Berkshire Senior December 2021-January 2022

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2021 Annual Report Winter Emergency Preparedness

Your Care, Your Home, Your Neighbors

Get Your Taxes Done for Free Reliving the Good Old Days


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Elder Services’ Berkshire Senior, December 2021 - January 2022


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

Gratitude

Hoping you are well as we begin to transition into winter and the holiday season. I thought 2020 would be unique. Yet here we are again. We celebrated another Thanksgiving in the Statement of Inclusivity shadow of a pandemic and COVID continues to Elder Services practices non-discrimination in employment affect our community as we prepare to welcome the practices and service delivery. Embracing diversity, our in-home and holidays. However, things do look better this year community-based services are available to all without regard to race, than they did a year ago! Vaccinations and booster ethnicity, language, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or lifestyle. shots now make it possible for us to spend much more time celebrating the holidays with family and friends. We look forward to the New Year and hope that in 2022 the Twitter: pandemic continues to play an even lesser role in our lives. FB/BerkshireSenior @Berkshire Senior Elder Services holds a public annual meeting in October, which gives us the opportunity to highlight the Agency’s accomplishments and acknowledge employees celebrating service anniversaries (see Page 10). Unfortunately, we had to cancel this year’s meeting. In Instagram: LinkedIn: Elder Services planning for the annual meeting, we decided that the theme for the berkshiresenior of Berkshire County meeting would be “gratitude”. We even hired a graphic designer to design some graphics around the theme of gratitude. We cancelled the annual meeting but decided to make gratitude the theme of this issue. This is our way of thanking all of you who supported us during another challenging year and it fits nicely with the spirit of the holidays. The graphic on the cover of this issue is one of the graphic designer’s designs. We wish to express our sincerest gratitude to all of you, without whom we would not have been able to continue our mission in the second year of a pandemic made more difficult by workforce challenges: Grantors and donors, whose loyalty and generosity ensures we have Editorial Board: Deb Aldrich, Christine Thomson, Laura Feakes, Christopher the funding we need during challenging times McLaughlin, Kathleen Cleary, Kathleen Phillips and Susan Guerrero Contracted home care agencies and other vendors, whose staff Advertising: To place an advertisement in Berkshire Senior, please contact continue to ensure our clients are safe and well cared for in their homes Clients and their families, who have been flexible in working with us Kate Teutsch at (413) 496-6324 or e-mail advertising@berkshireeagle.com. to find new ways for us to communicate with and support them Berkshire Senior is published bi-monthly by Elder Services of Berkshire The Agency’s employees, who continue to demonstrate their County, Inc., 877 South Street, Suite 4E, Pittsfield, MA 01201, 499-0524 or commitment to ensuring that Berkshire County seniors, disabled 1-800-544-5242, e-mail: esbc@esbci.org or on the internet at www.esbci.org. adults and caregivers are safe and able to maintain their independence The Massachusetts Executive Office of Elder Affairs and the NOTICE Berkshire Legislative Delegation, who have worked tirelessly to provide funding and craft legislation in response to COVID-19 and Berkshire Senior advertising helps to the defray the costs of producing significant workforce challenges the newspaper. Inclusion of advertisers in no way implies that Elder Our Board of Directors, Advisory Council and volunteers who continue to support, encourage and inspire us Services endorses any product or service. Drivers and kitchen staff, who continue to ensure that Berkshire Signed columns are the opinion of the writers and not necessarily the seniors receive hot meals and wellness checks each weekday opinion of Elder Services. For medical, financial or other advice, seek a Local human service providers and councils on aging who continue to adapt, improvise and overcome to support their clients qualified professional in the appropriate field. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you! Elder Services and its programs are funded, in part, by the Massachusetts Though we hope this holiday season will be better than last year, Executive Office of Elder Affairs. the holidays can be a particularly challenging time for seniors and others in our community. Please take the time to reach out to seniors State and federal funds provided to Elder Services are limited. Elder you know to let them know how special they are. We may not need to Services welcomes charitable donations to help meet the growing needs socially distance as much as before but it is more important than ever of Berkshire seniors, and gratefully acknowledges all donations. that we remain socially connected. Best wishes to you and yours for a happy, healthy Holiday Season.

ELDER SERVICES UPDATE

Mission Statement

Berkshire Senior

Winter Emergency Preparedness .............................. 5 Senior Employment Program .................................... 6 Senior Hours at the RMV.............................................. 6 Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment .................... 6 Annual Report.......................................................... 9-12 Meals On Wheels .........................................................14

Reliving the Good Old Days ......................................15 Donations .....................................................................15 Organize Your Documents ........................................16 Power Off Your Computer..........................................17 Income Taxes Done for Free ......................................18

Volume 39, Number 6 December 2021 The bi-monthly newspaper for Berkshire County seniors

FREE

Elder Services’ Berkshire Senior, December 2021 - January 2022

Contents

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ASSISTANCE

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AT BERKSHIRE COMMUNITY COLLEGE

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berkshireolli.org olli@berkshirecc.edu

Elder Services’ Berkshire Senior, December 2021 - January 2022

Providing Guidance Guidance for for Seniors Seniors

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Senior Living Living Senior Search & Search & Placement Services Placement Geriatric Care Services Management

Services Placement GeriatricServices Care LetManagement Us HelpCare You or Geriatric TheManagement Older Adult in Services Your Services Life Navigate

Let Us Us Help You Let HelpProcess Youoror The Aging The The Older Older Adult Adult inin Your Life Life Navigate Your Navigate The Aging Process The Aging Process

Call 413.442.0907 HomeInstead.com/369

Senior Living Advisor 413-446-8722

homesweethomesenior.com

Senior Living Living Advisor Senior Advisor 413-446-8722 413-446-8722

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The winter season can be a beautiful time of year with snow and lights. But winter storms can range from wet snow, sleet or freezing rain that builds up on trees and powerlines to a Nor’easter, bringing blizzard conditions that can last several days. People can become stranded in their automobiles or trapped at home, without utilities or other services. Older adults run a higher risk of health problems and injuries related to weather, including hypothermia, frostbite, and falls in ice and snow. It is better to be prepared ahead of time – here are some basic precautions everyone should take, especially older adults. - to decrease the likelihood of a fall happening while walking to a car or to check the mail, make sure that walkways are sanded, salted and/or shoveled. Ask your healthcare provider whether shoveling or other work in the snow is safe for you. Use an old ski pole or walking stick with a pointed tip and wear traction cleats on your shoes or boots for extra stability on ice and snow.

