Berkshire Senior October-November 2021

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Your Care, Your Home, Your Neighbors

Don’t Get Left Out in the Cold! Elder Protective Services in Berkshire County

Save Money and Energy


Elder Services’ Berkshire Senior, October-November 2021

“I’m just not ready to say goodbye.”

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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.

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


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.

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Berkshire Senior Editorial Board: Deb Aldrich, Bonny DiTomasso, Laura Feakes, Christopher McLaughlin, Kathleen Cleary, Kathleen Phillips and Susan Guerrero Advertising: To place an advertisement in Berkshire Senior, please contact Kate Teutsch at (413) 496-6324 or e-mail advertising@berkshireeagle.com. Berkshire Senior is published bi-monthly by Elder Services of Berkshire County, Inc., 877 South Street, Suite 4E, Pittsfield, MA 01201, 499-0524 or 1-800-544-5242, e-mail: esbc@esbci.org or on the internet at www.esbci.org. NOTICE

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.

By Christopher McLaughlin, Executive Director of Elder Services Hoping you are well as we begin to transition into autumn. The humidity has mostly subsided and cooler, shorter days have replaced longer hotter ones. Enjoy being outdoors while you can….. winter is right around the corner. You are probably very familiar with the term, American Rescue Plan. It is something you may have read about in the newspaper or heard mentioned on the evening news during the past several weeks. The American Rescue Plan, sometimes called the COVID-19 Stimulus Package, is President Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus bill designed to help the United States recover from COVID-19 and significant economic challenges in the wake of the pandemic. Some local communities and human service agencies may have solicited your feedback via forums or surveys on the best ways to use their American Plan Funds. Elder Services is fortunate to be the beneficiary of approximately $1.0 million of American Rescue Plan funding. This funding covers a three-year period and is provided to us for our Area Agency on Aging (AAA) programs. Although our federal programs are the focus on this funding and we have guidelines on how the funds must be spent, we do have some discretion as to how we allocate them. After conferring with our employees, our Advisory Council and councils on aging throughout the county, we decided to allocate our American Rescue Plan funding as follows: • A Technology Navigator to help seniors with technology challenges: cell phones, Zoom, the internet, telehealth, etc. • Respite stays of up to 7 days providing caregivers time away to regroup and reenergize • More Grab n Go meals at local councils on aging for those who do not wish to dine on site • A Council on Aging/ Transportation Liaison to serve as a liaison between Elder Services and the councils on aging and to help seniors secure transportation for appointments • Increased legal subsidies in response to the end of the eviction moratorium, unemployment issues and other legal and housing challenges • A full time dietician and medically tailored (diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease) and ethnic meals. We do not currently offer medically tailored or ethnic meals. • Funds to replenish council on aging food pantries, which, in some cases are running low • A Medical Navigator to accompany seniors to medical appointments • More evidenced based programs like Matter of Balance If everything goes according to plan, we will be able to offer these programs and services in Berkshire County for the next three years. Unfortunately, it is unlikely the funding will continue after three years and most of these services are likely to end in October 2024. We are both happy and grateful to be able to offer three years of enhanced services for seniors in Berkshire County. We will keep you updated on the status of the implementation of our American Rescue Plan initiatives. Until next time be good, be kind and be careful.

Contents

Don’t Get Left Out In The Cold.................................... 4 Donations .....................................................................12 Elder Protective Services in Berkshire County ....... 5 Giving Thanks ..............................................................14 Apples...Apples...Apples .............................................. 6 COVER PHOTO: Hello Fall.......................................................................... 7 Maria Slonski, a tenant at Providence Court and her caregiver from Molari Care Services, Yolanda SIdway. Both women enjoyed a late summer Save Money And Energy .............................................. 9 Health BBQ for the tenants at this Supportive Housing site, hosted by Elder MMMP Celebrates Its 30th Year.................................. 9 Services of Berkshire County, Inc.

Volume 39, Number 5 October 2021 The bi-monthly newspaper for Berkshire County seniors

FREE

Elder Services’ Berkshire Senior, October-November 2021

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.

Elder Services and the American Rescue Plan

ELDER SERVICES UPDATE

Mission Statement

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ASSISTANCE Elder Services’ Berkshire Senior, October-November 2021 4

