Berkshire Senior April - May 2023

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Karen Karlberg and Her Dancing Llama Falls Prevention in Older Americans

Massachusetts PropertyTax Relief for Seniors

Staff Lend A Hand

Your Care, Your Home, Your Neighbors
Elder Services’ Berkshire Senior , AprilMay 2023 2
Offering compassion to our community: • Emotional and spiritual support • Symptom management • Integrative therapies • Home health aides • Meaningful end-of-life care • Bereavement counseling HO W WILL Y OU KNO W WHEN IT’S TIME T O C ALL HOSPICE? VISIT WWW .HCIB. ORG/ WHENT OC ALLHOSPICE T O LEARN MORE. 877 South Street, Suite 1W Pittsfield, MA 01201 413-443-2994 THE DIFFERENCE IS IN OUR C ARE “I’m so glad I called HospiceCare in The Berkshires
“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.”
when I

Mission Statement

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 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, ethnicity, language, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or lifestyle.


Instagram: berkshiresenior

LinkedIn: Elder Services of Berkshire County

Wanted: Volunteers

April is Volunteer Month. It is not only a great time to thank and acknowledge our volunteers (see page 12) for all they do to enrich the lives of Berkshire seniors but also to encourage others to consider volunteering. Elder Services cannot do what we do without our volunteers. They selflessly share their time, talents and life experiences to help make the lives of their neighbors more fulfilling.

Thankfully, the worst of the COVID restrictions are behind us. However, the reality is that during the darkest days of the pandemic, we lost some volunteers. Though the number of volunteers decreased, Berkshire seniors need for support and assistance did not. Are you willing to make a senior’s life a little easier and spread some “sunshine” to someone who needs some assistance?

Many people truly love our community and genuinely want to help. However, the thought of volunteering can be intimidating. Some believe that volunteering means having to commit many hours a day, several days a week. While there are opportunities for those who choose to work several hours a day, our volunteers commit to the number of hours and days that best suit them.

Volunteering is a tremendous opportunity to expand your horizons and introduce new light and life into the world of others in our community. Elder Services volunteers enrich several of our programs:



Editorial Board: Deb Aldrich, Kimberly Kelly, Christine Thomson, Laura Feakes, Christopher McLaughlin, Kathleen Phillips, Susan Guerrero, Yvonne Borsody and Kara Graziola.

Advertising: To place an advertisement in Berkshire Senior, please contact Kate Teutsch at (413) 496-6324 or e-mail

Berkshire Senior is published bi-monthly by Elder Services of Berkshire County, Inc., 877 South Street, Suite 4E, Pittsfield, MA 01201, 499-0524 or 1-800-5445242, e-mail: or on the internet at


Berkshire Senior advertising helps to the defray the costs of producing the newspaper. Inclusion of advertisers in no way implies that Elder Services endorses any product or service.

Signed columns are the opinion of the writers and not necessarily the opinion of Elder Services. For medical, financial or other advice, seek a qualified professional in the appropriate field.

Elder Services and its programs are funded, in part, by the Massachusetts Executive Office of Elder Affairs.

State and federal funds provided to Elder Services are limited. Elder Services welcomes charitable donations to help meet the growing needs of Berkshire seniors, and gratefully acknowledges all donations.

Meals on Wheels Drivers, Kitchen Volunteers and Meal Site

Volunteers- Drivers deliver meals Monday through Friday and conduct invaluable well-being checks on seniors. Kitchen volunteers help prepare meals in our Lanesborough kitchen. Meal site volunteers serve meals to seniors at one of Berkshire County’s many senior community-dining sites.

Long Term Care Ombudsman – This program trains volunteers to advocate for residents of Berkshire County’s nursing homes. Ombudsmen serve as intermediaries between a nursing home resident and their nursing home so the resident receives the support and services they need to maintain the best quality of life.

Money Management – This program trains volunteers to help seniors manage their checkbooks and monthly expenses. These are not complicated financial transactions…mostly basic budgeting and bill paying to help seniors remain independent in their homes for as long as possible.

SHINE Counselors – SHINE (Serving the Health Insurance Needs of Everyone) counselors work with seniors to ensure they maximize their Medicare and other public benefits, saving them money by finding them the plan that best meets their needs.

Drivers, Shoppers, Companions – These individuals drive seniors to appointments or grocery shopping, shop for them or spend time getting to know them.

These are just a few of many opportunities for you to brighten the

continued on page 5

ELDER SERVICES UPDATE Elder Services’ Berkshire Senior , AprilMay 2023 3
Karen Karlberg and Her Dancing Llama ������������������� 4 Falls Prevention ������������������������������������������������������������� 6 Villages of the Berkshires �������������������������������������������� 7 Property Tax Relief �������������������������������������������������������� 8 Senior Community Dining Sites and AVANGRID Staff Lend a Hand ����������������������������������� 10 Meals on Wheels ���������������������������������������������������������� 11 Thank You to Our Volunteers ������������������������������������ 12 Advance Directives ����������������������������������������������������� 13 Matchmaking for Pets and People��������������������������� 14 Donations ��������������������������������������������������������������������� 18 COVER PHOTO:
Contents Volume 42, Number 2 April 2023 The bi-monthly newspaper for Berkshire County seniors FREE
Marianne Algerio, Michelle Simon, Judy Hopkins and Paula Loyer at Ralph Froio Senior Center Valentine’s Day luncheon Twitter: @Berkshire Senior

Karen Karlberg and Her Dancing Llama

Karen Karlberg, a Becket resident for 38 years, made a life-long dream come true by self-publishing a colorful and delightful book about one of her beloved animals. Titled “Cooper the Dancing Llama,” after one of three llamas the author owns, cares for, and loves. The author is proof that dreams, coupled with hard work, do still come true in the latter part of life.

