Berkshire Senior February 2022

Page 1

Ageism versus Age Friendly Senior Circuit Breaker Tax Credit

Your Care, Your Home, Your Neighbors

Volunteers Wanted


Elder Services’ Berkshire Senior, February - March 2022

The mission of Elder Services of Berkshire County, Inc. is to provide Berkshire elders, caregivers, and individuals with disabilities the opportunity to live with dignity, independence, and self-determination, and to achieve the highest possible quality of life.

Statement of Inclusivity

Elder Services’ Voluntary Meal Donation

Elder Services practices non-discrimination in employment practices and service delivery. Embracing diversity, our in-home and community-based services are available to all without regard to race, By Christopher McLaughlin, Executive Director of Elder Services ethnicity, language, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or lifestyle. Hoping you are well as we begin to transition into the second half of winter. With any luck, by Twitter: the time you read this we have moved past the postFB/BerkshireSenior @Berkshire Senior holiday COVID surge. Elder Services Senior Nutrition Program is probably our best-known program. Everyone in Berkshire County seems to know someone Instagram: LinkedIn: Elder Services who has received Meals on Wheels. Each day, berkshiresenior of Berkshire County Monday through Friday, the Program provides about 950 meals in each of the 32 cities and towns in Berkshire County. We deliver eighty-five percent of these meals to seniors in their homes and serve the remaining meals in senior community dining centers throughout the County. The regulatory body and funding source for our Nutrition Program is the Massachusetts Executive Office of Elder Affairs (EOEA). EOEA’s funding covers most of the costs to operate the Program. However, EOEA acknowledges they do not fund the program fully and expect us to find local community partners who provide grants and Editorial Board: Deb Aldrich, Christine Thomson, Laura Feakes, Christopher solicit voluntary donations from seniors who benefit from our meals. McLaughlin, Kathleen Cleary, Kathleen Phillips, Susan Guerrero and Kara Elder Services makes meal recipients aware that EOEA recommends a voluntary meal donation. These donations are Graziola. voluntary and in no way impact whether a senior receives a meal. If a Advertising: To place an advertisement in Berkshire Senior, please contact senior is unable to or chooses not to make a donation, they still receive Kate Teutsch at (413) 496-6324 or e-mail a meal, no questions asked. For more than 20 years now, Elder Services’ voluntary donation Berkshire Senior is published bi-monthly by Elder Services of Berkshire has been $2.00 per meal. I often receive letters and thank you cards County, Inc., 877 South Street, Suite 4E, Pittsfield, MA 01201, 499-0524 or from seniors who are grateful for the meals they enjoy. A few meal 1-800-544-5242, e-mail: or on the internet at recipients comment that they are amazed we can provide these meals for only $2.00, which, unfortunately, simply is not accurate. It cost NOTICE Elder Services $9.50 for each meal we provided during the twelve Berkshire Senior advertising helps to the defray the costs of producing months ended September 30, 2021. the newspaper. Inclusion of advertisers in no way implies that Elder Elder Services’ sister agencies raised their voluntary donations Services endorses any product or service. many, many years ago. Consistent annual increases in the minimum Signed columns are the opinion of the writers and not necessarily the wage and greater raw food costs continue to increase our cost of providing meals. When we first implemented the $2.00 voluntary opinion of Elder Services. For medical, financial or other advice, seek a donation, it cost us less than $5.00 to produce a meal. qualified professional in the appropriate field. As Elder Services no longer believes the $2.00 donation adequately Elder Services and its programs are funded, in part, by the Massachusetts correlates with the cost of providing a meal valued at $9.50, we have made the difficult decision to increase the voluntary meal donation. On Executive Office of Elder Affairs. March 1, the recommended voluntary donation will increase to $3.00 per State and federal funds provided to Elder Services are limited. Elder meal. The donation will remain voluntary. Seniors who do not pay a Services welcomes charitable donations to help meet the growing needs voluntary donation will continue to receive a meal, no questions asked. We appreciate your understanding. of Berkshire seniors, and gratefully acknowledges all donations. Until next time be good, be kind and be careful.


