Berkshire Senior 1220

Page 1

Helping Seniors During This Holiday Season

Elder Services Annual Report Protect Yourself from Flu and COVID: What to Know and Where to Go

Your Care, Your Home, Your Neighbors


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222 Elm Street, Pittsfield (413) 499-1400 Outside Pittsfield

877 South Street, Suite 1W • Pittsfield, MA 413-443-2994 •

HOURS Mon. - Fri. 9:30am - 5:30pm • Sat. 9:30am - 4pm After hours please call & leave message

Elder Services’ Berkshire Senior, December 2020 - January 2021

The difference is in our care


Thank you for Voting us Best in the Berkshires for Coin / Collectable Dealer

It’s hard to make senior living at Wingate Residences even better. But we’ve found a way.


At Wingate Residences at Melbourne Place, we are breathing new life into our community through our beautifully designed renovations. These enhancements are designed with our residents in mind, offering new apartments, spacious outdoor lounging & kitchen, a year-round fire pit and more.

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Call to learn more or schedule a tour: 413.300.6044


140 Melbourne Road, Pittsfield, MA 01201

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.


Twitter: @Berkshire Senior

Instagram: berkshiresenior

LinkedIn: Elder Services of Berkshire County

Thank You and Please Stay Connected By Christopher McLaughlin, Executive Director of Elder Services Hoping all is well with you and yours. My message to you this issue is very brief due to the need to allow space for articles that are more important. However, I did want to take this opportunity to extend our sincerest thanks to our clients and our community for your support and generosity during a particularly challenging year. I would also like to ask each of you to make sure you reach out to the seniors in your life to let them know how special they are to you, to your family and to our community. This Holiday Season presents the perfect opportunity for you to be the light in a senior’s life when they really need it. Unfortunately, we need to remain (mostly) physically distant this Holiday Season, but it’s more important than ever that we remain socially connected. Best Wishes for a healthy, happy Holiday Season.


Mission Statement

Winter Emergency Preparedness

Berkshire Senior Editorial Board: Deb Aldrich, Bonny DiTomasso, Laura Feakes, Deborah Golden Alecson, Christopher McLaughlin, Kathleen Cleary, Kathleen Phillips and John Arthur Miller Advertising: To place an advertisement in Berkshire Senior, please contact Kate Teutsch at (413) 496-6324 or e-mail

NOTICE Elder Services sells advertising to defray costs. 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.

a Winter Survival Kit in the trunk including blankets, extra clothing, 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 solar-powered 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. Tub water should be used for sanitation purposes only, continued on page 5

Contents Winter Emergency Preparedness .............................. 3 Helping Seniors During Holidays............................... 4 Holiday Elder Care Project........................................... 6 Annual Report.............................................................7-9

2021 Sub Grants ..........................................................10 Donations .....................................................................12 Health (Flu and COVID) ..............................................14 Information for Tenants .............................................15

Volume 38, Number 6 December 2020 The bi-monthly newspaper for Berkshire County seniors


Elder Services’ Berkshire Senior, December 2020 - January 2021

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: or on the internet at www.

Winter storms can range from wet snow, sleet or freezing rain that builds up on trees and power lines 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. As a basic precaution everyone should a have a well-stocked Winter Home Emergency Supply Kit that includes flashlights, portable radio, extra batteries, a first aid kit, bottled water and non-perishable food. Those with disabilities may want to consider adding to the kit: extra medical supplies, copies of medical information (insurance cards, physician contact information, list of allergies and medical history, prescriptions list), written descriptions of your support needs, in case you are unable to describe the situation in an emergency, and supplies for a service animal. Make sure your car is properly winterized, keep the gas tank at least half-full and carry



Helping Seniors During This Holiday Season Elder Services of Berkshire County’s caregiver coordinator Joe Choon and Will Turner talk about senior needs for communication during the holidays. By Brittany Polito iBerkshires Staff

Elder Services’ Berkshire Senior, December 2020 - January 2021

Wednesday, November 04, 2020


PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The pandemic is taking an emotional toll on the region’s senior population, one that’s likely to increase as the holiday season approaches. “Outside it’s the day before the election, it’s the week after Halloween, and the pandemic is in full effect and it seems to be growing, in fact it looks like its going to be spreading more and more and more into next year,” behavioral health clinician Will Turner said on the recent “Berkshire Senior Television” episode. “Which means that the holidays are going to be affected by what happens with the pandemic, and that means that our seniors are going to be in their homes isolated not able to be with their families like they usually do. “ On the special edition of the Pittsfield Community Television show, Elder Services of Berkshire County’s caregiver coordinator Joseph Choon outlined a Holiday Elder Care 2020 Project to encourage county residents to reach out to elders this holiday season. Joining him was Turner, who spoke about the increased emotional toll that this holiday season will put on senior citizens and the importance of making sure they do not feel lonely or forgotten. During the holidays, many older residents feel lonely and are reminded of people they lost in the past, he said. Between that and the lack of family get-togethers, inability to get around, and feeling of not fully participating, they can suffer from depression, loneliness, and isolation. Families may also

