Berkshire Senior August - September 2023

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On Being a Grandparent Memories of That First Day of School

Walk to End

Alzheimer’s Summer Camp for Our Grand-Pets

Your Care, Your Home, Your Neighbors
Elder Services’ Berkshire Senior , AugustSeptember 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.

Time to Dine at a Senior Community Meal Site?

I hope you are enjoying the Berkshire summer. It has been an unusually rainy summer but we hope the second half is drier and more conducive to outside activities. From time to time, I write encouraging readers to inquire about receiving meals from Elder Services’ Senior Nutrition Program. Most people know that our Meals on Wheels Program delivers to the homes of seniors throughout Berkshire County. Home meal delivery is about far more than a hot, nutritious meal; equally important is a senior’s interaction with their driver who is able to verify that the senior is well and doing OK. As important as our Meals on Wheels Program is Berkshire County’s Senior Community Meal Program.

Berkshire Senior

Editorial Board: Deb Aldrich, 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.

Each weekday, about 150 people join their friends and neighbors at senior community meal sites from Williamstown to Sheffield and in many of the communities in between. Prior to the start of the pandemic, the number of people dining at a community meal site was considerably higher. Berkshire County seniors are fortunate to have 16 senior community meal sites ready, willing and eager to welcome them. All but two, those at the Jewish Federation of the Berkshires and Providence Court, reside in local Councils on Aging.

Senior community meal sites (also known as congregate meal sites) have played an integral role in helping Berkshire seniors remain healthy, engaged and independent for well over 40 years. They not only bring seniors together, they create community by bringing people “to the table.” Nothing comes more naturally than sharing a meal together.

Seniors who attend one of these sites share much more than a meal. They begin to share their lives with each other. They offer one another fellowship, support and compassion. Who else is able to empathize with you in the same way as you navigate the later years of your life? Who else will laugh heartily at your often told joke or offer you a warm embrace when you’re feeling down? Everyone is welcome at our county’s senior community meal sites. The only eligibility requirement is your age, 60 or older. There is a suggested voluntary donation of $3.00. Those under age 60 may join in as well, by purchasing a meal for $8.00.

The dedicated volunteers and staff in our senior community meal sites work tirelessly to offer a welcoming and compassionate dining experience and the opportunity for meaningful social interaction and fellowship. In addition to meal service, seniors are able to participate in the many programs and other activities the Councils on Aging offer.

We will of course continue to promote our Home Delivered Meals Program to ensure that homebound seniors who would benefit from

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ELDER SERVICES UPDATE Elder Services’ Berkshire Senior , AugustSeptember 2023 3
On Being a Grandparent ���������������������������������������������� 4 Happenings at Pittsfield’s Ralph Froio Senior Center 6 Elder Services Features Hoarding Disorder Workshop 7 Memories of That First Day of School ����������������������� 8 Walk to End Alzheimer’s �������������������������������������������� 10 AARP Foundation Tax-Aide is Looking for Volunteers 11 Senior Community Dining Sites ������������������������������� 11 Don’t Get Left Out in the Cold! ��������������������������������� 12 Did You Know That Elder Services Has Registered Nurses on Staff? �������������������������������������� 14 Donations ��������������������������������������������������������������������� 17 Summer Camp for Our Grand-Pets �������������������������� 18 Medicare Open Enrollment ��������������������������������������� 19 COVER PHOTO: Chris Barcus, HR/Payroll Specialist, represented ESBCI at the community’s Juneteenth Celebration at Durant Park Contents Volume 42, Number 4 August 2023 The bi-monthly newspaper for Berkshire County seniors FREE FB/BerkshireSenior Twitter: @Berkshire Senior Instagram: berkshiresenior LinkedIn: Elder Services of Berkshire County

On Being a Grandparent...

Becoming a grandparent has got to be one of the greatest gifts a person can ever receive.

When the first newborn grandchild is placed in one’s arms, the thrill of the moment can be intense. The grandparent may be unable to get a clear view of the little one’s face because his or her own eyes are sure to be filled with tears. Luckily, they are happy tears.

Cathy Aldrich of Lee could tell a person a thing or two about what it’s like to have grandchildren. She and her husband, Rich, have 24 of them! That includes 17 boys and seven girls. They range in age from two to 23 years. Imagine what her Christmas remembrance list looks like!

“Many come home at Christmas,” she said. Cathy is very happy to be a grandmother. “It’s great,” she said. “But not too many live nearby.” They come to visit from Connecticut, Long Island, N.Y., Maine, New Hampshire, and South Carolina, for starters.

Rich and Cathy Aldrich adopted eight children. Asked how they decided to take in all those kids, she said, “We just got the bug.” Those were the days when she did five loads of laundry a day and bought six gallons of milk every week. She was a stay-at-home mother and it appears she enjoyed raising such a large family. The children were adopted from Brightside and the Department of Children and Families. Two Korean children were adopted through an overseas agency. “They all get along great,” Cathy said of her many children. Three of the adopted children looked up and met biological parents. “It’s interesting,” Cathy added.

Mike Sheehan, of Pittsfield, was asked what the best thing is about having grandchildren.

