Berkshire Senior December 2022 - January 2023

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Your Care, Your Home, Your Neighbors Kyle Wilusz with ESBCI Volunteer Program Coordinator Pam McDonald and Home & Community Based Program Supervisor Isaac Share at ESBCI booth supporting the Alzheimer’s Walk
Elder Services’ Berkshire Senior , December 2022January 2023 2 877 South Street, Suite 1W • Pittsfield, MA 413-443-2994 • www.hcib.org The difference is in our care “They helped us make every moment matter.” “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 How will you know when it’s time to call hospice? Visit www.HCIB.org/WhenToCallHospice to learn more. “I’m so glad I called HospiceCare in The Berkshires when I did.”

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.

Elder Services Annual Meeting

Hoping all is well with you and yours. Elder Services held its 48th annual meeting on Friday October 21, at a luncheon at the Berkshire Hills Country Club. It was the Agency’s first public annual meeting since 2019. More than 170 people attended the event including staff, clients, home care providers, volunteers, board members, donors and community partners.

I highlighted the Agency’s many achievements during the past year and since the start of the COVID pandemic. The Agency never closed its offices or our Lanesborough kitchen and Elder Services staff continued to ensure its clients were safe and well supported. I spoke about the theme of this year’s annual meeting, gratitude, stating that the Agency’s many accomplishments during a period of unpresented challenges would not have been possible without the support and generosity of our clients and their families, our community, the board of directors, our legislators and the Massachusetts Executive Office of Elder Affairs.

Berkshire Senior

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

Advertising: To place an advertisement in Berkshire Senior, please contact Kate Teutsch at (413) 496-6324 or e-mail 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 1-800-5445242, e-mail: esbc@esbci.org or on the internet at www.esbci.org.

NOTICE

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.

The event was highlighted by a keynote address from State Representative William “Smitty” Pignatelli who spoke about the legislature’s focus on and commitment to ensuring seniors continued to receive essential services during the pandemic. Representative Pignatelli provided a heartfelt reflection of his parents’ experiences as they aged and the role Elder Services played in enabling them to continue living independently at home.

Six Elder Services employees celebrating lengths of service of five, ten and fifteen years were recognized for their service to the Agency and its clients. Departing board members Mary Shogry-Hayer, Sandy Driscoll and John Philpott received special recognition for their many years of service on the board of directors. I commented, “I am very grateful for the many years of faithful service from our staff and board members. We are very fortunate to have such committed staff and board members who, during more than two and a half years of an unprecedented pandemic, stayed the course and continued to work to ensure our Berkshire neighbors were safe and well cared for”.

Jeffrey Menkes is the board’s newest member. He will begin his board service in November. Walter Orenstein was reappointed to a second two-year term and Jacob Dabrowski and Stephen Radin were reappointed to a third two-year term. Frank Engels was reappointed to a second one year term as President, Jacob Dabrowski was reappointed to a fourth 1 year term as Treasurer while Randy Burdick and Georgette Kinney were appointed to their first 1 year term on the Executive Committee.

We are very proud of what we were able to accomplish during the past year and look forward to continuing to serve our community in Fiscal Year 2023 and beyond!

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

ELDER SERVICES UPDATE Elder Services’ Berkshire Senior , December 2022January 2023 3
Respite Program ���������������������������������������������������������4-5 Caregiver Support Program ���������������������������������������� 5 Consider Being a Volunteer ���������������������������������������� 6 Annual Report ���������������������������������������������������������� 9-12 Apply for Fuel Assistance������������������������������������������� 13 Senior Meal Sites ��������������������������������������������������������� 15 Winter Emergency Preparedness ���������������������� 16-17 Donations ��������������������������������������������������������������������� 18 Contents Volume 41, Number 6 December 2022 The bi-monthly newspaper for Berkshire County seniors FREE FB/BerkshireSenior Twitter: @Berkshire Senior Instagram: berkshiresenior LinkedIn: Elder Services of Berkshire County

Are you frazzled taking care of a loved one?

There is a respite program for caregivers every weekday right here in the Berkshires!

It’s at the Pittsfield Senior Center and it’s called the Supportive Day Program. The Supportive Day Program runs every weekday and is also called “The Happy Club” as the atmosphere is upbeat, active and fun. The program is run by Janie Bates, the Supportive Day Program Coordinator who has been leading the program for 25 years!

The Supportive Day Program is open 9AM to 3PM every weekday. The program includes a continental breakfast, lunch and afternoon snack. The cost is only $35.00 each day! Full days and half days are available. Income eligible participants may be able to attend the Supportive Day Program with assistance from Elder Services of Berkshire County. Curb to curb transportation is available for Pittsfield residents. For other towns, their vans drive

participants to the Senior Center or the Pittsfield van meets families or meets other town’s vans to pick up and drop off the participants.