Mission Statement

Berkshire Senior

Holiday Elf Program ����������������������������������������������������11 Meals On Wheels ���������������������������������������������������������15 Pittsfield Senior Center ����������������������������������������������15 Donations ���������������������������������������������������������������������16 Fallon Health ����������������������������������������������������������������17 Then and Now ��������������������������������������������������������������18

Volume 40, Number 1 February 2022 The bi-monthly newspaper for Berkshire County seniors


Elder Services’ Berkshire Senior, February - March 2022


Ageism Versus Age Friendly ���������������������������������������� 5 Senior Circuit Breaker Tax Credit ������������������������������� 6 Volunteers Wanted ������������������������������������������������������� 7 Berkshire County Legislators �������������������������������������� 8 Preparing for 3G Network Shutdowns ��������������������� 9 An Irish Blessing ����������������������������������������������������������11




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Elder Services’ Berkshire Senior, February - March 2022

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Two Very Different Ways of Thinking About Age by Mary Jane Incorvia Mattina

encompassing agenda beautifully: A g e F r i e n d ly wa s f i r s t developed by the World Health Organization (WHO), an agency within the United Nations. If you search online you’ll find Age Friendly programs in North and South America, Europe, Asia, Australia (https://apps. ; unfortunately there are very few in Africa and the Middle East. In the United States it is championed by AARP in cities and states across the country (https://www. network-age-friendlycommunities/) . Massachusetts is a state member of the network along with 84 and counting cities across the Commonwealth. The Age Friendly movement focusses on eight domains of liveability: Transportation, Community Support and Health Services, Housing, Communication and Information, Respect and Social Inclusion, Outdoor Spaces and Buildings, Civic Participation and Employment, Social Participation. As an aside, under the domain of Community Support and Health Services is the Age Friendly Health Systems initiative (http://www.

Friendly-Health-Systems/Pages/ default.aspx). This approach to healthcare delivery has been championed by our neighbors to the east, Baystate Medical Center. Bringing it into Berkshire County would make a most positive impact on quality of life in our community. A l t h o u g h s eve r a l a re a s of liveability are perpetual challenges in Berkshire County and require unique solutions which span the urban/suburban/ rural character of our 950 square miles, every age cohort is impacted. How does a young couple find affordable housing close to work and schools; where does the older adult find safe and affordable housing after downsizing; how can the new arrival to Berkshire County find doctors and dentists who are taking new patients; is telecommuting from rural hill towns feasible? Just as these are intergenerational issues, their creative solutions should come from intergenerational community activists. Berkshire County offers a quality of life in which all ages ought to thrive. While there are no “one size fits all” solutions to the issues cited above for all our towns and cities, we can and must work as a coherent community to banish ageism and adopt an age friendly attitude to problem solving. Find out more about The Decade of Healthy Ageing and the Age Friendly movement online and perhaps there will be ways for you to participate. And give us your feedback for suggestions on implementing Age Friendly activities in the Berkshires.

Elder Services’ Berkshire Senior, February - March 2022

Do you reco gniz e these numbers: 8, 12.5, 16, 20.6? No, this series of numbers is not from a question on a recent MCAS or SAT exam. It would be amazing if you do recognize the series because they are the percentages of the US population over the age of 65 in the years 1950, 1990, 2018, and projected for the year 2030 (https://www. share-of-old-age-population-inthe-total-us-population/). What you very likely do recognize is that lifespan is increasing in our county, state, nation and across the world, largely due to evidence-based improvements in public health. There are many social impacts on one’s lifespan which correlate with the individual’s zip code of residence, but that is a topic for another discussion. An individual or a community can think about age from two very different perspectives, perspectives which g reatly impact quality of life for the individual as well as for the entire community. One perspective is “ageism” and the other is “age friendly.” Let’s take a brief look at both perspectives. “Ageism” falls into the same basket as all the other negative “–isms”: racism, sexism, classism. Like all “-isms”, ageism is an approach based on pre-determined rather than evidence-based conclusions regarding age: “you shouldn’t be doing that at your age” is a good example. When it is directed at young people, it limits the vitality, enthusiasm, energy, creativity of

their thoughts and insights on all aspects of life—be it politics, labor, medicine, the environment and on and on. When it is directed to older people, it cuts off their life experiences and insights in the same cornucopia of pursuits. Age is one of the “crooked yardsticks” of assessment that all the “-isms” re present; individuals and communities must acknowledge the fallacy inherent in the “-isms” before they can be banished to the dust heap. To help recognize and then banish ageism, the United Nations has declared 2021-2030 The Decade of Healthy Ageing. Activities have been planned around the globe, many of them in virtual format (https://www. October 1, 2021 was declared the UN International Day of Older Persons. It is the date on which the First UN Global Report on Ageism was launched. It will be possible to participate in a wide selection of exciting virtual events and to exchange ideas with people from cultures all over the globe, right in the comfort of your home in The Berkshires. Of course the challenge is to move beyond the talk from these healthy ageing events to positive action within ourselves and our communities to make the changes that will banish ageism from continuing to destroy people and places. Rather than viewing age from the negative perspective of ageism, the Age Friendly initiative builds on the positive perspective of age, from the youngest to the oldest citizen. The Age Friendly Berkshires logo incorporates this lifespan-


Ageism versus Age Friendly:



Senior Circuit Breaker Tax Credit You may be eligible for a refundable real estate tax credit!