- make sure your car is properly winterized, keep the gas tank at least half-full and carry a Winter Survival Kit in the trunk including blankets, extra clothing, boot cleats, flashlight with spare batteries, a can & waterproof matches (to melt snow for drinking water), nonperishable foods, windshield scraper, shovel, sand, tow rope

Here are tips for dealing with a possible power outage:

Before an Outage • Check battery operated devices to ensure they are working, have extra batteries and fully charge your phone, laptop, and any other devices as a storm approaches. Buy a solarpowered or hand crank charger to keep small electronics working and a car phone charger so you can charge your phone if you lose power at home. • If you have a water supply (such as a well-water pump system) that could be affected, fill your bathtub and spare containers with water. Pouring a pail of water from the tub directly into the bowl can flush a toilet. • If possible have an alternative emergency heating source and fuel ( gas fireplace, wood burning stove or fireplace) so you can keep at least one room livable. Be sure the room is well ventilated and has a carbon monoxide detector. • Know how to shut off water valves. If pipes freeze, remove insulation, completely open all faucets and pour hot water over the pipes, starting where they are most exposed to the cold. A hand-held hair dryer, used with caution, also works well. Do not use torches or other flame sources to thaw pipes as this cause fires. • If you have medication that requires refrigeration, check with your pharmacist for guidance on proper storage during an extended outage. • If you use medical equipment in your home that requires electricity, talk to your doctor about how you can prepare for its use during a power outage. If you have life-support devices that depend on electricity, contact your local electric company about your power needs for life-support devices ( h o m e d i a lys i s, s u c t i o n ,

breathing machines, etc.) in advance of an emergency. Some utility companies will put you on a “priority reconnection service” list. Talk to your equipment suppliers about your power options and also let the fire department know that you are dependent on life-support devices. • Know where the manual release lever of your electric garage door opener is located and how to operate it. Garage doors can be heavy, so know that you may need help to lift it. • Find out what assistance may be available in your community if you need it. Register in advance with the local emergency management agency, fire department, senior center, or non-profit groups. Tell them of your individual needs or those of a family member and find out what assistance, help or services can be provided.

During an Outage • Use 9-1-1 only for emergencies. Call your utility company to report the outage and get restoration information. • Check in on friends, family, and neighbors, particularly those most susceptible to extreme temperatures and power outages such as seniors and those with access and functional needs. • If the power is out, use batterypowered lights if possible, instead of candles. If you must use them, place candles in safe holders away from anything that could catch fire. Never leave a burning candle unattended. • Ensure that your smoke and Carbon Monoxide (CO) detectors are working correctly

and have fresh batteries. Check your outside fuel exhaust vents, making sure that they are not obstructed by snow or ice. Never use cooking equipment intended for outside use indoors as a heat source or cooking device. • Dress in several layers of loose fitting, lightweight, warm clothing, rather than one layer of heavy clothing. Wear hats, mittens, scarves and other clothing to keep your entire body warm. See if your community has “warming centers” or shelters open. • Watch for signs of frostbite: loss of feeling and white or pale appearance in the extremities such as fingers, toes, or the tip of the nose. Watch for signs of hypothermia: uncontrollable shivering, memory loss, disorientation, incoherence, slurred speech, and drowsiness. If symptoms are detected, get the victim to a warm location, remove any wet clothing, warm the center of the body first and give warm, non-alcoholic beverages, if the victim is conscious. Get medical help as soon as possible. • To protect against voltage irregularities when power is restored, unplug all sensitive electronic equipment. Leave on one light so that you’ll know when your power returns.

After an Outage • Be extra cautious if you go outside to inspect for damage after a storm. Downed or hanging electrical wires can be hidden by snowdrifts, trees or debris, and could be live. Never attempt to touch or move downed lines. Keep children and pets away. Call your utility company to report any outage-related problem such as downed wires. • Clear exhaust vents from Direct Vent Gas Furnace Systems to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. Make sure backup continued on page 6

Elder Services’ Berkshire Senior, December 2021 - January 2022

- have a well-stocked Winter Home Emergency Supply Kit that includes flashlights, portable radio, extra batteries, a first aid kit, bottled water and non-perishable food. Those with disabilities may want to consider adding to the kit: extra medical supplies, copies of medical information (insurance cards, physician contact information, list of allergies and medical history, prescriptions list), written descriptions of your support needs, in case you are unable to describe the situation in an emergency, and supplies for a service animal.

and jumper cables.

LIVING SAFE

Winter Emergency Preparedness

5


NEWS

Winter Emergency Preparedness continued from page 5 generators are well ventilated. Never run an automobile until the exhaust pipe has been cleared of snow. • Take your time shoveling. Avoid overexertion.

For more emerg ency information go to the M a s s a ch u s e t t s E m e r g e n cy Management Agency (MEMA) website www.mass.gov/orgs/ m a s s a c h u s e t t s - e m e r g e n cy management-agency.

Barb Tanski is a 2001 graduate of SHINE training.

To learn more about becoming a SHINE volunteer and joining the class of 2022 contact SHINE at 499-0524.