What’s Respite Care?

Respite care is a special name for a short-term break for caregivers. When you look after someone who’s sick or disabled, it’s a 24-hour job. You need a break from time to time to look after your own needs. That’s where respite care can help. The Supportive Day Program provides a window of time from 9AM to 3PM where the caregiver does not have to worry about their loved one and can take care of what they need to do.

A Safe, Supportive and Structured Environment

The Supportive Day Program is designed to promote and enhance

the social, physical, and cognitive skills of seniors. It’s suitable for the memory impaired, those with physical limitations or those who are isolated and homebound. It is an opportunity for caregivers to have a well-deserved respite with the assurance that their loved one is in a safe and stimulating environment. It is designed to alleviate stress and provide support for the caregivers.

Lots of Activities!

It’s called The Happy Club for a reason. There is drumming, musicians, pet therapy, gardening, current events, bowling, performances and shows, daily activities, games, chair exercise and crafts. The group is active and travels all over. They visit the Berkshire Museum, MassMOCA, The Clark, Ioka Valley Farm, Whitney’s Farm, Barnes & Noble, the Library, restaurants, they go

Quality Non-Medical Care in the Comfort of Home

apple picking, take trips for ice cream, fall foliage rides, boat rides and host an annual picnic and holiday parties. The Supportive Day Program also has a partnership with the 4 year old program at the Boys and Girls Club and they join together monthly to share crafts and sing together.

Is Supportive Day the Right Choice for My Loved One?

Are you taking care of someone or is your loved one living alone and enjoying it less? Are you trying to work or take care of your family and balance caring for a spouse or parent? Are you concerned that your loved one is forgetful? Are you concerned for their safety? If you answer yes to any of these questions the Supportive Day Program will be able to provide assistance and give the caregiver a worry-free and well needed break.

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Arrange a Visit

Come Check out the Supportive Day Program to see the program in action and take advantage of the free trial day. The trial day is everything as many family members don’t think that their participants will enjoy and benefit from the program. However, 99% of the time it’s a perfect fit! The family have everything to gain from having their loved one in the Supportive Day Program. The program gives the participant purpose, socialization, laughs, friendship and a full and active purposeful day. The program is non-medical and the staff will work with participants and their families to coordinate an individualized care plan specific to each participant’s needs.

Reach Out to Janie at the Supportive Day Program

To find out more about the Supportive Day Program and to arrange a trial day, please contact Janie Bates at 413-499-9346 ext. 212.

When you look after someone who’s sick or disabled, it’s a 24-hour job. You need a break from time to time to look after your own needs. That’s where the Supportive Day Program and the ESBCI’s Caregiver Support Program can help.

Caregiver Program Provides Support

This past November was National Caregiver Month. Elder Services of Berkshire County is dedicated to recognizing and supporting the caregivers of Berkshire County in many ways – one of the most impactful ways our agency works with caregivers is through the Massachusetts Family Caregiver Support Program. This program is free for any eligible caregiver to join. Eligible caregivers are described as: someone providing care to a loved one who is 60 years of age or older, a parent providing care to a child with developmental disabilities, a grandparent raising a grandchild, or an individual providing care to a loved one younger than 60 with a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s/Dementia. The Massachusetts Family Caregiver Support Program consists of oneon-one meetings with a Caregiver Coordinator and Support Groups. Our Caregiver Coordinators are compassionate listeners who

provide emotional support and resources to the caregivers who join the program. One-on-one meetings with the Caregiver Coordinator can be conducted via phone or in-person, the choice is up to the caregiver. The frequency of meeting is also up to the caregiver – meetings can occur weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, or even further out if needed. Caregivers always reserve the right to postpone meetings, or call in to the office for support on a particularly tough day. The program is designed to provide a sympathetic ear for those who need it, when they need it. In addition to supportive listening, Caregiver Coordinators can field resource questions from caregivers, and point them towards unique supports that caregivers may not know about due to their busy schedules.

This program can truly make the difference in reducing caregiver stress, which allows

caregivers to keep their loved ones at home longer. It is wellknown that caregivers sacrifice their own health to provide assistance to the people they love, which can often lead to burnout and physical and emotional health problems. Burning the candle at both ends can cause a situation wherein a caregiver is too burned out to be able to continue to give care to their

loved ones, which means that they cannot achieve their goal of keeping their loved ones at home for as long as possible.

The Massachusetts Family Caregiver Support Program is one phone call away. Our Information and Referral Specialists are able to take referrals to it live Monday through Friday, 8AM-5PM.

