Berkshire Senior June - July 2024

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Summer Gardening In Raised Beds Berkshire County Farmers’ Markets June is Elder Abuse Awareness Month Pet Assistance Program Launched in Berkshire

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

Offering compassion to our community:

• Emotional and spiritual support

• Symptom management

• Integrative therapies

• Home health aides

• Meaningful end-of-life care

• Bereavement counseling

Elder Services’ Berkshire Senior , JuneJuly 2024 2
eld, MA 01201 413-443-2994 THE DIFFERENCE IS IN OUR C ARE
called HospiceCare in The Berkshires
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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.

Feedback from Clients and Families

Berkshire Senior

Editorial Board: Deb Aldrich-Jegtvig, Laura Feakes, Christopher McLaughlin, Kathleen Phillips, Susan Guerrero, Kara Graziola and Kayla Brown-Wood.

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.

Hoping all is well with you and yours.

As this is our mid-year issue, I thought it made sense to share some of the recent feedback we have received from our consumers (clients) and their families. We receive consistent calls, e-mails, letters, cards and voicemails throughout the year from people who want to make us aware of their experiences with our Agency and our staff. For the most part, the feedback we receive is very favorable. However, occasionally our consumers and their families let us know when we have fallen short or how we can improve upon the programs and services we provide.

What follows are the actual comments received from our consumers and their families or the narratives provided by our staff from phone conversations they have had with families and consumers:

“I just want you to know that you have an outstanding man working for you. He is kind and understanding and has great patience dealing with a 93-year-old senior citizen. My son and I appreciate what a good man he is.”

“I’ve been delivering for Meals on Wheels and my vegetarian consumer in Lee was telling me on Friday how thankful she is for this program. She said she wasn’t able to eat for quite a long time and now she’s eating and feeling better and actually has peace of mind that she’s getting proper nutrition at least for this part of her diet. She was just so, so thankful and upbeat and seemed so hopeful about her health.”

“I cannot adequately express my gratitude for all you do to help us with your services. Our SHINE counselor has been my invaluable assistant for many years and those that preceded him were equally superb. Our counselor has gone out of his way spending time to help me understand the process of health insurance and drug plans. He is amazing. I so appreciate his work and all that Elder Services provides.”

“We would like to thank everyone at Elder Services for all your help this past year. We appreciate all that you do and we consider ourselves fortunate that there are kind, dedicated people like you that make so many people’s lives so much better. To all of you-thank you-and we wish you and yours a safe and healthy new year!”

“Hope all is well. I just wanted to send along the gratitude for your nurse from everyone here. Since she took over doing the assessments

continued on page 4

ELDER SERVICES UPDATE Elder Services’ Berkshire Senior , JuneJuly 2024 3
Pet Assistance Program Launched ............................ 4 Ice Cream Season is Here ............................................. 5 Summer Gardening in Raised Beds ........................... 6 Volunteer Recognition ................................................. 8 Summer Appeal Letter ................................................. 9 Berkshire County Farmers’ Markets ......................... 10 The Streaming Generation ........................................ 11 Donations ..................................................................... 14 Home Care Services .................................................... 15 Senior Community Dining Sites ............................... 16 Staying Safe This Summer ......................................... 17 June is Elder Abuse Awareness Month ................... 18 COVER PHOTO: Elder Services’ Kayla Brown-Wood and BFAIR volunteer Shaun Murray deliver pet food to Carol Lecours and her fur baby. Contents Volume 43, Number 3 June 2024 The bi-monthly newspaper for Berkshire County seniors FREE FB/BerkshireSenior Twitter: @Berkshire Senior Instagram: berkshiresenior LinkedIn: Elder Services of Berkshire County

Pet Assistance Program Launched in Berkshire County

Elder Services of Berkshire County, in partnership with Berkshire Humane Society and BFAIR (Berkshire Family & Individual Resources), has established a Pet Assistance Program through Meals on Wheels. Elder Services has been providing meals in Berkshire County since 1975 and has operated a kitchen in Lanesborough since 1994 where nearly 1,000 meals are prepared daily and delivered throughout Berkshire County.

The Pet Assistance Program launched in March and is currently serving seniors and their pets in Pittsfield, Dalton, Lee, Lanesborough, Adams, North Adam and Williamstown. As the program gains more traction it is hoped that it will expand into the remaining towns throughout Berkshire County. The Program delivers pet food to seniors who are unable to go to the store to purchase food or don’t have a way to get to Berkshire Humane Society’s pet food bank. With the increase in grocery prices some pet owners are struggling to feed their beloved animals and are sometimes forced to make sacrifices or feed their pets before themselves. This community partnership helps fill the gap to ensure seniors in our community aren’t faced with making those difficult decisions.

It is important to note in more ways than one, pets play an important role in a senior’s life. Mental health and isolation are major issues for many seniors and keeping their pet in their home is critical in supporting them and their mental well-being. The Program also helps ensure that by keeping their pets fed, it enables them to remain at home with their owner who depends on them for much needed companionship.

The pet food is supplied by the Berkshire Humane Society and is 100% donated by community members. On the first Tuesday of every month volunteers from BFAIR’s Community-Based Day Services Program load up their van at the Humane Society and embark on their delivery route.

To be eligible to receive pet assistance through this program, the individual must receive services through Elder Service’s Meal on Wheels Program. For more information on how to get started, please visit or by calling 413-499-0524.

Laura Baran of BFAIR, Nicole McKeen of Berkshire Humane Society, and Elder Services’ Kayla Brown-Wood with a van load of dog and cat food to be delivered as part of ESBCI’s Meals on Wheels Program.

Feedback from Clients and Families

continued from page 3

for the state our nursing home has stayed focused and has been getting the packets completed on time, which has helped our reimbursements and care for our residents. We want to thank her for all the hard work she has given to our nursing home to stay on task over the last decade plus!”

“A few good words for our case manager. My mother likes him very much and so do I. He’s very professional, courteous…seems perfect for the job. I just wanted to shout out to him. Our previous case manager was also very good. We liked her as well. Everyone at Elder Services has been exceptional and very helpful.”

“I arrived for a home visit with a consumer at the same time as her Meals on Wheels driver. It was such a delight. He has the routine down to a “T”, including walking up the ramp in a way that alerts her and her dog to his arrival, so she can have her dog secured; he clearly has a great rapport with her.”

