Berkshire Senior Volume 30, Number 12 December 2013 The monthly newspaper for Berkshire County seniors Free

Non-Profit Org. U.S. POSTAGE PAID Permit No. 115 Pittsfield, MA 01201 Elder Services of Berkshire County, Inc. • Proudly promoting Elder Independenc...
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Non-Profit Org. U.S. POSTAGE PAID Permit No. 115 Pittsfield, MA 01201

Elder Services of Berkshire County, Inc. •

Proudly promoting Elder Independence since 1974 •

Berkshire Senior Volume 30, Number 12



December 2013



The monthly newspaper for Berkshire County seniors



Free

Observation Status… What is it? What are the financial consequences? See page 10

Elder Services’ incoming Board President Mary K. O’Brien thanked outgoing President Stephen M. Long for his service to the agency and presented him with a bouquet for his wife Elinor, for being such a good sport during his tenure.

Elder Services’ Annual Meeting features Sen. Downing By Louisa Weeden

Elder Services’ Annual Meeting was held October 23 at the Berkshire Hills Country Club. The agency celebrated its re-designation as Berkshire County’s Aging Services Access Point, recognized departing board members and welcomed new ones, and presented staff service awards to Elder Services’ staff. Keynote speaker State Senator Benjamin Downing provided facts and figures spotlighting the prevalence of poverty in Massachusetts, and discussed its harmful effects. The Senator said, "We need to continue to build a bridge to the 21st century and make sure everyone has the opportunity to cross it. In the Commonwealth, we have made investments to build the bridge, such as broadband, higher education, clean energy, and transportation — but we haven’t created

enough opportunities for all. This is most evident in our poverty rate: both Pittsfield and North Adams have poverty rates significantly above the state average of 11.9%. Pittsfield’s poverty rate is 49% greater than the state as a whole, and North Adams’ rate is 61% greater." Downing noted that we have the power to reduce poverty, and have done so with seniors — “Imagine the country without Medicare and Social Security!” He acknowledged Elder Services' role in helping both seniors and the Commonwealth economically by providing inhome and community-based services, which help so many avoid institutionalization and stay in their own homes for as long as they are able. Downing closed by saying, “Remember that the great majority of those living in poverty are working hard and playing by the rules. We

InSide Elder Services Update ... 2

Caregiving .......................... 11

Government Update ....... 3

In the Community ............. 12

Elder Services .......... 5-7, 9

For Your Information .. 13, 14

SHINE ................................ 8

Nutrition Program ............. 16

Your Dollars ................... 10

can and must do better for them. Reducing poverty in the state of Massachusetts and throughout the nation is important economically, financially, and morally.” Also at the Annual Meeting, the Board of Directors recognized departing Elder Services’ board members, elected new members, and elected a slate of officers for the board year. Leaving the board were Stephen M. Long, Jr., Terrence Hanlon, Joseph Tirrell, Karen Gold, and Thomas Hurlbut. The board welcomed new members, Dawn Dellea, Kathleen Luczynski, and Donna Smith, and elected officers President Mary K. O’Brien, Vice President Sully Garofano, Clerk Diane Sheridan, and Treasurer Edward Perlak. Elder Services staff received Service awards, as follows: • 25 years of service: ANNUAL PAGE 9

Taking control of end of life choices Frequently Asked Questions about Medical Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (MOLST) By Cassie Carmon

What is the “Medical Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment” form? Written instructions on a medical order form about lifesustaining medical treatments from a clinician (physician, nurse practitioner or physician assistant) to other health professionals (e.g. nurses, EMTs), based on the patient’s own preferences. What is “life-sustaining treatment”? Medical treatments that attempt to keep a person alive. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is one example. Health professionals are required to attempt CPR when a patient’s heart or breathing stops unless they have medical orders (like a MOLST form) with other instructions. What persons are most suitable for using MOLST forms? Persons of any age (including children) with advanced illnesses or injuries, who want to express their preferences about life-sustaining medical treatments. At what stage of illness is it appropriate to consider using the MOLST form? This depends on the person and the situation. However, every person with advanced illness or injury should be offered the opportunity to fill out a MOLST form if:

Elder Services of Berkshire County, Inc.