Elder Services Behavioral Health Clinician Will Turner (left) talking with Elder Services Caregiver Coordinator Joe Choon (right) about the 2020 Holiday Elder Care Project. have to drive from far distances to be together and it may be the only time they can be with children and grandchildren and participate in family traditions. “They break bread and spend wonderful and important time together, and it’s the time when elders often get filled up for the whole year, it’s that one day that fills them for the whole year,” Turner said. Because of the novel coronavirus, the holidays will be different this year. It will be challenging everyone, but especially senior citizens, Turner said. For seniors who are already somewhat isolated because of physical disabilities or not being able to drive, the threat of COVID-19 is isolating them even further. “This holiday will be the most challenging in that elders will say they are going to be fine but it’s important to know they will be having a tough time,” Turner said. “Whether they celebrate Hanukkah, Kwanza, Thanksgiving or any other holiday. “ Turner said people were

making a great effort to reach out to friends and family to check on them at the beginning of the pandemic but now at eight months in, people are getting used to the isolation and reaching out less. “It’s time to reach out again because this is going to be an especially difficult time for all of us,” Turner said. Reaching out can include a phone call, a handwritten letter, a drawing, a card, or a Zoom call. The cost of this is free or minimal, and has been proven make an impact on seniors’ happiness. Choon said to consider reaching out to strangers as well as relatives. He cited the time that he had surgery and his neighbors came over with a snowblower to clear his walkways, which was a way of showing support without words. An Elder Services committee has reached out to school superintendents asking them to encourage students to write letters to senior, host Zoom meetings so students can sing to them, or any other creative way that they can reach out. “Not

only would the elders love it, but the kids and teachers, it would feel good all around,” Turner said. Pen pal programs are beneficial to elders because they don’t involve technology that they may be uncomfortable with and gives them a physical relic to hold on to. Turner said when seniors get to their mailbox and see a card made by children or a handwritten letter they are filled with happiness. The committee has also c o n t a c t e d nu r s i n g h o m e s asking if there are residents who would like to receive mail and are inviting teachers to adopt a nursing home with their students. Local parishes are being encouraged to think about a contact tree instead of a giving tree. “If I was sitting in a nursing home in my chair and all of a sudden I got a bunch of letters addressed to me saying all of these good wishes, I would feel fantastic,” Turner said. One suggestion was that a person could write a letter or make a phone call on each of the 12 Days of Christmas. Choon said could be as simple as asking “how are you today?” and would give both parties something to look forward to every day. “If you send a note, or card or a letter, to an elder or if you call them it is going to be a memory that lasts forever,” Turner said. “They are going to be telling that story about the Christmas or the Thanksgiving that they got all these notes and they’re going to be telling them for the rest of their lives.” Community members who are interested in participating can email Turner at wturner@esbci. org and he will send a list of participating nursing homes and assisted living facilities.

continued from page 3 not for drinking. Pouring a pail of water from the tub directly into the bowl can flush a toilet. • If possible, have an alternative emergency heating source and fuel ( gas fireplace, wood burning stove or fireplace) so you can keep at least one room livable. Be sure the room is well ventilated. • 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 may cause fires. • If you have medication that requires refrigeration, check with your pharmacist for guidance on proper storage during an extended outage. • If you use medical equipment in your home that requires electricity, talk to your doctor

about how you can prepare for its use during a power outage. If you have life-support devices that depend on electricity, contact your local electric company about your power needs for lifesupport devices (home dialysis, suction, breathing machines, etc.) in advance of an emergency. Some utility companies will put you on a “priority reconnection service” list. Talk to your equipment suppliers about your power options and also let the fire department know that you are dependent on life-support devices. • Know where the manual release lever of your electric garage door opener is located and how to operate it. Garage doors can be heavy, so know that you may need help to lift it. • Find out what assistance may be available in your community if you need it. Register in advance with the local emergency m a n a g e m e n t a g e n cy, f i re department, senior center, or non-profit groups. Tell them of your individual needs or those of a family member and find out what assistance, help or services can be provided.

During an Outage • Use 9-1-1 only for emergencies. Call your utility company to report the outage and get restoration information. • Check in on friends, family, and neighbors, particularly those most susceptible to extreme temperatures and power outages such as seniors and those with access and functional needs. • If the power is out, use batterypowered lights if possible, instead of candles. If you must use them, place candles in safe holders away from anything that could catch fire. Never leave a burning candle unattended. • Ensure that your smoke and Carbon Monoxide (CO) detectors are working correctly and have fresh batteries. Check your outside fuel exhaust vents, making sure that they are not obstructed by snow or ice. Never use cooking equipment intended for outside use indoors as a heat source or cooking device. • Dress in several layers of loose fitting, lightweight, warm clothing, rather than one layer of heavy

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Elder Services’ Berkshire Senior, December 2020 - January 2021

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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 s h ive r i n g , m e m o r y l o s s , 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, including TVs, microwave, computer, and cordless telephone. Leave on one light so that you’ll know when your power returns.


Winter Emergency Preparedness

We’re Perfecting the Art of Superior Care. 5

ELDER CARE Elder Services’ Berkshire Senior, December 2020 - January 2021 6

Holiday Elder Care 2020 Project By Will Turner, LICSW The pandemic of 2020 persists. It looks like it may be increasing in numbers for all categories through the winter and possibly beyond. If it is, there are some important issues to address with elders in our community. I am an elder myself at age 65. Many elders may feel lonely and focus on people they lost in the past. Not to mention the lack of family get-togethers, an inability to get around or the feeling they cannot fully participate in holiday functions can lead to depression and isolation. This is especially true during this Pandemic. Many of us elders feel lonely at times. I think it is a factor of getting old, experiencing loss and personal/family/friends life changes around us. This year is going to be especially hard for Berkshire elders (whether they live in a nursing home, at home alone or at home with family). It is going to be one of the most challenging and isolating holidays of our lifetime. At Elder Services of Berkshire County, we are thinking about what elders’ emotional needs may be during the upcoming holidays. Traditionally Hanukah, Kwanzaa and Christmas have been a time to gather. It is my and many elders’ favorite part of the holidays, visiting with loved ones, often for the only time all year. Many family/friends/loved ones have creatively reached out to elders in our community in spontaneous/ingenious ways during the early stages of COVID19’s physically distant times. Now is the time to challenge our creative energy and can do attitude once again. I believe elders will need extra help/support during the next major holidays, Hanukah, Kwanzaa and Christmas. So get your thinking caps on and get ready to take action! Here are some suggestions

that we can all do to show love to elders during a time of physical distancing. I am challenging all Berkshire County heroes to Stay Socially Connected. Many people are counting on us. It does not need to cost a lot of money. Keep it simple.