“I have four grandsons and a princess,” he said. “I get to spoil them whenever I want to. I sugar them and send them back to their parents.” His grandkids call him Dude. It’s a name that has stuck and he seems to like it.

“My oldest grandson, Jaxson, is what I’d consider a

tech aficionado,” he said. “My grandson, Andrew, seems to be more like his dad, an outdoor person. My grandson Wyatt is what I’d consider a thinker and an independent person,” Mike noted. “My grandson, Logan, is determined and independent. Then we come down to the princess,” Mike said. Julianna, 10, is his only granddaughter. “She is very active,” he said. “She’s the oldest of my grandchildren. She’s a very kind and talented person. She has many talents.” Mike and his wife, Carol, are dedicated grandparents who attend all kinds of events their grandchildren are in, such as ball games, theatrical productions, and annual dance recitals.

Rosie Keefe, a Pittsfield resident, helped raise her two grandsons. She also has a granddaughter in Maine. Being a grandmother, she said, is “one of the best things in life. It’s like having your kids, then grandchildren. You have more time with grandchildren.”

“You don’t have to worry about the expense” with grandchildren, Keefe said. “The parents take care of that. You can just have all the fun things in life, like cooking, dancing, gardening, and listening to classical music.” Now in their 20s, her grandsons come to Pittsfield to visit which makes Rosie Keefe one happy Grammie.

Time to Dine

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home delivered meals receive them. If home delivered meals are not for you or perhaps you used to eat at a community meal site but stopped attending during the pandemic, I strongly encourage you to visit your local senior community meal site to see what it has to offer.

There is a spot waiting for you at the table! The meal sites are listed in every issue of this newspaper or you can visit or just call us at (413) 499-0524 to inquire about the meal site near you.

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

GRANDPARENTS Elder Services’ Berkshire Senior , AugustSeptember 2023 4
Au.D., F - A A A 510 Nor th Street , Suite 9, Pit t s f ield, M A 01201 • (413) 443-4800 • grey lockaudiolog Providing comprehensive hearing hea lthcare in the Berkshires for 20 years s Comprehensive diagnostic hearing evaluations • to investigate medical concerns s Lifest yle focused hearing aid consultations • to enjoy the things that matter most s Real Ear measurement s • to optimize benefit from hearing aids s T innitus evaluation and treatment • to understand your options for relief
Dr. Andrew J. Put tick Cathy Aldrich Mike Sheehan and his “princess,” granddaughter, Julianna, 10 years old.
FARMERS’ MARKETS Elder Services’ Berkshire Senior , AugustSeptember 2023 5 Lat hr o p C ommun it ies...For p eo ple w ho a re anyt hi ng but ret ir i ng! Located amidst five top colleges, we take advantage of oppor tunities to pursue our passions for ar t, music, healthy living, nur turing deep friendships and being of ser vice to others. We continue to learn, grow, and evolve. Find out how our Quaker values encourage us to be our best selves and live a life of real meaning “in community ” . | 413-437-5892 A not -for -pr ofit c ommunit y r oot ed in Q uaker v alues ser ving older adults.

Happenings at Pittsfield’s Ralph Froio Senior Center

Welcome to the summer months! Hoping everyone is staying cool. We have been busy here at the Senior Center introducing new programs and services as well as celebrating our seniors.

We are happy to say we now offer two FootCare Nurses to help those with foot services for an affordable rate, once a month, along with our Health & Wellness Clinic which we hold monthly on the first Tuesday of the month from 9-11. We continue to have the CHP Mobile Health Unit here monthly to educate and offer vaccines & boosters.

We honored our volunteers

with an Ice Cream Social with all the fixings and raffles as well as presenting Joy Engels with a special recognition for all her years of volunteer services both here at the center along with being on our Board of Directors for several years. Joy will be missed. She has brought some brilliant ideas to the programming and has been an asset to the Center.

We celebrated the longest day on June 21st with an Ice Cream Social along with our Supportive Day Program, caregivers and seniors. At the event we presented The Berkshire Alzheimer’s Partnership a check for $550.00 that was fundraised at our Kick Off BBQ to the Summer.

Both events we were fortunate enough to have our very own IT specialist, Scott Connors entertain us. Our monthly Tech Savvy program along with IT help with Illyana has been a great success helping seniors with any tech device questions and set up that they need help with.

As we begin to move into autumn, be on the lookout for information on our Annual

Picnic at Onota Lake, which will be held on September 1st to celebrate the end of the summer. If you are interested in travelling, we have scheduled numerous “Daytripper” excursions throughout Berkshire County and beyond. Stop by the center and view the list of upcoming trips. Most trips are only ten dollars. Make our Center your center.

Because care begins at home

HAPPENINGS Elder Services’ Berkshire Senior , AugustSeptember 2023 6 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
Whole Hear t Homecare now provides transpor t ou t side of Berk shire Count y
Joy Engels presented by Jim Clark Jim Clark presenting to Alzheimer’s Partnership

Elder Services Features

Hoarding Disorder Workshop

On June 27, 2023 sixty community members gathered at the Country Club of Pittsfield for a half-day workshop hosted by Elder Services of Berkshire County. The topic was Hoarding Disorder; Fact, Fiction and Family. Attendees included clinicians, local housing authorities, boards of health and code enforcement, first responders, senior service providers, family members and those with lived experience. The workshop was a community conversation featuring speakers Becca Belofsky and Lee Shuer of Mutual Supporting Consulting, LLC.