The children’s book is dedicated to the author’s late mother, Rita Burns. Rita volunteered for many years with Elder Services of Berkshire County in the Meals on Wheels Program. Her mother always wanted her to write a book about the llamas. Burns also adored the animals and spoiled them with Cheerios and carrots. “Rita passed away before she could see me fulfill this dream but her spirit and love for her Grandllamas inspired me to finish this book for both of us!”

Also involved in the book production is Arthur Oliver,

“I had drafted some ideas and even an outline, but it wasn’t until I was sitting on my deck two years ago watching Cooper prance about, that this book started to come together.”

illustrator and costume designer “extraordinaire”, and Christine Jordan, a Lenox senior citizen and talented artist.

Oliver, recognized internationally in his field, did the illustrations in “Cooper the Dancing Llama,” Jordan’s vibrant and brilliantly colored art work is spread across the backgrounds of the book’s cover and pages. She worked as an elementary school teacher in Pittsfield for 35 years before retiring. Her work is cheerful and filled to the brim with dazzling color. Karlberg said she was friends with Jordan through their mutual love of animals and she knew Jordan was a “great artist.” “One day I asked her if Arthur and I could meet with her about incorporating her art

work into my story and Arthur’s illustrations.”

While many senior citizens receive small things for their birthdays, Karlberg, last November, got a new llama, named Bentley. He is actually Cooper’s brother. Bentley joined Scooby Doo, one of Karlberg’s first llamas, and Cooper, on the farm she owns with her husband, Mark. Cooper’s original name is Mini-Cooper. It came with him from the farm he was adopted from. His father is called Lamborghini and his grandfather is Maserati. To Karlberg, Cooper is her “Cutie pie.”

She said she knew she wanted to write a story about llamas since her first ones, Scooby Doo and Shaggy Too, arrived. “I had drafted some ideas and even an

outline, but it wasn’t until I was sitting on my deck two years ago watching Cooper prance about, that this book started to come together,” Karlberg said.

She has worked at Jacob’s Pillow for the past eight years. “How could I not call it “Cooper the Dancing Llama,?” Karlberg said. “I work at Jacob’s Pillow, and I have a dancing llama: I thought it was a perfect title.”

Karlberg has been fascinated with llamas most of her life. In childhood, her only introductions to llamas were from films and zoos. However, she watched the movie “Dr. Doolittle” and “fell in love with the ‘Pushme-Pullyou’ llama in the movie. “Ever since then, I dreamed of having a llama of my own”. She is a graduate from St. Joseph High School and attended Berkshire Community College and the State University of New York at Plattsburgh (SUNY). She said she also attends Berkshire Enterprises for Small Business Management, which she relied on a great deal while developing the book. She and her husband, Mark, have been

DANCING LLAMA Elder Services’ Berkshire Senior , AprilMay 2023 4

married for 35 years. Their only “children,” she said, “have fur, feathers, and fleece.” They live on KaTTail Farm in Becket with “a flock of chickens,” a dog named “Blossom,” and three cats.

It’s not easy to self-publish a book. Karlberg said it took a year for the final product to be actually printed. There were many meetings and emails between herself and Oliver, the designer. “I chose to self-publish my book because I knew Arthur was the right person to illustrate it from his years of creating costumes for ballet companies around the world,” she said. “It has been an intense journey not without trials and tribulations, but I would do it again in a heartbeat. “The author met Oliver when she worked for a summer in the costume shop at Shakespeare and Company. “I then offered him the use of my studio during the winter months,” she said, “and we have stayed friends for over 20 years”.

While the book was still swirling around in her mind, Karlberg said she actually started writing it by jotting down one-line sentences about what Cooper was doing as she watched him. “Then

I added the make-believe ideas to develop a story,” she said. “I then reached out to my friend, Arthur Oliver and asked him if he would like to illustrate my story. “She had Oliver come and meet Cooper to watch him move about the backyard.

Karlsberg loves raising her beloved llamas. She said the experience is amazing. “They give you an almost ethereal sense of relaxation just being close to them,” she said. “And they are easier to raise than a dog or cat, and cheaper.”

Llamas, who look rather exotic around these parts, definitely have distinct personalities. Scooby Doo, for instance, is the “Alpha” who takes his job of security for Kalberg’s chickens very seriously. “He will make a loud braying noise and round them up when he senses danger of any kind,” she said. “Cooper is a very shy llama, who will back away if you get too close to him and startles easily. Bentley is very bold and will eat carrots right from your hand.”

Karlberg said her favorite time to spend with the llamas is during the evening feedings. “I give them

a mix of llama feed, apple cider vinegar and sliced carrots,” she said. “Then I make sure there is enough fresh hay in their three separate sleeping areas. “The animals have access to a barn and will go into it if weather is especially bad. Bentley is the only one to sleep in the doorway on a regular basis,” the author said. While “Cooper the Dancing Llama” is now being sold and distributed, that is not the end of Karlberg writing about llamas. She has two other books she wants to write. ”I plan on writing about “Bentley the Tap Dancing Llama” and “Llamas on the Lam.” The latter will be about Scooby Doo and his exploits of getting loose and roaming Becket for a day.

Wanted: Volunteers

continued from page 3

life of someone in need.

To learn more about how volunteering could benefit you and Berkshire seniors, please call our Volunteer Coordinator, Pam McDonald at 499-0524.

In closing, I offer our

It appears that life on KaTTail Farm is anything but boring. Karlberg said her husband, Mark, has never said no to bringing home unwanted or neglected creatures because “he is a big softie himself.” “He loves me and the llamas and all our pets over the years are part of the deal,” she said.