Don’t Get Left Out in the Cold! by Laura Feakes

It’s not too early to think about how you are going to pay your home heating bills all the way through next spring. Plan ahead for the impending cold winter - don’t wait until your heat is not working and your time and options are limited. Look at last year’s bills, then budget your money. Ask to sign up for your utility company’s budget plan. Apply for fuel assistance for help in paying a portion of winter heating bills. Here are some important money saving tips to help you manage your heating budget this coming winter season: B e rk s h i r e C o m m u n i t y Action Council (BCAC, www. bcacinc.org) is the local agency that administers the federal Low Income Home Energy Assistance Prog ram (LIHEAP), known commonly as Fuel Assistance. This program helps low income people pay for part of the cost of their primary source of heat from November 1st through April 30th. Renters whose heat is included in their rent may also be eligible. The income guidelines for the 2021-2022 season are: up to $40,951 for a 1 person household and $53,551 for a 2 person household. To apply for fuel assistance, call BCAC: 413-445-4503 (Main office in Pittsfield), 663-3014 (North County), or you can also use the toll free automated system 1-866216-6200. Appointments for 1st time applicants are usually not scheduled until November and funds are usually not dispersed until November 1st. Green Energy Consumer’s Alliance (https:// g r e e n e n e r g yc o n s u m e r s . org/heatingoil) is a statewide heating oil co-op. Members’ prices are lower than the typical consumer cost for a gallon of home heating oil. The program offers a consistent discount on heating oil from a credible full-service oil dealer. Join by phone at 800-287-3950 x4 (Mon - Fri 9am - 5pm) or on-line at g reenenerg yconsumers.org/ heatingoil. The basic membership

fee is $25 for 1 year, $15 for seniors, free for fuel assistance recipients. Serves all of Berkshire County except Florida and North Egremont. Eversource ( w w w. eve r s o u r c e . c o m ) of fers a discount rate for income-eligible residential customers who participate in certain state and federal assistance programs and whose income falls within 175% of federal poverty guidelines (1 person household $22,540; $30,485 for 2 persons). Eligible Programs include: Emergency Aid to the Elderly, Disabled and Children (EAEDC); Supplemental Security Income (SSI); MassHealth (Medicaid); Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Public/Subsidiz ed Housing, and some VA benefit prog rams. Applications are available on-line or call Eversource to request one: 1- 877659-6326. If you have a verified financial hardship in which your income is within 60% of the state median income ($40,951 for a 1 person household and $53,551 for a 2 person household). Eversource offers New Start, an arrearage management program. New Start allows income eligible residential customers to earn past due balance forgiveness. For more information call 1-877-9632632. Translation services are available. Berkshire Gas Company (BGC, www.berkshire gas. com) offers budget payment plans allowing customers more affordable payments by averaging higher winter bills with lower summer bills. Customers with overdue charges can possibly enter into an installment payment plan. BGC also offers discounted delivery charges t o l ow - i n c o m e c u s t o m e r s who receive public assistance benefits and meet income limits. Utility companies enroll eligible customers automatically, or customers can apply directly. For more information and to find out if you are eligible for these programs, call the Customer Care Center: 1-800-292-5012. T he Salvation Ar my

(https://massachusetts. s a l v a t i o n a r m y. o r g / ) administers the Good Neighbor Energy Fund (www. magoodneighbor.org). The GNEF helps qualified Massachusetts residents pay electric, gas, and oil bills when, due to temporary financial difficulty, they can’t meet their energy expenses and they aren’t eligible for state or federal assistance. It is available from January 2nd until funds run out. Income for either the prior twelve months or the past month (times 12 months for a total annual figure) must fall between 60 – 80% percent of the state’s median income levels. The income guidelines for the 2021-2022 season are: 1 person household $40,952 - $54,600; 2 person $53,552 - $71,400) For more information about eligibility criteria and to apply, call Pittsfield Corps 413-442-0624 (298 West St) or North Adams Corps 663-7987 (393 River St). Those who qualify may receive up to $250 per household per heating season. MassSave (www.masssave. com) is an energy savings program for Massachusetts’ homeowners and renters. It offers no-cost home energy assessments to help homeowners make home improvements that save money, electricity and heating fuel. To see which rebates, loans, home energy assessments, or other energy programs are available visit the website or call 1-866-5277283. Veterans’ Services has a state program known as Chapter 115 benefits that provides cash and medical assistance to lowincome Massachusetts wartime veterans and their families who are in need of immediate help, including help with fuel. To determine eligibility visit the Massachusetts Veteran Benefit Calculator (https://massvetben. org). It helps residents who have served in the military quickly and easily determine if they may be eligible for financial assistance. You can also call the Veterans Services Officer (VSO) in your area: 528-1580 (South County), 662-3040 (North County), and

499-9433 (Pittsfield area). There is a VSO finder online at https:// massvetben.org/find-your-vso. The Heating System Repair and Replacement Program (HEARTWAP) provides heating system repair and replacement services to low-income households. The program is administered by a network of local agencies, in most areas the same agency that administers the Fuel Assistance Program. For more information, call BCAC: 4454503 x 602 or visit their website bcacinc.org/heating-repair. The first priority of the program is to address heating emergencies during the heating season (November-April). Just a reminder... Massachusetts laws prevent utility companies from shutting off service to people in special situations. Senior households (65 yr or older), low-income families with infants, people with serious illnesses who cannot afford to pay their utility bills, tenants whose landlords are responsible for utility bills and low-income people who would be without heat during the winter are eligible for shutoff protection. Call ESBC’s Information & Referral Dept for more information.