Families/Friends/Good Samaritans 1. Call your elders often during the holidays, become their phone pals. 2. Send Berkshire elders holiday cards (homemade is even better). 3. Write them letters (become pen pals-maybe as a present). 4. Show up at their home at scheduled times and visit through the windows safely. (In my family, we put lawn chairs in the driveway-about 9 feet apart and visit wearing masks). 5. Use your creativity and come up with ways to connect I have not thought of yet. 6. If you are an elder write to your friends, reach out, connect and warm their hearts like only you can. Teachers/Schools/Classrooms/ Nursing Home Activities 1. Adopt a nursing home near you in Berkshire County for Hanukah and Christmas. a. Make/Write cards and letters back and forth. (Pictures drawn by kids are especially heartwarming). b. Schedule a Zoom meeting once during Christmas, Hanukah, Kwanza, etc. to sing each other carols, light the candles and share photos, etc. c. I have a list of Berkshire County Nursing homes if you need it. 2. Be creative and come up with new and innovative ways to connect. Churches (which have always been good to our elders)

1. Consider having parishioners/ members of your church or synagogue adopt elders. 2. Write cards and letters back and forth. (Pictures drawn are especially heartwarming). a. Schedule a Zoom meeting once during Christmas and Hanukah, etc. to sing each other carols and share pictures, etc. 3. Become phone pals with church elders during the holidays and beyond if you can. 4. Have an Adopt an Elder Giving tree or Menorah for the holidays and have parishioners/ members choose an elder.

Holiday 2020 Goals 1. Make communication a priority. Video chatting, Skype, FaceTime, Zoom, etc., and don’t forget good old phone calls. This can make a world of difference. Make it a point to reach out before and on the actual holiday so the elder in your life doesn’t feel forgotten during this special time of year. Encourage friends and family members to do the same. How about if everyone encourages at least one other person in your life to do this? 2. Encourage and facilitate social activities through phone, social media, technology, etc. A friend told me this week they play Yahtzee over Zoom once a week with their elderly mom. Be creative… I know you can do it! 3. Explore Hobbies and other areas of interest. You can sing together, knit together, craft together over the phone and other media. 4. When these steps don’t do the trick: If you have taken steps to address loneliness, but still find that the elder in your life is withdrawn and in low spirits, they may be showing signs of holiday loneliness and need further support. Massachusetts has free supportive services:

a. Locally the Warmline (413445-1136) is staffed by peers and open until 8 p.m. b. MassSupport-For statewide assistance call 888-2154920, email MassSupport@ or visit or They provide phone counseling and other support.

10 Tips for connecting with your beloved elders 1. Listen; really listen when connecting with an elder. 2. Remind them how important they are as part of your life, your family’s life and this holiday. 3. Write positive focused Holiday Cards. Avoid catching them up on all the tragic news of the past year and stay positive. 4. Encourage them to see that you are simplifying your holiday plans to focus on the real meaning of the holidays (thanks giving, remembrance, love). 5. Make arrangements with a nursing home for you to have a Zoom meeting with a loved one. 6. Ask church leaders to help support elder parishioners over the holiday. 7. Send them holiday-focused materials in large envelopes or do holiday activities over the phone or via social media. 8. Share traditional foods with them safely. 9. Contact friends, family and good Samaritans to reach out and connect with elders. 10. Send the message of love and connection in whatever way possible and be creative. Your kids probably are best at the creative part. Love them up. Not only will this fill the hearts of our elders during the holidays but also it will fill your heart and your family and friends’ hearts. Best gift ever!

ANNUAL REPORT 2020 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.


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


AAA Advisory Council Members Lisa Fletcher-Udel, Chair June Green, Vice Chair Robert Allard Quentin Chin James Clark Maria Craft Sandra Lussier Vincent Marinaro

Meri-Ellen Morgans Irwin (Tom) Renak Mary Shogry-Hayer

“Caring for Berkshire County Elders and their families since 1974.”

As this issue of Berkshire Senior features our 2020 Annual Report, we proudly reflect on Elder Services of Berkshire County Inc.’s (Elder Services) many accomplishments and milestones of the past fiscal year. At the same time, we look forward to responding to many of the same challenges in 2021. Our greatest source of pride in 2020 is the way our Agency mobilized its resources to continue providing programs and services to Berkshire County seniors during the COVID-19 pandemic. As I write this letter, COVID-19 shows no signs of going away anytime soon. The effects of COVID-19 can hit seniors particularly hard with increased social distancing leading to isolation and loneliness. From the beginning of the pandemic in mid-March, the Commonwealth deemed Elder Services an essential service provider. We are the primary organization Berkshire seniors rely on to feel safe, secure and healthy in their homes. In the nearly nine months since the pandemic began, our kitchen and Meals on Wheels Drivers haven’t missed a day of providing hot meals and wellness checks to seniors throughout the County. Though we are currently making more phone calls than face-to-face visits, our Nurses and Client Service Coordinators continue doing assessments and coordinating services for our clients. Information and Referral Specialists continue providing valuable information about Elder Services and other Berkshire resources. Ombudsmen provide needed support to nursing home residents and SHINE, Money Management, Options, Caregiver and Elder Mental Health Counselors continue providing counseling sessions. We respectfully ask that you consider supporting us during what we know will continue to be a difficult time for Berkshire seniors. Ways to donate include: 1. Visiting for an online donation form 2. Sending your check in the enclosed envelope 3. Calling Elder Services’ Fiscal Department at (413) 499-0524 Options Counselor John Arthur Miller represents ESBCI at a Senior Day at the Registry of Motor Vehicles in Pittsfield.