Elder Services’ Berkshire Senior, February - March 2022

By Laura Feakes, Elder Services I & R Specialist


Certain seniors who own or rent residential property are eligible for a refundable tax credit – find out below if you qualify: The Circuit Breaker (CB) tax credit is offered to older persons in Massachusetts to offset high property tax bills. This tax break is called the “circuit breaker” because it is triggered like an electrical circuit breaker, when property tax payments (including water and sewer use charges but excluding any abatement or exemption) exceed 10% of a person’s income for the same tax year. Even though the CB tax credit is based on your property tax payment, it is the state that pays you back - not your local city or town. To be eligible for the credit for the 2021 tax year you must be at least 65 years of age before January 1, 2022, own or rent a home or apartment in Massachusetts and occupy it as your principal residence. Your 2021 total income cannot exceed $62,000 for a single filer, $78,000 for a head of household, or $93,000 for married couples filing a joint return. For purposes of this credit, “total income” includes taxable income as well as exempt income such as social

security, treasury bills, and public pensions. The assessed valuation of your property cannot be more than $884,000. If the taxpayer owns more than one acre of land, only the assessed value of the principal residence, together with the land that immediately surrounds and is associated with that residence, not to exceed one acre, should be used in determining the eligibility of the taxpayer for the credit. The maximum credit allowed for tax year 2021 is $1,170. If you rent, the law assumes that 25% of your rent goes toward property taxes. A formula, based on actual rent paid during the calendar year, is used to determine the amount of an elder tenant’s CB credit. No credit is allowed if the taxpayer claims the married filing separate status, receives a federal or state rent subsidy, rents from a landlord who is not required to pay real estate taxes, or is the dependent of another taxpayer. You claim the credit by submitting a completed Schedule CB Worksheet and Schedule CB, Circuit Break Credit, with a 2021 state income tax return. If you do not normally file a state return because you don’t owe any state taxes, you still can take advantage of this tax break by filing a Form One plus the Schedule CB. You

cannot apply online for the CB Credit with MassTaxConnect. If you’re eligible, complete Schedule CB with your Mass state income tax return, using your tax software. You can also print out the forms found online and mail them to the Mass DOR. Any credit received by an eligible taxpayer is not considered income for the purposes of obtaining eligibility or benefits under other meanstested assistance programs including food, medical, housing, and energy assistance programs. If you find yourself eligible, you can go back 3 tax years and claim the credit retroactively. For example, you have until April 19, 2022 to file for the circuit breaker tax rebate for 2018. If you filed a Form One, you must file a Form CA-6, which is an Application for Abatement/Amended Return. Along with the amendment form, you submit a Schedule CB to calculate your credit. If you did not file Form 1, you must file Form 1 for that year now, together with Schedule CB. This must be completed within 3 years from the last day for filing the return, without regard to any extension of time to file. For more information, you can go to the Mass. Dept of Revenue website,, where you can download forms and detailed instr uctions,

including the brochure “Tax Tips for Seniors and Retirees” and “Massachusetts Tax Information for Seniors and Retirees”. Free tax preparation assistance may also be available from February until April 15th through the Tax-Aide Program sponsored by the AARP Foundation for all middle and low-income taxpayers, with special attention to those age 60 and older. Volunteers are trained in cooperation with the IRS and will assist in filling out tax forms and then filing them electronically. You do not need to be a member of AARP or a retiree to use this service. Berkshire County sites offering this service are generally local Senior Centers. Due to the COVID pandemic, a number of AARP sites as well as the IRS’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites may be closed to in-person appointments and using virtual, telephone, and/or no contact drop-off services. Local VITA sites include Berkshire Community Action Council ( and Berkshire Habitat for Humanity ( Elder Services Information and Referral (I & R) Department provides information about problems or issues relevant to seniors. I & R Specialists can be reached at 413-4990524 or 1-800-544-5242.

Volunteers Wanted

Volunteers are an integral part of Elder Services, and volunteer opportunities abound for those who would like to share their time and talents to help meet the needs of Berkshire seniors.

Serving the Health Insurance Needs of Everyone

If you would like to learn more about volunteer opportunities, contact Isaac Share, Home & Community Based Program Supervisor at (413) 499-0525.

Become a SHINE counselor

The Elder Services SHINE Program is currently seeking volunteers to become trained as SHINE Counselors.


Volunteer Opportunities

About the SHINE Volunteer Program

Your Care, Your Home, Your Neighbors

Companionship - Visit a lonely senior or accompany him/her into the community for shopping or special events. Grocery Shopping Assistant - Drive and escort a senior to the grocery store or shop for a homebound senior with a list. Lunch Site Coordinator - Help seniors enjoy the lunch

programs by overseeing the meal site functions including taking reservations, serving, and helping with clean-up at one of the sites throughout Berkshire County.

Food Service - Help prepare and package Meals on Wheels at Elder Services’ kitchen in Lanesborough.