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.

WORKSHOP Elder Services’ Berkshire Senior , AugustSeptember 2023 7
At Kimball Farms, retirement living is not a concept, it' s a lifestyle.
Maureen Tuggey (ESBCI Client Services Director), Hilary Houldsworth, LICSW (ESBCI Behavioral Health Clinician), Becca Belofsky (front) and Lee Shuer. Lee Shuer shared insights as an individual with lived experience. Becca Belofsky discusses the stigma associated with hoarding disorder.

Memories of That First Day of School

Some things people experience in childhood remain with them forever. One can ask a person what he or she had for breakfast yesterday and the person being asked might have to stop and think hard in order to answer. Ask if he or she remembers what the early school days were like, such as kindergarten or first grade, and it’s possible that minute details will be quickly recalled from some inner sanctum within the human mind.

Memories of my own first school days are still definitely stored and recalled when prompted.

Images of faces and colors might be a little blurry but details of experiences have stayed alive for almost three quarters of a

century! Now that’s a long time. Bartlett Elementary School on Onota Street is where my education began and the building still stands today. It has been made into apartments. The windows are big and the large building is made of brick. When I was a child, we climbed up a few steps on a side entrance and then went through a huge, heavy door. The steps and doors are still there, looking familiar after all these years. Inside, nothing looks even remotely familiar. After all, classrooms are now actual kitchens, living rooms, bathrooms, and bedrooms but the big windows inside the apartments are still intact. Looking out toward the back of the building, a parking lot for tenants has taken the place of the playground. It all looks so small

these days. How could all of us kids have played there, thinking it was gigantic?

Getting ready for a new school year was always madly exciting. My poor mother helped us shop for school clothes which must have been very hard for her with an exceedingly tight budget. There were five of us that had to be outfitted with new dresses, shirts, pants, and shoes, just for starters. We each got a pencil box, too. Exploring the rectangular box was very exciting. One pushed a sliding compartment that slid open the box. Inside were pencils, of course, but also a ruler, erasers, and some triangular thingamajig that no one ever used but still kept. All school kids simply loved those humble pencil boxes. There were no iPad or cell phones in those days so simple things were appreciated and enjoyed.

Our house was located several blocks away from Bartlett School, heading toward Pittsfield Cemetery. A crossing guard stood in the middle of the street, across from Lakeway Drive. She kept us safe from oncoming traffic as we walked bravely across the street and down the sidewalk to the school. This trip had to be taken in rain, snow, and whatever other weather the day held. In winter, it was tough going with snow pants and heavy boots, bulky

jackets, hats and mittens. We even walked home for lunch. I remember eating Campbell’s soup a lot. Cream of mushroom was my fave. I imagine it was quick to prepare since our lunch time didn’t last too long. Then, we’d have to hoof it back to school to make it on time.

My earliest school memory is of kindergarten. Pre-school just didn’t exist in those days.

The kindergarten classroom was a corner room. (These days, I look toward it every time I drive by. Whew. There are a lot of memories associated with that room.) My kindergarten teacher was Mrs. Fuller. In my memory, she had gray-hair and ample proportions. She was very kind and understanding. In those days, kids did everything the teacher told them to, without any argument whatsoever. We’d never dream of being fresh or talking back. It just wouldn’t happen. Physical punishment was still accepted in those days. The principal even had a belt for the very naughty children. That is hard to fathom.

Because of the oversized windows, the kindergarten room was quite sunny. Along one side stood a large wooden dollhouse with some furniture and figures inside. Next to it, there was an easily accessible waist-high sandbox. The dollhouse and

MEMORIES Elder Services’ Berkshire Senior , AugustSeptember 2023 8 MONUMENTS • MARKERS • LETTERING 413-499-1750 234 Wahconah Street Pittsfield MA 01201

sand box could be accessed only once our work was completed. Then, in another space, near one of the windows, stood a piano. Mrs. Fuller could belt out quite a few tunes on it while the small fries stood around the piano and sang. Which songs we sang I don’t remember at all and wish I did. Since my entire family is very musically inclined, I loved our sing-along sessions and Mrs. Fuller playing the piano at full speed. She rocked it. There were little chairs in different colors for the kindergarteners to sit on. I vaguely remember wooden desks with round cutouts in one corner, possibly for inkwells. Those were used in other years, before my time at Bartlett. Actually, they may have been in classrooms other than kindergarten. That detail is quite fuzzy.

When I think of those early days in school, it makes me smile to hum along with the song “School Days.” Remember it? “School days, school days, good old golden rule days.

Readin’ and writin’ and ‘rithmatic. Taught to the tune of a hickory stick...”

Ha! Anyone who used a hickory stick in a classroom nowadays would forfeit their educational credentials and probably end up in a jail cell. That song can be looked up via Google and played on computer if anyone wants to hear it.