“I wanted to share that I receive a message from a consumer’s daughter. She called to share some positive feedback about you! She said you have been wonderful, ensuring services are in place for her mother, getting emergency button set-up. She said she met you recently at a home visit and thought you were a very polite and considerate young man! Nice work!

These are comments about some of the programs and services we offer. Elder Services offers many other programs and services, too many to list here.

My hope in providing this feedback from our consumers and their families is that if you’ve been “on the fence” about reaching out to Elder Services to inquire about services for you or someone you love, this may convince you it’s time to call (413) 499-0524.

We would love to hear from you!

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

PET ASSISTANCE Elder Services’ Berkshire Senior , JuneJuly 2024 4

Ice Cream Season Is Here!

When temperatures soar, making a person uncomfortably hot, there is nothing like a taste of creamy, flavorful ice cream to cool a person down. The heat of June and July’s weather is enough to make everybody want to yell a familiar line, namely, “I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream!”

This well-known phrase is more than just a call for the yummy, cool confection. Those words are actually from a song of the mid-1920s. According to the website, “Culinary Lore: Food Science, History and Much More,” the song was originally produced by Billy Moll, Robert King, and Howard Johnson. Recorded by Walter Williams and Waring’s Pennsylvanians, the song became a Dixieland jazz standard, according to Culinary Lore. With a few clicks on a computer, one can even bring up the ditty today, go back in time, and listen to it. How cool is that?

In addition, the original name of a popular ice cream favorite, namely Eskimo Pie, happens to be “I-scream bar.”

Ice-cream lovers in Berkshire County are lucky in that there are numerous places to buy ice cream in both cones or cups.

One can frequent several different places that sell ice cream or pick an all-time favorite. It would be hard to beat the variety of soft serve flavors available at Krispy Cones, 585 S. Main St. in Lanesborough. A list hangs close to the ordering counter as well as is posted on the business’s website. There, one will discover 95 flavors ranging from almond, berry burst, and key lime pie to monkey pudding, peanut butter, and tropical kiss. There are also numerous toppings and dips available, as well as burgers, hot dogs, and numerous other food offerings. Picnic tables are available, too. Friendly’s, of course, has been around the Berkshires for a long time. The one still left is located at 841 Dalton Ave. One can eat a

Ice-cream lovers in Berkshire County are lucky

in that there are numerous places to buy ice cream in both cones or cups.

meal there first, then dip into ice cream cones, dishes, or sundaes for dessert. Who could pass up one of their offerings, a Hunka Chunka Peanut Butter Fudge sundae? Oh yeah, and there are Friendly famous drinks, too, including thick fribbles and floats. Founded in Vermont, Ben and Jerry’s has a store at 179 South St. in Pittsfield. One can order cones, sundaes, and milk shakes there, too.

Some ice cream flavors are no longer available, as they have been placed in the company’s flavor graveyard. These are listed on the Ben and Jerry website. A few that did not make it include wavy gravy, turtle soup, and Vermonty python.

One of the very most popular places for ice cream in the Berkshires is right around the corner from many towns, namely Highlawn Farm. It is located in Lee at 535 Summer St. The farm has at least 1,500 acres and sweeping views of the picturesque surrounding countryside.

Driving there for ice cream on a weekend, there’s a good chance one will encounter a long line of people on an open porch, waiting their turns to order from the Farmstead Creamery Shop that is open all year long. Customers order from windows on the side of the building in which the shop is located. Of course, one can also go inside the shop for pints of ice cream, butter, milk, and other

dairy products.

On some days ice cream is sold from a kind of trailer, behind the shop. A visitor must simply follow the crowd to where the reportedly luscious ice cream is sold. There are picnic tables dotting the grassy slope out in back, too. One can sometimes see cows behind the fence, which make the trip to the farm for ice cream even more exciting for kids of all ages.

Amye Gulezian, specialty foods operations manager at Highlawn Farm, is extremely knowledgeable about the farm’s ice cream sold to hundreds of Berkshire County residents as well as tourists.

At least 75,000 scoops of ice cream are sold there annually to the public. That is proof positive that the farm’s ice cream is among the most deliciously popular available in this area. Amye noted there are about 18 flavors of ice cream offered at the farm. They include such flavors such as coffee, chocolate, chocolate chip, ginger, mint chocolate chip, strawberry, and vanilla. Many of the flavors have special names, all invented by farm staff. New seasonal flavors are also invented and

offered. Amye said this summer blueberry rhubarb and lemon poppy seed ice cream will be available, in addition to one more summer flavor that was still undecided at press time.

The farm has 32 employees but that number changes seasonally, Amye explained.

Highlawn Farm has been operating for 101 years by three generations of the Wilde family. The farm celebrated its 100 year anniversary in 2023. All of the thousands of gallons of milk needed to make ice cream, cheese, and so forth on the farm come from 120 Jersey cows. No synthetic hormones to increase milk production are used on the animals. The milk has a high butterfat content and minimal air is put in which results in a high quality ice-cream, according to information released by the farm. The milk is pasteurized right in the production plant on the farm and there are three processing days each week.

All the cows at Highlawn Farm eat high quality food that is grown right on the farm, such as alfalfa, corn silage, grass, hay, and so forth. They are also given minerals and grain.

The pampered cows sleep on waterbeds. They are milked when the cows decide it is time, rather than on a strictly enforced milking schedule.

Highlawn Farm’s animals appear to be cherished cows who are treated with the utmost dignity and respect. The farm’s website notes that “Our cows have a life expectancy that is twice that of many other dairy farms.” The farm also has a small beef herd, in addition to the 120 milking cows.

A comprehensive video that has plenty of information about Highlawn Farm can be reached online by going to watch??v=pfgGzDNEdyU

No matter where one goes for ice cream this summer, it is sure to be a welcome, creamy, delicious treat that’s absolutely great to eat.

ICE CREAM SEASON Elder Services’ Berkshire Senior , JuneJuly 2024 5

Summer Gardening In Raised Beds

An annual raised bed gardening endeavor in Lenox keeps all kinds of flowers, herbs, vegetables, and raspberries growing throughout the summer. The gardeners who grow everything are a group of Independent Living residents at Kimball Farms Life Continuing Care Community. The raised beds are located on the grounds at 235 Walker St. in Lenox.