Thank you for your interest in Elder Services and your Berkshire neighbors. Thanks to friends and donors like you, we stand ready to continue supporting seniors during this unprecedented time. Sincerely, John Philpott, President Board of Directors

Farmers Market Coupons at Providence Court

A member agency of...

Northern Berkshire United Way

Elder Services’ Berkshire Senior, December 2020 - January 2021

John Philpott, President Mary Shogry-Hayer, Vice-President Jacob Dabrowski, Treasurer Kimberly Mathews, Clerk Randy Burdick Teresa Caldwell Deborah Delaney Sandy Driscoll

Dear Friends of Elder Services:


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



“ Dignity &Independence Information and Referral (contacts)


Seniors served by the Home Care Program


Seniors served by Nutrition Program


Caregiver Consumers Served Supportive Housing tenants who Received Service Coordination Clinical Eligibility Assessments Seniors served by SHINE (Serving the Health Insurance Needs of Everyone) SHINE Volunteer Counselors

76 2,606 2,761 32

Title III Subgrant program recipients


Volunteers Helping Seniors


Seniors Supported by Elder Mental Health Outreach Team

Volunteer Hours

Seniors served by the Nutrition Program

Grocery shopping, companions, transportation


Money Management


SHINE (Serving the Health Insurance Needs of Everyone)

Meals on Wheels home delivered meals Senior meal site lunches served (at 16 community meal sites)

2,383 13,568

Nutrition Long Term Care Ombudsman


Seniors enrolled in Fallon’s NaviCare SCO Plan Elder Services’ Berkshire Senior, December 2020 - January 2021


Long Term Care Ombudsman nursing home visits

Seniors Supported by Options Counseling Services


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


1,225 270 37

179,964 39,248


Indirect Services (Board of Directors, Advisory Council, Berkshire Senior TV, Berkshire Senior Newspaper, mailings, 268 clerical)

Total Volunteer Hours



Berkshire Senior Newspaper Bi-Monthly Circulation (6 times a year) 11,000


ESBC Client Services Coordinator Michelle Arsenault and her mother Ardell stand in front of turkeys and other food items ESBC employees donated to the Christian Center.

Congratulations to Elder Services of Berkshire County staff members who celebrated service milestones this year. The individuals listed below collectively represent 160 years of dedication, commitment and caring for Elder Services’ clients and our Berkshire community!


Staff Service Award Recipients

5 Years of Service

10 Years of Service

25 Years of Service

Dustin Buchinski – Senior Care Options Supervisor Peter King – Meals on Wheels Driver

Cassandre Carmon – Human Resources Manager

Thomas Koperniak – Meals on Wheels Driver

Terence Chiaretto – Meals on Wheels Driver Joshua Derby – Client Services Supervisor Michelle McMurray – Contracts Supervisor Shirley Zawistowski – Client Services RN

Richard Marquis- Meals on Wheels Driver

15 Years of Service

John Arthur Miller – Options Counselor

Michael Resio – Meals on Wheels Driver

Kathryn Plant – Client Services Coordinator

20 Years of Service

Deborah Stanlewicz – Client Services Coordinator

Lisa Allen – Food Service Supervisor Paula Gonnello – Administrative Support Professional

Christine Thomson – Clinical Services Director

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

Grants Received

Federal Administration on Aging/EOEA



for 2020

Elder Services is very fortunate to be the recipient of the support and generosity of our Berkshire County community. One form of support is the grants we receive to support Elder Services’ programs and services that benefit thousands of seniors in Berkshire County. We sincerely appreciate this support and the additional support we have received during the COVID-19 pandemic. Adams Community Bank Berkshire Life Charitable Foundation Berkshire Taconic Foundation: • Ruth P. Boraski Memorial Fund for Meals on Wheels • Central Berkshire Fund for Meals on Wheels & SHINE • Fund for Williamstown Families Meals on Wheels • James & Robert Hardman Fund Meals on Wheels & SHINE • Cooper Family Fund • Katharine L.W. & Winthrop Crane III Charitable Foundation • Joseph & Lily Dewton Family Fund • Dichter Family Fund • Mount Everett Fund • William J. & Margery S. Barrett Fund • Women’s Club of the Berkshires Fund Berkshire United Way & Taconic Foundation COVID-19 Fund

Coronavirus Community of PassionCountry Club of Pittsfield

State Executive Office of Elder Affairs

The EOS Foundation Fallon Health- COVID 19 Grant Fallon Health Hunger Initiative


Greylock Federal Credit Union Guardian COVID-19 Fund Health New England COVID-19 Grant Massachusetts Bankers Association Charitable Trust MountainOne – Nutrition Neenah Technical Materials

Local and Other Funding


Northern Berkshire United Way Katharine C. Pierce Trust City of Pittsfield – Meals on Wheels & SHINE Pittsfield Council on Aging and Friends of the Pittsfield COA




for 2020

St. John’s Episcopal Church Williamstown Town of Great Barrington Williamstown Community Chest