HEALTH Elder Services’ Berkshire Senior , December 2022January 2023 5

Consider Being a Volunteer!

Many men and women who volunteer their time to help others say they get more out of volunteering than what they put in. It works both ways.

Volunteers are often the life blood of a social services organization. They perform important tasks with clients and do it without any kind of financial compensation. Yet their dedication and hard work are often deeply appreciated by all, including the people they serve.

Pamela (Pam) McDonald can relay quite a great deal of information about the benefits and duties of volunteering since she's the Volunteer Coordinator for Elder Services of Berkshire County. She is a woman with a friendly, outgoing, warm personality, Pam makes prospective volunteers, as well as those who have already committed and have been cleared to be volunteers, feel welcome and important. She is a small statured woman with a lot of energy. She's also kind, caring, and helpful to prospective volunteers.

As Volunteer Coordinator, Pam will quickly allay fears of anyone who feels intimidated about volunteering.

She heard about the position opening at Elder Services through the agency website. In her job, which she appears to enjoy and appreciates greatly, Pam speaks with individuals interested in volunteering. She then guides them through the application process.

“My interest to attract and invest in new volunteers directs me to area colleges, local nonprofit agencies, and seasonal events to meet people and share about Elder Services’ support in the county,” she said.

The mission of the agency, located at 877 South St., Suite 4E and established in 1976, is “to provide Berkshire elders, caregivers, and individuals with disabilities to live with dignity, independence, and selfdetermination, and to achieve the highest possible quality of life,” according to the Elder Services of Berkshire County website. It also notes that Elder Services practices “nondiscrimination

Pam not only talks the talk, she has walked the walk, by volunteering in her own life. She was involved as a volunteer in aquatic programs at the YMCA, served at church suppers, and, this past summer, volunteered gardening time at a local farm. Ask any volunteer about the benefits of volunteering and the responses will vary but be more than likely positive. “My experience in volunteerism

assist in various programs.

“Our volunteers are trained, oriented, and must pass a background check and agree to uphold the values and standards of ESBCI,” according to the Elder Services’ website. “Volunteers can provide any amount of time they wish and can participate in programs that fit their strengths and time commitment.”

in employment practices and service delivery.” All of the agency's services are available” without regard to race, ethnicity, language, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or lifestyle.”

Asked whether it is difficult to become a volunteer for Elder Services, Pam responded honestly and quickly.

“No, not difficult,” the Volunteer Coordinator said. “The application process is thorough and professional. The process is comprehensive so both client and volunteer are secure in the relationship.”

always provided a sense of belonging; being part of a team, “Pam said.” The fun rests in the comradery,” Pam said. “Whether contributing in a group or singularly, my volunteer effort quickly dissolved any feeling of isolation. “She noted there is strength in numbers and volunteering provides that opportunity.

The Agency website reiterates their volunteer programs are important. It is noted the agency is dedicated to the intake, monitoring and appreciation of the hundreds of volunteers that

There are all kinds of volunteer opportunities available at Elder Services. Some of these include companionship to lonely seniors as well as accompanying them to places in the community; grocery shopping for and/or with elderly residents; driving for Meals on Wheels where meals are delivered to homebound elderly residents; food service volunteer slots where help is provided to prepare and package meals at the Elder Services' kitchen in Lanesboro for the Meals on Wheels program or helping serve meals at senior meal sites. In addition there are volunteering opportunities to help with money management, nursing home ombudsman, office and video volunteers; and SHINE counselors. SHINE stands for Serving Health Insurance Needs of Everyone. The latter helps seniors in the community as well as others make informed choices about Medicare/Medicaid benefits and other insurance options, according to the Elder Services website.

Anyone interested in finding out more about volunteering at Elder Services can call at 413-4990524 and ask for Pam McDonald. Then, prospective volunteers will meet Pam in person and, once the application process is complete, possibly begin to have new and rewarding experiences as volunteers for Elder Services of Berkshire County.

VOLUNTEERING Elder Services’ Berkshire Senior , December 2022January 2023 6
Pam McDonald, ESBCI Volunteer Coordinator and Scheduler
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Berkshire Senior Television

Currently airing on PCTV

airing on PCTV, Channel 1301 Access Pittsfield

Channel 1301 Access Pittsfield

Broadcast schedule:

Broadcast schedule:

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

PCTV channel 1301 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 pittsfieldtv.org.