Karlberg’s late mother, Rita Burns, would probably be thrilled that Cooper’s story is now being read by children, parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents. It is her daughter’s testimony to the animals that are a huge part of her life. “They are my heart,” the author said of her beloved llamas.

sincerest thanks and appreciation to our volunteers and respectfully request that you consider joining us as a volunteer.

Until next time be good, be kind and be careful.

DANCING LLAMA Elder Services’ Berkshire Senior , AprilMay 2023 5 If You Need Transpor tation Assistance We Are Available 2 4/7, 365 Days Serving All of New England & New York 18 Oak St., Pittsfield, MA • (413) 4 47-3800 You name it, we do it! Established in 2003 • Medical Appointments • Holiday Get Together s • Dinner • Shopping

Falls Prevention in Older Americans Falls Prevention in Older Americans

Did you know that in America alone, it is estimated that on average, people over the age of 65 experience at least one fall a year? According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), falls are the leading cause of injuries for older Americans. Falls can not only threaten a senior’s safety and independence, but can also cause significant economic and personal costs. Although not an inevitable result of aging, falls can be quite serious and even fatal. More than 95% of hip fractures are due to falls. Falls are the leading cause of traumatic brain injuries and also increase the risk of nursing home placement.

Things that may directly affect a person’s risk of falling can include unsteady gait, strength, and balance deficits,

some medications, home hazards like scatter rugs, blood pressure dropping, vision problems, foot issues/inappropriate footwear, Vitamin D deficiency and other medical problems to name a few. There is hope though. Organizations, like the CDC and others, have endlessly studied and examined falls - who, what, where, when and how they fall.

Through this research they have developed a falls prevention program and encouraged its use throughout the country. In Berkshire County, Elder Services assesses for home safety and refers folks to appropriate programs. BHS and other area organizations also practice the STEADI model.

The CDC has developed a program that addresses falls in the elderly, called STEADI, (Stopping Elderly Accidents, Death and Injuries) for healthcare professionals to use. Medical providers are encouraged to adopt this model into their practices and screen and educate their older patients appropriately.

Through practical lifestyle adjustments, evidence-based falls prevention programs, and clinicalcommunity partnerships, the number of falls among seniors can

be substantially reduced.

Easy things seniors can do to help prevent falls, in addition to speaking with your doctor, are consistently using assistive walking devices like canes and walkers, removing all scatter rugs and anything else that may be a safety concern, and taking a class to improve your balance.

Available resources in Berkshire County for balance training include Tai Chi and the evidence-based Matter of Balance classes. Check with your local Council on Aging or Elder Services for availability in your town.

Remember, staying safe is a number one priority for your health and wellness. Let’s all remain upright!!

If you’d like to see what else the CDC has to offer go to https://

HEALTH Elder Services’ Berkshire Senior , AprilMay 2023 6
...the number of falls among seniors can be substantially reduced.

Villages of the Berkshires receives state funding and hires new Program Director

Villages of the Berkshires has now been included in the Commonwealth’s budget for fiscal year 22/23. This nonprofit organization provides volunteer and support services, information and engagement to people who wish to remain in their homes as they grow older. Thanks to the efforts of past Senator Adam Hinds, we have been included in the State’s Fiscal Year Budget for $50,000. This enables the organization to hire a new Program Director, Sarah Dias who began work early this month.

Ms. Dias joins the organization having recently returned to the Berkshires following her work with the Alzheimer’s Association, Massachusetts/New

Hampshire Chapter in Waltham MA. There she coordinated & delivered professional education programs and planned their annual conference. Prior to that she worked for Brookdale Senior Living in Smithfield RI where she planned, implemented, and monitored wellness programs.

Ms. Dias says that she is “so pleased to have the opportunity to work with such an incredible organization” and “is truly honored and excited to begin this journey.” She looks forward to working with and learning from the members and volunteers who are part of the organization.

“We are thrilled to have Sarah onboard and hope the state funding is the beginning of

continuing support of Villages of the Berkshires in the annual budget of the Commonwealth” says Howard Shapiro, President of Villages Board of Directors. “With the help of volunteers and recommended service providers, the organization assists individuals to remain in their own homes as they grow older.”

In addition to funding the position of Program Director, the State funds provide support for scholarships to individuals interested in being members of Villages of the Berkshires who have limited resources. Ms. Dias will be planning information sessions for communities throughout the Berkshires to discuss membership,

volunteering and the programs and activities of the organization.

The population of the Berkshires, the State and the country are growing older and will increase significantly in the next ten years. Villages of the Berkshires plays a vital role in helping people to remain in their homes and thrive. Don’t hesitate to contact the organization if you are interested in being a member, volunteering or to be part of our mailing list.

Villages of the Berkshires can be reached at info@ villagesoftheberkshires. org or by phone at 413-4094600 or visit the website at

NEWS Elder Services’ Berkshire Senior , AprilMay 2023 7 D AD I S TRAILIN G O F F IN T H E 24/7 Helpline 800.272.3900 MI DD L E O F HI S SEN T ENCE S . New problems with words or speaking is a warning sign of Alzheimer’s Lear n more at /10signs K N O W W H E R E A L Z H E IM E R ’ S A N D A L L D E M E N T I A HI D E .

Massachusetts Property Tax Relief for Seniors

Property taxes can become a growing burden for Massachusetts seniors on a fixed income. However, there are tax programs in place to save you money. Massachusetts law allows cities and towns to give exemptions to seniors, the blind, veterans, and other eligible homeowners to help them pay their property tax bills. A real estate tax exemption is a release or discharge from the obligation to pay all or a portion of a local property tax. A real estate tax deferral does not discharge the tax obligation like an exemption. Instead, it defers payment until the individual sells the property or dies. Exemptions and deferrals

allow seniors to use resources that would go to pay taxes to defray living expenses instead. Seniors can also earn abatements through the Senior Property Tax Work-Off Program or a credit through the Circuit Breaker Tax Program.