Elder Programs


Senior Home Delivered Meal

Management and General


Elder Services’ Berkshire Senior, December 2020 - January 2021

• Neighbor-to-Neighbor Fund





2021 Sub Grants Awarded When it comes to caring for seniors, it’s a matter of trust Meet the Berkshires Senior Care Family


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

Elder Services’ Berkshire Senior, December 2020 - January 2021

4 0 M a plewood av enue • pittsfield, Ma 01201


Friends helping friends since 1915

Call Us: 413-445-5988 DE VA NNY- C O N D R O N . C O M

W e at D ev an n y C o n d r on a r e d e d ic a te d to b e in g th e f r ie n d you n eed i n ti m es l i k e th es e . W h e th e r it’s p r e p a r in g f o r th e i n ev i tab l e i n ad v an ce, or d e a lin g with th e u n e x p e c te d , we a r e h er e to h el p you th r ou g h . Be c a u s e e v e r y o n e k n o ws , a s th e s o n g g o es , you g et b y wi th a little h e lp f r o m y o u r f r ie n d s .

In 1965, The United States Cong ress passed the Older Americans Act, (OAA), to address the need for community social services for older persons. OAA is considered a major vehicle for delivering social and nutritional services to seniors and their care givers. The purpose of Title III of the OAA is to encourage and assist state and local agencies to develop and implement comprehensive, c o o rd i n at e d , i n - h o m e a n d 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 federal OAA funds to support community-based and in-house services for older adults through the award of sub grants. ESBCI’s Advisory Council oversees the application, selection and monitoring process of these sub grants. Sub grant contracts run from October 1, 2020 through September 30, 2021. The 2021 Sub grant recipients are:

ADAMS COUNCIL ON AGINGProvides transportation for residents 60 years and older in 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


John W. Bresnahan

Caroline R. Sullivan-Mulherin

Korey A. Mulherin


Provides educational support and workshops for family and professional care givers 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 JUSTICEProvides legal services for elders with a special focus on elders who reside in their home with the assistance of government benefits, elders with protective services, elders with no other means of access to the legal system and elders whose legal issues threaten their independence and dignity. 284 Main Street, Great Barrington, MA (413) 854-1955

BERKSHIRE RAINBOW SENIORSProvides Berkshire County’s senior LGBTQ community suppor t 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 b e n e f i t s, e l d e r s re c e iv i n g protective services, elders with no other means of access to the legal system and elders whose le gal issues threaten their independence and dignity. 152 North Street, #15, Pittsfield, MA (413) 499-1950

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

BCAC donated 10 tablet devices to be provided to ten income-eligible seniors. These devices can be used for telehealth visits with medical providers and allow these individuals to virtually visit with friends and family.

Let Us Welcome You Home Berkshiretown Apartments Appleton Managed Properties


Elder Services Receives Donation from BCAC

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

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 Marketed & Managed by

Elder Services’ Berkshire Senior, December 2020 - January 2021

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



Thank You To Our Donors: The following donations were received during the period of August 1, 2020 to October 31, 2020. Donations received on or after November 1, 2020 will appear in the next publication of Berkshire Senior. Note: Sincerest thanks to our generous donors who have made donations throughout the year! A complete list of donors who donated during Fiscal Year 2020 (July 1, 2019 - June 30, 2020) is available on our website at

General Donations Ms. Debora A. Aldrich Mr. & Mrs. Robert Anderson Ms. Sharon Bartels Ms. Colleen Bergdoll Berkshire Life Insurance Mr. & Mrs. Gilbert d’Oliveira Mr. Thomas Douglas

Mr. Robert and Mrs. Judi King Mr. Peter McCallion Mr. Tony Pagliarulo Mr. & Mrs. John W. Philpott Ms. Donna Todd Rivers Ms. Judith Trask Mr. Peter Calderella


Empire Monuments, Inc.

Elder Services’ Berkshire Senior, December 2020 - January 2021

Est. 1931 Complete Service of Monuments & Markers

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

Mr. & Mrs. Fred Abeles Mr. & Mrs. Louis C Allegrone Ms. Barbara J. Allen Mr. & Mrs. James Allen Ms. Joan Andrews Mr. Marcel Archambault

Amazonsmile With AmazonSmile, a website operated by Amazon, customers enjoy the same wide selection of products, low prices and convenient shopping as on Amazon. com. The only difference is that when customers shop on AmazonSmile, the AmazonSmile Foundation donates .5% of the price of eligible purchases to charitable organizations such as Elder Services of Berkshire County, Inc. Go to to shop and select Elder Services of Berkshire County, Inc. and we will receive a .5% donation from your purchases! Please let us know when you designate ESBCI for a donation, as AmazonSmile does not provide us with information about donations, including the name of the donor.

Mr. Thomas Bailey Mrs. Lynn Barbieri Mr. & Mrs. Alfred Bedini, Sr. Mr. & Mrs. Walter Blair Ms. Penny Borax Ms. Penny Borax Ms. Beth L. Bourdon Mr. & Mrs. Ronald H. Bourgoin Mr. & Mrs. Mark Brazeau Ms. Joanne Brown Ms. Adriana Brown Mr. & Mrs. Ronald J. Burdick Mr. & Mrs. Paul K. Butler Ms. Augustina M. Cacalloro Carlson Propane Mr. Anthony L. Caropreso Drs. Alan & Roselle Chartock Ms. Carol A Christopher Ms. Ginny Conner Mr. & Mrs. William Crawford, Jr. Mr. & Mrs. John I. Curtin Mr. & Mrs. James Daily Mr. Joseph Dewey Mr. Robert Geoffrey Donelan Ms. June M. Donna Mr. Malcolm Douglas, Jr Ms. Eva Douillet Mr. & Mrs. Gary Farrar Mrs. Shirley Finkelstein Ms. Norma Flynn Mr. Spencer Fraker Francis Investment Consulting Group Mr. & Mrs. Jack French Mr. & Mrs. Sully Garofano Mr. & Mrs. James Giddens Ms. Eleanor A. Gifford Mr. & Mrs. Alfred R. Goggia Mr. & Mrs. Jay Gold Ms. Sheila Goldlust Mr. & Mrs. John Graziola Mr. Steve Green Mr. & Mrs. George Greule Ms. Cande Grieve Mr. & Mrs. W. Raymond Grogan