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

OPEN ENROLLMENT Elder Services’ Berkshire Senior , December 2022January 2023 8 F r i e nd s he l p i n g f r i e nd s si n c e 1 9 1 8 4 0 M A P L E W O O D AV E N U E • P I T T S F I E L D , M A 0 1 2 0 1 C A L L U S : 41 3 4 4 5 5 9 8 8 P r o u d a f f i l i a t e o f C a r r i a g e S e r v i c e s C a r o l i n e R S u l l iv a n | J o h n W B re sn ah a n The way YO U wo uld
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Community Health Program’s Kathleen Floyd and ESBCI’s Kathleen Phillips discuss COVID and flu vaccines.

ANNUAL REPORT 2022

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

2022 Board of Directors (July 2021-June 2022)

Frank Engels, President Mary Shogry-Hayer, Vice-President

Jacob Dabrowski, Treasurer

Kimberly Mathews, Clerk

Randy Burdick

Teresa Caldwell

Sandy Driscoll

Diana “Toni” Fontana

Roberta Gale

John Graziano

Georgette Kinney

Mary K. O’Brien

David J. O’Neill

Walter Orenstein

John Philpott

Stephen Radin

David Twiggs

Paula Walczyk

Stephen Radin

Paula Walczyk

2021 AAA Advisory Council Members (July 2021-June 2022)

Lisa Fletcher-Udel, Chair June Green, Vice-Chair

Robert Allard

Quentin Chin James Clark

877 South Street Suite 4 East, Pittsfield, MA 01201

Telephone (413) 499-0524 or 1-800-544-5242 Fax (413) 442-6443

E-Mail esbc@esbci.org

Dear Friend of Elder Services:

I would like to invite you to join a community and share in that great warm feeling of helping seniors live life to their fullest. Elder Services of Berkshire County, Inc. (Elder Services) has so many ways of supporting seniors - from smiling faces from Meals on Wheels, in-home supports, caregiver support, SHINE Medicare advice, mental health counseling, helping seniors understand technology and money management or providing advocates for seniors living in nursing homes throughout Berkshire County.

Watching the relief on the face of a senior or family member, when the stress is replaced by a smile as they realize this is an organization that is here to help solve their issues is always a feel-good moment.

Seniors offer so much in our community including decades of life experience to learn from. There are many challenges as we grow older; having Elder Services’ support is vital for seniors staying active and healthy, contributing to our community.

In this holiday season, what makes me joyous is being part of Elder Services. I want to invite you to come with us and share the joy of the senior community.

One way is to simply write a note about how Elder Services helped you or a family member. This gives thanks and support to those who serve seniors and it means a lot. Please e-mail your notes to esbc@esbci.org.

Another way to share in that great feeling of seeing a senior go from being stressed and worried to smiling is volunteering. The Agency has a myriad of ways to volunteer – driving to deliver meals, working in our Lanesborough kitchen, helping seniors manage their finances, helping seniors with their health insurance, and many more. Please see page 6 for the article on volunteering.

Then there is the reality that in order to continue to grow and serve more seniors your cash contribution is needed. As costs rise, so do the cost of our many programs, making cash contributions important to continue serving seniors.

I hope you can find a way to accept my invitation to connect with Elder Services to be part of the solution and experience the great feeling that goes with it.

Best Wishes for a relaxing and enjoyable holiday season.

Sincerely,

Maria Craft

Frank Engels

Sandra Lussier

Vincent Marinaro

Meri-Ellen Morgans

Frank

ANNUAL REPORT Elder Services’ Berkshire Senior , December 2022January 2023 9
A member agency of... Northern Berkshire United Way
Elder Services’ Berkshire Senior , December 2022January 2023 10 ANNUAL REPORT Information & Referral (contacts) 8,690 Seniors Served by Home Care Program 1,636
Served by Senior Nutrition Program 2,227
Consumers Served 123
Housing Tenants Who Received Service Coordination 69 Clinical Eligibility Assessments 1,621 Seniors Served By SHINE (Serving the Health Insurance Needs of Everyone) 2,971 Long Term Care Ombudsman Nursing Home Visits 455 Title III Subgrant Program Units of Service 589 Volunteers Helping Seniors 209 Seniors Supported by Options Counseling Services 174 Seniors Enrolled in Fallon’s NaviCare SCO Plan and Once Car 32 Seniors Supported by Elder Mental Health Outreach Team 84 Meals on Wheels Home Delivered Meals 188,504 Senior Meal Site Meals 39,156 5 Years of Service Ronald Aasen Paula Filas Donna Norton Kane 10 Years of Service Gloria Dawson Shauna Post 15 Years of Service Kara Graziola ANNUAL REPORT 2022 Promoting Dignity & Independence Enriching the lives of our community’s seniors, individuals with disabilities and their caregivers with compassion and dedication. “ “ Volunteer Hours Grocery Shopping, Companions, Transportation 318 Money Management 358 SHINE (Serving the Health Insurance Needs of Everyone) 3,258 Senior Nutrition Program 8,857 Long Term Care Ombudsman 372 Indirect Services (Board of Directors, Advisory Council, Berkshire Senior TV, Berkshire Senior Newspaper, Clerical) 244 Total Volunteer Hours 13,407 Congratulations to Elder Services of Berkshire County staff members who celebrated service milestones this past year. We are incredibly proud of and grateful to our staff, particularly those celebrating service milestones. They have demonstrated consistent passion for improving the lives of seniors of Berkshire County! 2022 “We are incredibly proud of and grateful to our staff, particularly those celebrating service milestones this year. Over many years they have demonstrated a consistent passion for improving the lives of their Berkshire neighbors” - Christopher McLaughlin, Executive Director S taff Service Award R ecipients
Seniors
Caregiver
Supportive