Laura Feakes is one of Elder Service’s Information & Referral Specialists

Elder Services’ Berkshire Senior, December 2021 - January 2022

The Registry of Motor Vehicles offers “Senior Hours” on Wednesdays to conduct Registry transactions

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Massachusetts law requires drivers who are 75 years of age or older to renew a license in person. The RMV has dedicated hours from 9am to 10am on Wednesdays at certain RMV Service Centers to anyone 65 years of age or older to process any RMV transaction with an appointment. Below are the options for anyone 65 years of age or older to schedule in-person appointments during designated service hours at the Pittsfield or North Adams locations (or other RMV locations): • If you are a AAA member, you may make a reservation now to renew your driver’s license/ID or conduct certain other transactions at a AAA location. Visit aaa.com/appointments to schedule your visit. • If you are not a AAA member, visit Mass.Gov/RMV to make a reservation to renew or conduct most other transactions at an RMV Service Center. Visit the Make/Cancel a Reservation transaction tab in the myRMV Service Center and select “Senior Transaction” for all available RMV transactions. Reservations can be booked two weeks in advance. • Email the RMV for assistance to renew at MassDOTRMVSeniors@dot.state.ma.us • Call the RMV’s Senior Hours Hotline at 857-368-8005 The Seniors License Renewal reservation warns customers that they will not be served if they select the Seniors option and they are not at least 65 years of age.

Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period Beginning January 1st and running through March 31st, Part C participants enrolled as of January 1st, will have the opportunity to switch from one Medicare Advantage plan to another or resume coverage under traditional Medicare (A+B) with an opportunity to purchase drug coverage under Part D. This allowance can only be used once per year and does not apply to beneficiaries receiving their benefits through traditional Medicare (A+B). Beneficiaries who need to make changes but do not qualify for this election period should contact SHINE for assistance. As a reminder, beneficiaries who participate in traditional Medicare have the opportunity to purchase a Medicare supplement (Medigap policy) at any time. Additional information regarding this topic is available by either contacting the SHINE Program at 499-0524, the insurance companies themselves, or by calling 1-800-Medicare.

Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) Unemployed? Looking For Work? Consider the SCSEP Program Elder Services of Berkshire County is proud to serve as the regional Community Services Employment Program (SCSEP) – a federally funded workbased job training program for those 55 years and up. SCSEP’s mission is to provide job training and placement to individuals age 55 or older with limited f inancial resources and to provide employers with trained, motivated workers. The Program provides persons who have met the required eligibility guidelines, and have a sincere desire to work, the opportunity to overcome two of the biggest barriers to employment-lack of experience and training. Potential SCSEP participants are assessed for eligibility, current job skills, interests and individual experience. If qualified, applicants will likely be offered the opportunity to interview with a participating community non-profit organization, also known as a Host Agency. If the interview goes well and a match occurs, the participant will be assigned to the agency and receive onthe-job training for twenty (20) hours per week at the current minimum wage, for up to a year. In addition, to on-the-job training, formal trainings are provided to participants enrolled

in the SCSEP Program. These trainings include, but are not limited to, computer training, resume writing and interviewing techniques. It is never too late to seek a new challenge, learn new skills or to gain meaningful employment. For more infor mation on becoming a SCSEP participant contact Elder Services of Berkshire County at (413) 499-0524 or (800) 544-5242 and ask to speak with the SCSEP Program Manager. If you are a non-profit 501(c) (3) or government agency and are interested in becoming a Host Agency for the SCSEP Program contact Cassie Carmon, SCSEP Program Manager, at the same number. We match the skills, experience and needs of participants with your staffing needs. The Host Agency is required to help the participant learn new skills that can be used when the participant transitions out of the program into an unsubsidized position. The placement of a SCSEP participant at the Host Agency gives the agency a dedicated worker and provides the participant with on-the-job experience and an opportunity to re-enter the work force. The participant’s salary is paid by the SCSEP Program.


Call 413-443-2994 and make every moment matter.

877 South Street, Suite 1W • Pittsfield, MA 01201 413-443-2994 • www.hcib.org

The difference is in our care

Elder Services’ Berkshire Senior, December 2021 - January 2022

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with a life limiting illness, HospiceCare in The Berkshires is here for the whole family. From understanding your options to offering home health aides, spiritual guidance, and grief counseling, our team will create a personalized plan for you. We’ll take care of the stressful tasks, allowing you to spend quality time with your loved ones, on your own terms.

MEALS ON WHEELS

“I’m just not ready to say goodbye.”

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HELPING HANDS

Attention former Sprague Electric employees: Lester “Flash” Estes worked at Sprague Electric in the 1950s and 1960s.

BERKSHIRE COUNTY LEGISLATORS UNITED STATES CONGRESS

Rep. John Barrett, III

Congressman Richard Neal

24 Beacon Street, Room 237 Boston, MA 02133 (617) 722-2305 District Office: (413) 743-8300 John.barrett@mahouse.gov

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

Senator Adam Hinds

Did you know Flash Estes? Did you work with Flash Estes?

Elder Services’ Berkshire Senior, December 2021 - January 2022

If so, please contact Chris Corradetti at (800) 431-4600

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24 Beacon Street, Room 109E Boston, MA 02133 (617) 722-1625 District Office: (413) 344-4561 Adam.hinds@masenate.gov

Rep. Smitty Pignatelli 24 Beacon Street, Room 473F Boston, MA 02133 (617) 722-2210 District Office: (413) 637-0631 Rep.smitty@mahouse.gov

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

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


ANNUAL REPORT 2021 The mission of Elder Services of Berkshire County, Inc.

2021 Board of Directors John Philpott, President Mary Shogry-Hayer, Vice-President Jacob Dabrowski, Treasurer Kimberly Mathews, Clerk Randy Burdick Teresa Caldwell Sandy Driscoll

Frank Engels Diana “Toni” Fontana Roberta Gale John Graziano Georgette Kinney Mary K. O’Brien David J. O’Neill Walter Orenstein Stephen Radin Paula Walczyk

2021 AAA Advisory Council Members Lisa Fletcher-Udel, Chair June Green, Vice-Chair Robert Allard Quentin Chin James Clark

Maria Craft Frank Engels Sandra Lussier Vincent Marinaro Meri-Ellen Morgans

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A member agency of...

Elder Services’ Berkshire Senior, December 2021 - January 2022

is to provide Berkshire elders, caregivers, and individuals with disabilities the opportunity to live with dignity, independence, and selfdetermination, and to achieve the highest possible quality of life.