Volunteer Requirements • 50 hours of classroom instruction (11 classes) and additional mentoring • Pass a state exam • Provide counseling in a variety of locations including local non-profits and Councils on Aging • No prior knowledge regarding insurance is required.

Money Management - Assist income-eligible seniors monthly

Make an impact on your community. Volunteer today.

Nursing Home Ombudsman - Make weekly visits to nursing

Interested parties should contact: Shauna Post 413-499-0524 or

in writing checks for household bills, budgeting, and reconciling bank statements.

home residents to monitor care and resolve complaints.

Office - Assist with special projects such as bulk mailings at Elder Services’ office, 877 South Street, 4E, Pittsfield.

SHINE Counselor - (Serving the Health Information Needs of

Everyone) Become trained to understand Medicare/Medicaid benefits and other health insurance options so you can help seniors make informed choices.

Transportation - Drive and escort seniors to medical/dental appointments and other destinations.

Elder Services’ Berkshire Senior, February - March 2022

Meals on Wheels Driver - Deliver meals to homebound


The SHINE Program, a statewide initiative, provides free unbiased counseling and information regarding Medicare, Mass Health, and insurance-related public benefits to Medicare beneficiaries and their families throughout Berkshire County. It is estimated that local SHINE volunteers and staff saved Berkshire County residents millions of dollars in insurance costs in recent years. This is an excellent opportunity for someone seeking to develop unique skills, work in a dynamic environment, and make a significant difference in the community.



BERKSHIRE COUNTY LEGISLATORS Since 1983 MOLARI HealthCare has enjoyed providing our neighbors in Berkshire County with trusted, quality homecare. Working as your partner, our staff will create a flexible care plan to fit your needs. With MOLARI you are assured that you and your care is our number one priority. MOLARI is committed to providing the best possible solution for your home healthcare needs.

Rep. John Barrett, III

Congressman Richard Neal

24 Beacon Street, Room 237 Boston, MA 02133 (617) 722-2305 District Office: (413) 743-8300

50 Independence Ave. SW Washington, D.C. 20515 (202) 225-5610 Senior aide: William.tranghese@mail. 300 State Street Springfield, MA 01105-1711 (413) 785-0325 Aide:

Services offered by MOLARI • Laundry Services • Assistance with Transportation • Shopping and Errands • Respite Care

• Assistance with Personal Care • Medication Reminders • Meal Preparation • Light Housekeeping • Companionship


166 East Street • Pittsfield, MA 01201 413-499-4562 or 1-800-649-4562 Visit us on the web:

Senator Adam Hinds 24 Beacon Street, Room 109E Boston, MA 02133 (617) 722-1625 District Office: (413) 344-4561

Rep. Smitty Pignatelli

Rep. Tricia Farley-Bouvier 24 Beacon Street, Room 156 Boston, MA 02133 (617) 722-2240 District Office: (413) 442-4300

Rep. Paul Mark 24 Beacon Street, Room 160 Boston, MA 02133 (617) 722-2304 District Office: (413) 464-5635

24 Beacon Street, Room 473F Boston, MA 02133 (617) 722-2210 District Office: (413) 637-0631

Relax this winter with a community of friends. Elder Services’ Berkshire Senior, February - March 2022

Studio and 1 Bedroom apartments are ready for immediate occupancy.


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Helping Older Adults Prepare for 3G Network Shutdowns

Advocates can take steps to help people prepare for the 3G network shutdown: • Share information in your

community and with your clients on the upcoming shutdown. Some people may not be aware of the upcoming change, and others may not have taken steps to replace items if they were avoiding contact with technicians and service providers during the pandemic. Each mobile carrier has different dates for the planned shutdown, with AT&T scheduled as early as February 2022. The Federal Communications Commission has a consumer guide with more details. • Help clients identify potential devices that may be impacted. Lifeline, a program used by many older adults, utilizes major service providers like AT&T and T-Mobile, which are included in the shutdown. iPhones older than the iPhone 6 will no longer work for calls and data. Medical alert devices, watches, and home security systems that utilize 3G may also be impacted. Advocates can assist by helping individuals log into their accounts to check whether they use 3G. Consumers can also contact the individual

carriers and reach out to product companies to determine if their device will be affected. • Connect people to new options for discounted devices if they need to replace them. For people with limited resources, this change could present challenges if they have to spend money on new products. Some carriers are offering free or discounted replacement phones. Older adults and low-income individuals may qualify for the Emergency Broadband Benefit,

which could help them get discounted, updated devices. The local Area Agency on Aging may have a program for device distribution, and many libraries have technology lending programs, which could help keep people connected. Advocates play an important role in outreach and education, particularly to communities that may be most impacted by this change, including older adults of color, those living in rural areas, and other marginalized groups.