Adams Hometown Market

Berkshire Co-op Market

Berkshire Taconic Foundation:

• Kristin & James Allen Fund

• Ruth P. Boraski Memorial Fund for Meals on Wheels

• Cooper Family Fund

• Katharine L.W. & Winthrop Crane III Charitable Foundation

• Joseph & Lily Dewton Family Fund

• Richard C. Donati Memorial Fund

• John and Judith Kittredge Fund

• Mount Everett Fund

• Neighbor-to-Neighbor Fund

• Willoughby Fund

• Women’s Club of the Berkshires Fund

Big Y Community Bag & Giving Tag Program

City of Pittsfield

Fallon Health Guardian Life

Greylock Federal Credit Union Helping Hands

Mathews Family Charitable Trust

Neenah Technical Materials, Inc.

Northern Berkshire United Way

William R. & Linda P. O’Connell Foundation

Katharine C. Pierce Trust

St. John’s Episcopal Church, Williamstown

Stop & Shop Bloomin’ 4 Good Program

Town of Great Barrington

United Way Emergency Food and Shelter Program

Williamstown Community Chest

ANNUAL REPORT Elder Services’ Berkshire Senior , December 2022January 2023 11
ANNUAL REPORT 2022
Grants Received Income for 2022 TOTAL $18,841,360 TOTAL $17,584,418 Expenses for 2022 State Executive Office of Elder Affairs $14,269,691* Elder Programs $16,372,347 Federal Administration on Aging/EOEA $1,453,066 Local and Other Funding $3,118,603 ** Fundraising $11,968 Management and General $1,200,103 * $540,645 represents ARPA funding ** $420,322 represents non-recurring funding from bequest
Berkshire County’s generous support of Elder Services makes it possible to provide vital programs and services. This support includes numerous grants we received that benefit thousands of Berkshire County seniors, caregivers and individuals with disabilities. We are grateful for your continuing commitment and for the funding we received in Fiscal Year 2022. (July 1, 2021-June 30, 2022)
Joan Lennon and Linda Forbes looking for the winning raffle ticket at recent event hosted by Elder Services at the Providence Court Supportive Housing site.

OAA TITLE III SUB GRANTS AWARDED

In 1965, United States Congress passed the Older Americans Act, (OAA), to address the need for community social services for older persons. OAA is considered a major vehicle for delivering social and nutritional services to our seniors and their caregivers. The purpose of Title III of the OAA is to encourage and assist state and local agencies to develop and implement comprehensive, coordinated, in-home and community based services for individuals in our community 60 years of age and older.

Elder Services is the designated Area Agency on Aging (AAA) for Berkshire County and is therefore responsible for allocating Older Americans Act funds to support community-based and inhouse services for older adults, caregivers and individuals with disabilities through the award

of sub grants. ESBCI’s Advisory Council oversees the application, selection and monitoring process of these sub grants. These sub grant contracts ran from October 1, 2021 through September 2022. Upon the successful completion of contract requirements, contracts have been extended through September 2023. The 2021/22 Sub grant recipients are:

ADAMS COUNCIL ON AGING

- Provides transportation for residents 60 years and older for the towns of Adams, Cheshire and Savoy with priority given to those seniors with the greatest social and economic needs.

3 Hoosac Street, Adams, MA (413) 743-8333.

BERKSHIRE AREA HEALTH EDUCATION CENTER, (AHEC)

Provides educational support and workshops for family and professional caregivers of individuals who are 60 years of age or older with emphasis on meeting

the needs of low income and minority elders through outreach and community collaborations.