The 16 raised beds were completely renovated last year, according to Ann Trabulsi, chairman of the raised bed gardening group. New soil was part of the renovation. The rainbow of colors and fragrances among the flowers would tug at the heart of any flower lover. Daffodils, dahlias, marigolds, zinnias, and many other flowers soak up the overhead sun. Nearby, many different vegetables, including tomatoes and zucchini, will, no doubt, make the best salads ever this summer.

Chives, garlic, and all kinds of herbs fill the air with heady fragrances. Herbs, too, that will add crowning touches to salads and other dishes, are part of some of the 16 raised beds fastidiously planted and tenderly cared for by 32 of the residents. Many of these gardeners are very familiar with gardening from past experience or had parents who tended gardens throughout their childhoods. Others developed an interest in gardening when they retired.

The rainbow of colors and fragrances among the flowers would tug at the heart of any flower lover.

Ann Trabulsi has been living in the Kimball Farms Independent Living apartments for nine years. She’s been involved in gardening for eight years and has served as chairman for five of them.

Originally from Brooklyn, she and her late husband moved to the area about 30 years ago.

Ann is quick to point out the raised bed gardening project is “very informal” and offers a social connection in addition to

growing lots of delicious herbs, berries, vegetables, and flowers.

“It is very lightly managed,” she said about the raised gardening.

“People do what they want.” She just tries to keep it all together, she chuckled.

The gardeners help each other.

“The real purpose of the project is that it gets people outdoors and it’s fun,” she said. Her favorite flowers are zinnias. Referring to last year, Ann said, “We had

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way too many tomatoes.” So the gardeners placed tomatoes in large bowls in the main hallway for non-gardening residents to help themselves and enjoy.

Sue Colker, who grew up in New York State, moved to Pittsfield in 1965. She and her husband, Dr. Joel Colker, have lived in the Kimball Farms Independent Living apartments for four and a half years. She’s one of the enthusiastic raised bed gardeners. Sue said she has always had a garden, even when her children were little. Her own father, too, grew a garden when she was growing up. Between them, Sue and her husband have five children, she said. One daughter, Laura Feakes, is a “wonderful gardener,” Sue said. Laura is an Information and Referral Specialist at Elder Services of Berkshire County, Inc. She has often shared her gardening prowess with her mother. “We’d be lost without Laura,” Sue said. One son lives outside of Boston, two additional adult children reside in Los Angeles, and another lives in Connecticut, Sue explained. There are also 12 grandchildren and five great grands.

Last year, the tallest flowers in the raised beds were Sue’s sunflowers. They towered over everything and were the “talk of the gardens,” she chuckled. She also planted marigolds and zinnias last year. Sue plants vegetables for plenty of salads. “We have one big meal a day,” she said. “I don’t do much cooking

SUMMER GARDENING Elder Services’ Berkshire Senior , JuneJuly 2024 6 Dr. Andrew J.
Au.D., F - A A A 510 Nor th Street, Suite 9, Pit t sfield, M A 01201 (413) 443-4800 • greylockaudiolog
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Raised beds at Kimball Farms in full bloom summer 2023

anymore.” Peas, green beans, and chives make great salad additions. Plus, she said, fresh arugula is in demand. She and her husband love it in their salads.

Very predominant in one of the raised gardening beds are raspberries. They were originally planted by Ron Stewart, a resident of the Kimball Farms Independent Living section for eight years.

“I bought two pots of raspberries,” he said and they spread annually. Now the entire raised bed is just about filled with them.

Ron also grew basil, chives, and tomatoes last year. He speculated that perhaps the preponderance of last year’s tomato overflow harvest was due to new soil. He does not plan to plant tomatoes this year.

Ron said last year he let other gardeners know they were welcome to come and eat all the berries they wanted but to refrain from bringing them home in containers. “We got about seven or eight quarts” from the bushes, he noted. It rained so much last summer that the gardeners hardly had to use the available hoses to water their crops.

The entire gardening project “is a nice thing,” Ron said. He and

the sides are wide enough to sit on,” she said. She planted several herbs, using just half a bed. Anna is a member of Herb Associates at the Berkshire Botanical Garden. In past years, while living in a house in Stockbridge, she and another friend, who also grew herbs in Alford, even ran a business, Country Herbs, and sold to the public. The first day the business opened, Anna recalled, it snowed. “A truck driver was our first customer,” she recalled. “He wanted to buy some herbs for his wife.” So the business owners dusted the snow off the herbs and made their first sale. Last year, some of the things Anna planted were chives, lavender, parsley, summer savory and sage. Lavender, she said, is an excellent moth repellent. It also likes to be planted against stone. “Lavender oil is very strong if not left out in the air,” Anna explained.

bags was found tucked away in the closets and still retained their fragrance. She has been interested in herbs for a long time. Her greatest helper with any “heavy work,” pertaining to the herbs, is her husband, Starbuck. (Anna quickly added that his name has no connection with the coffee company that has the same first name.) Anna is growing herbs again this year. She said the raised beds section at Kimball Farms is “a wonderful, hidden away place.” Near the raised beds is a covered pavilion with chairs for lounging and a grill to cook hamburgers and hotdogs. The view, of course, is of the colorful and lush berries, flowers, and vegetables, all grown by gardeners who enjoy a shared love of growing things as well as socializing with each other. It would be hard to find a better win/win arrangement anywhere.

his wife moved to the Berkshires from Birmingham, Alabama in 2002. Prior to retirement 25 years ago, he worked for the Social Security Administration. They also lived in Baltimore, Maryland, for 20 years, he said. The Stewarts used to visit a friend of his wife’s who lived in the east. They visited Lenox many times and enjoyed all the cultural activities here, he said. Then, in 2002, they made Lenox their home. They found a house and there were raspberry bushes there, too. Then they moved to Kimball Farms Life Continuing Care Retirement Community.

“They are very easy to grow,” he said, of the raspberries. Ron said he used to volunteer serving lunches and cleaning up afterward at the Lenox Community Center for eight years. He said he has been part of the raised bed gardening group for about “five or six years.”