413-499-1750 234 Wahconah Street Pittsfield MA 01201


Brown Bag: Food for Elders Become a Member Today!

• A monthly bag of free groceries • Mostly non-perishable pantry staples • For qualifying seniors age 55+ • Also for adult SSDI recipients age 18+ • For you or a family member • 8 Locations in Berkshire County (800) 247-9632, ext. #110 Our team can help you apply!

Elder Services’ Berkshire Senior, February - March 2022

3G wireless networks are scheduled to shut down next year, which will prevent older cell phones that utilize these networks from making or receiving calls or using data services. In addition to cell phones, other connected devices such as certain medical devices, alert systems, and security systems that use 3G network services will be impacted. Although most people have devices on 4G or 5G networks, t h e s h u t d ow n w i l l l i ke ly d i s p ro p o r t i o n at e ly i m p a c t older adults and low-income individuals, who may be using older phones, life alert systems, and other devices still on 3G. Connectivity is critically important in this time when people are utilizing telehealth services and connecting with the courts and service providers remotely.


“I’m so glad I called HospiceCare in The Berkshires when I did.”

Elder Services’ Berkshire Senior, February - March 2022

“They helped us make every moment matter.”


“When Mom got sick, I was so overwhelmed managing her care, filling out paperwork, and trying to be there for her. Thankfully, HospiceCare in The Berkshires was there to make everything easier. They provided compassionate care, that supported a quality of life for Mom.”

Offering compassion to our community: • Emotional and spiritual support • Symptom management

• Integrative therapies • Home health aides

• Meaningful end-of-life care • Bereavement counseling

How will you know when it’s time to call hospice? Visit to learn more. 877 South Street, Suite 1W • Pittsfield, MA 413-443-2994 •

The difference is in our care

Elder Services’ Berkshire Senior, February - March 2022

Elder Services’ staff once again collaborated with BCAC, (Berkshire Community Action Council), for the holiday ELF PROGRAM. Under the leadership of Lead IT Coordinator, Deb Aldrich, staff worked in teams and individually donating funds, shopping and wrapping presents for 10 children ranging in age from toddlers to teenagers. ESBCI staff has brought holiday cheer and happiness to many children through participation in the ELF PROGRAM!


Elder Services’ Berkshire Senior, February - March 2022

Do you have a question about a health care bill charged to your Medicare account?


The Massachusetts Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) Program helps Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries avoid becoming victims of healthcare errors, fraud, and abuse. Did you know that Medicare loses more than $60 billion a year to erroneous and fraudulent claims? You can do your part! Make sure you understand your Medicare Summary Notices, your Explanation of Benefits statements, and invoices from your healthcare providers. If you believe you have been billed for a service you did not receive or you were billed too much for a service you did receive, report it to the MA SMP Program at 800-892-0890. To order a free MA SMP Program personal healthcare journal “My Health Tracker” to help you keep track of your medical appointments, medications, and treatments, call the MA SMP Program at 800-892-0890 or order one online at Remember: Never give out your personal information including your Medicare number to someone you do not know and trust. If you think you have been a victim of a Medicare scam, report it to the Massachusetts Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) Program’s Scam Line at 978-946-1243 or email

This notice paid in part by Grant No. 90MPPG0051

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Elder Services’ Berkshire Senior, February - March 2022

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Elder Services’ Berkshire Senior, February - March 2022

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We will be ready when you are.

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sponsored in part by

NUTRITION PROGRAM SENIOR COMMUNITY DINING CENTERS Due to the end of the State of Emergency, the status and offerings of the Senior BERKSHIRE COUNTY

Community Dining Centers are likely to evolve. Please call for the latest update.




NO. ADAMS 662-3125

SPITZER CENTER 116 Ashland St.


11:30 am


HARPER CENTER 118 Church St.


11:30 am

ADAMS 743-8333


11:30 am

CHESHIRE 743-9719

SENIOR CENTER 119 School St.


11:30 am

LANESBORO 448-2682

TOWN HALL 83 North Main St.


11:30 am

DALTON 684-2000

SENIOR CENTER 40 Field St. Ext.


12:00 pm

BECKET 623-8934

TOWN HALL Route 577 Main St.

T & TH

11:00 am




11:30 am

LENOX 637-5535


12:00 pm

LEE 243-5545

SENIOR CENTER 21 Crossway Village


11:30 am


SENIOR CENTER 917 South Main St.


11:30 am



11:45 am







11:30 am





SHEFFIELD 229-7037



12:00 pm

Eligible seniors 60 years or older are welcome to attend any Senior Community Dining Center. Reservations are requested 24 hours in advance. Begining March 2022 a suggested donation is $3.00 per meal. All contributions are returned to the community toward the cost of the Nutrition Program and Services. Those 59 or under are welcome at a required fee of $8.00 per meal.