395 Main Street, Dalton, MA (413) 842-5281

BERKSHIRE CENTER FOR JUSTICE

Provides legal services for seniors with a special focus on elders who reside in their home with the assistance of government benefits, elders with protective services, elders with no other means of access to the legal system and elders whose legal issues threaten their independence and dignity.

284 Main Street, Great Barrington, MA (413) 8541955

BERKSHIRE RAINBOW SENIORS

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

COMMUNITY LEGAL AID - Serves low income and socially needy elders through the Elder Law Project. Services focus on elders who reside in their home with the assistance of government benefits, elders with protective services, elders with no other means of accessing to the legal system and elders whose legal issues threaten their independence and dignity.

152 North Street, #15, Pittsfield, MA (413) 499-1950

SHEFFIELD COUNCIL ON AGING

- Provides Transportation for individuals 60 year of age or older who reside in Sheffield and Ashley Falls. The Program gives priority to those elders with the greatest social and economic need.

25 Cook Road, Sheffield, MA (413) 229-7037

Scenes from 2022 ESBCI Annual Meeting

ANNUAL REPORT Elder Services’ Berkshire Senior , December 2022January 2023 12

It’s not too late to apply for fuel assistance!

Berkshire Community Action Council (BCAC, www. bcacinc.org) is the local agency that administers the federal Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), known commonly as Fuel Assistance. This program helps low income people pay for part of the cost of their primary source of heat from November 1st through April 30th. Renters whose heat is included in their rent may also be eligible. The 2022-2023 heating season income limits are: $42,411 for a 1 person household and $55,461 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.

The Salvation Army (https://massachusetts. salvationarmy.org/) 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 2022-2023 season are: 1 person household $42,412 - $56,548; 2 person $55,462 - $73,948) For more information about eligibility criteria and to apply, call Pittsfield Corps 413-442-0624 (298 West St) or North Adams Corps 663-7987 (393 River St). Those who qualify may receive up to $500 per household per heating season.

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.

An important reminder…

Massachusetts law prevents electric and gas companies from shutting off service between November 15th– March 15th if the service is used to heat your house. There are additional shut-off protections for people in special situations such as senior (65 yrs or over) households, low-income families with infants, and people with serious illness who cannot afford to pay their utility bills. For more information contact your utility company or Elder Services’ Information & Referral Department, 413-499-0524.

DID YOU KNOW?

You should never click on ads on your phone or computer. Instead go straight to the website of the vendor to increase protection of your financial information.

294 First Street, Pittsfield MA 01201 (Intersection of First & Burbank Streets)

Phone: 413.464.7797

• Fax: 413.464.7616

Mon-Fri 9am- 7pm Saturdays 9am-2pm Sundays Closed

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Elder Services of Berkshire County,

Inc. NUTRITION PROGRAM SENIOR COMMUNITY DINING CENTERS

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

CITY/TOWN PHONE

NO� ADAMS 662-3125

WILLIAMSTOWN 458-8250

ADAMS 743-8333

CHESHIRE 743-9719

SPITZER CENTER 116 Ashland St. M-T-W-TH-F 11:30 am

HARPER CENTER 118 Church St. M-W-F 11:30 am

COMMUNITY CENTER 3 Hoosac St. M-T-W-TH-F 11:30 am

SENIOR CENTER 119 School St. M-T-W-TH-F 11:30 am

TOWN HALL 83 North Main St. M-W 11:30 am DALTON 684-2000 SENIOR CENTER 40 Field St. Ext. M-TH 12:00 pm BECKET 623-8934 TOWN HALL Route 577 Main St. T & TH 11:00 am PITTSFIELD 499-9346

LANESBORO 448-2682

SENIOR CENTER 330 North St. M-T-W-TH-F 11:30 am LENOX 637-5535

LEE 394-4160

GT� BARRINGTON 528-4118

PITTSFIELD 442-2200 KOSHER

COMMUNITY CENTER 65 Walker St. M-T-W-TH-F 12:00 pm

SENIOR CENTER 21 Crossway Village M-T-W-TH-F 11:30 am

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. CLOSED CLOSED PROVIDENCE CT� 443-1841 PROVIDENCE COURT 379 East St. M-T-W-TH-F 11:30 am STOCKBRIDGE 298-4170

STOCKBRIDGE 298-3222

SENIOR CENTER 50 Main St. CLOSED CLOSED 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. The suggested donation is $3.00 per meal. All contributions are returned to the community toward the cost of the Nutrition Program and Services. Those 59 or under are welcome at a required fee of $8.00 per meal.