Anna Smith, an expert on growing herbs, participated in the raised bed gardening project last year for the first time. “The beds are nice and high,” she said, “and are well designed and sturdy and made of stone. Gardeners are able to easily reach over to their plants. One is able to walk all around the beds, as well, plus

She used to volunteer at Naumkeag, a Gilded Age cottage that looks more like a mansion. It was built in 1885-1886 and was built by the Choate family. Anna noted that lavender in cloth

In addition to Independent Living, the Kimball Farms Life Continuing Care Retirement Community includes Assisted Living, Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation, and Memory Care.

SUMMER GARDENING Elder Services’ Berkshire Senior , JuneJuly 2024 7
Ann Trabulsi, chairman of Kimball Farm’s Raised Bed Gardening Group

Volunteer Recognition

In April Elder Services celebrated the commitment and dedication of our volunteers with luncheons that left no one hungry! The celebrations were held at three locations – the Claire Teague Senior Center in Great Barrington, the Ralph Froio Senior Center in Pittsfield and the Adams’ Senior Center. To thank them for their commitment, volunteers were presented with a certificate and a small present in appreciation for their efforts in promoting senior independence throughout Berkshire County. A great time was had by all. THANK YOU again to all our volunteers—we couldn’t do what we do without you!

HOME IMPROVEMENT Elder Services’ Berkshire Senior , JuneJuly 2024 2024 8

Dear Friend of Elder Services:

877 South Street Suite 4 East, Pittsfield, MA 01201

Telephone (413) 499-0524 or 1-800-544-5242

Fax (413) 442-6443


In 2024 Elder Services celebrates our 50th Anniversary of providing services to Berkshire seniors, caregivers and individuals with disabilities. Founded as the Berkshire Homecare Corporation in June of 1974, Elder Services now employs 140 individuals who support a wide variety of programs and services throughout Berkshire County. We have helped countless numbers of people over the years remain in their homes. You, or someone you know, may have benefitted from our programs and services.

This year, we not only honor our past but also look forward to a bright future. We are proud to announce that by August 1, our Agency will relocate its administrative offices to the Clock Tower building in Pittsfield. We will lease space on the first and second floors. The space has a bright, contemporary feel with open architecture and exposed wooden beams. In addition to being centrally located in the heart of Pittsfield, the space provides easier access for our clients via a ground floor entrance in the front of the building.

While we look forward to a bright new future in our new space, the reality is that this year is the year that supplemental pandemic related funding ends. This reduction in funding, coupled with a challenging 2025 state budget, means that our funding is decreasing at a time when the demand for most of our programs and services is at unprecedented levels.

Seniors in our community face issues that Elder Services continues to address but we need your help to provide even more services to more clients. Your financial assistance is crucial to our mission of supporting seniors in Berkshire County to continue living independently in the home of their choice. If you can, we appreciate your donation in any amount to ensure the increasing number of Berkshire seniors continue to have access to the programs and services that help them live the most fulfilling lives possible.

Thank you in advance for your gift in support of the many valuable programs offered by Elder Services.

Here are ways to donate:

1. Visit for an online donation form

2. Send your check in the enclosed envelope

3. Call Elder Services’ Fiscal Department at (413) 499-0524

Please call us any time if you are interested in serving as a volunteer. Your assistance will be both rewarding and much appreciated.

Thank you again.


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Berkshire County Farmers’ Markets 2024

Find the bounty of Massachusetts Agriculture at your Local Farmers’ Market! You can expect to find a wide array of fresh vegetables and fruits. You may also find baked goods, maple products, honey, eggs, farmstead cheeses, apple cider, jams and jellies, flowers, and even turkey and meats.

To make the Farmers’ Markets more affordable to all, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts offers Senior Farmers’ Market Coupons that can be exchanged for eligible foods (fruits, vegetables, honey, and fresh-cut herbs). The

coupons are usually not available until after July 1 – check with your local Council on Aging or Senior Center after that date. To be eligible for the coupons you must be 60 years of age or older, or disabled and living in senior housing where congregate nutrition services are provided, and your gross household income (i.e. before taxes are withheld) must be no more than 185 % of the U.S. Poverty Income Guidelines. The 2024 guidelines: 1 person household, $27,861/yr ($2,322/m); 2 persons $37,814/ yr ($3,152/m). Farmers’ Market Senior Coupons are worth $50 per booklet ($5 each coupon) and are used like cash with participating

farmers at certified Farmers’ Markets. Look for the Farmers’ Market Coupons Accepted sign at individual farmers’ stalls at the market. If you do not see the sign, just ask the grower if he/she participates in the program. No change is given for the coupons, so be sure to use the full amount of every coupon with each purchase. The coupons expire October 31st.

Many Farmers’ Markets are able to accept EBT-SNAP benefits. To use your SNAP benefits at the Market find the Manager’s or Information Booth when you arrive. Tell the person at the Booth you would like to use your EBT card at the market and

they will explain how it works. If you are a SNAP household you will be automatically enrolled in HIP, the Healthy Incentives Program and may be eligible to receive $1 back on your card for each dollar you spend on eligible fruits and vegetables, up to a monthly limit. Check out mass. gov/hip for more information. Another program available at some Farmers’ Markets that supplements SNAP benefits is Market Match – it matches purchases paid for by SNAP up to $30 each week. For more information about Market Match go to www.berkshireagventures. org/market-match-fund-inaction-1. SNAP benefits can also

FARMERS’ MARKETS Elder Services’ Berkshire Senior , JuneJuly 2024 10

be used for online ordering at some markets.

In addition to the established Farmers’ Markets listed below, the Berkshire Mobile Farmers’ Market brings locally grown food to areas in our community of low income and/or low access to fresh food. Payment is on a tiered/ sliding scale to make shopping at the market affordable for all. A customer’s payment tier is based on their self-disclosed information – they can choose to pay either retail price, use SNAP/HIP/Senior Coupons, or pay nothing at all (using the market as a food pantry). They strive to make shopping at the market a stigma-free, welcoming experience. For the schedule, go to

Berkshire Area/Lanesboro Farmers’ Market

Berkshire Mall South Parking Lot; Route 8

Until November - Saturdays, 8 am - 2 pm See them on Facebook

WIC / Senior Coupons Accepted, SNAP-EBT/HIP accepted by select vendors only

Great Barrington Farmers’ Market

18 Church Street

Until November - Saturdays, 9 a.m. - 1 p.m

WIC & Senior Coupons, & EBTSNAP/HIP Accepted, offers Market Match, also on Facebook

Lee Farmers’ Market

Town Green next to Town Hall & First Congregational Church

Until October – Saturdays 10am – 2pm

WIC & Senior Coupons, EBTSNAP/HIP Accepted, offers Market Match

See them on Facebook

Lenox Farmers’ Market

134 Main St, St Ann’s Church

Until September - Fridays, 11am - 3 p.m.