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ANNUAL REPORT

877 South Street, Suite 4E, Pittsfield, MA 01201 Telephone (41 3) 499-0524 Fax (413) 442-6443 E-Mail esbc@esbci.org

Northern Berkshire United Way

9


Promoting

“ Dignity &Independence

Enriching the lives of our community’s seniors, individuals with disabilities and their caregivers with compassion and dedication.

Information & Referral (contacts)

8,142

Seniors Served by Home Care Program

1,584

Seniors Served by Senior Nutrition Program

1,998 118

Caregiver Consumers Served Supportive Housing Tenants Who Received Service Coordination

68

Clinical Eligibility Assessments

2,232

Seniors Served By SHINE (Serving the Health Insurance Needs of Everyone)

2,561

Elder Services’ Berkshire Senior, December 2021 - January 2022

Grocery shopping, companions, transportation

240

Money Management

481

SHINE (Serving the Health Insurance Needs of Everyone)

3,294

Senior Nutrition Program

4,339

Long Term Care Ombudsman

104 251

Title III Subgrant Program Recipients

578

Volunteers Helping Seniors

155

Total Volunteer Hours

Seniors Supported by Options Counseling Services

181

Seniors Enrolled in Fallon’s NaviCare SCO Plan

469

Seniors Supported by Elder Mental Health Outreach Team

10

Volunteer Hours

Indirect Services (Board of Directors, Advisory Council, Berkshire Senior TV, Berkshire Senior Newspaper, Clerical)

Long Term Care Ombudsman Nursing Home Visits

Meals on Wheels Home Delivered Meals Senior Meal Site Meals

89

ANNUAL REPORT

ANNUAL REPORT 2021

8,709

71 193,544 35,029

Congratulations to Elder Services of Berkshire County staff members who celebrated service milestones this past year. The individuals listed below collectively represent 135 years of dedication, commitment and caring for Elder Services’ clients and our Berkshire community!

2021

Staff Service Award

Recipients

5 Years of Service

10 Years of Service

15 Years of Service

25 Years of Service

Norman Antonio

Sara Dastoli

Laura Feakes

Deb Aldrich

Dawn Regan

Judith Desjardins

Clyde Decorie

Bill Marsh

George Shogry, Jr.

Linda Gilardi

William Delmolino Amanda Height “We are incredibly proud of and grateful to our staff, particularly those celebrating service milestones this year. Over many years they have demonstrated a consistent passion for improving the lives of their Berkshire neighbors” - Christopher McLaughlin, Executive Director


Grants Received

Federal Administration on Aging/EOEA

Income

$1,432,339

for 2021

Elder Services is very fortunate to be the recipient of the support and generosity of our Berkshire County community. One form of support is the grants we receive to support Elder Services’ programs and services that benefit thousands of seniors in Berkshire County. We sincerely appreciate this support and the additional support we have received during the COVID-19 pandemic. Adams Hometown Market

Charles H. Hall Foundation

Berkshire Co-op Market

City of Pittsfield

Berkshire Life Charitable Foundation

Fallon Health

Berkshire Taconic Foundation:

• Women’s Club of the Berkshires Fund

State Executive Office of Elder Affairs

$13,342,439

TOTAL $18,110,724

Feigenbaum Foundation FEMA Greylock Federal Credit Union Helping Hands Meals on Wheels America Neenah Technical Materials, Inc. Northern Berkshire United Way Katharine C. Pierce Trust

Local and Other Funding

$3,335,946*

St. John’s Episcopal Church, Williamstown Town of Great Barrington United Way Emergency Food and

* $747,946 of this represents non-recurring funding

Expenses

Fundraising

$14,708

for 2021

Shelter Program Williamstown Community Chest

Elder Programs

$15,620,970

TOTAL $16,728,185

Joan Lennon and Linda Forbes looking for the winning raffle ticket at recent event hosted by Elder Services at the Providence Court Supportive Housing site.

Management and General

$1,092,507

Elder Services’ Berkshire Senior, December 2021 - January 2022

• Kristin & James Allen Fund • William J. & Margery S. Barrett Fund • Ruth P. Boraski Memorial Fund for Meals on Wheels • Central Berkshire Fund • Cooper Family Fund • Katharine L.W. & Winthrop Crane 3D Charitable Foundation • Joseph & Lily Dewton Family Fund • Richard C. Donati Memorial Fund • Fund for Williamstown Families • John and Judith Kittredge Fund • Mount Everett Fund • Neighbor-to-Neighbor Fund • Willoughby Fund

ANNUAL REPORT

ANNUAL REPORT 2021

11


ANNUAL REPORT

OAA TITLE III SUB GRANTS AWARDED Beginning October 1, 2021 In 1965, United States Cong ress passed the Older Americans Act, (OAA), to address the need for community social services for older persons. OAA is considered a major vehicle for delivering social and nutritional services to our seniors and their caregivers. The purpose of Title III of the OAA is to encourage and assist state and local agencies to develop and implement comprehensive, coordinated, in-home and community based services for individuals in our community 60 years of age and older. Elder Services is the designated Area Agency on Aging (AAA) for Berkshire County and is therefore responsible for allocating Older Americans Act funds to support community-based and inhouse services for older adults, caregivers and individuals with disabilities through the award of

sub grants. ESBCI’s Advisory Council oversees the application, selection and monitoring process of these sub grants. Sub grant contracts run from October 1, 2021 through September 30, 2022. Upon the successful completion of contract requirements, contracts will be extended until September 2023. The 2021 Sub grant recipients are:

ADAMS COUNCIL ON AGINGProvides transportation for residents 60 years and older for the towns of Adams, Cheshire and Savoy with priority given to those seniors with the greatest social and economic needs. 3 Hoosac Street, Adams, MA (413) 743-8333.