Mr. & Mrs. Joseph Salvadore Mr. & Mrs. Guy A. Saporito Dr. & Mrs. Wynn Sayman Mr. & Mrs. Walter Schleicher Mrs. Anne N. Schnesel Ms. Andrea Schroeder Mr. & Mrs. Norman Schutz Mr. Fred J. Sears Mr. & Mrs. Alex Seseske Mr. & Mrs. Frederick F. Seymour, Jr. Ms. Helen-Mary Shaffer Mr. & Mrs. Charles E. Shea Ms. Judith Sheehan Dr. & Mrs. Michael F. Sheridan Ms. Elizabeth W. Silk Rev. & Mrs. Robert H. Skidmore Ms. Lisa Sloane Mr. & Mrs. Robert Smith Mr. & Mrs. Starbuck Smith Ms. Margaret Soule Mr. & Mrs. Joseph Strauch, Jr. Ms. June A. Thomas Mr. & Mrs. James H. Tremblay Mr. & Mrs. James H. Tremblay Ms. Patricia Trumble Mr. & Mrs. David Tully Mr. & Mrs. William Turner Mr. & Mrs. Ronald Uliasz Ms. Joyce E. Vandemark Mrs. Linda Ventresca Ms. Judith E Weber Mrs. Janice A. Welcome Ms. Marjorie Wexler Mrs. Jane Wheeler Ms. Jean Wilbur Mr. & Mrs. David Winchester Mr. Thomas C. Wojtkowski Mr. & Mrs. William K. Wootters Ms. Doris Ziemba Mr. & Mrs. Edward J. Zoladz

Meals on Wheels Donations Ms. Ellen Evans Thursday Morning Club

Memorial Donations In Memory of Mrs. Celia Barbeau Barbara Tatro & Family In Memory of Mr. David Rogers Ms. Mary Rogers

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


Elder Independence Donations

Mr. & Mrs. Claude Grosjean Mr. & Mrs. Terrence Hanlon Mr. & Mrs. Terrence Hanlon Dr. & Mrs. Harry Hartford Mr. Nadell Hill Mr. & Mrs. Harry T. Horn Ms. Anna Hurlbut Ms. Esther S. Jewell Mr. Joshua Karabu Ms. Flora Karbelnik Mr. & Mrs. George Kellar Mr. & Mrs. William Ketcham Ms. Judith Kittredge Mr. Frank Lagowski Ms. Fern E Lavelle Ms. Suzanne C. Lawrence Mr. Ernest LeBarron Dr. Robert B. Lee Ms. Irene Lestage Mr. & Mrs. John J. Levesque Ms. Jean Liebenow Mr. & Mrs. Richard Luczynski Mr. & Mrs. Michael Lussier Ms. Teresa M. Macksey Ms. Patricia Mancuso Mr. Richard E. Markham Mr. & Mrs. James Maxymillian Ms. Mary K McClelland Ms. Christine M. McGinniss Mr. & Mrs. Richard Moon Mr. Noyal E. Moore Mr. & Mrs. Raymond H. Moulthrop Mr. George Munson Ms. Lois L. Neumann Mr. & Mrs. Anthony Nicastro Mr.& Mrs. Cornelius Obanhein Mr. & Mrs. Robert L. O’Brien Mr. Michael Ouellette Mr. Daniel Peterson Ms. Sara G. Pollard Dr. & Mrs. Andrew W. Potler Mr. & Mrs. Joseph Prenguber Ms. Nancy Prezenik Dr. Robin J. Renders Mrs. Kathy A. Reynolds-Holes Dr. & Mrs. Myron Ritrosky Ms. Nancy A. Rodovick Mr. Steven C Rogers, Sr. Mr. Stephen L. Root Ms. Barbara Rubin


s Specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of vertigo. s Fall Prevention and vestibular rehabilitation. s Orthopedic physical therapy services. s Telehealth services available for patients not ready to be seen in the clinic due to COVID-19 concerns. 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 Dr. Trevor Marcotte, PT DPT Clinical Director/Physical Therapist •

Mr. & Mrs. James Law Mr. & Mrs. Carl Pasierbiak Mr. & Mrs. Michael Torchia Mr. & Mrs. Craig Turner Ms. Janice Wilson Mr. & Mrs. Richard Wood In Memory of Mrs. Kathryn Tassone Mrs. Josephine Carchedi Mr. & Mrs. Walter LaPierre Ms. Marianne Pacheco In Memory of Mrs. Marie Dimise Ms. Carol Barcena Ms. Karen Bonin Mr. Kevin Cahill Ms. Marie Cahill Ms. Donna Connelly Mr. Edward Doucette Mr. & Mrs. Christopher Groves Mr. & Mrs. James Herland Mr. & Mrs. Walter LaPierre Mr. & Mrs. Frank LaRagione Mr. & Mrs. Daniel Lausier Mr. & Mrs. Mark Lausier Mr. & Mrs. Robert LeBlanc Mr. & Mrs. David Lein Ms. Linda Londergan Mr. & Mrs. Thomas Plantier Ms. Kathleen Polidoro Ms. Carol Powers Mr. & Mrs. Jeffrey P. Rayner Ms. Susan Ressler