By Danielle Raimer Now that we have entered the New Year, we are thankful for what we accomplished in 2021 and hopeful for what we see in front of us during 2022. Over the past year, the staff has been very involved with the battle against COVID-19 and its variants. As you may remember, at this time last year, the staff was very involved in making appointments for our seniors to receive their first of a number of vaccines to fight off the COVID virus. The staff made over 6000 appointments for our community members and continues to this day assisting with booster shots. In order to do that, we have teamed up with the CHP Mobile Health Unit and have delivered services to over 300 people in the form of vaccines, boosters and testing. During this same period, the staff and our Council on Aging Board of Directors made nearly 10,000 wellness calls to our Senior Community. Early in the winter, our Center held a coat drive and received over 50 coats that we had professionally cleaned at no cost by our neighbors at Jean’s Cleaners. The staff distributed items to over 20 seniors and the rest were donated to The Dream Center here in Pittsfield. On the activity front, we have started some new programs which include Line Dancing on Fridays @ 9:00 AM, Sound & Movement on Tuesdays @ 10:30 AM, and a new, Winter Pitch League that meets on Fridays @10:00 AM. We will continue to carry on

Volunteer and Paid Meals on Wheels Drivers Needed! Learn about the opportunity to enrich the lives of seniors by delivering meals by becoming a Meals on Wheels Driver. Join us for a virtual pop-up informational session:

an old tradition of having a city councilor here on the second Tuesday of the month @ 10 AM to discuss agenda items and to learn about city government and how that process impacts our community. Our transportation continues to run daily, Monday – Friday from 9:15-2:30 and we remind everyone that they should call at least 48 hours in advance to make an appointment. Our Brown Bag Program continues on the 4th Friday of every month. Late last year we partnered with DoorDash, and their drivers have been delivering the Brown Bags to individual homes, eliminating the need for the seniors to come to the center to receive their items. We are happy to announce that our Café has a new cook, Bill Mendonca. Bill operates the Café for Breakfast only on Monday, from 8:30 to 10:30, and Tuesday-Friday from 8:00-12:30 for breakfast and daily lunch specials. Our Supportive Day Program has operated daily, with true dedication, throughout the entire pandemic. This important program, which offers not only respite for caregivers, but provides our clients with an active and safe environment to spend a part of their day with us. We have worked hard to keep our Center clean, safe and open throughout the pandemic, and we will continue to operate within State and Local Health Regulations in order to continue to remain open to our Senior Community. We look forward to seeing all of our friends again both old and new.

February 14, 2022 from 10:00 AM to 10:30 AM February 16, 2022 from 3:00 PM to 3:30 PM Register for a session by providing your name, email address and preferred session date/time by contacting We will forward a zoom link to you.

Elder Services’ Berkshire Senior, February - March 2022


The Ralph J. Froio Senior CenterPittsfield Council on Aging


Elder Services of Berkshire County, Inc.



Thank You To Our Donors:

The following donations were received between November 1, 2021 and December 31, 2021. Donations received on or after January 1, 2022 will appear in the next issue of the Berkshire Senior.

Elder Services’ Berkshire Senior, February - March 2022

Memorial Donations


In Memory of Rose Alessio Margaret Donovan Jim and Christa McCabe In Memory of Marie Biron Marian Roper In Memory of William Broderick Katherine Broderick In Memory of Richard C. Donati Jean Donati In Memory of Wanda & C Fred Dubis Elaine Kittler In Memory of John and Helen Fitzpatrick Sheila Fitzpatrick In Memory of Joseph ‘Barry’ Hollister Donna Bell Judith Burbank Deborah Donovan Diana Fontana Mark and Osnedya Miller Michael and Pricilla Moyer Mary K. O’Brien Joyce O’Donnell Kevin and Darlene O’Donnell Kara Robertston Barbara Terry Nancy Tully Judy Wellfare In Memory of Joanne Jones Helen Austin Donna Bell Jacqueline Chapman Laura and Thomas Gardner Matthew and Annmarie Gravel Ronald and Patricia Kelley Mary Miner Lois Murphy Thomas and Jean Porter Gloria Robinson

In Memory of John and Judith Kittredge Judith Kittredge Anderson In Memory of Barbara J Kurek Richard Kurek In Memory of Virginia Malloy Michael and Bernedette Kozik Daniel and Mary McGinnis Sandra Trumble In Memory of Charlotte and Charles McCann, Jr. Richard and Dianna McCann Pikul In Memory of Mary and Charles McCann, Sr. Richard and Dianna McCann Pikul In Memory of Elizabeth Peppe April Pepee In Memory of Mary Richards Robert and Claire Daub Pamela and Thomas Kidder James Morocco Christine Paciorek David and Frances Richards Judy Spooner In Memory of Rosemary Ryan & Lavena Pero Ronald and Patricia Pero In Memory of John Sharp Karen Decker In Memory of Amelia Swint Diane Mintz In Memory of Eugene Talbot, to benefit Meals on Wheels William Briggs Sharon Faye Sheryl Fishman Jo Anne and Benjamin Ginsberg JoAnne Ginsberg and Family Annette Gordon Dr Richard Greene & Dr. Lyndsay Crampton