Copies of Berkshire Senior are available at no cost at Senior Centers in Dalton, Pittsfield, Great Barrington and Sheffield. It is also available on Elder Service’s web page under the News Section page www.ESBCI.org


by Janis Merrell

the skills or resources necessary to keep themselves safe at home. When I learned that there was a program that could have helped them, I wanted to be part of it. Why do you feel this work is important? Abuse of people over 60 is a serious concern. Often our clients are vulnerable, with no one to advocate for them, and can be at the mercy of those who will do them harm either through intention or lack of knowledge of an older person’s needs. Also, the rights of older adults are sometimes overlooked when others try to help. The wishes and choices of an older person are as important to Elder Protective Services as alleviating abuse. How prevalent is older adult abuse? One in 10 Americans aged 60+ have experienced some form of older adult abuse. Some estimates range as high as five million older adults who are abused each year. One study estimated that only 1 in 24 cases of abuse are reported to authorities. Annual loss by victims of financial abuse is estimated to be at least $36.5 billion. In our service area we received 1,237 reports from July 1, 2020-May 25, 2021. How has COVID-19 changed the ability of older adults and loved ones to reach out? COVID-19 drastically reduced the number of reports that were filed. Older adults were not being seen by family, friends, doctors, visiting nurse associations, or other providers and therefore concerns were being reported and addressed less. Also, some older adults chose to go without needed support and services due to concerns about COVID-19. I worried during that time that due to a lack of contact with others, the older adults had no one to help and no one who knew that they were alone and in need. Even when we did receive reports, older adults and families were reluctant to engage with Elder Protective Services and any subsequent recommended services, due to fear of COVID-19. As people re-engage with their

friends, family, and neighbors after this time of social isolation, we ask that anyone with a concern about an older adult reach out to us. What would you like to tell readers who may know of an older adult at risk but are hesitant to call? Making that call can cause one to feel anxious about “getting someone in trouble” or that you are “reporting on the older adult.” Getting an outside agency involved in what seems like a “personal” or “family matter” may be worrisome. Most abuse or neglect is committed by those closest to an older adult, namely family and friends, and can happen for many reasons. Our goal is to identify the causes and work with the older adult, caregivers, and family to help make the situation better. Elder Protective Services cannot intervene without the consent of the older adult, and it is not about assigning blame. Filing a report could be the key to unlocking the help and services someone needs quickly. When in doubt, give us a call and we can help you decide what to do. Can reports be anonymous? What about when a family member feels their family will know it was them who made the report? All reports are confidential. Your name will not be given to the older adult, family, or others. There are limited situations where your name would be given to a local DA for further investigation in criminal matters. You can still file a report anonymously if you are not comfortable with providing your name. If, however, you feel comfortable letting the older adult know you are filing a report on their behalf, please do so. When we visit an older adult for the first time, they usually ask who reported. As I have said, we cannot share that information. Sometimes that will become a barrier to the older adult accepting help from Elder Protective Services. If you are concerned about an older adult, please call the 24/7 Elder Abuse Hotline at 1-800-9222275.

Elder Services’ Berkshire Senior, October-November 2021

Dean Lagrotteria, LifePath’s Protective Services Regional Director, answers some questions about his role and how Protective Services works in the Berkshires. What is Elder Protecti v e Services? Berkshire Elder Protective Services, a program of LifePath, investigates concerns regarding physical, emotional, and sexual abuse; financial exploitation; neglect; and self-neglect. The purpose of Elder Protective Services is to alleviate or eliminate the effects of abuse of older adults in the least restrictive way while respecting everyone’s right to make their own decisions. Staff work closely with Elder Services of Berkshire County and other community agencies who provide support for older adults and their caregivers. How does the Elder Protective Services process work? The program receives reports of concern from family, friends, police, fire, EMTs, hospitals, and others. When someone has a concern that an older adult’s needs are not being addressed, that an older adult is not addressing their own needs and there is potential for serious harm, or that an older adult is being abused or exploited, a report can be filed with the Central Intake Unit. This statewide unit refers reports to the appropriate local Elder Protective Services program. When a report is assigned to a worker, the worker’s first step is to speak to the older adult to see what the older adult says about the concern, talk with the older adult about their feelings about it, and assess their overall safety. Once the in-person interview occurs, the worker will go about gathering additional information by speaking to people who may know about the older adult’s situation and by reviewing any records that may be pertinent to the concern. Oftentimes, when a report is filed, older adults are worried they have done something wrong or a family member will get into trouble. First, the report is not