Naturally, all through elementary school, at the close of the school year, we looked forward to summer. That’s when the ice cream man’s truck jingled through the neighborhoods, kids played outdoors from morning until night, and hundreds of lightning bugs lit up the darkness in the early evenings. Just like the words of another song, “Those were the days, my friend, we thought they’d never end...” those days did end and rightly so.

My elementary school classmates and I eventually advanced to middle school.

Fresh batches of wide-eyed kindergarteners stepped over the thresholds of the old kindergarten classroom. Even today, in schools everywhere, children are excited on the first day of school and the beat goes on!



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

At Wingate Living, our world-class residences are built to elevate everyday life and make you feel right at home –without any of the stress of maintaining a home. And if your needs change, we’re here for you every step of the way Call today to schedule a tour of our newly renovated community and experience the good life.

MEMORIES Elder Services’ Berkshire Senior , AugustSeptember 2023 9 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 .

Walk to End Alzheimer’s

6.5 million. That’s the number of individuals over the age of 65 living with Alzheimer’s in the United States in 2022. It is projected that by 2025 150,000 Massachusetts residents will be

living with Alzheimer’s. Alzheimer’s disease, a type of brain disease, is caused by damage to nerve cells (neurons) in the brain.

Alzheimer’s is a slowly progressive brain disease that begins many years before


We will be highlighting 4 of the following gadgets in the coming issues of Berkshire Senior

Tech Gadgets for Seniors

• Fitbit Fitness Tracker

• Echo Dot or Echo Show

• Smartphone

• Kindle Paperwhite

• Landline Phone with Nuisance Call Blocking

• Robot Vacuum Cleaner

• Doorbell Camera

• Key Finder

symptoms begin. Early signs of Alzheimer’s can include; memory loss that disrupts daily life such as asking the same question over and over and needing to use memory aides such as reminder notes. Other symptoms include difficulty remembering a familiar recipe, organizing a grocery list, trouble with vocabulary, poor judgement, withdrawal from social activities and change in mood and behavior.

There are currently six drugs approved by the FDA used for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, but these drugs only help with reducing the onset of the disease and treating the symptoms. There is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease. Research shows that that not only is Alzheimer’s disease responsible for the deaths of more and more Americans, but also that the disease is contributing to more and more cases of poor health and disability in the United States.

Each year the Alzheimer’s Association holds the Walk to

End Alzheimer’s as a fundraiser for Alzheimer’s care, support and research. Participants in the walk are asked to raise funds that assist the Alzheimer’s Association with being able to work towards prevention, treatment and ultimately a cure for Alzheimer’s. Funds raised have allowed for more enhanced research, provide support groups, and offer a 24/7 Helpline offering information and referrals. The walk is held in over 600 communities nationwide, including a walk in Berkshire County.

Berkshire County’s’ Walk will be held on Saturday September 30, 2023 at the Adams Visitors Center in Adams, MA. The Walk begins at 10 a.m. Please consider joining the walk as an individual, joining a team or create your own team. You can also donate to a team or make a general donation to the Berkshire County walk. Visit for more information about Alzheimer’s disease and the Walk to End Alzheimer’s.

HEALTH Elder Services’ Berkshire Senior , AugustSeptember 2023 10

AARP Foundation Tax-Aide is Looking for Volunteers

We are looking for compassionate and friendly people to join our volunteer team. We’ll provide the training and support to help you learn new skills, and you’ll get a great feeling from helping those in need. The program is looking for individuals to volunteer virtually or in person in a number of roles to provide help to taxpayers. Our volunteers come from a variety of industries and span from retirees to college students.

Volunteers fill a variety of roles:

4 4 4 4 4 4

Counselors work with taxpayers directly by filling out tax returns. If you have no previous experience, you’ll get the training you need and will also receive IRS certification.

Client Facilitators welcome taxpayers, help organize their paperwork, and manage the overall flow of service.

Technology Coordinators manage computer equipment, ensure taxpayer data is secure, and provide technical assistance to volunteers.

Leadership and Administrative volunteers make sure program operations run smoothly, manage volunteers, and maintain quality control.

Communications Coordinators promote the program to prospective volunteers and taxpayers. Speak a second language? We have a big demand for bilingual speakers in all roles, especially dedicated interpreters who can assist other volunteers.

For more information or to volunteer go to: HTTPS://MATAXAIDE.ORG

Or call 413-446-7483 for Berkshire County information


The status and offerings of the Senior Community Dining Centers are likely to evolve. Please call for the latest update.

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 and 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.

MEALS ON WHEELS Elder Services’ Berkshire Senior , AugustSeptember 2023 11 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 BERKSHIRE

Don’t Get Left Out in the Cold!

It’s not too early to think about how you are going to pay your home heating bills all the way through next spring. It is particularly important this year in light of price increases across all consumer goods, to plan ahead for the impending cold winter - don’t wait until your heat is not working and your time and options are limited. Look at last year’s bills, then budget your money. Ask to sign up for your utility company’s budget plan. Apply for fuel assistance for help in paying a portion of winter heating bills. Now is also a good time to ensure your furnace is working properly – tune up your heating system or replace an old furnace with a new, more energy efficient one.