BERKSHIRE AREA HEALTH EDUCATION CENTER, (AHEC)Provides educational support and workshops for family and professional care givers of individuals who are 60 years of age or older with emphasis on

Elder Services’ Berkshire Senior, December 2021 - January 2022

All-inclusive Assisted Living, Where Extras Come Standard

12

“The great thing about new friends is that they bring new energy to your soul.” – Shanna Rodriguez

• Meet New Friends • Have Peace of Mind • Feel Secure • Group Activities • 24-hour Nursing Staff & Security

• Three Healthy Meals Daily • Assistance When You Need It • Transportation and Housekeeping

235 Walker Street Lenox, MA 01240 413-637-7000 kimballfarms.org

We’re Perfecting the Art of Superior Care.

meeting the needs of low income and minority elders through outreach and community collaborations. 395 Main Street, Dalton, MA (413) 842-5281

BERKSHIRE CENTER FOR JUSTICE- Provides legal services for elders with a special focus on elders who reside in their home with the assistance of government benefits, elders with protective services, elders with no other means of access to the legal system and elders whose legal issues threaten their independence and dignity. 284 Main Street, Great Barrington, MA (413) 8541955

BERKSHIRE RAINBOW SENIORSProvides Berkshire County’s senior LGBTQ community support through advocacy, outreach, education, and resources. (413) 644-6545

COMMUNITY LEGAL AID Serves low income and socially needy elders through the Elder Law Project. Services focus on elders who reside in their home with the assistance of government benefits, elders with protective services, elders with no other means of access to the legal system and elders whose legal issues threaten their independence and dignity. 152 North Street, #15, Pittsfield, MA (413) 499-1950

SHEFFIELD COUNCIL ON AGINGProvides Wellness Program Transportation for individuals 60 year of age or older who reside in Sheffield and Ashley Falls. The Program gives priority to those elders with the greatest social and economic need. 25 Cook Road, Sheffield, MA (413) 229-7037


Let Us Welcome You Home Berkshiretown Apartments Appleton Managed Properties

Providing Quality, Affordable “Smoke Free” Senior Living in Western and Central Massachusetts for over 40 years!

RSVP The Retired Senior Volunteer Program proudly presents our annual awards! In lieu of our usual annual awards luncheon, a small group of RSVP volunteers, advisory board members, and local dignitaries, met in the Athenaeum auditorium to honor the past year’s outstanding volunteers. Mayor Tyer presented the honorees with certificates of appreciation from the city, and Representative Tricia Farley-Bouvier presented award certificates from the Massachusetts State House of Representatives. 2020 Annual Award- Mary Wheat 2020 - Mary Wheat At 87,Annual Mary hasAward the most lifetime hours At 87, Mary has the most lifetime of any RSVP volunteer during hours the 5 of anySouth RSVPChurch volunteer during years years has beenthe an5RSVP South Church been an RSVP station. While has most people werestation. isolating, Mary her were volunteer group kept While mostand people isolating, because the food pantry open by changing to of the pandemic, Mary and her volunteera drive-through, serving needy 4 days group kept the food pantrythe open by changing a week, and delivering over 500 boxes to a drive-through. They served the needy 4 to families every week! days a week, and delivered over 500 boxes to families every week!

Our Apartments ALWAYS Include

Heat & Hot Water • • • •

Resident Services Convenient Location Controlled Entry Private Balconies (for most apartments)

• We are Pet Friendly • 24 Hour Emergency Maintenance Services

176 Columbus Ave. Pittsfield, MA 413-443-9125

Lifetime Award- Bertha Lawrence Lifetime Award - BerthaitsLawrence RSVP recently announced first SpeRSVP recently Achievement announced its first Special cial Lifetime Award to Bertha Lawrence, an active Lifetime Achievement Award volunteer to Bertha for overan 48active years.volunteer She hadfor logged Lawrence, over 48 5,461 volunteer hours over the decades, years. She had logged 5,461 volunteer hours including 18 years on the board. She over the decades, including 18 years on the also co-won the Volunteer of the Year board. She also co-won the Volunteer of the award in 2011. Year award in 2011.

aberkshiretown@oconnells.com oconnellseniorliving.com Marketed & Managed by

16 Bartlett Avenue, Pittsfield, MA 01201 - 413-499-9345

Elder Services’ Berkshire Senior, December 2021 - January 2022

• Rent is Income Based • All Utilities Included • Appliances & Window Coverings • On-Site Laundry • Elevator • Planned Activities • Professional Staff

2020 Annual Station Award2020 Annual Award South ChurchStation Food Pantry An outgrowth of the St. Joseph’s South Church Food Pantry Kitchen of the nineties, and now An outgrowth of the St. Joseph’s known as the South Community Kitchen of the and now Food Pantry at nineties, South CongregaknownChurch, as the South tional it is Community the largest Food Pantry at South food pantry in theCongregational Berkshires, Church, it isMary the largest food pantry in thanks to and her dedicated the Berkshires,helpers. thanks to Mary and her dedicated helpers.

13


MEALS ON WHEELS

When it comes to caring for seniors, it’s a matter of trust Meet the Berkshires Senior Care Family Elder Services of Berkshire County, Inc.

sponsored in part by

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

Springside

Craneville Place

Sugar Hill

255 Lebanon Ave Pittsfield 413-499-2334 Rehabilitation Skilled Care

265 Main Street Dalton 413-684-3212 Rehabilitation Skilled Care

45 Main Street Dalton 413-684-0100 Independent Living Assisted Living • Memory Care

Elder Services’ Berkshire Senior, December 2021 - January 2022

Visit us online at www.BaneCare.com

14

If You Need Transportation Assistance We Are Available 24/7, 365 Days Established in 2003

Serving All of New England & New York

• Medical Appointments • Holiday Get Togethers • Dinner • Shopping

You name it , we do it!

18 Oak St., Pittsfield, MA • (413) 447-3800

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

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.

VARIES – Call ahead

11:30 am

ADAMS 743-8333

COMMUNITY CENTER M-T-W-TH-F 3 Hoosac St.

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.

T & TH

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 M-T-W-TH-F 65 Walker St.