against the older adult but on behalf of the older adult. Second, our primary goal is to restore health and safety, not punish those involved. There are times, however, when abuse, neglect, or exploitation causes significant harm to a person and may be a crime. In those instances we refer to the local District Attorney for further investigation, all the while working with the person to establish a safe home, free from abuse. We will work with the older adult to develop a plan to address concerns, such as arranging for a Bill Pay volunteer, who can help protect against financial exploitation, or Meals on Wheels, to help ensure the person has healthy food. The older adult gets to decide what happens and how their situation will be addressed. They can also decide to do nothing and we in Elder Protective Services will respect their wishes and their right to make that decision. How does Elder Protective Services respect an older adult’s wishes and their right to make their own decisions? We seek to understand the root causes of risk and hope to assist older adults in alleviating that risk. However, people have a right to make their own decisions even when family, friends or Elder Protective Services believe a different decision could be made. Just because a person turns 60 doesn’t mean they have less rights than everyone else. We do not and cannot substitute our decisions or choices for that of the older adult’s. We have a mandate to provide protection, but we also are required to respect an older adult’s right to choose. If an older adult does not wish to work with Elder Protective Services or chooses to address the issue on their own and in their own way, Elder Protective Services cannot interfere. How long have you worked in the field and what led you to this role? I have worked in the field for over 10 years, having started out as a Protective Services Worker. I was inspired to this work after addressing concerns for my own grandparents who did not have

ELDER SERVICES

Elder Protective Services in Berkshire County: An Interview

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HEALTHY LIVING

APPLES…APPLES…APPLES by Susan Guerrero

Luckily for Berkshire County residents, there are apples aplenty and apple baked goods available for many weeks in autumn. Here are a few places one can easily find apples and apple products. All of the following businesses are explained in detail online. Several also can be found on Facebook.

Elder Services’ Berkshire Senior, October-November 2021

1. Bartlett’s Apple Orchard and Farm Market, 575 Swamp Road, Richmond. According to their website, four generations of the Bartlett family run the 71-year-old operation on 24 acres which produces 11,000 bushels of apples annually. At the farm market on the premises, customers can buy baked or unbaked apple pies that can be popped in the oven in one’s own house. The pies are quite unforgettable. The farm market also has dozens of other products and it is lots of fun to spend time exploring all the treats available. There are also a pick-your-own apples available.

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2. Hilltop Orchards, 508 Canaan Rd., Route 295, Richmond. This is a 187-acre working farm run by the Vittori family, according to their website. They have pick-your-own apples, some of which are heirloom from 100 year-old trees. In the farm store, one will find a kind of apple heaven with apple cider donuts, cider from the on-site cidery, wines, jams, jellies, syrups, pies, scones, and on and on. Hilltop Orchards have more than two

dozen varieties of apples. Visiting here makes a great Sunday afternoon excursion with kids.

3 . Ja e s ch ke ’ s F r u i t a n d Flowers Center, 736 Crane Ave., in Pittsfield and West Road in Adams. This is also a family-run business with pick-your-own apples in Adams. The family has been running the business since 1985. Apples are available already picked at the farm stand on Crane Avenue.. There are also all kinds of great fruits and vegetables and even homemade jams and jellies available at the outside farm stand so bring lots of bags to fill. The jams and jellies make great Christmas gifts if one is able to stash them rather than eat them right away. Everything here is very fresh and delicious. 4. Lakeview Orchards, 94 Old Cheshire Road, Lanesborough This business, run by David, Judy, and Daniel Jurczak, also has a pick-your-own apples operation. The Orchards were started in 1996 with the planting

of 1,000 dwarf apple trees and 50 blueberry bushes, according to their website. A bakery, which unleashes tantalizing baking aromas into the air around it, was added in the spring of 2000. In addition to tasty apple cider donuts, the bakery also has apple turnovers and pies among dozens of treats. Also sold are homemade Polish foods plus fruits, vegetables, and, for many years in the past, had a huge round of Cabot cheddar cheese from Vermont. Several small wedges of that make an awesome addition to a “charcuterie board” near slices of apples. Besides apple trees, Lakeview Orchards has apricot, cherry, peach, plum, traditional pear and Asian pear trees. 5. Pittsfield Farmers’ Market, is held Saturday mornings, on the Common, along First Street in Pittsfield, near Fenn Street. Fresh fruits and veggies, from numerous vendors, and plenty of apples are available through October.

apple a day keeps the doctor away.” When a person is very special to another, she is said to be the “apple of his eye.” Sweet, juicy apples are simply good for a person and tasty as well. People throughout Berkshire County can thank their lucky stars that there are many varieties of apples available, fresh, juicy, and delicious. Why not visit one of the apple places mentioned above and bring home some apple treats soon? They might be one of the best things about experiencing autumn in New England.

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Editorial Board Members Wanted Do you look forward to reading Berkshire Senior every other month? Do you have a passion for issues that are important to seniors? Are you creative? If you’d like to have input into the format 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 in our administrative offices in Pittsfield (during COVID via Zoom). If you are interested, please contact Christopher McLaughlin, Executive Director at (413) 499-0524.