Here are some important money saving tips to help you manage your heating budget this coming winter season:

Berkshire Community Action Council (BCAC, www. is the local agency that administers the federal Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), known commonly as Fuel Assistance. This program helps low income people pay for part of the cost of

their primary source of heat from November 1st through April 30th. Renters whose heat is included in their rent may also be eligible. The income guidelines for the 2023-2024 season are: up to $45,392 for a 1 person household and $59,359 for a 2 person household.

To apply visit the BCAC online customer portal (https:// and submit the online application. Or, call BCAC: 413-445-4503 (Main office in Pittsfield), 663-3014 (North County), or use the toll free automated system 1-866-216-6200. The online portal should be up and running approximately the first/second week of October and BCAC will start taking telephone appointments for new applicants mid-October as well. Funds are not dispersed until November 1st.

Green Energy Consumers Alliance (https:// heatingoil) is a statewide heating oil co-op. Member’s prices are lower than the typical consumer cost for a gallon of home heating oil. The program offers a consistent discount on heating oil from a credible full-service oil dealer. Join by phone at 800-2873950 x4 (Mon - Fri 9am - 5pm) or on-line at greenenergyconsumers. org/heating oil. The basic membership fee is $25 for 1 year, $15 for seniors, free for fuel

assistance recipients. Serves all of Berkshire County except Florida and North Egremont.

Eversource (www. offers a discount rate for income-eligible residential customers who participate in certain state and federal assistance programs and whose income does not exceed 60% of the state median income (1 person household $45,392; $59,359 for 2 persons). Eligible Programs include: Emergency Aid to the Elderly, Disabled and Children (EAEDC); Supplemental Security Income (SSI); MassHealth (Medicaid); Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Public/Subsidized Housing, and some VA benefit programs. Applications are available on-line or call Eversource to request one: 1- 877659-6326. If you have a verified financial hardship in which your income is within 60% of the state median income as listed above, Eversource offers New Start, an arrearage management program. New Start allows income eligible residential customers to earn past due balance forgiveness. For more information call 1-877-963-2632. Translation services are available.

Berkshire Gas Company (BGC, www.berkshiregas. com) offers budget payment plans allowing customers more

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affordable payments by averaging higher winter bills with lower summer bills. Customers with overdue charges can possibly enter into an installment payment plan. BGC also offers discounted delivery charges to low-income customers who receive public assistance benefits and meet income limits. Utility companies enroll eligible customers automatically, or customers can apply directly. For more information and to find out if you are eligible for these programs, call the Customer Care Center: 1-800-292-5012 (Live support Mon – Fri 8am – 5pm) or online www. waystopay/help-with-bill.

The Salvation Army (https://massachusetts. administers the Good Neighbor Energy Fund (www. The GNEF helps qualified Massachusetts residents pay electric, gas, and oil bills when, due to temporary financial difficulty, they can’t meet their energy expenses and they aren’t eligible for state or federal assistance . It is available from January 2nd until funds run out. Income for either the prior twelve months or the past month (times 12 months for a total annual figure) must fall between 60 – 80% percent of the state’s median income levels. The income guidelines for the 2023-2024 season are: 1 person household $45,392 - $60,522; 2 person $59,359 - $79,146) For more information about eligibility criteria and to apply, call Pittsfield Corps 413-442-0624 (298 West St) or North Adams Corps 663-7987 (393 River St). Those who qualify may receive up to $500 per household per heating season.

MassSave (www.masssave. com) is an energy savings program for Massachusetts’ homeowners and renters. It offers no-cost home energy assessments to help homeowners make home improvements that save money, electricity and heating fuel. To see which rebates, loans, home energy assessments, or other energy programs are available visit the website or call 1-866-527-7283.

Veterans’ Services has a state program known as Chapter 115 benefits that provides cash and medical assistance to low-

income Massachusetts wartime veterans and their families who are in need of immediate help, including help with fuel. To determine eligibility visit the Massachusetts Veteran Benefit Calculator (https://massvetben. org). It helps residents who have served in the military quickly and easily determine if they may be eligible for financial assistance. You can also call the Veterans Services Officer (VSO) in your area: 528-1580 (South County), 662-3040 (North County), and 499-9433 (Pittsfield area). There is a VSO finder online at https://

The Heating System Repair and Replacement Program (HEARTWAP) provides emergency heating system repair and replacement services to low-income households. The program is administered by a network of local agencies, in most areas the same agency that administers the Fuel Assistance Program. For more information, call BCAC: 445-4503 or visit their website The first priority of the program is to address heating emergencies during the heating season (November-April). Eligible applicants are those that are eligible for LiHeap (Fuel Assistance) with a gross annual income that does not exceed 60% of the estimated state median income. The program is designed to primarily serve homeowners as landlords are required to maintain the heating system for their tenants.

Just a reminder...