Ms. Denise Rose Ms. Brenda Taikowski Mr. & Mrs. Frank Virgilio, Jr. Ms. Hermine L Weston Mr. & Mrs. James White In Memory of Mrs. Mary Frieri Ms. Rosanne Frieri In Memory of Mrs. Norma Maselli Mr. & Mrs. Louis Manica In Memory of Mrs. Sarah Green Mr. James Duffy and Ms. Debora Cole-Duffy Mr. & Mrs. Clarence Green Mr. Richard Jacobs Mr. & Mrs. Matthew Steiner In Memory of Mrs. Alice Bratcher Ms. Mary Fressola In Memory of Mrs. Shirley DeSantis Ms. Carole A Carey Mr. Mark Del Signore Mr. & Mrs. Daniel DeSantis Mr. & Mrs. Louis J DeSantis Ms. Leokadia Gniadek Mr. & Mrs. Kevin C Harper Mr. & Mrs. Thomas J Henry, Jr. Mr. & Mrs. David Phelps In Memory of the Ryan and Pero Families Mrs. Pattie Pero In Memory of Mrs. Irene LaFlash Ms. Kristine McAlister

Adult Supportive Day Program at Froio Center – alive and well! group setting. The program is open from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Monday through Friday and includes morning and afternoon snacks and luncheons daily. There is a fee for the Program based on full-day or half-day participation. Elder Services of Berkshire County, Inc. covers the program fee for eligible seniors. Some transportation may also be arranged at an additional charge. Call Janie at (413) 499-9346 x212 to discuss this option for your loved one.

413-499-1750 234 Wahconah Street Pittsfield MA 01201

We can help you understand all of your elder law, estate, and care options. Estate & Tax Planning, Long Term Care Planning, Elder Law, Veterans Benefits, Community Based Care, Medicaid Eligibility, Estate & Trust Administration

Paula K. Almgren, Esq. Kristina Z. Kisiel, Esq.* *also admitted in NY

One West Street ~ Lenox, MA 01240 tel: 413.637.5075 | fax: 413.637.5077

Elder Services’ Berkshire Senior, December 2020 - January 2021

Janie Bates, Director of the Adult Supportive Day Program is excited to remind folks that this program continues to be a safe and viable option for folks during this COVID-19 time and is presently welcoming new participants. The Adult Supportive Day Program, located at the Ralph J. Froio Senior Center at 330 North Street in Pittsfield, is an option for seniors who require some assistance and supervision, offering support for families, and providing a safe environment for socialization and activities in a


In Memory of Mrs. Elizabeth Mary “Lee” Kirk Mr. Richard Brophy Mr. & Mrs. John F. Brower Mr. Peter S. Karpenski In Memory of Mr. and Mrs. Jack and Helen Fitzpatrick Ms. Sheila Fitzpatrick In Memory of Mr. Bruce Twombly Mr. Mark S. Gold In Memory of Mr. Thomas Cadorette Mr. & Mrs. Michael Chamberlain Ms. Ruth Hall Ms. Suzanne Kallmann Family Ms. Pamela Rooney Family Mr. & Mrs. Gerard Sullivan In Memory of Mr. Vincent Carchedi Mrs. Josephine Carchedi Ms. Marianne Pacheco In Memory of Mrs. Doris Lussier Mr. & Mrs. Peter Armata, Sr. Mr. & Mrs. Lorenzo Burzimati Mr. & Mrs. Joseph Daigneault Ms. Annette Dudley Ms. Anna Flynn Mr. Paul Guillotte Mr. & Mrs. Louis Irace Mr. & Mrs. Thomas Kondel Ms. Margaret LaBombard



0 2 0 and U . S . COVID: CENSUS Protect Yourself from2Flu What to Know and Where to Go By Kathleen Cleary

Elder Services’ Berkshire Senior, December 2020 - January 2021



With the alarming rise in COVID-19 cases across the country, people are getting increasingly concerned and seeking testing. In a recent release issued by Pittsfield Mayor Tyer’s Director of Administrative Services, Public Health Nurse Kayla Donnelly outlined the very specific set of actions residents must follow to assure accurate test results. They are: 1. Self-quarantine as soon as you know you’ve been around someone with COVID-19. 2. I n d i v i d u a l s w h o a r e e x p e r i e n c i n g C OV I D - 1 9 related symptoms should promptly seek testing through the Berkshire Medical Center testing site. 3. Those who believe they might have been exposed but are not experiencing sy m p t o m s, s h o u l d t a ke care not to get tested for the virus prematurely. (A 4-day incubation period after learning of exposure will help prevent a false negative).

To get answers to your COVID questions and arrange a COVID-19 test, the BMC Link Line is open from 8 am to 4:30 pm at 855-262-5465. CVS Health at 107 West Street, Pittsfield, MA is also conducting drive-up coronavirus testing. An appointment is required but no referral needed. Tests are given to certain patients and you must legally reside in Massachusetts and be at least 18 years old. MedExpress Urgent Care at 999 Dalton Avenue, Pittsfield is offering COVID-19 testing with no appointment, no referral needed and testing for all patients, not just certain qualified patients. If you are a Veteran enrolled in VA health care, you can

make an appointment for a free coronavirus test at the Pittsfield VA clinic. For answers to COVID testing for vets, please call MYVA411 main information line at 800-698-2411.