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

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

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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


Hello Fall The interest for volunteering has been overwhelming, we are so happy to see so many of our community members wanting to get involved and lend a helping hand, as we all traverse this “new normal” together. Opportunities for volunteering are always available. We are always looking for new programs and ideas, please let us know what you would like to see here at your Senior Center. Our Supportive Day Program, “The Happy Club”, received a generous donation from The Crane Fund for Widows and Children through The Crane Corporation. This donation will be used to help provide scholarships to those clients who may otherwise not be able to attend this very important prog ram as often as their caregivers would like. Many Thanks to Crane and Company. Our monthly Brown Bag program has collaborated with Door Dash, an online food ordering and food delivery service, that assists us with the delivery of our food pantry items. We are so happy to be able to partner with them. This partnership allows us to continue to offer this important program, while minimizing the disruption of transporting our seniors on those days. Thank You to all for making our reopening a great success. Yo u r u n d e r s t a n d i n g a n d compliance with the mandates and local requirements has been remarkable. We appreciate your willingness to return to the center and socialize with your friends and fellow seniors. For those who have yet to return and those who have never been, we are here to welcome you to, one of the hidden Gems of Pittsfield, The Ralph J Froio Senior Center.

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

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

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.

In light of the current status of the COVID-19 and variants and after considerable consideration we have made the difficult decision to cancel Elder Services of Berkshire County’s Annual Meeting that had been scheduled for October 22nd.

Elder Services’ Berkshire Senior, October-November 2021

Since our last article, The Ralph J Froio Senior Center has fully reopened. We are so happy to see our Seniors here again, enjoying the classes, the game room, eating in our congregate meal site and enjoying lunch, all while socializing with many of those friends they haven’t seen in well over a year. Many are having breakfast in our new “Box Office Café”, playing bingo and checking out our new slate of programs. Some of our new programing that we have started this year is in the area of Health & Wellness. New programing includes: Chair Yoga, Meditation, (Currently on hold due to personal issues but hopefully will resume by Winter) Golden Walkers Club, and Therapeutic Touch sessions. In the information and education arena, we have started our Afternoon Tea event, where we present a different guest speaker each month in our newly reimaged Box Office Café. Topics of discussions range from the benefits of CBD oil/creams, learning the techniques of therapeutic touch, preplanning of final arrangements, and coping with grief. We will be bringing back our ‘Froio After Hours’ sessions in October. These evening programs are designed to allow Seniors, who may otherwise not be able to attend sessions during the day, to partake in informational and educational events here at the center. We are currently working with the travel agencies to resume our Traveling Seniors trips. Unfortunately, like in most areas of the country, destinations for our most popular trips are having difficulty obtaining staffing for their venues or attractions. Please call the center to find out more information about the trips as they become available.

sponsored in part by

MEALS ON WHEELS

Elder Services of Berkshire County, Inc.

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HELPING HANDS

Berkshire Physical Therapy & Wellness

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

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

3 convenient locations - Pittsfield, Dalton and Lenox

Elder Services’ Berkshire Senior, October-November 2021

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

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 since 1915 40 MAPLEWOOD AVENUE • PITTSFIELD, MA 01201

CALL US: 413.445.5988

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

Proud affiliate of Carriage Services | John W. Bresnahan

Call 413.442.0907 HomeInstead.com/369


There are a number of energy efficiency incentive programs available to Massachusetts residents. These programs help households cut monthly energy bills, make homes healthier and more comfortable, and reduce their carbon footprints. The energy efficiency process begins with a no-cost virtual or in-person home energ y assessment and installation of recommended instant savings products, including LED light bulbs, efficient power strips, low-flow showerheads, faucet aerators, and programmable thermostats. The assessment also involves a custom home energy report with recommended efficiency upgrades, available incentives and rebates, and steps to access.

Energy efficiency opportunities include: • F r e e I n s t a n t S av i n g s Measures: Measures/products that immediately save energy upon installation (e.g., LED lightbulbs, advanced power strips, low-flow showerheads, faucet aerators, and efficient thermostats.) • Weatherization: Improvements

to the building envelope to seal air leaks (e.g., around doors, windows, or in the attic) or add insulation (e.g. wall or attic insulation.) • Equipment and Appliances: Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning equipment as well as hot water equipment and other appliances (e.g. clothes washers, refrigerators, etc.) often use a significant amount of energy in a home. Replacing inefficient equipment or appliances with more efficient options can save money and energy. Mass Save has many rebate offers online: m a s s s av e. c o m / e n / s av i n g / residential-rebates.