Massachusetts laws prevent utility companies from shutting off service to people in special situations. Senior households (65 yrs. or older), low-income families with infants, people with serious illnesses who cannot afford to pay their utility bills, tenants whose landlords are responsible for utility bills and low-income people who would be without heat during the winter are eligible for shutoff protection. Beware of scammers who threaten immediate termination - this is not the usual procedure for regulated utility companies (electric, gas, water). Call ESBC’s Information & Referral Dept. for more information or go to www.mass. gov/keeping-your-utilities-on.


PUZZLE Elder Services’ Berkshire Senior , AugustSeptember 2023 13
Find and circle all of the flowers that are hidden in the grid. The remaining letters spell a secret message - a quotation from Romeo and Juliet.

Did You Know That Elder Services Has Registered Nurses on Staff?

Elder Services of Berkshire County’s Nursing Department serves as an integral part of the home care team. Currently we employ 5 registered nurses (RNs), including a manager, who conduct in-person assessments to determine clinical eligibility for many of Elder Service’s programs.

MassHealth has designated authority to Elder Services, and therefore to its nurses, to assess clinical eligibility for MassHealth consumers in various MassHealth Programs. These include Frail Elder Waiver (FEW), and also nursing home stays. Clinical determination for these programs is based on MassHealth regulations. In addition, the nurses also provide assessments

to determine eligibility for nonMassHealth consumers in the home care program, following similar guidelines. Please note, Elder Services’ RNs determine medical eligibility only. Financial eligibility is determined separately.

For the home care program, our nurses provide in home assessments for elders in Berkshire County to assess their need for enhanced programs, as well as for personal care (including bathing, dressing, transfers, mobility and eating) and to evaluate the home environment for safety. Our nurses also determine if any accommodations such as safety equipment or adaptations need to be made before personal care begins.

For MassHealth members and

applicants only, Elder Services’ registered nurses provide comprehensive screenings of a person’s medical eligibility for any nursing home stay in Berkshire County nursing facilities. Nurses visit the facility, review records, and meet with the person and any staff members involved in their care. They also work closely with all of the above to help ensure a safe discharge back to community, if appropriate.

So, as you can see, Elder Services of Berkshire County’s registered nurses play a critical role in ensuring that our consumers receive the services they need in the safest and most appropriate setting. Together with case managers, they develop an individualized plan of care that best meets our consumers’ needs.


- Your personal information (financial, passwords, address) should always be kept private. Making this information public can allow cybercriminals to access to your information.

ELDER SERVICES Elder Services’ Berkshire Senior , AugustSeptember 2023 14 Join over 1,500 of the most creative, engaged, and active adults in the Berkshires (and beyond) for courses, events, and community. Online and in-person! Learn more and register at AT BERKSHIRE COMMUNITY COLLEGE OSHER LIFELONG LEARNING INSTITUTE If You Need Transportation Assistance We Are Available 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

Align Your Legacy With the Values You Hold Dear

A planned gif t is one of the most impactful ways you can suppor t the Food Bank's mission.

Many supporters of the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts have chosen to advance the values that have been most important in their lives by providing a gift through their will.

There are several giving options available Let us help you find a charitable plan that lets you support your family, the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts, and the future health of our communities through food security

Together, we are creating a Western Massachusetts where no one faces food insecurity, and everyone always has access to enough nutritious food.

Last year, the Food Bank distributed 2.3 million pounds of food the equivalent of 1.9 million meals to an average of 16,479 people ever y month across Berkshire County

WORD SEARCH Elder Services’ Berkshire Senior , AugustSeptember 2023 15
FY 2022: October 1, 2021 to September 30, 2022
Elder Services’ Berkshire Senior , AugustSeptember 2023 16 MEALS ON WHEELS Each Home Instead® franchise is independently owned and operated franchise of Home Instead, 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 F r i e nd s he l p i n g f r i e nd s si n c e 1 9 1 8 4 0 M A P L E W O O D AV E N U E • P I T T S F I E L D , M A 0 1 2 0 1 C A L L U S : 41 3 . 4 4 5 . 5 9 8 8 P r o u d a f f i l i a t e o f C a r r i a g e S e r v i c e s C a r o l i n e R S u l l iv a n | J o h n W B re sn ah a n The way YO U wo uld like to be re me mbe red... Allow u s to help put your vision in plac e and put your family’s mind at ease. Please c all u s to inquire about our pre planning guide or at need ser vic e s. When it comes to car ing for senior s, it ’s a mat ter of t r ust Meet t he Berk shir es Senior Car e Family Spr ingside 255 Lebanon Ave P it t sfield 413-499-2334 Rehabilitation Sk illed Care Cranev ille Place 265 Main St reet Dalton 413-684-3212 Rehabilitation Sk illed Care Sugar Hill 45 Main St reet Dalton 413-684-0100 Independent L iv ing Assisted Living • Memory Care Visit us online at www.BaneCar What de nes us ? Compassion. Integrity. Community Integritus Healthcare Because you are a part of us P R OVIDING C A R E YO U C A N C OUN T ON : • Short-term recovery stays • Physical, occupational & speech therapy • Long-term, inpatient skilled care • Respite stays • Hospice care FAI R V I E W C OMM O NS H I L L C R E S T C O MM O N S KIM B AL L FARMS N URS I N G C ARE C E N T ER M T GREY LOC K EXTE N DED C ARE • N O R TH A D AM S C O MM O N S WI L L I AM S TO WN C O MM O N S 800-445-4560

Thank You To Our Donors:

The following donations were received between May 1, 2023 and June 30, 2023. Donations received on or after July 1, 2023 will appear in the next issue of Berkshire Senior.