Some exemptions are mandated by law, while others are by local option. Your board of assessors, as the local tax administrator, decides whether you qualify for an exemption. To find out about the specific eligibility and application requirements in your city or town, you must contact your local board of assessors. Below is an explanation of some of these exemptions:

Clause 41 – This is the basic exemption for seniors. Some

sections of this clause require you to be 70 years old by July 1 of the tax year, while for other sections the eligible age is reduced to 65 years. Specific ownership, residency, income and asset requirements apply. The basic exemption is $500 but can vary by town option. Both deferrals (Clause 41A) and exemptions (clauses 41, 41B, 41C or 41 C1/2) are available under sections of this clause. Filing on time is required. Clause 17 – Seniors 70 or older may, as an alternative to Clause 41, qualify for exemption under Clauses 17, 17C, 17C1/2 or 17D, which provide a reduced benefit ($175, but can vary by town option), but have less strict eligibility requirements. Filing on time is required.

Clause 22 – There are various exemptions for qualified veterans and their spouses ranging from $400-$1,500 or full amount. In order to qualify you must have certification of a war related disability and not have been dishonorably discharged. Filing on time is required.

Clause 37 – This clause applies to taxpayers who are legally blind. The tax exemption under Clause 37A is $500. In order to qualify you must be registered with The Massachusetts Commission for the Blind. Filing on time is required.

Clause 18 – referred to as the “Hardship exemption” provides relief to taxpayers who by reason of age, infirmity, active military service, and poverty are, in the judgment of the local Board of

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FINANCIAL Elder Services’ Berkshire Senior , AprilMay 2023 8 B U I L D E R S O F M O M E N T S L I K E T H I S .

Assessors, unable to contribute fully toward the public charges. Generally, to take advantage of this clause the property owner’s situation must be overwhelmingly compelling. A deferral may also be available.

Circuit Breaker Tax Program - Persons 65 yrs or older whose property taxes (or 25% of rent) exceed 10% of their annual gross income and who meet other qualifying criteria may be eligible for a refundable tax credit from the state. You may be eligible even if you receive a property tax exemption through your city/town. To obtain the credit, you must file a state income tax form, whether or not you owe income tax.

Tax Work Off Program –This program allows seniors to do volunteer work for their local governments at an assigned public service job in exchange for a reduction in their property taxes. The program is by local option so not all cities and towns offer it. Local programs set their own rules for the program using state guidelines, however basic eligibility requires the person to

be age 60 or older, own a home in the city or town where they apply, and pay property taxes on that home. Most cities and towns limit the number of seniors who can take part in the Tax WorkOff Program each year. For more information contact your local Senior Center or Council on Aging or local Assessors office. Local participants include Adams, Dalton, Great Barrington, Lanesboro, Lee, Lenox, Monterey, North Adams, Pittsfield, and Williamstown.

One other thing to remember is that if you feel your tax assessment is high relative to other like homes in your town, you can appeal your Massachusetts property tax bill. More detailed information is available on-line at the Massachusetts Dept. of Revenue (DOR) website, www. dor, in the “Seniors & Retirees” section. If you do not have access to the internet, you can request a copy of the DOR’s Taxpayer’s Guide to Local Property Tax Exemptions and Deferrals from Elder Services Information & Referral Dept. (413-499-0524).




Our unique approach to assisted living and memory care allows residents to enjoy the opportunities for social interaction, creative expression, and intellectual growth while receiving the personalized care they need.

FINANCIAL Elder Services’ Berkshire Senior , AprilMay 2023 9
Kimball Farms, retirement
is not a
it's a lifestyle.

AVANGRID Staff Lend A Hand AVANGRID Staff Lend A Hand

On a wintery day late January, a group of 10 volunteers appeared at the Lanesboro Central Kitchen site ready for duty. Al Langland, VP of AVANGRID Gas Engineering & Operations, contacted Elder Services earlier in the month seeking a team building opportunity for the employees of AVANGRID, an affiliate of Berkshire Gas Company. Through the many steps of application, the volunteers completed the required paperwork for this unique volunteering event. The timely correspondence between Al Langland, Sue Kristjansson, President and COO at Berkshire Gas Company, eight AVANGRID employees, and our Elder Services staff met all deadlines within a three week period and on January 25th the 10 volunteers arrived at our Meals on Wheels kitchen in Lanesboro for the assignment and fun.

Following introductions, three volunteers donned aprons, gloves, masks, and hats for fruit and bread packaging. These volunteers witnessed first-hand the quantity of food prepared for consumers (clients) at the

kitchen site. Six volunteers teamed with three Meals on Wheels drivers for hot meal delivery in Pittsfield and enjoyed the interaction with consumers so much they would have gladly delivered more meals that snowy day. One volunteer rode with a substitute Meals on Wheels driver assisting wholeheartedly on a route of 20 meal deliveries. Two of the volunteers shared previous experiences with home meal delivery; one as a former route driver and the second as a grandchild assisting his grandmother on her route years ago. A warm memory from this volunteering event came about as two AVANGRID volunteers sang ‘Happy Birthday’ to a delighted senior while delivering a meal. The Meals on Wheels Program demonstrates the glorious act of people helping people. It is a solid network that touches many lives in the Berkshire community. On that snowy day in January, the 10 AVANGRID volunteers witnessed and participated in the Meals on Wheels Program of Berkshire County. Their effort was sincerely appreciated by consumers, volunteers, and staff at Elder Services. Kudos to volunteers one and all!!

