The Shutesbury Council On Aging COA) is dedicated to serving town residents 55 and over in conjunction with LifePath, formerly the Franklin County Home Care Corporation (FCHCC) and the Massachusetts Executive Office of Elder Affairs. Our meetings are usually the second Wednesday of every month starting at 5:30 to 7:00. Anyone is welcome to attend.
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8/22/16: The times are a changing - and so are we. Many of our neighbors have moved on. We are becoming limited in our abilities to care for ourselves the way we used to. Social opportunities are diminishing; opportunities for adventure and learning have moved to the back of the class. Going, going, gone??
This doesn’t have to be the way to live. The Town of Amherst in its Bangs Center (413-259-3060) provides a focal point for information , social gatherings, personal enrichment programs, health check-ups; food services;. and referrals as needed, as well as a wealth of Senior Center activities. Visit the Amherst Senior Center in the Bangs Community Center at 70 Boltwood Walk. If you need directions, call 413-259-3060.
David Dann and David Wheeler visited the Amherst Senior Center and met with Maura Plante, Program Director/Social Worker; Helen MacMellon, Social Worker—Outreach; and Nancy Hirsh Pagano, Director/Program Director. This visit was part of the Shutesbury Council on Aging task force effort to explore and develop ways for our neighbors to help one another be active and remain in the homes they love as they become obsolete children (Dr. Seuss).
We found a treasure trove of stimulating, invigorating activities that are available to citizens of ALL neighboring towns. The schedule and listing of programs and activities can be found in the Senior Spirit Newsletter published every other month The June/July issue will be available in a few weeks. It is also available through the town web site.
There is much that we can have in Shutesbury. There is more that we can do for one another. The Shutesbury Council on Aging wants discussions and ideas on how we may better help one another remain in our Shutesbury home of choice.
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LifePath provides numerous Individual, home and community services that support Franklin County citizens 55 and over. LifePath’s programs that serve elders include healthy living planning, health screenings, chronic illness education, benefit and financial counseling, housing support, protective care for the elderly, and home care. LifePath provides help with Medicare, Medicaid, and MassHealth plans through the SHINE program (Serving the Health Information Needs of Elders). For any questions or help call their Information and Referral number at (413)773-5555.
PROGRAMS & EVENTS
Med Ride Program is a free transportation program for for Shutesbury seniors age 55 and over who are unable to drive or have no means of transportation to medical and dental appointments. Seniors needing rides in Franklin, Hampshire, and Hamden counties will be matched with local volunteer drivers. Drivers will wait for you during your appointment unless otherwise requested or arranged. Riders must be completely ambulatory; no walkers or wheelchairs can be accommodated. If a person needs assistance or is hesitant about going alone, they may be accompanied by a friend, relative or person of their choice. COA members David Dann and Linda Scott administer the program. Call 259-3796 or email firstname.lastname@example.org if you need a ride. Please provide two weeks notice.
Community Pot-lunches: The Council offers monthly pot luck luncheons in the senior lounge, open to people of all ages. These meet, greet, and eat lunches are usually the first Tuesday of each month at noon. All are invited to come with or without a dish. There’s always enough but more is always welcome.
Foot Clinic The foot clinic is held on the third Monday of every month. Thirty minute appointments with a registered Foot Care Specialist can be scheduled by contacting David Dann at 259-1554. Donations up to $30.00 are appreciated to defray the costs your appointment.
Aging in Place Task Group A new group has been started by the COA to explore how seniors can remain in their homes by matching their needs with available resources in our community. The monthly task force is open to all community residents eager to participate. Currently the task force is discussing the Village to Village Network model.
Quarterly COA newsletter The Council on Aging issues a newsletter with current and updated information and events. Sally Fairfield is the volunteer editor. She can be reached at 253-4808.
The COA February/March 2016 newsletter is available here.
The COA May/June 2016 newsletter is available here.