Mally Rutkoff Rebecca Rutkoff Mike Schiffer Bill Talbot and Family In Memory of Nancy Wallingford Randy Wallingford In Memory of Phyllis Watroba Robert and Lee Watroba In Memory of Donald and Virginia Whelpley Virginia Conner

Elder Independence Donations

Ronald and Sandra Aasen Marion Adler Donald Alderman, Jr. Louise Amstead Dana Anderson Robert and Shirley Annelli David Ariazi Cheryl Baker Robert and Lucy Bellville Jay and Elizabeth Bikofsky Daniel Boino, Sr. Nancy Bonvillain Isreal and Jeanette Bronstein Frances Buckley Anita Busch Mary Camyre Carol Christopher Richard and Wendy Clothier Jacqueline Cobb Dr. Laurence Cohen Daniel and Emma Connors C Jeffrey and Judith Cook Constance Cooper Bea DaSilva Deborah and John De Forest, Sr. Barbara Delmolino Sarah and James DelSignor Peter DeLuca Malcolm Douglas, Jr.

Sandra Driscoll Robert and Barbara Eccher Harris Elder Dale Finkle Anne Fix William and Patricia Flaherty William and Sandra Flannery Henry and Susan Flint Diana Fontana Joan Funk Eleanor Gifford Alfred and Evelyn Goggia Joseph Havrilla Sarah Henry Harry and Marjorie Horn George and Patricia Kellar Dr. Wayne Klug Ellen Krupka Lanny and Laurie Lambert Fern Lavelle Ellen Leitch Peter and Susan LeProvost Joel and Patrice Less Anne Lesser and Thom Lipiczky Richard Macht Mary Mackle Charles and Sandra Magnesio Michael Margolis Lawrence Martz John and Karen McComish Betsey McKearnan Franklin McLaren, Jr. Dr. Fred and Andrea Mensch Virginia Miner Richard and Ruth Moon Harry Morey George Munson Marcella Nevin Karen Oak Cornelius and Mary Obanhein James and Joanne Pasquini Donald and Barbara Percy Arnold Perras

Wesley and Elizabeth Petersen Dorothy Phillips Asta Potter Kathleen Randall Raymond and Barbara Ranzoni Attorney Alan Righi Franklin Risatti Frances and Ralph Robinson, Jr. Helaine Rose Joseph and Colleen Rossi Joseph and Pat Salvadore Walter and Marion Schleicher Esther Schmidt Joanne and Frederick Seymour, Jr. Robert and Carla Skidmore Dr. Erwin Stuebner, Jr. and Jane Stuebner Uldis and Maija Surmanis Judith Thompson Joseph and Nancy Tirrell Gary Trudeau Enterprises Edward and Lisa Udel Pauline Velmans Adam Weinberg Marjorie Wexler Richard and Elizabeth Williams Robert and Pamela Wirtes Thomas Wojtkowski Bruce Zarnoch Stanley Ziemba

General Donations

Sylvia Allan Judith Ambery David Bacchioni Bruce Barry Kathleen Bartlett Thomas Berkel Jennifer Brennan Katherine Broderick Paul and Gail Burda Elaine and Michael Christopher, Sr. Frank and Suzanne Engels Donna Fenn

Providing comprehensive hearing healthcare in the Berkshires for 20 years s Diagnostic Hearing Evaluations s Tinnitus Treatment s Hearing Aid Dispensing s Custom Hearing Protection s Hearing Aid Repairs s Musician’s Filters 510 North Street, Suite 9, Pittsfield, MA 01201 • (413) 443-4800 •

Cynthia Golin Wade Hoffman Peter Hofman Gerard & Christine Hurley Gregory Jones Fay Kalinowsky Vera LeCoco Robert Mercer Antonio and Margaret Pagliarulo Kathy Patterson Bo and Katherine Peabody Sharon Robak James Shippee Theodore & Elaine Sideropoulos Jane Smith Ronald and Martha Stewart Lawrence Strauss and Francine Weinberg Denise Talabach Tomich Landscape Design & Construction Judith Trask Peter Traub Thomas and Mary Vaughan

Meals On Wheels Donations

Big Y Giving Tag Program Paul and Kim Bruce David Grady Tamar Schrager Stop & Shop Bloomin’ 4 Good Program

SHINE Donations

Cynthia Armstrong Cynthia Conuel and Richard LaPlante Dr. Andrea Jacobson James Meaney Charles and Marguerite Oakes

Dr. Andrew J. Puttick Au.D., F-AAA

Empire Monuments, Inc. Est. 1931 Complete Service of Monuments & Markers



100 Wahconah St. Pittsfield, MA 01201 (413) 442-4149 Donna Brewer, Owner Steven J Brewer, Director

Do You Care for an Adult in Your Home? Who We Are Berkshire County Arc’s Adult Family Care program serves more than 100 individuals who require support from a caregiver in their home. We serve individuals ages 16 and up who cannot live safely on their own due to medical or physical disabilities, or cognitive impairment, and qualify for MassHealth, including elderly.