MEALS ON WHEELS Elder Services’ Berkshire Senior , AprilMay 2023 10


Due to the continuing State of Emergency, the status and offerings of the Senior Community Dining Centers are likely to evolve. Please call for the latest update.

Voted Best of t he Berkshi res!

Eligible seniors 60 years or older are welcome to attend any Senior Community Dining Center. Reservations are requested 24 hours in advance. The 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.

Facts about medically tailored meals

• Did you know that Elder Services provides medically tailored meals (MTMs)?

• MTMs help meet the needs of seniors with health conditions that require specific diets such as diabetes, heart and kidney disease.

• MTMs can be delivered to individuals at their home five days a week. Menus are developed by a registered dietician and trained staff.

• Call Elder Services (413) 499-0524 to request a special meal such as pureed, cardiac, diabetic, renal and vegetarian.

Health Care on W heels

CHP Mobile Health can help keep you safe from serious Covid illness with boosters, vaccines, and testing.

We’re also here for flu shots, sick visits and follow-ups, primar y care referrals, nutrition counseling, blood pressure checks and other health screenings, insurance assistance, food and fuel help, family ser vices, and WIC.

Walk-in care is available or call us at 413.528.0457 for an appointment. Scan the QR code for CHP ’s current week ly Mobile Health schedule

Need more info? Visit or scan the QR code for details and our current schedule

MEALS ON WHEELS Elder Services’ Berkshire Senior , AprilMay 2023 11
Coming to a Neighborhood
Community Health Programs | 444 Stock bridge Road, Great Barrington, MA 01230
Near You!
Pit t s f ield O ff ice 74 0 Williams S tree t , Pit t s f ield, MA 01201 413 - 4 47- 8070 Dalton O ff ice 4 00 Main S tree t , Dal ton, MA 012 26 413 - 68 4 -978 3 L enox O ff ice 90 Pit t s f ield Road, L enox , MA 0124 0 413 - 6 3 7-28 10 JOHN DEL
BROWER, PT JOY MIL ANI, PT SHAUNNA HOULE, DPT RYAN TUGGE Y, PTA ROBERT PADUANO, PT NICOLE TUCKER, PT BRENT SYLVIA , PT JACKIE FARRELL , DPT THOMAS COONE Y, DPT LIZ KASTRINAKIS, DPT CITY/TOWN PHONE ADDRESS DAYS MEALS SERVED SERVING TIME NO� ADAMS 662-3125 SPITZER CENTER 116 Ashland St. M-T-W-TH-F 11:30 am WILLIAMSTOWN 458-8250 HARPER CENTER 118 Church St. M-W-F 11:30 am ADAMS 743-8333 COMMUNITY CENTER 3 Hoosac St. M-T-W-TH-F 11:30 am CHESHIRE 743-9719 SENIOR CENTER 119 School St. M-T-W-TH-F 11:30 am LANESBORO 448-2682 TOWN HALL 83 North Main St. M-W 11:30 am DALTON 684-2000 SENIOR CENTER 40 Field St. Ext. M-TH 12:00 pm BECKET 623-8934 TOWN HALL Route 577 Main St. T & TH 11:00 am PITTSFIELD 499-9346 SENIOR CENTER 330 North St. M-T-W-TH-F 11:30 am LENOX 637-5535 COMMUNITY CENTER 65 Walker St. M-T-W-TH-F 12:00 pm LEE 394-4160 SENIOR CENTER 21 Crossway Village M-T-W-TH-F 11:30 am GT� BARRINGTON 528-4118 SENIOR CENTER 917 South Main St. M-T-W-TH-F 11:30 am PITTSFIELD 442-2200 KOSHER JEWISH COMM� CTR 16 Colt Road M-T-TH 11:45 am STOCKBRIDGE 298-3222 HEATON COURT 5 Pine St. CLOSED CLOSED PROVIDENCE CT� 443-1841 PROVIDENCE COURT 379 East St. M-T-W-TH-F 11:30 am STOCKBRIDGE 298-4170 SENIOR CENTER 50 Main St. CLOSED CLOSED SHEFFIELD 229-7037 SENIOR CENTER 25 Cook Road W & F 12:00 pm

Thanks Sincerest

to Our Volunteers

Your Help & Commitment Makes a Significant Difference!