WIC, Senior Coupons, EBT-SNAP Accepted by select vendors only

New Marlborough Farmers’ Market

Village Green (134 HarstvilleNew Marlboro Rd)

Sundays 10am -1pm through

September 1st

WIC, Senior Coupons Accepted On Facebook

North Adams Farmers’ Market

Main St, until October, Saturdays, 9 a.m. – 1 pm

WIC, Senior Coupons & EBTSNAP/HIP Accepted, offers Market Match

www.northadamsfarmersmarket. com

Otis Farmers’ Market

2000 East Otis Rd-Papa’s Food & Fuel, Rt 23

Until October - Saturdays, 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.

WIC & Senior Coupons Accepted, SNAP-EBT/HIP accepted with select vendors only

Pittsfield/Downtown Farmers’ Market

On the Common across from the First Street Parking Lot

Until October - Saturdays, 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.

WIC, Senior Coupons, & EBTSNAP/HIP Accepted, offers Market Match, also on Facebook

Sheffield Farmers’ Market

Old Parish Church Parking Lot (125 Main St)

Until October - Fridays, 3 – 6 p.m.

WIC & Senior Coupons, EBTSNAP/HIP Accepted, offers Market Match see them on Facebook

NEW! Stockbridge Farmers’ Market

Town Hall, 50 Main St. Wed 3 – 6pm July 24 – August 28. Offers SNAP

West Stockbridge Farmers’ Market

Foundry Green on Harris StreetVillage Center

Until October 6 - Thursdays, 3 - 6 p.m.

WIC, Senior Coupons, & EBTSNAP/HIP Accepted, offers Market Match See them on Facebook

Williamstown Farmers’ Market

Spring Street parking lot

Until October - Saturdays, 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.

WIC, Senior Coupons, HIP, SNAP Accepted, offers Market Match


The GenerationStreaming

As a child, I vividly recall watching Batman, slowly lowered into a tank of hungry sharks while the Penguin explained his evil plot. The narrator would interject, “Will Batman escape in time? Will Robin save him? Tune in next week, same bat time, same bat channel, to find out.” I’d wait anxiously to see how the Dynamic Duo resolved this cliffhanger.

But today, the era of cliffhangers has faded. Enter streaming video services—an on-demand model that grants unparalleled freedom and flexibility. You can now watch whatever show you want, whenever you want. If the popcorn’s ready, you can even pause, fast forward, and rewind. The term “binging” aptly describes someone who spends hours watching episode after episode of their favorite show.

To access streaming video services, you’ll need an Internet connection and a smart TV equipped with a streaming media player. Popular options include Roku (pronounced row-koo), Apple TV, or an Amazon Fire Stick. Smart TVs often come with built-in media players, but older TVs can be adapted using plugin devices. A quick search on Amazon reveals prices ranging from $20 to $50 for these devices.

The next step is choosing a streaming service provider. Keep in mind that nothing is truly free—each provider requires an annual or monthly subscription fee. Most allow you to try their service for free. While you can have multiple providers, the subscription fees add up.

Here’s a rundown of popular providers and their content:

Netflix: Known for its vast library of movies, TV shows, and original programming, Netflix caters to a wide range of tastes and preferences.

Amazon Prime Video:

Included with an Amazon Prime subscription, Prime Video offers a diverse collection of movies, TV series, and exclusive content.

Disney+: Perfect for fans of Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, and National Geographic, Disney+ provides access to beloved classics and new releases.

Hulu: With a mix of current TV episodes, original series, and a vast library of on-demand content, Hulu offers something for everyone.

HBO Max: Home to HBO’s premium programming and additional movies, series, and exclusive originals, HBO Max delivers top-quality entertainment.

Consider your viewing preferences when making a choice. Basic subscription costs usually range from $8 to $15 per month. Depending on your show preferences, one provider may suffice for even the most avid TV watcher.

Setting up streaming services can be daunting initially, but once it’s done, navigating through shows becomes a breeze. The simple-to-use remote control lets you pick up where you left off, and your most-watched shows will be conveniently accessible.

So farewell to the days of cliffhangers—just wait a minute, and the next episode begins. As for Batman, fear not! When trouble strikes, Robin swoops in at the last second, delivering a resounding “BAM!” and “KAPOW!” to save the day!

TECHNOLOGY CORNER Elder Services’ Berkshire Senior , JuneJuly 2024 11

Berkshire Senior Television

ESBCI’s Kayla Brown-Wood interviews Berkshire Humane Society’s John Perreualt and BFAIR’s Laura Baran and Kelsey Taylor on the new Pet Food collaboration.

Currently airing on PCTV, Channel 1301 Access Pitts eld

Currently airing on PCTV Channel 1301 Access Pittsfield

Broadcast schedule:

Broadcast schedule: PCTV channel 1301

Mondays at 5:00 p.m. ▪ Wednesday at 8:30 a.m. Thursdays at 11:30 a.m. ▪ Saturdays at Noon

Mondays at 5 p.m., Tuesdays at 3 p.m., Thursdays at 11 a.m. & Saturday 11:30 a.m. Or watch online, ON DEMAND on

Thank you to our friends at PCTV for all their help in making Berkshire Senior TV accessible to our community.


Rep. Tricia Farley-Bouvier

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

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

ELDER FUN Elder Services’ Berkshire Senior , JuneJuly 2024 12 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 BROWER, PT SHAUNNA HOULE DPT RYAN TUGGE Y PTA ROBERT PADUANO, PT BRENT SYLVIA PT JACKIE FARRELL , DPT THOMAS COONEY, DPT We are hiring Enhancing the lives of people living with dementia and their families. We all need to have a sense of belonging in a community where we feel safe, secure, and valued. Home Instead’s Dementia Day Program, known as Friends Club is a place where all people can be themselves, and where we build relationships to know the person beneath the dementia. Come and see what the Friends Club has to offer:
Located in our newly-renovated space in the former Stanley Club at 66 Wendell Avenue, Pittsfield.
Nutritious meals, snacks, shared mealtime experiences.
Activities and events based on personal interests, needs and abilities.
Social connectedness to our community
Music, movement, creative arts, conversations, volunteering, special events and more 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

Editorial Board Members Wanted

Do you look forward to reading Berkshire Senior every other month? Do you have a passion for issues that are

Are you creative? If you’d like to have input into the

and content of Berkshire Senior we’d love to have you serve on our editorial board! We meet once every other month for about 60 minutes via Zoom. If you are interested, please contact Christopher McLaughlin, Executive Director at (413) 499-0524.