12:00 pm

LEE 243-5545

SENIOR CENTER 21 Crossway Village

M-T-W-TH-F

11:30 am

GT. BARRINGTON 528-4118 PITTSFIELD 442-2200 KOSHER STOCKBRIDGE 298-3222

SENIOR CENTER 917 South Main St.

M-T-W-TH-F

11:30 am

JEWISH COMM. CTR 16 Colt Road

M-T-TH

11:45 am

HEATON COURT 5 Pine St.

T-TH

11:30 am

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.

WED

12:00 pm

SHEFFIELD 229-7037

SENIOR CENTER 25 Cook Road

W&F

12:00 pm

Eligible seniors 60 years or older are welcome to attend any Senior Community Dining Center. Reservations are requested 24 hours in advance. A suggested donation is $2.00 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 $7.00 per meal.


by Susan Guerrero At the start of a new year, many people look ahead and decide what they’d like to accomplish or change. Everyone knows about shortlived resolutions. Some people also look back to their childhoods and see how far they have come. With that in mind, Berkshire Senior asked a half dozen people the following question: If you could re-live your childhood years, what would you change? John Ciepiela, a realtor with All Seasons Realty Group in Pittsfield, said, “I think I would have pushed myself harder to get an education.” His mother was a nurse who

worked third shift. He was the oldest of three children. His parents divorced when he was just five years old, he noted. “I wish I would have been more motivated,” he said. “I wanted to be an attorney. Later in life, I wanted to be a computer programmer.” Rosie Keefe, a Pittsf ield resident, said, “I’d pay more attention to my parents and appreciate them more.” Her mother was very artistic and really driven. “She was a great, happy person,” Rosie recalled. “I had a really great childhood.” Danny Kochapski, a Pittsfield native and now an out-of-state funeral director, said he is a firm believer of the old saying, “If I knew then what I know now…” “If I could re-live my childhood,

I would most definitely spend more time with my loved ones who have passed away,” he said. “I would treasure those times and hug them a little tighter.” Al Adams, a local lead cook, said if he could re-live his childhood, he’d help his late mother out more with anything she needed. Regarding his career, he said, “I would not have chosen food service. You work like two people, getting paid for one. Too many hours and time spent away from my family. I would have been a tradesman. Not having much or going anywhere (when he was younger), “ I started washing dishes,” he said. “I should have gone to college instead.” Answering the question what she’d change about her childhood

Thank You To Our Donors: Memorial Donations

Elder Independence Donations Carol Agnew Lawrence and Lorraine Allessio Anthony and Amy Anderton Ann Archey Esther Balardini Marjorie Baldwin Lynn Barbieri Nancy Begbie Nancy Benedict Barbara Benham Barbara Bennett Jane Betti Maggie Bittman Edward and Pamela Bourdon Jeffry and Marcella Bradway Jeanne Bresnehan Nancy Brooks Royce Buehler Sara Burke Ann Cain Teresa Caldwell Terry and Patricia Cardin Paul and Carol Charow Dr. Alan and Dr. Roselle Chartock Carol Christopher Nancy Cook Richard and Armine Cooper Mary Corbett John and Geraldine Crane Joan Culliton Michelle Cutler Ursula Ehret-Dichter Elizabeth Dillman Thomas Dillon John and Debra DiLorenzo

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

Judith Drozd Virginia Duval Paula Farrell Dr. Peter and Janice Filicetti Rose Fragala Spencer Fraker Francis Investment Consulting Group Flora Fressola Toni Front Joan Funk Dr. John and Ann Galt James Gaunt Donald and Judith Goudey Linda Greenhouse Terrence and Mary Jane Hanlon Mary Hayes Joan Hayford Robert Hildebrand Harry and Marjorie Horn Mary Horton Charles and Verna Houff Pamela Hugabone Dr. Frederic Hyman Sylvia Jamros Carl Jenkins Alice Joseph Karen Ketcham Carol Kirby Richard Kurek Frank and Jeanette Lagowski Neal Langlois Ernest and Carole LeBarron Joel Less Frank Lipinski Richard and Kathleen Luczynski Virginia Malloy

Kathleen McMullen Leda Melideo Harry Morey Lois Nangle Larry and Faith Newmark Cliff and Lynne Nilan Michael and Justina Norton Cornelius and Mary Obanheim Mary K. O’Brien Carol O’Brien Ted Okun Edward and Audrey Olszewski Thomas and Marcia Partenope Bernard Pinsonnault and Dianne Cutillo Andrea Pozzoni Daniel Pupo Susan Ricci Nancy Rodovick John Rollman Rose Rondeau Helaine Rose Dorene Sadlow Cynthia Sault Mary Shogry-Hayer Newell and Paula Skinner Walter Slosek George Smith Pauline Sniezek St. Ann’s Church Maureen Strype Suburban Internal Medicine George and Betty Sweet Gary and Sandra Tatro Wayne and Lisa Tenney Joe and Nancy Tirrell Norma Tomkowicz

Frank Virgilio, Jr. Marie Weatherhead Jane Wheeler Jim and Bunny Whitman Victoria Williams Judy Williams Rae-Ann Winters Mary Ann Wojtaszek Marjorie Wylde Olivia Zegarowski

Meals On Wheels Donations Richard Bauer, Sr. Peter Calderella Caron Hobin Tamar Schrager Thursday Morning Club John and Roberta Treece

General Donations Berkshire Communicators, Inc. Jennifer Brennan Margaret and Robert Cimini Cheryl Ann Chalmers General Dynamics AIS Guardian Life Insurance Cynthia Golin Northern Berkshire United Way Tony Pagliarulo Sharon Robak Carrie Schulman