Board of Directors

Frank Engels - Board President

Randy Burdick

Teresa Caldwell

David Twiggs

Sandra Carroll

Georgette Kinney

Christopher King - Finance Committee

Mary K. O’Brien

Jacob Dabrowski -

Board Treasurer

Sandy Driscoll

Walter Orenstein

Mary Shogry- Hayer

Kimberly Mathews

Jeffrey Menkes

John Philpott

Stephen Radin

Roberta Gale

John Graziano

AAA Advisory Council

Quentin Chin

Erica Girgenti

June Green - Vice Chair

Lisa Fletcher-Udel

James Clark - Chair

Sandra Lussier

Frank Engels

Vincent Marinaro

Meri Ellen Morgans

Robert Allard

Maria Craft

Deborah Phillips

Active January 1, 2022 - December 31, 2022

Marketing & Fundraising Committee

Georgette Kinney

Diana (Toni) Fontana

Frank Engels

Sandra Carroll


Bonnie Andrews

Beth Castella

Carol Couture

Harriet Jane Diaz

Grace ( Beth) Wiggers

Linda Cox

Maureen Avery

Barbara Bailly

Anna Beining

Veronica Deome

Margaret “Peggy” Lavalette

Michael Ende


Paul Greenberg

Julia Kaplan

Alan Metzger

Elaine Shindler

JoAnn Garzone

Christina McCarthy

Robert Balawender

Eugene Gebarowski

Margaret “Mal” Gwozdz

Elizabeth King

Maria Mendonca

Donald Pulver

Marlene Rivers

Dan Skorcz

Peter Traub

Eleanor Rosier

Julia Taylor

Shirley Zurrin

Gordine Galusha

Jane Rozak

Paula Bergeron

Celine Godbout

Marie Grull

Linda Shaw

Flora Whiffen

Andrea Gaylord

Rosemary Houghtlin

Vicky Singer

Arlene Stockley

Eileen Clarke

Barbara Delmolino

Sandra French

Elsie Gilligan

John Gilligan

Paulette Graber

Michelle Harwood

Nadine Hawver

Gillian Hettinger

Nancy Macy

Joan Powers

Gail Tighe

Carolyn M. Coco

Dennis DeVergilio

Robert St. Peter

Joanne Stegner

Michael Garvey

Octavia Jones-May

Elizabeth Oakes

Robert Papallo

Pierce Roberts

Vicky Singer

Luke Steinman

Ariana Allen

Cindy Cavanaugh

Carol Couture

Matthew Girard

Linda Harris

Catherine Leveque

Kristen Roberts

Amy Butler

Frank Clarke, Matt Earl

Donald Freedman

Kathleen Garofolo

Sally Haver

Charles Joch

William L Kormanik

Erna Lampman

George Oleen

Susan Pitman

Theodore Pitman

Susan Rothschild

Dennis Sears

Kathy Staropoli

Sandra Aasen

Gary Russell

Renee Stracuzzi

Megan Wright

Home & Community Based Programs

Linda Barry

Nancy Belouin

Frederick Bozek

James Thieriot

Cara Costanzo

Alexandra Huber

Nancy Leren

Karen D. Oak

Vicki Robare

Laurie Schwartz

Diane Weinstein

Mary Spina

Berkshire Senior Editorial Board

Susan Guerrero

Christine Thomson

Kathleen Cleary


Diane Chicoine

Jeff Turner

Money Management

Amy Backiel

Sharon Bartels

Yvette Bastow

Ruschelle Bowie

Patricia Carlino

Shelley Crippa

Judith Douville

Michael Einstein

Marianne Fresia

Tanya Haas

Paula Morey

John Philpott

Victor Roy

Jane Tant

Ronald Terry

Gini Titterton,

Donald Usher


Virginia Bosco

Cristine Byrne

Eileen Gabriel

Georgette Kinney

Virginia Lafond

Carolyn Palmucci

Ruth Richardson

Deborah Wehry


Edward Abrahams

Ruschelle Bowie

Janice Brindisi

Patricia Carlino

Phyllis DeMartino

Karen DeOrdio

Bonny DiTomasso

Terrill Douglas

Frank Engels

Catherine Hall

Elliot Hunnewell

Judith Hyde

Nancy Leren

Steven Rosenthal

Larry Shea

Catherine Spinney

Barbara Tanski

William Tarmey

Gini Titterton

Winnie Veretto

Anthony Zoito Jr.

CIP (College Internship Program)

Jason Brovelli

William Busha

Alexandra Mayerman

Susannah McCann

Daniel Krizan

Aidan Fegley

Noelle Gracey

Leila Tobin

James Zeoli


Ali Ashtiany

Catherine Darling

Alan Dunlavey

John Milewski

Brent Mille

Candace Mills

David Messina

Ronald St Germain

Janet (Emma) Sebastino

Dakota Sunskis

Kelsey Taylor

Jenna Thomas

Sarah Wiles

Aiyana Will

Bonnie Worth

Total Hours Served -


VOLUNTEERING Elder Services’ Berkshire Senior , AprilMay 2023 12

April is Advance Directives Awareness Month

What is an advance directive?

An advance directive provides guidance regarding a person’s requests in the event that they are unable to direct their wishes for health care and treatments. Advance directives are an important aspect of planning

What are the different kinds of advance directives?

A Health Care Proxy (HCP) is a legally valid form which allows you to name someone (an agent) who would make health care decisions for you if you are unable to make or communicate those decisions. The agent can be a friend, family member or any person that you trust to make these important decisions for you. The HCP only goes into effect when your doctor determines that you are no longer able to make or communicate your health care decisions. You can find a HCP form online, at your doctor’s office or hospital.

A Power of Attorney (POA) is a document in which you authorize a person to manage your assets and financial affairs during your lifetime. Examples of responsibilities and transactions a POA can perform include property (real or personal), banking and investment transactions and estate planning. There is no requirement that a POA document be completed

Because care begins at home

or reviewed by an attorney, but you can seek guidance if you feel the need. A POA document can be found online or through an attorney.

A Living Will defines medical treatments you may or may not want to be used at the end of life along with your preferences regarding medical treatment, pain management and organ donation. An example of this is the Five Wishes. The Five Wishes is a document used to define your personal wishes, emotional and spiritual needs. Within this document you can define a HCP and allows for you to say how you exactly wish to be treated in the event that you become seriously ill. Examples of such wishes include what you want your caregiver to know, do you wish to receive tube feedings or be on a ventilator, how comfortable do you want to be, how you want people to treat you and what you want your loved ones to know. Visit Be thoughtful and mindful when choosing someone you wish to make important health care decisions for you. Choose someone you trust and will keep your best interest in mind. It’s important to make your wishes known to your family and friends, so they are comfortable and aware of what matters to you when it comes to end of life decisions.