Currently available Mass Save incentive programs for households in 1-4 unit buildings include: 1. Mass Save Income Eligible Pro g ram: Participants must meet income-eligibility re q u i re m e n t s ( h o u s e h o l d s eligible for Fuel Assistance (LIHEAP) automatically qualify). The program is open to property owners or renters/tenants. Program includes: • Free home energy assessment

*If you live in a building with 5+ units you are eligible to receive an audit of just your unit or ask your landlord or property manager to apply for a fullbuilding assessment.* To get started, contact Mass Save by taking a quick Online Home Energ y Assessment at masssave.com/OHEA or calling 866-527-SAVE. If you are income eligible call Berkshire Community Action Council at 413-418-3671. Visit www. masssave.com/saving/incomebased-offers to verify income

guidelines. 2. Mass S ave Market Rate Prog ram: No income requirements, open to property owners or renters/tenants. Includes: • Free home energy assessment and installation of instant savings measures • Recommended weatherization will be offered at a 75% or greater discount • Rebates for high efficiency heating and cooling equipment, hot water systems lighting, appliances, and smart thermostats • 0% financing HEAT Loan • Financing for bar rier mitigation • Moderate-income customers (must have income between 6080% State Median Income) are eligible for no-cost insulation and barrier mitigation grants: • Barrier Mitigation Grants: Re m o va l o f K n o b a n d Tube Wiring (up to $7,000), Vermiculite (up to $7,000), and Asbestos (up to $4,000) Vi s i t o r m a s s s ave. c o m or berkshire planning.org/ i n i t i at ive s / cl e a n - e n e r g y programs for more details, income eligibility requirements for each program, and to learn about related programs.

MEDICARE OPEN ENROLLMENT OCTOBER 15 - DECEMBER 7 The Massachusetts Money Management Program Celebrates its 30th Year A local SHINE Medicare counselor can: • Help you compare your current Medicare health or drug plan with other Medicare plan choices • Help you sign up for a new plan • Help you avoid high-pressure sales tactics * Plans can change drastically from one year to another. All Medicare beneficiaries can benefit by making an appointment!

find a counselor near you, call: 413 499-0524 We have found safe, creative, and socially distanced solutions to continue serving you during the COVID-19 pandemic.

September marks the 30th year that the MMMP has been helping adults over 60, and adults living with a disability, maintain their independence. The MMMP is a free, volunteer supported program that is vital to those it serves. Without the program, many individuals would face food insecurity, financial exploitation, eviction, and premature institutionalization. The mission of the Massachusetts Money Management Program is to promote and prolong independent living for income eligible individuals over 60 who are at risk because of their inability to manage their own finances. To learn more about the program, or to refer someone to the MMMP, volunteer or donate, please visit their website massmmp.org. You can search for your local program by city or town. You can also email or call the MMMP at mmmpinfo@tves.org 508-949-6640 ext. 3376.

Elder Services’ Berkshire Senior, October-November 2021

Save money and get the best coverage! It is worth taking time to compare

and installation of instant savings measures • No-cost recommended weatherization (insulation, airsealing, etc.) • Appliance and equipment replacement (if recommended): • Combustion safety testing of your natural gas, oil or propane appliances to screen for carbon monoxide, drafts, and spillage • No-cost replacement of your heating system • No-cost replacement appliances including refrigerators, free zers, dehumidifiers, window air conditioners, and/or clothes washers if your current appliances are inefficient

ASSISTANCE

Save Money and Energy with Mass Save Residential State Incentives

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LEGISLATORS

OSHER LIFELONG LEARNING INSTITUTE

AT BERKSHIRE COMMUNITY COLLEGE Are you looking for a meaningful volunteer opportunity??? The Massachusetts Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) Program needs you! Come join our team and become knowledgeable about Medicare benefits and help others in your community. Did you know that Medicare loses more than $60 billion a year to healthcare errors, fraud, and abuse? Healthcare errors, fraud and abuse can have serious consequences to your health. Contact the Massachusetts Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) Program to volunteer, schedule a free educational session for your community, or with any questions you may have about your medical bills at 800-892-0890 or visit www.MASMP.org. Paid for in part by ACL grant No. 90-MPPG0051

Elder Services’ Berkshire Senior, October-November 2021

All-inclusive Assisted Living, Where Extras Come Standard

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

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

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

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

We’re Perfecting the Art of Superior Care.

Join us for lively online and in-person classes, talks & more! Sign up for our email list today & don't miss a thing.

berkshireolli.org olli@berkshirecc.edu


Berkshiretown Apartments Appleton Managed Properties

Wheels for Wellness Seeks Volunteer Drivers!

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

Do you like to drive? Do you enjoy helping others?

ASSISTANCE

Let Us Welcome You Home

Set your own schedule, pick your available days & help your neighbors get the health care they need. Why not join us today?

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

This program is also sponsored by the Berkshire Community Action Council, Berkshire Fallon Health Collaborative, and Berkshire Interfaith Organizing

If you are 55+ years old, reside in Berkshire County, and desire to give back to the community, RSVP is for you.