FLU Flu season is upon us and with the increasing COVID cases we are seeing both across the country and globally, it is more important than ever to take every precaution to protect your health and those in your community. The influenza vaccine will not prevent getting COVID-19 but it will lessen your risk of getting the flu, compromising your health as well as reducing stress on our local healthcare systems.

There are many options in the Berkshires to get your flu shot. Your Primary Care Physician Your own doctor can advise you on what vaccines you should get as well as administer the vaccine to you. Pharmacies Many local pharmacies provide the most recommended vaccines for adults. Consider calling ahead to find out if your pharmacy currently has the vaccine you need. Also ask what you will need to pay; many are covered by insurance. You can also use the website www.vaccinef and indicate which vaccine you’re looking for and then search to get a result like this one for ‘flu shot 65+’: Many Councils on Aging have been providing flu shots at local community centers and the Berkshire Visiting Nurse Association has hosted numerous flu clinics. For more information from the Berkshire VNA, call: 413-447-2862.

Influenza Information A great resource for helpful information on the flu is the CDC’s (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) website: htm. Yo u w i l l f i n d d e t a i l e d information on: • Flu Prevention • Symptoms and Diagnosis • Treatment • Flu Activity across the Nation • And much more! You will all find the “Vaccine Finder” link on the website. So here’s to good health for all seniors in Berkshire County. Be sure to take every precaution you can to protect yourself and your loved ones.

Now that the Massachusetts E v i c t i o n M o r at o r i u m h a s expired, the courts are scheduling hearings in cases that were on hold during the moratorium. Landlords are also sending termination notices and filing new eviction cases. Financial And Other Housing Help • Tenants and homeowners who owe rent or mortgage payments should apply for financial and other help at Berkshire Housing Development Corp. Fill out the HCEC Intake Form at https:// or call 413-499-1630. BHDC will decide which programs can help you. • RAFT (Residential Assistance for Families in Transition) can pay up to $4,000 in rental assistance for eligible families. Up to $10,000 will be available in certain situations. https:// or call 413-499-1630. • Fuel Assistance (LIHEAP) – can help tenants afford their utilities. Apply at Berkshire Community Action Council, Inc. by calling (413) 445-4503.

• Tenants who have received a Notice to Quit or court eviction papers can apply for an attorney at 855-CLA-LEGAL (855-252-5342) or

• The Center for Disease Control (CDC) issued an eviction moratorium through December 31, 2020. Tenants must sign and give their landlord a Declaration to be covered by this moratorium. More information is available here: https://www. housing The New Court Process • Most court events will be held over Zoom. • Summons: When a tenant is served with a Summons and Complaint for an eviction case, the first court date will likely say “TBD” or “to be determined.” • The Court will send a separate notice with the date of the first court event and the Zoom information. If a tenant is confused about the court date or whether the court event is in person or over Zoom, contact the court How To Contact The Court • Housing Court (413) 748-7838 or WesternHousingCourt@jud. • Pittsfield District Court (413) 499-0558 or cmpittsfielddc@jud. • Northern Berkshire District Court (413) 663-5339 or cmnorthernberkshiredc@jud.

Contact us so you and/or loved ones can stay living at home! Non-medical living assistance services from Angels! Visiting Angels of the Berkshires RICHARD J. MESSER, DIRECTOR/OWNER SUE CARPENTER, CLIENT CARE COORDINATOR 197 South Street, Bldg. A, Pittsfield, MA 01201 Office: 413-344-9281 • Cell: 413-822-0123

How To Respond To An Eviction • Tenants should file an Answer and Discovery Request. • You must give these documents to your landlord and the court three business days before the first court event. • The website https://gbls. org/MADE (click “start online form”) will help you generate the Answer and Discovery forms. • The first court event for a new case in the Housing Court will be for mediation— an opportunity to try to reach a settlement agreement with the landlord. • In the District Court the first court event is a case management conference. • You do not need to settle during the first court date and should not make an agreement unless it meets your needs. • If the case does not settle

during the first court date, the court will send a second notice with a trial date. • You can transfer an eviction case from the District Court to the Housing Court by filing a Notice of Transfer by the day before the trial date. Other Help • Call 2-1-1 or CovidHousingHelp – can provide information and resources for tenants and homeowners. • Emergency Assistance (EA) Shelter – can provide shelter to eligible, low-income families experiencing homelessness or at imminent risk of homelessness. Apply at (866) 584-0653. If families have difficulty applying or are denied shelter, they can apply for Community Legal Aid. • https://www.masslegalhelp. org/housing - information for tenants about eviction rights and options.

Now, staying home isn’t just staying in the place they love. It’s staying safe. It’s essential.

If your loved one is vulnerable and needs in-home care, we’re here to help. Call us today. Learn More: 413.442.0907

PERSONAL CARE | MEMORY CARE | MEALS | HOUSEHOLD DUTIES Each Home Instead Senior Care Franchise is independently owned and operated @ 2020 Home Instead. Inc.

Elder Services’ Berkshire Senior, December 2020 - January 2021

Legal Assistance – Community Legal Aid

Tenant Protections - CDC Moratorium


Information For Tenants Facing Eviction


Designing Your Funeral

Elder Services’ Berkshire Senior, December 2020 - January 2021

Taking the time to design your service is a loving act, and not a difficult one. We invite you to explore the seemingly infinite number of ways to celebrate and honor a life.


776 North St, Pittsfield, MA

220 East St, Pittsfield, MA

525 Main St, Dalton, MA

WWW.DWYERFUNERAL.COM Proudly serving the Berkshires for over 116 years.

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