PLANNING Elder Services’ Berkshire Senior , AprilMay 2023 13 PERSONAL CARE | COMPANIONSHIP | HOMEKEEPING 150 Nor th Street , Suite 25 • Pittsfield, MA WholeHear thc com • 413 82 2 16 41 Fully L icensed & Insured Private Non-Medical Home Care A gency Locally Owned and Operated by an RN WHOLE HE ART HOME CARE SER VICE S: SERVING BERKSHIRE COUNT Y

Matchmaking for Pets and People

As my car rounded a curve next to a walking path, I immediately saw trouble brewing ahead: an elderly woman was trying to walk her large, boisterous dog. Or more accurately, the dog was walking and pulling her. She was clearly struggling to maintain control as it excitedly strained against the leash, its behavior indicative of its youthfulness and need for training. Normally I would have enjoyed watching the pup’s unbridled joy, but instead I felt dread, because the two of them were obviously a mismatched pair. The woman was one wrong movement away from a serious fall, or her dog breaking free and running wild, perhaps into traffic. My other concern was how long this senior woman would realistically be able to keep such a large strong dog when she was going to become weaker and more at risk with age? Wouldn’t it have been better from the start, to adopt a dog that was a better fit?

For cat lovers, is there anything more adorable than a fluffy, bouncing kitten? Those big eyes and squeaky mews, loud purring, snuggled under one’s chin? But kittens come with only two settings-- fast asleep, or wild and crazy, until they settle into maturity. Their instinctual nature to play-hunt and stalk-pouncing on anything that moves, climbing curtains, couches, and human legs-- can make young cats unsuitable as pets for seniors. Wouldn’t a middle aged or older cat be a better choice for someone whose lifestyle is quieter and more sedate?

In the last edition of Berkshire Senior I wrote about the incredible ways we can benefit from living with a pet. That companionship can be a lifeline for both human and pet. Now let’s talk a little about the importance of choosing the right

pet, especially for seniors. Think about your own lifestyle, and consider these points:

Every passing year means we’re one year closer to our furry companion outliving us, or our having to move into long-termcare housing that may not allow pets. Cats and dogs can live 1520 years, so we need to consider our own age and the age of the animal before adopting (and where it will go should something happen to us).

Know your activity level. A 75 year old who still plays tennis or runs two miles a day can probably handle a dog that is bigger and more active than a person who uses a cane or walker and has multiple health issues. For that person, a smaller, slower pet whose gait and pace are more suited to their own would be far safer.

Older pets make great pets! Don’t overlook them by thinking that a small 10 year old dog or

12 year old cat may not have many good years left. Older pets tend to be calmer, preferring to sleep near (or on!) your favorite recliner, rather than bouncing off the walls or trying to dart out the door every time it opens.

Fostering is also an excellent option. Animal shelters have a more difficult time finding new homes for older animals, and these sweet animals, suddenly displaced from the people and home they’ve known for years, often become depressed as they’re continually passed over for younger ones by potential adopters. Remember, if you foster, you can always decide to keep the pet should you fall in love with it, earning you the endearing term “Foster Failure”. Wear that badge proudly—and your lucky new dog or cat will thank you for it!

At this point, it must be obvious that I believe every senior—whether human or animal, deserves a happy and

dignified quality of life, and that I love being matchmaker for people and pets. My own pets currently range in age from 12 to 15. I enjoyed their puppy- or kittenhood, but as I myself age and transition into a more relaxed lifestyle, their calmer activity levels have become a better fit with mine.

Nowadays, whenever I drive by pet-friendly senior housing or visit a retirement community, my heart is always touched by the sight of cats napping inside on sunny windowsills, or dogs walking and getting exercise in pace with their owner. Because I know that for both the human and animal, they are all the happier to be enjoying each other’s companionship.

Yvonne Borsody is a Berkshire resident specializing in animal rescue and adoption. She has a special interest in senior and animal advocacy, and quality of life issues for both.

WELLNESS Elder Services’ Berkshire Senior , AprilMay 2023 14



Congressman Richard Neal

372 Cannon House Office Building

Washington, D.C. 20515

(202) 225-5601

300 State Street, Suite 200 Springfield, MA 01105-1711

(413) 785-0325

Rep. Smitty Pignatelli

24 Beacon Street, Room 473F

Boston, MA 02133

(617) 722-2692

District Office: (413) 637-0631

Rep. John Barrett, III

24 Beacon Street, Room 237

Boston, MA 02133

(617) 722-2305

District Office: (413) 743-8300

Rep. Tricia Farley-Bouvier

24 Beacon Street, Room 127 Boston, MA 02133

(617) 722-2680

District Office: (413) 442-4300

Sen. Paul Mark

24 Beacon Street, Room 279

Boston, MA 02133 (617) 722-2017

District Office: (413) 464-5635

WORD SEARCH Elder Services’ Berkshire Senior , AprilMay 2023 15 MONUMENTS • MARKERS • LETTERING 413-499-1750 234 Wahconah Street Pittsfield MA 01201 SPRING

Since 1983 MOL ARI HealthCare has enjoyed providing our neighbors in Berkshire Count y with trusted, qualit y homecare Working as your par tner, our staff will create a flexible care plan to fit your needs. With MOL ARI you are assured that you and your care is our number one priorit y.

MOL ARI is committed to providing the best possible solution for your home healthcare needs

Elder Services’ Berkshire Senior , AprilMay 2023 16 MEALS ON WHEELS 01230 MA Barrington, Great Road, Stockbridge 444 | Programs Health Community you! offer to has CHP what about more for visit or code QR the Scan Each Home Instead® franchise is independently owned and operated franchise of Home nstead, Inc., `an Honor Company © 2020 Home Instead nc Call (413) 442-0907 or visit If you want to keep an aging loved one safe at home, Home Instead® can help. Services: • Personal Care • Companionship • Meal Prep • Transpor tation • Hospice Suppor t • Memor y Care • Ar thritis Care • Diabetes Care • Chronic Conditions Suppor t
• A ssist ance with Per sonal C ar e • Medication Reminder s • Meal Pr epar ation • L ight Housekeeping • Companionship 166 East Street • Pittsfield, MA 01201
or 1-800-649-4562 Visit us on the web : Ser vices offered by MOLARI • L aundr y Ser vices • A ssist ance with Tr anspor t ation • Shopping and Err ands • Respite C ar e 294 First Street, Pittsfield MA 01201 (Intersection of First & Burbank Streets) Phone: 413.464.7797 • Fax: 413.464.7616 Mon-Fri 9am- 7pm Saturdays 9am-2pm Sundays Closed WE OFFER: Same Day Delivery • Vaccinations • Patient Counseling & Education • Medications Management • Diabetes Education Make Pittsfield Pharmacy your new hometown pharmacy Patient care is always our priority No Appointment Needed!