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

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

Elder Services’ Berkshire Senior, October-November 2021

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

RSVP, the Retired Senior Volunteer Program, has a new program, in addition to its established van transport in the Pittsfield area. The new Wheels for Wellness program is available to all county residents, of any age, who need a ride to health-related or wellness destinations anywhere within Berkshire County. To hear all the details, and/or make an appointment, call us at 413-395-0109

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DONATIONS

The following donations were received between July 1, 2021 and August 31, 2021. Donations received on or after September 1, 2021 will appear in the next issue of the Berkshire Senior. Walter Ritter Harry and Jan Hartford Northeast Fabricators & Carole and Dan Holliday Joe and Jan J. Rogge Mechanical Services Gerard and Christine Hurley Irene F. Ropelewski Carol Perkins Tom and Elaine Jones Nancy Roy Tamar Schrager Linda Kaufmann Barbara Rubin Stop & Shop Bloomin’4 Good Sandra Kearns Jane K. Ryan Program John M Keenum Benjamin H. Schawinsky General Donations George and Patricia Kellar Anne N. Schnesel Berkshire Co-op Market Russell M. Kenyon Alex and Susan Seseske Joyce Boivin Nancy A Kingsley Frederick Jr and Joanne Jennifer Brennan Tom and Rosanna Koelle Seymour Christine Bush Linda Lamke Cindy Shogry-Raimer General Dynamics AIS John and Kathleen Lanoue John and Kimberly Slade Cynthia Golin Fern E Lavelle Gerald and Yvonne Stephens Great Barrington Police Helene Leavitt William and Rose Ann Sturgeon Association Local 350 Peter and Susan LePrevost Uldis and Maija Surmanis Katt Lissard Gregory Jones June A. Thomas Al and Lorraine Mancuso, Jr. Lynne A. Lavinio Margot Towl Maureen A Marrone Northern Berkshire United Way Laura Tucker John J. Masiero, Jr. John and Mary Philpott David and Edith Tully Helena D Matthews Philip Rich Edward and Linda Van Dyke Carol L Messerschmitt Randolph Stein Jeannette Van Loenen Connie Metall Judith Trask Steve Green and Susan Walker Wallace G. Morrison, Jr. Donald and Judy Wasuk COVID Relief Donations Michael Ouellette Judy and Larry Weber Dr. Andrea Jacobson Keith and Reanne Palmer Julia Wolfrum Wayne Palmer SHINE Donations Meals On Wheels Anthony Parise David Grady Donations Doris Pasquarelli Dr. Andrea Jacobson Richard and Linda Biros Jane Phend Transportation Donations David B. Grady Donna Pignatelli Allan and Susan Pike Dr. Andrea Jacobson Estelle Graziola

Thank You To Our Donors: Memorial Donations

In Memory of Rose Alessio: Janet R Smargie Cheryl and Richard Sojkowski Suzanne Girard Martin & Oliveira- William Martin and John Martin Jr. Diane and Daniel Lausier In Memory of Joyce Beauchemin, to benefit the Meals on Wheels Program: Barbara Bennett Elizabeth Prevey In Memory of William Broderick: Katherine Broderick In Memory of Simone ‘Sim’ Gaunt: Donald and Marie Cripps James Gaunt Kellie and Jacob Keplinger Catherine R May Monique Mullaney Theresa and Joseph Riello Diane Israelite Weinstein In Memory of Marcia Gerlach, to benefit the Meals on Wheels Program: Kathy Boos In Memory of Roderick Gratton: Ellen Sullivan In Memory of Beverly Kivior: Ronald and Carolyn Rousseau

In Memory of Gladys Lennon, to benefit the Meals on Wheels Program: Robin MacPherson In Memory of Jeanne McDonough, to benefit the Meals on Wheels Program: Jill Dean In Memory of Louis Pasquarelli: Doris Pasquarelli In Memory of Eileen Rathbun: Lois and Ernest Kornn In Memory of Lois Root, to benefit the Meals on Wheels Program: Kathy Boos In Memory of Abby Turner, to benefit the Meals on Wheels Program: Stephen Pepper In Memory of Raymond Scace: Barbara York In Memory of Jeanne Supranowicz: Ann May

Elder Independence Donations Donald L. Alderman, Jr. Ginger Alexander Patti Annechiarico David Ariazi James J. Armstrong

Mary Barbuto Marion Barry Alfred Bedini, Sr. Nancy Borges Mike and Carol Boucher Donald and Sharon Briggs Kathleen M. Burke Carlson Propane Richard and Sandra Cobb Sue P. Colker Patricia Colvin Maggie and Tom Curtin Donna Cwalinski Marilyn J Daub Marilyn DeRosa Frank and Virginia R. Dubis Lucille E Eberwein Elm St Luncheonette Barbara Favreau Raymond Sr. and Barbara Ferrarin Michelle Filiault Shirley Finkelstein Diana Fontana Lois Ireland Forsley Patricia Galliford Sully and Mary Garofano John Gerson Virginia Giddens Alfred and Evelyn Goggia Great Barrington Police Association Local 350 Donald R. Hanson

Elder Services’ Berkshire Senior, October-November 2021

Independent Living | Assisted Living | Memory Care

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THIS IS L I V I N G , E N R I C H E D. Our renovations are almost complete. Come and see what a life at Melbourne Place could look like for you.