TAX CREDIT Elder Services’ Berkshire Senior , JuneJuly 2024 13 The Process of preplanning allows just that... 4 0 MAP L E W O OD A VE NUE • P I T TSFI E L D , MA 0 1 2 0 1 C A L L U S : 413.445.5988 P r oud aff iliat e of Car r iag e Se r vices Car o line R Sulli v an, Licensed F une r al Dir ect or & Manag ing P ar t ne r Have you started thinking about being remembered the way you want to be? F r iends he lping fr iends since 1915 These are just some of the things asked in our full, comprehensive Pre Planning guide. To request, Pleace call us 413-445-5988 or visit for more information Full Legal Name Address Sex Race Birthdate Birth place Education Single q Married q Widowed q Divorced q Name of Sporce Date Married Place Married Occupation Mother’s Name Fater’s Name If a veteran, Date of Service Scan QR code 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 ou 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! tablished in 2003 • Medical Appointments • Holiday Get Together s • Dinner • Shopping
important to


Thank You To Our Donors:

The following donations were received between March 1, 2024 and April 30, 2024. Donations received on or after April 30, 2024 will appear in the next issue of Berkshire Senior.

Memorial Donations

In Memory of: Barbara Westermann

Joan & John Demartino

In Memory of: Mary Markham

Lynn & Ken Myers

David & Katherine Yon

Debra J. Melle

William & Rose Ann P. Sturgeon

Dwyer Funeral Home

In Memory of: William Broderick

Katherine Broderick

In Memory of: John W. Korte, Jr.

Alan Chamberland

Michael Albrecht

Marte Singerman

Elder Independence Donations

Robert & Katharyn Barnes

Wallace G. Morrison, Jr.

Stop & Shop- Community Bag Program

Mark & Karen Daigle

Robert & Georgiana J. Bartini

Donald & Paula Gamache

Charities Aid Foundation of America

Richmond Congregational Church Diaconate

Suzanne M. Crerar

Margaret O’Connor

Edwin J. Neumuth, Jr.

Alexander & Judith Nardacci

Bernice Shainman

Paul & Sandra Merlino

John J. Mazurkiewicz

Lois M. Nangle

Edward Olszewski

Elizabeth M. Kruczkowski

Meals on Wheels


Thursday Morning Club

Stop & Shop Bloomin’ 4 Good Club

SHINE Donations

Cynthia M. Armstrong

Fuel Donations

Temple Anshe Amunim

“$50 for 50”

Kayla Brown-Wood

Thomas Aldrich, Jr.

DONATIONS Elder Services’ Berkshire Senior , JuneJuly 2024 14 MONUMENTS • MARKERS • LETTERING 413-499-1750 234 Wahconah Street Pittsfield MA 01201 PER SONAL CAR E | COMPANIONS HIP | HOMEK EEPING 15 0 N or th S tre et , Suite 2 5 Pit t s f ield , M A WholeHear thc c om • 413 - 4 6 4 -3 6 9 4 Fully Licensed & Insured Private Non- Medical Home Care Agency Locally Owned and O perated by an R N Whole H eart H ome C are Provides: • In Home Care for Seniors • Transportation Services for Seniors Whole Heart Homecare LLC offers non-medical in-home care for seniors l ving in their own home Our sk lled and knowledgeab e caregivers are trustworthy, dependab e and kindhearted and prov de the assistance needed to ensure a happy and healthy ife t can be chal enging to ad ust to l ving independent y after natura events like aging, illness or disability WE AR E NOW HIR ING! APPLY TODAY! Whole Heart Home care is one of the only home care age ncies that provides transportation outside of Be rkshire County

Home Care Services

Elder Services of Berkshire County, Inc.’s (ESBCI) largest program is our Home Care Program. We currently have 15 Client Services Coordinators on staff who will meet with you at your home to discuss an array of home care services that we offer. Many wonder what this visit involves, what questions will I be asked, does this home visit cost anything?

Our Client Services Coordinators will meet you where you are, meaning there is no need to come to our office, arrange transportation or worry about leaving your home. Referrals for Elder Services’ Home Care Program come from many sources including hospitals, doctor’s offices, skilled nursing facilities, family and you can even make a referral for yourself. Our Intake and Referral Department staff are friendly, knowledgeable and answer the phone when you call. No need to press a number to speak with a live person!

One of our Client Services Coordinators will call you within one day of receiving your referral. They will arrange a convenient time to come to your home and discuss our Home Care Program, but are also knowledgeable about public benefits which include Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), fuel assistance and Mass Health along with other ESBCI programs such as Volunteer Services, Money Management, Family Caregiver Support, Options Counseling and Serving Health Insurance Needs of Everyone (SHINE). Our Client Services Coordinators can also come to the hospital or Skilled Nursing Facility to discuss services you may need to be discharged home or assist with coordinating services when you are home.

During this initial home visit the Client Services Coordinator

Our Client Services Coordinators will meet you where you are, meaning there is no need to come to our office.

will ask you about your medical history, if you’ve had any recent hospitalizations, are you able to prepare your own meals, clean or bathe on your own, who are your informal supports and what your goals are. The Client Services Coordinator will also ask for your list of current medications and your household income. Home Care services may be available at no cost or cost shared on a sliding fee scale, which is based on your household’s monthly income and can assist the Client Services Coordinator in determining if you may be eligible for additional public benefits. The Client Services Coordinator will review

the services we offer within the Home Care Program such as homemaking, personal care services, home delivered meals and personal emergency response systems. Please feel welcome to have someone with you at this visit if that makes you more comfortable. Sometimes having extra support from a loved one can be reassuring and provide additional support. If you are eligible for services, the Client Services Coordinator will then discuss an appropriate service plan based on your needs. And if there is something ESBCI cannot assist with, the Client Services Coordinator will provide you

with other possible resources and options.