MEALS ON WHEELS Elder Services’ Berkshire Senior , December 2022January 2023 15 Home Instead® Care Professionals can provide the care needed to ensure your loved one returns home safely Each Home Instead® franchise is independently owned and operated. © 2022 Home Instead, Inc. PERSONAL CARE | TRANSPORTAT ION | MEALS & NUTRITION | MEMORY CARE Call (413) 442-0907 or visit HomeInstead.com/Berkshire If You Need Transpor tation Assistance We Are Available 2 4/7, 365 Days Serving All of New England & New York 18 Oak St., Pittsfield, MA • (413) 4 47-3800 You name it, we do it! Established in 2003 • Medical Appointments • Holiday Get Together s
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ADDRESS DAYS MEALS SERVED SERVING TIME
BERKSHIRE COUNTY

Winter Emergency Preparedness

The winter season can be a beautiful time of year with snow and lights. But winter storms can range from wet snow, sleet or freezing rain that builds up on trees and powerlines to a Nor’easter, bringing blizzard conditions that last several days. People can become stranded in their automobiles or trapped at home, without utilities or other services. Older adults run a higher risk of health problems, injuries related to weather, including hypothermia, frostbite, and falls on ice or in snow. It is better to be prepared ahead of time – here are some basic precautions everyone should take, especially older adults.

- To decrease the likelihood of a fall happening while walking to a car or to check the mail, make sure that walkways are sanded, salted and/or shoveled. Ask your healthcare provider whether shoveling or other work in the snow is safe for you. Use an old ski pole or walking stick with

a pointed tip and wear traction cleats on your shoes or boots for extra stability on ice and snow.

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

- Make sure your car is properly winterized. Keep the gas tank at least half-full and carry a Winter Survival Kit in the trunk including blankets, extra clothing, boot cleats, flashlight with spare batteries, a can & waterproof matches (to

melt snow for drinking water), non-perishable foods, windshield scraper, shovel, sand, towrope and jumper cables.

Here are tips for dealing with a possible power outage: Before an Outage

• Check battery operated supplies to ensure they are working, have extra batteries and fully charge your phone, laptop, and any other devices as a storm approaches. Buy a solarpowered or hand crank charger to keep small electronics working and a car phone charger so you can charge your phone if you lose power at home.

• If you have a water supply (such as a well-water pump system) that could be affected, fill your bathtub and spare containers with water. Pouring a pail of water from the tub directly into the bowl can flush a toilet.

• If possible, have a safe backup heating option such as fireplace or woodstove (and sufficient fuel) so you can keep at least one room livable. Be sure the room is well ventilated and has a carbon monoxide detector.

• Know how to shut off water valves. If pipes freeze, remove insulation, completely open all faucets and pour hot water over the pipes, starting where they are most exposed to the cold. A hand-held hair dryer, used with caution, also works well. Do not use torches or other flame sources to thaw pipes as this cause fires.

• If you have medication that requires refrigeration, check with your pharmacist for guidance on proper storage during an extended outage.

• If you use medical equipment that requires electricity, talk to your doctor about how you can prepare for its use during a power outage. If you have life-

Elder Services’ Berkshire Senior , December 2022January 2023 16 SAFETY

support devices that depend on electricity, contact your local electric company about your power needs for lifesupport devices (home dialysis, breathing machines, etc.) in advance of an emergency. Some utility companies will put you on a “priority reconnection service” list. Talk to your equipment suppliers about your power options and also let the fire department know that you are dependent on life-support devices.

• Know how to operate the manual release lever of your electric garage door opener. Garage doors can be heavy, so know that you may need help to lift it.

• Find out what assistance may be available in your community if you need it. Register in advance with the local emergency management agency, fire department, senior center, or non-profit groups. Tell them of your individual needs or those of a family member and find out what assistance, help or services can be provided.

During an Outage

• Use 9-1-1 only for emergencies. Call your utility company to report the outage and get restoration information. Call 2-1-1 to obtain shelter locations if necessary.

• Check in on friends, family, and neighbors, particularly those most susceptible to extreme temperatures and power outages such as seniors and those with access and functional needs.

• If the power is out, use batterypowered lights if possible, instead of candles. If you must use them, place candles in safe holders away from anything that could catch fire. Never leave a burning candle unattended.

• Ensure that your smoke and Carbon Monoxide (CO) detectors are working correctly and have fresh batteries. Check your outside fuel exhaust vents, making sure that they are not obstructed by snow or ice. Never use cooking equipment intended for outside use indoors as a heat source or cooking device.

BERKSHIRE COUNTY LEGISLATORS

UNITED STATES CONGRESS

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.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

Rep. Tricia Farley-Bouvier

24 Beacon Street, Room 127 Boston, MA 02133 (617) 722-2680

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

• Dress in several layers of loose fitting, lightweight, warm clothing, rather than one layer of heavy clothing. Wear hats, mittens, scarves and other clothing to keep your entire body warm. See if your community has “warming centers” or shelters open.