MOLST PAGE 13

Elder Services Update

Elder Services supports seniors’ highest quality of life By John Lutz

to work in collaboration with those at the state and federal level who oversee and fund us to provide services to local seniors and their families. Elder Services is a living, breathing entity that exists to support the highest possible quality of life for the seniors in our communities. We will never be able to meet all the needs that seniors experience, but we will always be striving to ensure that every effort is made towards that goal. We depend upon the seniors, families and caregivers we serve to hold us accountable — accountable to them, accountable to our community, and accountable to the many funders and supporters that make our work possible. Enjoy December and we’ll see you in the New Year!

December is here and the rush towards 2014 is on! Thanksgiving John Lutz is the Executive Director of Elder Services. came late and the end of the year waits for no one. We hope that you and your family will enjoy a joyous ¿Habla usted español? end of year and holiday season. In October, Elder was “reElder Services cuenta con servidesignated” as the Aging Services cios de intérpretes y en los folletos de Access Point for the 32 towns in la agencia está disponible en español. Berkshire County by the Executive Office of Elder Affairs (of the Llame por favor 499-0524 o Commonwealth of Massachusetts). 1-800-544-5242 On the surface, this may seem like a barely noteworthy event that typically, and perhaps deservedly, would only be noted by those in the inside of the process. However, this achievement is not just another “rubber stamp” of a state-supported nonprofit meeting the expectations of its primary funder, the Berkshire County State Legislators Commonwealth of Massachusetts. This designation gives witness to a more than two year process and partnership between the Massachusetts Executive It's important to keep your legislators informed Office of Elder Affairs and the board, staff and volunteers of Elder Services about what is important to you. of Berkshire County. If you have questions or comments that you want No one was more committed to Elder Services strengthening its ability to share with your Berkshire representatives, you to best serve seniors, their families, caregivers, and loved ones than the folks can contact them using the information below: at the Executive Office of Elder Affairs (EOEA). We worked in partnership with EOEA throughout the process to assess, develop, strengthen, and imple• Rep. Gailanne Cariddi (1st District): 1-617-722-2130 & 664-6812 ment multi-faceted and far reaching improvements to ensure that the elders of [email protected] Berkshire County received equitable and exemplary support in their choices to enjoy the highest possible quality of life. • Rep. Paul W. Mark (2nd District) 1-617-722-2210 & 464-5635 And, this process isn’t over (it never will be). Elder Services will continue [email protected] • Rep. Tricia Farley-Bouvier (3rd District) 1-617-722-2240 & 442-4300 [email protected] Elder Services of Berkshire County, Inc.

• Rep. Smitty Pignatelli (4th District) 1-617-722-2582 & 637-0631 [email protected]

Berkshire Senior

• Senator Benjamin Downing, 1-617-722-1625 & 442-4008 [email protected]

Editor and Production: Karen Shreefter Editorial Board: Cassie Carmon, Bea Cowlin, Bonny DiTomasso, Laura Feakes, John Lutz, and Assistant Editor Louisa Weeden Distribution: Kim Malloy Advertising Sales:

Bob O'Connor 1-800-544-5242 or 499-0524

Berkshire Senior is published monthly by Elder Services of Berkshire County, Inc., 66 Wendell Avenue, Pittsfield, MA 01201, 499-0524 or 1-800-544-5242, e-mail: [email protected] or on the internet at www.esbci.org. NOTICE Elder Services sells advertising to defray costs. Inclusion of advertisers in no way implies that Elder Services endorses any product or service.