Elder Services’ Berkshire Senior, December 2021 - January 2022

In Memory of Richard Arpante, Sr.: Kathy Ireland and Kit Hansen In Memory of William Broderick: Katherine Broderick In Memory of Josephine Burdon: H.J. Richardson In Memory of Clifton and Easterbelle Clark: Pamela Barquinero In Memory of Remo DiTomasso: Karen Bates In Memory of Simone ‘Sim’ Gaunt: Dawn Windover In Memory of Marylou Goodrich: Michael and Brenda Miskinis Carol and Francis Ouellette Steven and Katrina Ouellette Leslie Zack In Memory of Roderick Gratton: Cheryl and Richard Sojkowski Warren and Mary Buhl Anna Murphy Thomas and Lorita Bosworth Donna and Steven Tringali In Memory of Mary Keith: Debra Trautmann In Memory of Virginia Malloy: Martin Cristofolini and Shelley Conlon-Cristofolini James and Kimberly Smith Virginia Piekos In Memory of Noreen Mole: Jane Samel

Donna and James Kasala Steve Mole In Memory of Mary Richards: Barbara Tatro In Memory of David Rogers, to benefit the SHINE Program: Mary Rogers In Memory of Clarence Rudd: Patricia Trumble In Memory of Raymond Scace: Sharon Polito Lynda and William Stanard David and Maureen Piacenti Bonnie LaPierce Matthew and Annmarie Gravel James and Michelle Bazinet Edward and Jeanne Stanard John and Jean Robertson Jean and F. Myron Gray Kathryn and Paul Nash Lawrence Kimple, Jr. and Joan Kimple John Demick and Nancy Kay Robert Osterhout In Memory of Eugene Talbot, to benefit the Meals on Wheels Program: Susan Clapp Eric Goosenberg and Family Khoi Luong Gwen Pearl In Memory of Phyllis Watroba, to benefit the Meals on Wheels Program: Robert and Lee Watroba

if she could re-live it, Eileen Riello of Pittsfield said, “Oh, that’s a good one. I really don’t know if I’d change anything. I had a real good childhood so I can’t complain. Perhaps one thing is, I wouldn’t want my mother to have diabetes. She was a severe diabetic for as long as I can remember. She had to take three needles of insulin a day. There were no pills in those days. That’s what I would change.” Sharon Carlo, retired from General Dynamics, said she was happy growing up. “We lived out in the country between two dairy farms. My father worked on one of them. I wish I had been rich. I always envied the rich kids and wished I had more opportunities like the kids who were more financially well off.”

DONATIONS

Reliving The Good Old Days

SHINE Donations Cynthia Armstrong

15


SMART LIVING

Nursing Home Residents Need You!!

Long Term Care Ombudsman Program Looking for Volunteers who want to Make a Difference H A Long Term Care Ombudsman is an advocate for residents in nursing homes. H If you want to help residents live their lives with dignity and respect then you could be an Ombudsman Volunteer. H Ombudsmen work with residents and facility staff to resolve concerns about residents’ rights and their quality of care and life. Volunteers receive extensive training and support. To learn more please contact Elder Services of Berkshire County:

Elder Services’ Berkshire Senior, December 2021 - January 2022

413-499-0524

16

Missed Medicare Open Enrollment? Prescription Costs Increased?

Call SHINE 413-499-0524 You may still be eligible to change your plan or qualify for assistance programs

Organize Your Documents by Kathleen Phillips If something happened to you would your loved ones know where to locate your important documents? Locating a loved one’s personal and estate information can be a daunting task if their personal documents are not organized or in a centralized location. A systematic plan for keeping our important papers can save hours of anxious searching if something happens to us. It allows our loved ones to readily locate essential documents like a power of attorney, insurance policies and financial accounts. Organizing documents is an act of love for our families and friends. Having documents readily available should something happen shields our family from needless heartache, hassle and expense. So where do you start? We want our loved ones to be able to readily locate essential documents. This is a starting place for you to make this organization process manageable and not overwhelming. Consider the following as a list of documents that you should have organized in files. The list is somewhat comprehensive but gives you a good starting point and may list items that you have not thought of: • Personal Information – Full legal name, Social Security Number, legal residence, date of birth, birth certificate, names of children (with contact information), birth certificates and any death certificates, marriage and divorce certificates • Insurance Policies – Life, health, car and home with policy numbers • Bank Accounts – Checking, savings, money market, certificate of deposit and debit cards with the bank names and account numbers (an easy way is to file your latest statements) • Credit Card Accounts – With card numbers, expiration dates and the most recent statements • Mortgage and Loan Documents • Tax Papers – The Most Recent Tax Returns (State and Federal) • Social Security Income Documents • Pension Plans - 401(K), IRA’s and employer pensions

• Investment and brokerage Information • Military Records and Armed Forces Discharge Papers • Medications taken regularly with physicians contact information • Car Title and Registration • A List of Contact Information (Attorney, Accountant, Investment Manager, Insurance Agent) • Passwords and computer/cell phone access codes There are a number of different legal documents that help you plan how your affairs will be handled in the future: • Wills and trusts let you name the person(s) you want your property and assets to go to upon your death. It allows you to designate an executor to ensure your wishes are carried out. • A Living Will gives you a say in your health care if you become too sick to make your wishes known. In a living will you can state what kind of care you do or do not want. • A Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care (Health Proxy) lets you name the person you want to make medical decisions for you if you can’t make them yourself. • A Durable Power of Attorney lets you name someone to act on your behalf for any legal task. It is important that your papers and legal documents are kept in one safe and secure location (fire proof lockbox or file cabinet). This is extremely important as your files contain important personal and financial information that should be safeguarded. A trusted family member or friend should know where you keep these important papers and files in case of an emergency. There are many on-line sources of information that are helpful in getting your affairs in order including: AARP www.aarp.org National Institute on Aging Information Center www.nia.nih.gov CaringInfo www.caringinfo.org AARP Valuable Documents at your Fingertips contains helpful worksheets that can simplify the process of getting organized.


by Christian Tenczar

3. Click on Shut down. 4. Once your laptop screen and all the lights turn off you can close the lid.

Savino

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

100 Wahconah St. Pittsfield, MA 01201 (413) 442-4149

Here’s how to restart your Windows 10 computer. 1. Click on the Windows Button/ Icon in the lower left corner of the screen. 2. Click on the Power option from the menu.