• Watch for signs of frostbite: loss of feeling and white or pale appearance in the extremities such as fingers, toes, or the tip of the nose. Watch for signs of hypothermia: uncontrollable shivering, memory loss, disorientation, incoherence, slurred speech, and drowsiness. If symptoms are detected, get the victim to a warm location, remove any wet clothing, warm the center of the body first and give warm, non-alcoholic beverages, if the victim is conscious. Get medical help as soon as possible.

• To protect against voltage irregularities when power is restored, unplug all sensitive electronic equipment. Leave on one light so that you’ll know when your power returns.

After an Outage

• Be extra cautious if you go outside to inspect for damage after a storm. Downed or hanging electrical wires can be hidden by snowdrifts, trees or debris, and could be live. Never attempt to touch or move downed lines. Keep children and pets away. Call your utility company to report any outagerelated problem such as downed wires.

• Clear exhaust vents from direct vent gas furnace systems to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. Make sure backup generators are well ventilated. Never run an automobile until the exhaust pipe has been cleared of snow.

• Take your time shoveling and avoid overexertion.

For more emergency information go to the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) website www.mass.gov/orgs/ massachusetts-emergencymanagement-agency

BERKSHIRE PHYSICAL THERAPY & WELLNESS

Elder Services’ Berkshire Senior , December 2022January 2023 17 SAFETY 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
TIFFANY BROWER, PT JOY MIL ANI, PT SHAUNNA HOULE, DPT RYAN TUGGE Y, PTA ROBERT PADUANO, PT NICOLE TUCKER, PT BRENT SYLVIA , PT JACKIE FARRELL , DPT THOMAS COONE Y, DPT

31,

Memorial Donations

In Memory of: Dennis Bernardi Paula Wells

In Memory of: William Broderick

Katherine Broderick

In Memory of: Helen T. Fitzpatrick

Sheila Fitzpatrick

In Memory of: Joseph ‘Barry’ Hollister Sheila Keator

In Memory of: Barbara J Kurek

Richard Kurek

In Memory of: Joan Funk Keith and Reanne Palmer

In Memory of: David Rogers Mary Rogers

In Memory of: Lois Weaver Art and Kate Sanders

Elder Independence Donations

Lynn Barbieri

Winter Word Search

1,

James and Margaret Beauregard

Nancy Begbie

Adriana Brown

Paul and Carol Charow

John and Geraldine Crane

Great Barrington Police Association Local 350

Steve and Susanne Green Pamela and Thomas Kidder Ellen Krupka

Ellen Leitch

Wallace Morrison

Mary Morrissey

Lois Nangle

Michael and Justina Norton Carol O’Brien Daniel Peterson Nancy Prezenik

Jane Ryan Cynthia Sault Andrea Schroeder

Ronald and Janice Uliasz Donald and Judy Wasuk Ellen Wineberg

General Donations

Adams Community Bank

Mike and Wendy Armstrong

Jennifer Brennan

Jo Anne and Benjamin Ginsberg

Cynthia Golin

Robert and Abbie Hatton

Richard Kurek

Paul Lennon Carol Perkins

Red Lion Inn St. John’s Parish

Meals on Wheels

Donations

Marion Markham

Tamar Schrager

Stop & Shop Bloomin’ 4 Good Program Thursday Morning Club

SHINE Donations

Cynthia Armstrong

DONATIONS Elder Services’ Berkshire Senior , December 2022January 2023 18
F A A A
A
• greylockaudiolog
Providing comprehensive hearing healthcare in the Berkshires for 20 years s Comprehensive diagnostic hearing evaluations
to investigate medical concerns s Lifest yle focused hearing aid consultations
to hear your best & enjoy the most s Real Ear measurement s • for optimal benefit from hearing aids s T innitus evaluation and treatment • to understand your options for relief MONUMENTS • MARKERS • LETTERING 413-499-1750 234 Wahconah Street Pittsfield MA
You
Our Donors:
Dr. Andrew J. Puttick Au.D.,
510 Nor th Street, Suite 9, Pit t sfield, M
01201 • (413) 443-4800
y.com
01201 Thank
To
The following donations were received between September 1, 2022 and October
2022. Donations received on or after November
2022 will appear in the next issue of Berkshire Senior.
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ELDER FUN Elder Services’ Berkshire Senior , December 2022January 2023 20 Thank you for voting us B est in the B e rkshires! H o n o r e d t o S e r v e O u r Com m u n i t y f o r 118 Ye a r s & 5 G e ne r at i o n s !
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