Memorial Donations

In Memory of: Bill Allen

Robert and Lee Watroba

In Memory of: Edith Almstead

Carolyn Renzi

In Memory of: William Broderick

Katherine Broderick

In Memory of: Andree Donovan

Bruce and Mary Lamke

Matthew and Annmarie Gravel

Nancy and Raymond Woitkowski

Robert and Susan Coakley

Rosemary Denton

In Memory of: Elinor Long

Berkshire Retirement Home

Brandon and Frances Boyd

Claire Angeli

David and Linda Tyler

David and Rosemary Mangun

Debra Rosselli

Dorothy Ransford

Dr. Erwin A. Stuebner, Jr.

John and Kathleen Lanoue

Jon and Gisela Sjulander

Joseph and Nancy Tirrell

Joseph Rogge

Judith and Karlis Ozolins

Karen R. Gold

Kevin Seaman

Michael and Carol Boucher

MountainOne Bank

Nancy George

Penny Manners

Phillip and Margaret Grandchamp

Raymond and Jeanne H. Moulthrop

Richard and Maureen Tuggey

Robert and Carolie Collins

Stephen and Karen Long

Sully and Mary Garofano

William and Ann McLaren

William and Patricia Flaherty

In Memory of: Frank and Angelica Marinaro

Vincent Marinaro

In Memory of: Josephine Michalek

Sandra Lanning

In Memory of: Denton Smith

Gil and Peg Biron

Berkshire Senior Television

ESBCI Dietician Sheri Iodice and Kathleen Philips discuss Farmers’ Markets

In Memory of: Gary Sojkowski

Diane Agar

Elder Independence Donations

Barbara Rubin

Claire Wohrle

Constance Metall

Earl Squires, Jr.

Fern E Lavelle

Franklin Risatti

Ginger Alexander

Helaine Rose

Jennifer Brennan

Jim and Bunny Whitman

Joel and Patrice Less

John and Deborah De Forest, Sr.

Joseph and Nancy Tirrell

Joseph Berry

Kathryn Hughes

Keith and Reanne Palmer

Maxine Phillips

Milton Lestz

Nancy Prezenik

Peter DeLuca

Pittsfield Cooperative Bank

Pledgeling Foundation

Richard and Catherine Roberts

Richard Kurek

Robert and Shirley Annelli

Robert Carlino

Robert T. Hildebrand

Ronald and Sandra Assen

Rose Rondeau

Sarah W. Henry

Sharon and James T Kus

Susan J. Ricci

Trad Campbell

Virginia Brown

Walter Ritter

William and Janine M. Reid

William Spence

Winthrop D. Kie, Sr.

Meals on Wheels Donations

Alice Rose

James Rose

Susan Brazeau

SHINE Donations

Cynthia Armstrong

Elder Services’ Berkshire Senior , AugustSeptember 2023 17 DONATIONS 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
a.m. ▪
PCTV channel 1301 Mondays at 5 p.m., Tuesdays at 3 p.m., Thursdays at 11 a.m. &
11:30 a.m. Or watch online, ON DEMAND on
you to our
all their
Currently airing on PCTV, Channel 1301 Access Pittsfield Broadcast schedule: Mondays at 5:00 p.m.
Wednesday at 8:30 a.m. Thursdays at 11:30
Saturdays at Noon Currently airing on PCTV Channel 1301 Access Pittsfield Broadcast schedule:
help in making Berkshire Senior TV accessible to our community.

Summer Camp for Our Grand-Pets

During a recent Berkshire Senior meeting, someone mentioned that their “grand-dog” was coming to stay with them while their son and his family went on vacation. It unleashed a flurry of memories for me, of my own life and trips I took, and how fortunate I was to have my parents nearby to care for my pets when I traveled. So this month’s edition is in celebration of parents and grandparents who not only raise responsible petloving children, but who also step in to help when those kids (and grand-pets) need them. Whether for a few days while they’re on a trip, several months during a military deployment, or outright “inheriting” a pet that your adult child can no longer keep, you are heroes!

When I rented my first apartment, I was eighteen, starryeyed and ready to take on the world. One of the first decisions I made after striking out on my own was to adopt a kitten from the local animal shelter (my landlady allowed pets.) I had been raised in a home where we always had a cat or two, and those cats were cherished members of the family. My kitten, named April, would be my new “family” and I was fully committed to her well-being for life. My apartment was only a few towns over, but in the beginning, I had one foot in adulthood and the other still attached to my family back home. I made frequent overnight visits back there, and would always bring April along with me. But April liked being at my parents house better, and each time would scream and cry during the entire drive back to my apartment. One day April made such a dramatic fuss that I had to turn my car around and, in tears, take her back to Mom and Dad’s, who kindly agreed to let her stay as their pet, where she went on to live a long and happy life in my childhood home.