There is no cost for the Client Services Coordinator to visit with you, so if you’re not eligible for services or aren’t quite ready for services there is no charge for this initial home visit and assessment. Sharing what we do and providing other resources and options is also an important part of what we provide to seniors in Berkshire County.

For more information about our programs and Home Care Services please visit www.esbci. org or call our Intake and Referral Department at 413-499-0524.

HOME CARE SERVICES Elder Services’ Berkshire Senior , JuneJuly 2024 15



Elder Services of Berkshire County, Inc. NUTRITION PROGRAM



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 Meal Site. 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 Senior Nutrition Program. Those 59 or under are welcome at the required fee of $8.00 per meal.


Elder Services now provides medically tailored meals (MTMs). MTMs help meet the nutritional needs of seniors with health conditions that require specific diets such as diabetes and heart or kidney disease.

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

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

Elder Services’ Berkshire Senior , JuneJuly 2024 16 MEALS ON WHEELS What defines us? Compassion. Integrity. Community Integritus Healthcare. Because you are a part of us. PR OVIDING C ARE YOU C AN C OUNT ON: • Short-term recovery stays • Physical, occupational & speech therapy • Long-term, inpatient skilled care • Respite stays • Hospice care FAIR VIEW C OMMONS HILLCRE S T C OMMONS KIMB ALL FARMS NURSING C ARE CENTER MT GREYLOCK EXTENDED C ARE NOR TH AD AMS C OMMONS WILLIAMS T O WN C OMMONS 800-445-4560 MOLARI provides trusted, quality home care to our neighbors in Berkshire County 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 We are committed to providing the best possible solution for your home healthcare needs.
Assistance with Personal Care Medication Reminders Meal Preparation Light Housekeeping Assistance with Transportation Companionship Laundry Services Shopping and Errands Respite Care Overnight Care CITY/TOWN PHONE ADDRESS MEAL TIMES DAYS MEALS SERVED ADAMS 743-8333 ADAMS VISITOR CENTER 3 Hoosac Street 11:30 am Mon thru Fri BECKET 623-8934 TOWN HALL Route 8 11:00 am Tue, Thu CHESHIRE 743-9719 SENIOR CENTER 119 School Street 11:30 am Mon thru Fri DALTON 684-2000 SENIOR CENTER 40 Field Street. Ext. 12:00 pm Mon, Thu GT. BARRINGTON 528-4118 CLAIRE TEAGUE SENIOR CTR. 909 South Main Street 11:30 am Mon thru Fri LANESBORO 448-2862 TOWN HALL 83 North Main Street 11:30 am Tues, Thu LEE 394-4160 SENIOR CENTER 21 Crossway Village 11:45 am Mon thru Fri LENOX 637-5535 COMMUNITY CENTER 65 Walker Street 12:00 pm Mon thru Fri NORTH ADAMS 662-3125 SPITZER CENTER 116 Ashland Street 11:45 am Mon thru Fri PITTSFIELD 499-9346 RALPH J. FROIO SENIOR CTR. 330 North Street 11:30 am Mon thru Fri PITTSFIELD-
CONG. KNESSET ISRAEL 16 Colt Road 12:00 pm Mon, Tue, Thu SHEFFIELD 229-7037 SENIOR CENTER 25 Cook Road 12:00 pm Wed & Fri STOCKBRIDGE 298-4170 x263 SENIOR CENTER 50 Main Street 11:30 am Tues, Wed STOCKBRIDGE 298-3222 HEATON COURT 5 Pine Street 11:30 am Thu WILLIAMSTOWN 458-8350 HARPER CENTER 118 Church Street 11:30 am
KOSHER* 442-2200
Mon, Wed, Fri

Staying Safe This Summer

Summer is a great time to enjoy outdoor activities and warm sunny days, but it is important to keep your health a number one priority. Here are some important things to keep in mind so that you can enjoy your summer safely.

Protect yourself from mosquito and tick bites and the illnesses they can carry. Mosquitoes and ticks can spread diseases that make you sick if they bite you, such as West Nile virus and Lyme disease. The best way to avoid these illnesses is to protect yourself from bites when you are outdoors. Both ticks and mosquitoes are often found around vegetation, including in your own backyard. Peak biting times for mosquitoes are from just before dusk until dawn. Ticks seeking a host to feed on are most active April to October. Wear long

sleeves, long pants and socks to reduce exposed skin outdoors, and use an EPA-approved insect repellent. Light colored clothing makes ticks easier to spot. Repair torn screens to keep mosquitoes outdoors and remove standing water around the house to prevent them from breeding. Check yourself and pets for ticks as soon as you come inside. If you find a tick attached to your skin, remove it promptly using fine-tipped tweezers. Call your doctor if you see a rash or feel like you have the flu, especially if you have been exposed to ticks. For more information go to www. Protect your skin and eyes.

Older people are more susceptible to vision loss, so wear sunglasses to block your eyes from harmful UV rays. Protect your skin from damage by wearing wide-brimmed hats and sunscreen of SPF 30 or

higher that protects against both UVA and UVB radiation. The sun is strongest between 10am – 4pm so plan activities early in the morning or later in the day. Know the side effects of your prescriptions - some medications can cause increased sensitivity to the sun. Be sure to review with your doctor or pharmacist if you have any concerns.

Prevent trips and falls.

Uneven patio pavers, outdoor rugs, slippery pool decks and sandy beaches can all cause seniors to lose their balance. Keep yard and patio areas well lit and wear comfortable, well-fitting shoes. Use a walking device if your gait is unsteady. Keep cool and hydrated.

Seniors are vulnerable to dangerous illnesses like heat exhaustion and heat stroke brought on by extreme heat. When we age, our bodies become

less efficient at regulating temperature because older adults don’t sweat as much. Older adults also store fat differently, which can further complicate heat regulation. Consciously drink more water than usual to avoid dehydration. Limit time in the sun to no more than 1-2 hours. Find a shady spot, go swimming, go to the movies, eat a popsicle! At home, use a fan or air conditioning. During periods of sweltering heat, call your Senior Center to ask about available cooling centers. Be mindful of signs of heat stroke, including confusion, dry skin, headache, nausea, rapid pulse and excessive tiredness. Make sure you seek medical attention immediately if you or someone you know experiences these symptoms. Following basic safety guidelines means you’ll be able to enjoy a nice, long summer full of fun.