Berkshire Senior Television

Long Term Care Ombudsman Program Volunteers

Currently airing on PCTV, Channel 1301 Access Pittsfield

Currently airing on PCTV Channel 1301 Access Pittsfield

Broadcast schedule:

Broadcast schedule:

Mondays at 5:00 p.m. ▪ Wednesday at 8:30 a.m.

PCTV channel 1301

Thursdays at 11:30 a.m. ▪ Saturdays at Noon

Mondays at 5 p.m., Tuesdays at 3 p.m., Thursdays at 11 a.m. & Saturday 11:30 a.m.

Or watch online, ON DEMAND on Thank

Elder Services’ Berkshire Senior , AprilMay 2023 17 SAFETY Ca l l 413.4 45.4 056 ex t . 18 0 or v i sit berk shi repl to schedu le a tour today. 89 Sout h Street , Pitt sf ield, M A 01201 Time to make life more care-free! We of fer st unning one and t wo -bedroom apar t ment s w it h al l-inclusive amenit ies nest led in Pit t sf ield ’ s Cult ura l A r t s Di st r ict .
you to our friends at PCTV for all
in making
their help
Berkshire Senior TV
to our
Needed Got a few hours a week? You can help! Advocate for resident rights. Assist in resolving resident concerns. Empower residents to solve problems. Training provided! Call us today! 413-499-0524
South Street, Suite 4E Pittsfield, MA 01201

Thank You To Our Donors:

The following donations were received between January 1, 2023 and February 28, 2023. Donations received on or after February 28, 2023 will appear in the next issue of Berkshire Senior.

Memorial Donations

In Memory of: William Albertazzi

Richard and Mary Palmer

In Memory of: Anne Blomberg

Jeffrey Turner

In Memory of: Lillian Brickley

Helena Matthews

In Memory of: William Broderick

Katherine Broderick

In Memory of: June Flynn

Joseph and Nancy Tirrell

In Memory of: Rose Kurek

Richard Kurek

In Memory of: Marcel Rajotte

Cara Costanzo

In Memory of: Eileen Riello

Dennis and Diane Hoag

In Memory of: Elizabeth Stack

Dr. Rosario Noto & Mrs. Kathleen Noto

Elder Independence Donations

Ann Cain

Anne Schnesel

Anthony and Amy Anderton

Barbara Benham

Benjamin Schawinsky

The Berkshire County Sheriff’s Office

Carlyle and Loretta Chesbro

Carol Christopher

Charles and Verna Houff

Charles Hyde

Christine McGinniss

Clifford and Lynne Nilan

Daniel and Emma Connors

Daniel and Jean Murphy

Daniel Pupo

David Ariazi

Edward and Constance Ladouceur

Edward and Emily Zoladz

Elizabeth Dillman

Ellen Brown

Ernest and Carole LeBarron

Faith Newmark

Frank and Virginia Dubis

G. Scott and Jane LePrevost

George and Carole Manarchik

Harry Morey

Jean Davis

Jeffrey and Kay Waingrow

John and Kathleen Lanoue

John Kellogg

John Masiero

Joseph and Colleen Rossi

Judith Williams

Justyna Carlson

Keith and Reanne Palmer

Kim Ruebesam

K-M Motor Sales, Inc.

Linda Lamke

LiUNA Local 473

Lorraine and Albert Mancuso

Louise Frankenberg

Maggie and Sam Bittman

Marion Markham

Marjorie Baldwin

Mary Corbett

Mary Fressola

Mary and Robert O’Brien

Michael and Justina Norton

Michael and Sandra Lussier

Nancy Kingsley

Nancy Begbie

Northeast Fabricators & Mechanical Services

Paul Kleinwald

Paula Wells

Raymond and Jeanne Moulthrop

Richard and Kathleen Luczynski

Robert Bugley

Lydia Lake and Robert Edwards

Rose Rondeau

Suburban Internal Medicine

Ted Okun

Tenney and Linda Fales

Teresa Guyette

Thomas Furlano

Thomas Berkel

Timothy and Mary Korte

Tomich Landscape Design & Construction

Trudeau Enterprises

Vicki Torrico

Victoria Williams

Virginia Miner

Wallace Morrison

Walter Slosek

William and Sandra Walley

William and Adrienne Wootters

Wohrle’s Foods, Inc.

General Donations

Jennifer Streisand

Arthur and Louise Hillman

Paul and Meryl Delasco

James and Mary Cooper

Cynthia Golin

Jennifer Brennan

Stephen and Jodi St. Peter

Thursday Morning Club

Antonio and Margaret Pagliarulo

Jennifer Brennan

Dr. Wayne Klug

Meals on Wheels Donations

Tamar Schrager

Peo Sisterhood Chapter F

SHINE Donations

Anne Stout

Cynthia Armstrong

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ELDER FUN Elder Services’ Berkshire Senior , AprilMay 2023 20 Wellington 413.442.5094 | North St East St Main St Dalton “Honored to serve our commnuity for 119 years & 5 Generations!”
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