Elder services for outpatient physical therapy needs following surgery. From total joint replacements, balance and other muscle, bone, and joint injuries.

Donna Brewer, Owner Steven J Brewer, Director

413-499-1750 234 Wahconah Street Pittsfield MA 01201 MONUMENTS • MARKERS • LETTERING

3 convenient locations - Pittsfield, Dalton and Lenox Pittsfield Office 740 Williams Street Pittsfield, MA 01201 413-447-8070

Dalton Office 400 Main Street Dalton, MA 01226 413-684-9783

Lenox Office 90 Pittsfield Road Lenox, MA 01240 413-637-2810

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

Services offered by MOLARI • Assistance with Personal Care • Medication Reminders • Meal Preparation • Light Housekeeping • Companionship

• Laundry Services • Assistance with Transportation • Shopping and Errands • Respite Care

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

Elder Services’ Berkshire Senior, December 2021 - January 2022

It’s very tempting when we are done working on a laptop to simply close the lid, that’s what the lid is for, right? While this convenient feature is one of the benefits of a laptop computer it is also true that computers need to be restarted regularly in order to operate at their best. Closing the lid on your laptop does not turn it off — it puts it to sleep. That way you can open it back up, enter the password, and be ready to dive back into your work quickly. While it’s A-OK to close the lid if you plan on jumping back to work soon, if you are done for the day then it’s best to turn it off completely before closing the lid. There’s two main reasons for doing this. • Powering-off your computer clears out the memory, fixing temporary errors and allowing it to run as fast as it can. This is one of the reasons that restarting is often part of basic troubleshooting, sometimes errors can only be fixed with a restart. • Powering-off also allows the computer to install important updates. These updates keep your computer as secure as possible and in many cases updates fix bugs or glitches in Windows and other software.

Berkshire Physical Therapy & Wellness

TECH SUPPORT

Power-Off Your Computer Regularly

17


TAXES

Get Your Taxes Done for Free Contact us so you and/or loved ones can stay living at home! Non-medical living assistance services from Angels! Visiting Angels of the Berkshires

Elder Services’ Berkshire Senior, December 2021 - January 2022

RICHARD J. MESSER, DIRECTOR/OWNER SUE CARPENTER, CLIENT CARE COORDINATOR 197 South Street, Bldg. A, Pittsfield, MA 01201 rmesser@VisitingAngels.com www.VisitingAngels.com/Pittsfield Office: 413-344-9281 • Cell: 413-822-0123

We have always believed that everyone deserves to have their story told and their life acknowledged. Let us help design the best way to honor your cherished family member.

Friends helping friends s ince 1915 40 MAPLEWOOD A VENUE • PITTSFIELD, MA 01201

C A L L U S: 4 1 3 .4 4 5.5 9 8 8 Proud affiliate of Carriage Services | John W. Bresnahan

Pittsfield, Massachusetts— Be ginning February 1 and continuing through April 15, AARP Foundation is providing tax assistance and preparation through its Tax-Aide program — and it’s completely free. AARP Foundation Tax-Aide is the nation’s largest volunteerbased free tax preparation service. Volunteers are trained and IRS-certified every year to ensure they understand the latest changes to the U.S. Tax Code. Tax-Aide has several options for providing taxpayer assistance. These options vary by location and are subject to change. Visit aarpfoundation.org/taxaide for details. • In-Person: In Tax-Aide’s traditional in-person service, taxes are prepared and filed by IRS-certified tax counselors — but now with strict physical distancing measures in place. • Low-Contact: Taxpayers interact with IRS-certified Tax-Aide volunteers in one or two short, in-person meetings to exchange documents. • Contact-Free: Taxpayers interact with Tax-Aide’s IRS-certified tax counselors online or by phone and exchange documents electronically. • Self-preparation: Tax-Aide provides taxpayers with free access to software so they

can prepare their own taxes. Taxpayers can also request help from an IRS-certified counselor to coach them through the process by phone or through computer screensharing. Tax-Aide provides tax preparation assistance services nationwide. In 2020, 1.5 million taxpayers who used AARP Foundation Tax-Aide received more than $1 billion in income tax refunds. (These numbers were affected by the reduced ava i l a b i l i t y o f i n - p e r s o n assistance due to the pandemic.) For more information about AARP Foundation Tax-Aide, including what type of service is available where, and which documents you need to file your taxes, visit aarpfoundation.org/ taxaide or call RON TERRY at (413) 446-7483

Locally Owned... Nationally Known

s Diagnostic Hearing Evaluations s Balance Evaluations and Treatment s Hearing Aid Dispensing and Repairs s Tinnitus Treatment s Custom Hearing Protection and Musician’s Filters Dr. Andrew J. Puttick

18

AARP Foundation Tax-Aide Provides In-Person and Virtual Service in Berkshire County

Au.D., FAAA

s Specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of vertigo. s Fall Prevention and vestibular rehabilitation. s Orthopedic physical therapy services. s CBD products from Muscle MX s Lightforce Laser Therapy available for pain management and peripheral neuropathy.

510 North Street, Suite 9, Pittsfield, MA 01201 • P (413) 443-4800 • F (413) 442-9701 greylock@fyzical.com

Dr. Trevor Marcotte, PT DPT Clinical Director/Physical Therapist


ELDER FUN

Year-End Blowout Sale! SAVE UP TO

40 OFF %

Update your kitchen for less – with our lowest prices of the year on select cabinet doors! Kitchens and financing for every budget The widest selection of styles & colors Fast installation, 3–5 days for most kitchens

FREE 877-404-7738 DESIGN CONSULTATION AT-HOME OR ONLINE.

Offer expires 12/31/2021. Not valid on prior purchases. Cannot be combined with any other offer. Financing available with approved credit. Other conditions and restrictions may apply.

Elder Services’ Berkshire Senior, December 2021 - January 2022

CABINET DOORS

19


Elder Services’ Berkshire Senior, December 2021 - January 2022

Thank you for voting us

Best in the Berkshires!

20

ELDER FUN