Mass. Law: Prohibition of Bank Fees on Deposit Accounts Massachusetts law prohibits banks from imposing any fee, charge, or other assessment against the non-business savings account or checking account of any person age 65 or older, or 18 years old or younger. All people on the account must meet the age requirements unless the only person not meeting the requirements is the spouse of the depositor. A reasonable charge, as determined by the Commissioner of Banks, may be assessed against such accounts when payment has been refused because of insufficient funds on any checks drawn on such accounts. Please check with your local bank for further information.

Looking for interesting articles & helpful information on aging?

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.

Check out the Executive Office of Elder Affairs’ website: www.800ageinfo.com,

Elder Services and its programs are funded, in part, by the Massachusetts Executive Office of Elder Affairs.

1-800-243-4636 (1-800-AGE-INFO)

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.

As always, you can call Elder Services at 499-0524 or 1-800-544-5242, your one stop resource for Berkshire County seniors.

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Or call:

December 2013

Government Update

The City of Pittsfield offers many services to our seniors By Mayor Daniel L. Bianchi

classes, computer instruction, board games, cards, and crafts. The center also provides transportation, information, referrals, nutrition, education, advocacy, peer and group support, and supportive day respite for caregivers. The center currently serves over 1,000 seniors. For more information, contact Vin Marinaro at 499-9346 or visit the city website: www.cityofpittsfield.org/ city_hall/council_on_aging/index.php. The Department of Public Works & Utilities provides core services to the residents of the City of Pittsfield including public water, public sewer, curbside collection of residential trash and recyclables, maintenance of public streets, and issuing parking permits for municipal parking lots. Seniors may qualify for backyard trash and recycling collection, but a doctor’s note is required to document the medical condition. For more current information about these core services, visit the city website: www.cityofpittsfield.org/ city_hall/public_works_and_utilities/index.php. The Pittsfield Health Department operates under the direction of the City of Pittsfield Board of Health. We are excited to be partnering with Elder Services to make the “My Life, My Health” program available to seniors with chronic health conditions. This free six-week workshop offers encouragement and information to make small changes that can make a big difference in one’s health. For more information, call Elder Services' Healthy Aging Coordinator Maria Connors at 499-0524. The Health Department’s public health nurse offers presentations to senior groups on health topics such as blood pressure, immunizations, and mosquito and tick-borne illness prevention. The department provides follow ups with seniors for communicable diseases such as food-borne illness, meningitis, Hepatitis B and C, pertussis (whooping cough) and Group B strep. “Healthy Pittsfield,” coordinated by the Pittsfield Health Department, is a newly-formed partnership initiated to develop and implement communitybased activities that will improve the health and quality of life. The partnership aims to get input from seniors regarding initiatives they would like to see to promote healthy lifestyles. Interested seniors are encouraged to join the partnership. Contact the Health Department at 499-9411 or visit the city website: www.cityofpittsfield.org/city_hall/health_and_inspections/index.php.

I have initiated and endorsed numerous initiatives and programs for seniors. A “Senior Citizen Tax WorkOff Program” recognizes the vast array of knowledge and skills that its senior citizens possess. This program allows seniors (age 60 and older), who qualify, to contribute to the community and receive a tax abatement. In addition, Pittsfield offers an array of Real Estate Exemptions, which allows qualifying seniors the opportunity to receive up to $1,000 abated from their property taxes annually. For more information, seniors can contact the Pittsfield Board of Assessors at 413-395-0102 or visit the city website: www.cityofpittsfield.org/city_hall/ board_of_assessors/index.php. The Department of Community Development (DCD) offers several services for seniors. The City’s Home Improvement Program provides grants and or low-interest-rate loans to income-eligible homeowners or landlords with lower income tenants for code-related home improvements, such as correction of building state sanitary code violations. The staff provide technical assistance to guide them through the process of preparing a detailed description of the necessary repairs as well as assisting them in soliciting bids from Daniel L. Bianchi is Mayor of the City of Pittsfield. To contact him call 499general contractors. In addition, DCD runs a separate Handicapped Ramp 9321 or email [email protected] Grant Program that provides grants to income eligible homeowners and tenants for the construction of exterior wheelchair ramps into housing units. For more information, contact the Department of Community Development at 499-9368 or visit the city website: www.cityofpittsfield.org/city_hall/community_development/index.php. RSVP (The Retired Senior Volunteer Program) provides volunteer opportunities for adults 55 plus. After retirement, seniors often find they have a desire to serve the community, and they have years of acquired skills and talents that they can contribute. RSVP assists in placing those seniors in various volunteer services to help fulfill that need, while also helping fill the needs of nonprofit organizations within our community that operate on stretched budgets. Our senior volunteers experience the physical benefits of a more active lifestyle, and the satisfaction of knowing they are needed. RSVP has 63 Stations. For more information, contact RSVP at 499-9345 or visit the city website: www.cityofpittsfield.org/city_hall/rsvp/index.php. The Froio Senior Center (Pittsfield Council on Aging) provides a wide range of recreational activities for seniors including fitness and exercise