Kimball Farms offers all this and

• Financial security and long-term predictability

• Estate preservation

• Quality


“Living at Kimball Farms gives me the freedom to spend my time doing the things I enjoy.”

Elder Services’ Berkshire Senior , JuneJuly 2024 17 STAYING SAFE THIS SUMMER 235 Walker Street, Lenox, MA • 413-614-3400 LIFE
deserve a Life Care community with a reputation for stimulating social experiences, exceptional service, strong staffing and a welcoming, comfortable environment.
what your care needs are, the best will be available.
No matter
care no matter what your health care needs are
Guaranteed access to health care accommodations
Great personal peace of mind
The gift of a lifetime for your children
2013 GOLD To
more, see more
meet people who do more, please
413-614-3400 or visit
Dave, Kimball Farms Life Care Resident

June is Elder Abuse Awareness Month

June is Elder Abuse Awareness Month and June 15 is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, a day recognized to highlight awareness of elder abuse. As I reflect upon this upcoming World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, I wish to discuss emotional abuse, a type of abuse that is often underreported. Unlike physical abuse or financial exploitation, emotional abuse is often not criminal and has no physical evidence. There are no broken bones, bruises, or an emptied bank account. It is invisible. Oftentimes, people do not know it is occuring unless they witness it firsthand. It may seem that emotional abuse is not as serious as physical abuse or other types of abuse, but the impacts can be just as permanent and debilitating.

Emotional abuse is creating emotional pain, anguish, or distress through threats, intimidation, and humiliation. Emotional abuse manifests itself in many ways both verbal and nonverbal. Some examples of verbal abuse are yelling and screaming, belittling, talking down to an older adult, intimidating, name calling, blaming, and embarrassing an older adult in front of others.

Some examples of nonverbal emotional abuse include not talking to an older adult, taking away needed assistive devices, isolating, ignoring, limiting access to basic necessities, and keeping grandchildren or other loved ones away.

When we think of emotional abuse, it is important to understand how the behavior affects the older adult. We know some couples or families who communicate loudly or by screaming and yelling at each other. If the older adult is a participant, able to self protect and not impacted in a

significant way, then it would not be considered emotional abuse. However, if the older adult is impaired, unable to self protect, and experiences impact, then it would be considered emotional abuse.

Emotional abuse is often under-reported for many reasons. The older adult may be unable to report the abuse due to dementia, speech and memory problems, or confusion. An older adult may feel embarrassment at being vulnerable or unable to self protect. Many times the abuser is a family member and the older adult may be protective, not wanting to get their son, daughter, or spouse into trouble. They may fear retaliation or that the abuse will get worse. Sometimes when an older adult is dependent upon others for care, they may tolerate the abuse if the alternative is a nursing home. Isolation—either by the abuser or where an older adult lives—can also be a huge barrier.

Since emotional abuse tends to be “invisible” and often the impacts are not obvious, it is important to be aware of the signs. So, what should we be looking for? Be aware of sudden changes in mood, suicidal expressions, becoming withdrawn, expressions of hopelessness, evasiveness, self harming, changes in eating, sleep pattern changes, increased depression, cowering, hypervigilance, avoiding eye contact, and changes in cognitive status, emotional, medical, or physical well-being. Rarely, do we see emotional abuse in isolation. Many times, there are other forms of abuse also present. Often emotional abuse is seen alongside physical and sexual abuse, self neglect, neglect, and financial exploitation. Therefore, it is important to not only be aware of the direct signs of emotional

abuse mentioned above, but the more indirect signs that are associated with other forms of abuse. An older adult who has poor hygiene, has unexplained bruises or injuries, has an unkept home, lacks basic necessities they should be able to afford, or has untreated medical conditions will often be experiencing emotional abuse. Who are the majority of people who are responsible for emotional abuse on an older adult? Caregivers and family, particularly spouses and children. Abusers will often share similar characteristics such as alcohol and drug use, mental illness, stress, aggressive behavior, and narcissism. Some abusers may not even recognize how their actions are abusive or are affecting the older adult.

What can be done? Risk of abuse cannot be eliminated; however, there are things that can lower the risk and mitigate its effects. Staying involved with community organizations or groups can lessen isolation and give more opportunities to reach out for help, as can being aware of

people in an older adult’s life and talking to an older adult about their interactions. Put succinctly: Stay Active, Stay in Touch, Check In, and Avoid Isolation. If you are a caregiver, be sure to take care of yourself and give yourself respite when you are feeling overwhelmed and stressed. If you recognize any of your own behaviors that may be abusive, seek counseling. A Call For Help at 877-898-3411 or Massachusetts Behavioral Health Helpline at 833-7732445 are both good resources for those who want to change their interactions by talking about their behaviors and how they can change. The only lasting way to avoid abuse is for the abuser to change. Regardless of stress level or “triggers,” change is the abuser’s responsibility and not that of the older adult. If you or someone you know is the victim of emotional abuse or other forms of abuse, you can file a report by calling the Elder Abuse Hotline at 800-922-2275 or online at

ELDER ABUSE Elder Services’ Berkshire Senior , JuneJuly 2024 18
“Volunteering at


has re-energized me.”

— Jeff Blake, retired MD

ViM Berkshires provides free health care & social service support to some of our most vulnerable community members. Currently seeking doctors, dentists, therapists, bilingual interpreters, drivers, & more!

st. 1931

To learn more, contact Eleanore at evelez@vimberkshires.og.

Ser vice of Monu ment s & Ma rkers 10 0 Wa hcona h St. Pit t sfield, M A 01201 (413) 4 42- 4149 Donna Bre wer, O w ner Ste ven J Bre wer, Director

Step inside any Wingate Living community and you’ll discover how our welcoming, world-class residences are built to elevate everyday life and make you feel right at home without any of the stress of maint aining a home. And if your needs change, we’re here for you every step of the way. See what the good life looks like. Call us today to set up a tour

SENIOR SPOTLIGHT Elder Services’ Berkshire Senior , JuneJuly 2024 19 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 . Sav ino Empire Monu ment s, Inc.
ELDER FUN Elder Services’ Berkshire Senior , JuneJuly 2024 20 North St East St Main St Dalton 413.442.5094 Scan to see our new planning book!

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