• Modern Private Apartments and

Berkshires Mountain View Apartments

• Restaurant-Style Dining • State-of-the-Art Movie Theatre • Outdoor Gardens, Patios and Firepit • Complimentary Transportation • Cultural, Educational and Social Programs Call 413-499-1992 to learn more or schedule a tour. ResidencesatMelbournePlace.com • 140 Melbourne Road, Pittsfield, MA 01201


THE RESIDENCES AT

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!

Discover Inspired Independent Living Featuring brand new stunning one and two bedroom residences with full-service

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

inclusive amenities in a premier location within the Cultural Arts District.

Meet the Berkshires Senior Care Family

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

Visit us online at www.BaneCare.com

ACCOMMODATIONS

Areas have been designed to create spacious, comfortable, and convenient living. Stone countertops, stainless steel appliances, induction cooktops, pedestal washer/dryers, and ceramic tile bathrooms are just a few of the standard features you will find in your new residence.

BERKSHIRE PLACE

89 SOUTH

AT HOME

Call (413) 445-4056, ext. 180 to schedule a tour. Visit 89South.org to learn more. 89 South Street, Pittsfield, MA 01201

Elder Services’ Berkshire Senior, October-November 2021

When it comes to caring for seniors, it’s a matter of trust

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THANKSGIVING

BERKSHIRE COUNTY LEGISLATORS UNITED STATES CONGRESS

Congressman Richard Neal

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

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. John Barrett, III

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

Elder Services’ Berkshire Senior, October-November 2021

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

by Susan Guerrero Thanksgiving is right around the corner. Lots of folks dream of upcoming Thanksgiving dinners. There will be bites of tender turkey, luscious gravy, mounds of whipped potatoes, jiggly cranberry sauce, green bean casserole, and, of course, warm apple pie with vanilla ice cream. Many families also adopt a tradition of having each dinner guest tell at least one thing he or she is thankful for. It’s a good lesson in gratitude and helps people concentrate on the real meaning of Thanksgiving. Jim Clark, director of the Pittsfield Council on Aging said, “I am thankful for the military and veterans and the freedoms they have protected. Also the ability to gather and enjoy the companionship of others, especially here at the Frioio Center.” Christine Jordan, a Lenox resident, said she is thankful for a lot of things. “I’m thankful for my beloved Collies,” she said. Their names are Galen and Levi. They are beloved fur babies to her and Christine loves to spoil them to the hilt. Christine also said she’s thankful for her “lovely home” and being able to decorate it for each season and “the wonderful friendship with my sister, Bernadette,” “And I’m thankful my husband (George) is still with me.” They celebrated their 46th wedding anniversary in September. Diane Stetson, a Pittsfield

native, lives clear across the country in Mission Viejo, in southern California. She sang in the choir at St. Mark’s Church in Pittsfield and also belonged to the Town Players in the day. She sang on a television program that was quite popular, called “Teenage Barn.” Her voice and piano teacher was Estelle Alphonse whose second floor studio was in a building on North Street near St. Joseph’s Church. Diane went on to also become a music teacher, taught for several decades, and is now retired. Living in Mission Viejo, she does not miss New England winters at all. “As far as what I’m thankful for, “she said, “It’s having made it to almost into my 80’s and the place I live. I LOVE the climate, rec center pool, beach and mountains and little towns on the shore of the Pacific. My home is very close to the church, shopping mall and several stores.” That’s what I am thankful for besides friends and family.” Mary Belcher of Pittsfield, said she’s thankful for her life and still being alive. At age 15, she was in a severe car accident and was not expected to survive. Originally from Williamstown, she spent many months in the hospital. “I’m thankful for the life I have and that I can walk,” she said. Mary said she’s also thankful for many people in her life, especially a childhood acquaintance, Valerie Coons, who lived on Maple Street in Williamstown. She was totally blind and Mary used to visit her

when she was about seven years old. “She was so sweet to me,” she recalled. Mike Sheehan, a social studies teacher at Pittsfield High School said, “I am thankful for my job where I get to work with people in the community I grew up in. I am also grateful I get to work in such an historic building.” “Family and friends will always be top priorities for me,” said Jana Jurczyk Polly, now of Rome, Georgia. “Next to them come the love and the devotion twelve fur babies have given me over the years I was fortunate to have them bless my life. ’She added, “I am very thankful for the people who worked endless hours to develop a vaccine to protect the world from this endless and relentless virus. The doctors and nurses and health care workers are not to be forgotten either for the lives they have worked countless hours to save.” Think about all the things for which you are thankful in your own life. When one starts counting, it’s often possible to reach a large number. Being thankful helps a person to appreciate all that has been given and to have a better, more refined and quality life. This Thanksgiving, why not make a really serious attempt to practice gratitude? Not everyone is blessed to have made it this far in life. Embrace those around you, give hugs, and truly appreciate every moment of life, including eating Tom Turkey.

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

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Lots to Be Thankful For….

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


MEALS ON WHEELS

Elder Services’ Berkshire Senior, October-November 2021

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16 Elder Services’ Berkshire Senior, October-November 2021