with business folks to help them become better listeners, and personal coaches and therapists who help individuals and couples communicate more effectively (often how to listen before speaking). We love the Brain Fitness program (about which we have written quite a bit in this blog) for many reasons, not the least of which is that it refines the ability to listen. In fact, because the program uses many unusual techniques, such as, distorting sound through a synthesizer, you must pay close attention and focus on the sounds in order to correctly complete many of the exercises.

One of our customers who has taken the program several times (a bonus of purchasing this software which adapts to your own progress instead of creating a game-like goal to achieve) reports that his ability to be in a room with a number of people and focus on the conversation he shares with one or two others has improved considerably with this program. He also learned that he has a slight hearing impairment for certain sounds and tones through this program. He visited an audiologist who has helped him identify where the problems are and he is in the process of correcting them. Even his wife raves how much of a better listener he now is!

It is important to have hearing tested professionally by an audiologist to determine the type and severity of hearing loss. This process ensures that you will get the right hearing devices, if you should need them. We are pleased to work with a number of fine organizations throughout Colorado who provide hearing tests and solutions. In fact, if you are in the Denver area on June 16, make an appointment to come to the store and meet the folks from the Family Hearing Centers. They come monthly to clean hearing aids (and take out wax build-up from your ears if need be) and discuss your particular hearing issues. Stop by and learn more. And, certainly, do not hesitate to contact us for more details on products and options to assist with hearing impairments.

We also have Dale Dodds on our staff. Dale knows sign language and helps customers maneuver through the many options in our store. His background includes having worked with vocational rehab organizations in several states, so he knows his way around products as well. If you are in the Denver area, stop by our flagship store and “chat” with Dale a bit.

Do you have something to share with us and others about hearing and listening? We hope you will post a comment here. It’s your chance to spread your wisdom, humor or a good story.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Washington Park Cares (Updated)

Pam wrote earlier in this blog about her work with this Denver neighborhood group to establish a set of services available for residents of this and nearby neighborhoods to use as they choose to stay at home, age in place. Naturally Occurring Retirement Communities (NORCs, as they are more and more commonly known) are springing up across the country. Denver is on the leading edge of this development and Pam has an up close and personal view of just how much work and dedication it takes to get such a plan together, mobilizing both the service side of the equation and the neighborhood side of the equation.

Washington Park Cares is ready to launch officially and has a party planned for Tuesday, June 10 from 4 pm to 7 pm at The Boathouse in Washington Park on Franklin Street in Denver. Please join in on this grand celebration and learn more about WPC.


UPDATE! from Pam at the event.

We introduced our mission of providing support to seniors aging in place through the use of volunteers, neighbors, service vendors and social activity. Washington Park Cares is a member organization modeled after the successful Beacon Hill Village in Boston. . Washington Park Cares is committed to helping seniors stay in their homes by providing valuable and necessary services through a combination of volunteers, service providers and social activities. The boundaries are Broadway to Colorado Blvd and Speer to Evans.

Our Board of Directors has worked for the past year developing the organization and it was wonderful to see the culmination of the work paying off at our kick off. We have developed collaborative relationships with public and private organizations to help further this Naturally Occurring Retirement Community, NORC. This is an up and coming phenomenon for communities with large maturing populations.

The Washington Park Service Committee spent months researching a comprehensive list of vendors and volunteers for our members needs. We developed a standard questionnaire for all vendors including reference checks and insurance requirements. Using those requirements, we developed a list of qualified vendors, 2 to 3 in each category along with a group of volunteers looking for ways to help their community.

Our Kick Off Party was a huge success with 3 slide presentations about the organization and opportunity for questions and answers. Washington Park Cares memberships are $100 per year for singles and $200 per year for couples. This membership gives you access to the volunteers, the vendors and numerous opportunities for social activities like walks, dinners, and events such as Active Minds Seminars. Our first event was a solid success and garnered new members as well as volunteers who want to help. If you want more information about Washington Park Cares, check out their web site at