A couple of years later, I was once again the mom of a sibling pair of shelter kittens,

who were also happy to visit my Mom and Dad with me, but who were happiest to be anywhere I was. (Indeed, they moved crosscountry with me more than once.) Anytime I went away on vacation, my cats got to stay at Mom and Dad’s house, and we started referring to those visits as “going to summer camp”.

(April tolerated them during their stays!) When I traveled, my cats got to have a vacation of their own at Summer Camp, getting the full pampering treatment. I never had to worry about them and got a full report whenever I phoned to check in with my parents.

Fast-forward several years, to the winter I rescued a tiny abandoned puppy on the side of a road in Puerto Rico, while I was on a working vacation at an animal shelter/vet clinic there. By the time I flew home a week later, that puppy was in the plane’s cabin with me and remained my sidekick for all of his life. My parents now had their very first grand-dog, and got to baby-sit many times through all the phases of his life: from clumsy, comical puppy, through puppy kindergarten and obedience classes, through his often challenging adolescence*

Be sure to book early, and be sure to screen those people who will be caring for your pet. Get references from people you know, and trust your gut-instinct

• Keep in mind that leaving a cat or dog at home, alone, isn’t necessarily kinder for them. Our pets get lonely and miss us, and being alone for days on end is hard on them. And what if the a/c goes off or your pet is afraid of thunder or fireworks? Who will be there to comfort them? Many pet-sitters will be happy to stay in your home while you are away. (Again, you and your pet should interview them. Get reliable references)

• Never, ever leave your pet outdoors while you are away

(just like human teenagers!) until he matured into a well-mannered adult with many good years to follow until the ebbing of his life at the very senior age of 16. [*be patient! Your pet will outgrow its “rebellious teens” phase!]

I believe that the saying “it takes a village to raise a child” can also apply to raising a pet, and makes it far more rewarding for everyone involved. Our pets, like children, bond to us as their family, and for many seniors, a visit from the grand-pets is a welcomed way of helping their adult children’s families when needed. Here’s to summer camp and happy vacations for all, both two and four legged. And to all of you pet grandparents, ThankYou! Summer will be over soon enough, so get in that hammock, watch those puffy cumulus clouds drift by, and enjoy these cat and dog days of summer!



• Plan ahead! Pet sitters, boarding locations, and veterinarians are all overwhelmed, especially during peak vacation times.

• Keep plenty of extra food and medications on hand for while you are away—since the pandemic, many items are out of stock

• Leave detailed instructions and insist on frequent reports on your pet

• Keep your veterinarian’s name and number for your petsitter, and call your vet to give permission for the pet-sitter to bring your pet in should something go wrong

• Thoroughly pet-proof your house –make sure doors or windows can’t suddenly slam, unplug things if possible, and remove temptations that can be chewed or swallowed by your pet

• Set extra bowls of water around the house

• If your pet is going to stay with someone, bring along its favorite bed, toys, bowls, etc. and a towel or piece of clothing with your scent on it, so they feel more at home

• Be sure pets are identifiable with I.D. tags and, if possible, microchips

Yvonne Borsody is a Berkshire resident specializing in animal rescue, care, and adoptions. She has a special interest in seniors and animal advocacy, especially for those who are disadvantaged.

PETS Elder Services’ Berkshire Senior , AugustSeptember 2023 18

Medicare Open Enrollment

7th. This is the ONE TIME OF YEAR when all people with Medicare can review, compare, enroll or dis-enroll in Part C (Medicare Advantage) and Part D (Prescription Drug Plans). Open Enrollment is important because:

• Health needs may change from year to year

• Health or drug plans change the costs, benefits, and drug coverage they offer every year

• Providers change contracts

• Preferred pharmacies change To prepare for Open Enrollment, Medicare beneficiaries should:

• Review the Annual Notice of Change letter from their current plans in September and note any changes.

• Reflect on their health and medical needs over the past year and try to anticipate needs for the coming year.

• Research TOTAL costs involved when comparing plans. This should include the premiums, copays, and deductibles. For example, a plan with a low cost premium may also have large deductibles for certain services.

• Contact their providers and confirm that they are in network (when applicable) before making changes to their coverage.

By reviewing plans costs and benefits, and comparing them with other options available for the upcoming year, it’s possible to save money and ensure appropriate coverage.

The SHINE Program (413-4990524) is available year round to assist Medicare beneficiaries with enrolling in Medicare, evaluating coverage for existing beneficiaries, making changes, and screening for insurance related public benefits. There is no cost or eligibility criteria to speak with a SHINE Counselor.

MEDICARE Elder Services’ Berkshire Senior , AugustSeptember 2023 19 Voted Best of t he Berkshi res! 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 AHANT Y, DPT AMANDA ROBERTS, DPT BERKSHIRE PHYSICAL THERAPY & WELLNESS TIFFANY
ELDER FUN Elder Services’ Berkshire Senior , AugustSeptember 2023 20 Wellington 413.442.5094 | North St East St Main St Dalton “Honored to serve our community for 119 years & 5 Generations!”

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