Homestyle Assisted Living

Our main priority at Rosewood is making sure the transition from independent living to assisted living gives you and your family “peace-of-mind.” If you are considering assisted living for your loved-one, please give us a call to schedule a tour. Our staff will be happy to assist you and will answer any questions you may have. All staff is bonded, insured, and CORI/criminal checked.

Donations Needed for Berkshire Senior

Pittsfield’s First-Certified in Assisted Living

The costs of printing and postage have been steadily rising, and we need your help! If you would like to help defray some of the costs of producing and mailing Berkshire Senior, please send a donation in any amount to: Berkshire Senior Elder Services 66 Wendell Avenue Pittsfield, MA 01201 Make checks payable to Elder Services, and include your name and address or Just go to www.esbci.org and click on “Donate Now!”

Thank you!

Rosewood prides itself as the Ärst-certiÄed assisted living facility in Berkshire County (established in 1984) who offers the following services: GAFC and Medicaid Approved; Nurse on Staff; Exercise and Wellness Programs; Private Rooms; Security Systems; 24-hr. Awake Staff; Transportation; Medication Monitoring; Hospice Care and more.

“The one-on-one approach at Rosewood is truly impressive, setting them apart from all other assisted living facilities.”

Homestyle Assisted Living 318/320 Onota Street across from Lakeway Drive, Pittsfield, MA 01201 www.rosewoodhomestyleassistedliving.com

Home-like setting with a Family Atmosphere 413-446-4733 • 413-448-8449 • 413-329-3489 2colx7 Homestyle June 2011.indd 1

December 2013

Elder Services' Berkshire Senior

5/2/11 2:49:05 PM

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Berkshire Senior An affordable supportive and enriched living environment that offers:

• One & two bedroom apartments • Three bedroom townhouses designed for families • Beautiful, tranquil setting with river views • Spacious community room, guest speakers & on-going social activities • On-site social service coordinator & resource for all tenants • Rent based on 30% of your income including: on-site maintenance; heat & hot water; secure building; laundry facilities, intercom system, elevator, appliances, and allowances for electricity

SENIOR HOUSING COMMUNITY Apply in person at 600 Main Street, Dalton, MA or call 413-684-0043 for an appointment Joel A. Less

Managed Properties, Inc.

Professionally managed by: Joel A. Less Managed Properties, Inc. A Member of the Institute for Real Estate Management

final river run 2 col x 4.indd 1

The Quality Time Club for Greylock members age 55 and over

Join QTC and take advantage of all the benefits file:///F:/My%20Documents/In%20Design/Landscape/Office/ flower%20graphic.jpg and services the Club has to offer.

Outings, Events, Meetings, Groups, Volunteer Opportunities, and More! For information about membership, visit any Greylock branch throughout Berkshire County.

www.Greylock.org Federally Insured by NCUA 9/1/09 8:27:44 PM

For more information, call 1-888-830-3352 or visit www.gentiva.com

Wherever a man turns he can find someone who needs him. ~Albert Schweitzer

December 2013

Elder Services' Berkshire Senior

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Elder Services

December 1, 2013 Dear Friend,

Elder Services Board of Directors Mary K. O’Brien

There’s no place like home, especially as we grow older. For nearly 40 years, Elder Services of Berkshire County has been helping Berkshire seniors continue to live in their own homes with dignity and independence by providing in-home services to them and their families.