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Elder Services’ Berkshire Senior, February - March 2022

ESBCI’s Executive Director, Christopher McLaughlin, Food Services Supervisor Lisa Allen and Nutrition Program Manager Maura Doran accept a $10,000 donation from Fallon Health’s Community Impact Grant Program. The Grant is to support the Meals on Wheels Program and increase our capacity to make nutritious foods accessible to older adults. It provides funding for the new Medically Tailored Meal Program, providing meals to seniors with dietary restrictions. The Grant will also make it possible for the Program to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables from local farms. The support from Fallon Health’s grant program is critically to these two new initiatives. Representing Fallon Health and presenting the check are Linda Gillespie, Manger, NaviCare Outreach (far left), Christie Bik, Government Affairs and Public Policy Director (second from left) and Christine Cassidy, Senior Vice President and Chief Communications Officer (far right). The presentation took place at ESBCI’s kitchen in Lanesborough. The kitchen prepares and delivers over 950 meals a day, five days week.


by Susan Guerrero

As Valentine’s Day inches closer, thoughts zoom back many years to Bartlett School on Onota Street. Does that happen in your own life? As


Then and Now… the decades tick by, do memories of past happenings seem to pop into the mind very frequently? Images of things that happened a long time ago are suddenly clear and real. The mind is so amazing. Bartlett School, in my mind’s eye, is not comprised of apartments, as it is today. Instead, it’s an active elementary school, filled with chatting and laughing children. It was an easy walk from my childhood home on Onota Street. We wore paths into the sidewalks, going to school in the morning, back home at lunch time, returning to school after lunch and then walking home! There was a crossing guard at the bottom of Lakeway Drive. Nearby, where a facility for elderly residents now stands, was Zuckerman’s corner store.

Let Us Welcome You Home

Elder Services’ Berkshire Senior, February - March 2022




Jake Zuckerman manned the store and his son, Nathan, a tall and shy boy, was in my first-grade class at Bartlett School. The most prevalent Valentine’s Day memories center in Miss Barrett’s second grade classroom. She was an older teacher who was quite strict with the kids. Near Valentine’s Day, however, she made our classroom a fun place to be. We all took turns decorating a big cardboard box. We covered it with red tissue paper and lacy white doily hearts as well as ribbons and handmade colored paper Valentine decorations. Miss Barrett left a big opening in the top of the box. E a c h s t u d e n t r e c e iv e d instructions to prepare Valentine’s Day cards, bring them into the classroom in the week prior to the Big Day, and deposit them into the box. This was all very thrilling for eight-year-olds. I remember

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bugging my poor mother to buy packages of Valentine cards. We had to go “upstreet” to Newberry’s Five and Ten on North Street. She had to do this for all five of her daughters. Of course, I wanted to pick out my own cards. The ones selected tended to have funny messages. At that stage of the game, mushy cards didn’t appeal. All through the week prior to Valentine’s Day, we couldn’t wait to go to school. We brought in fat fistfuls of cards in small white envelopes. On the fronts of the cards, scrawled in carefully printed letters, were the names of the students the cards were intended for. Every morning the Valentines got carefully dropped into the top of the beautifully decorated box which was quickly filling up. On the special day, Miss Barrett had the cards all sorted out per student. How no one ever got slighted by receiving less cards than the next student is anyone’s guess. The entire class of hyped-up second-graders felt the thrill of receiving cards from the dark innards of that gorgeous Valentine box. When the signatures read “Guess who?” it was even more thrilling and imaginations went wild, guessing who the senders might be. It has been more than half a century since those Valentine’s Day memories formed in a second-g rade classroom at Bartlett School but they are as clear today as the red hearts decorating stores and other businesses all around town. This month, it will still be exciting to look for Valentine cards in the mail but the feeling of sheer excitement and anticipation could never come close to what was felt in that big brick building with the huge windows on Onota Street! Thanks, Miss Bar rett, wherever you now reside on the other side of life, and to all, a Happy Valentine’s Day, 2022.


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Elder Services’ Berkshire Senior, February - March 2022



Elder Services’ Berkshire Senior, February - March 2022

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