President

When Berkshire seniors can no longer: Sully Garofano

• • • • • • •

Vice President Edward Perlak Treasurer Diane Sheridan Clerk

prepare their own meals, we provide Meals on Wheels. bathe and dress independently, we provide assistance with personal care. clean their own homes, we provide homemaking and laundry assistance. drive, we arrange transportation to medical appointments. do their own grocery shopping, we offer volunteer shoppers. write checks and pay bills, we provide Money Management assistance. live alone, we offer supportive housing services.

Dawn Dellea

Elder Services offers the support they need.

Edward Forfa

Elder Services promotes elder independence and keeps older persons in their own homes by providing home care and other supportive services to more than 10,000 Berkshire seniors, caregivers, and individuals with disabilities each year. Elder Services’ case managers, nurses, and other staff reach out with care and compassion to help Berkshire seniors obtain assistance with personal care, dressing, homemaking, laundry, and other activities of daily living. If you are interested in any of the services we offer, just give us a call and we’ll be happy to answer your questions.

Sully Garofano Susan Jacobs Susan Kormanik Deb Kushnet Kathleen Luczynski Catherine R. May John Philpott Donna Smith Mary Washburn

Unfortunately, state and federal funding only goes so far in making these essential services available to Berkshire seniors. We need your help, particularly during these challenging economic times. Please join us in our mission to help seniors receive the care they need to stay at home. Just use the enclosed envelope to send a check to Elder Services today, or donate online at www.esbci.org. All donations to Elder Services are fully tax deductible. Whatever size gift you decide to give, you have my promise that you are making a difference in the lives of older people who need your help. On behalf of those we serve, thank you for being a friend to Berkshire seniors. Sincerely,

Mary K. O’Brien President, Board of Directors

It’s Storming! Will my meal be delivered? By Beth Mathis-Torrey

Elder Services' Nutrition Program staff is very concerned about the welfare of all who receive homedelivered meals. Our goal is to “get the meals out” every day, and this goal is accomplished dependably. However, during the winter, the Berkshires can present extreme weather conditions from snow and sleet to bitterly cold wind; the result that Meals on Wheels (MOW) cannot be delivered. When MOW deliveries are cancelled, the following will happen: Local radio stations are notified of meal delivery cancellations by 6:30 a.m. and on-air announcements are made. Listen to one of these stations in your area for information. WBEC – 1420 AM and 95.9 FM; WUPE – 1110 AM December 2013

and 100.1 FM; WBRK – 1340 AM ands 101.7 FM; WNAW – 1230 AM; and, WSBS – 860 AM and 94.1 FM. Elder Services' MOW drivers will call their clients for a well-being check. If there is cause for concern, Elder Services and the appropriate community emergency response team will be notified. Elder Services is committed to meeting the needs of all those who receive our services. If you are concerned about the delivery of meals to yourself, a family member, or a friend, please give us a call at 4990524 or 1-800-544-5242. Beth Mathis-Torrey is Elder Services’ Nutrition/Volunteer Services Supervisor.

OMBUDSMAN VOLUNTEERS NEEDED! Elder Services’ Long Term Care Ombudsman Program is looking for volunteers who want to improve the quality of life and care for nursing home residents.

PUT YOUR CARING INTO ACTION BY: •

• • •

Receiving, investigating, and working to resolve complaints made by, or on behalf of, residents of nursing homes Protecting residents’ rights Providing information Advocating for positive changes in the Long Term Care System

The Executive Office of Elder Affairs is sponsoring a 3-day training December 16, 17 and 18 (snow date 12/19) in Florence, Massachusetts. Volunteers who complete this training will be certified by the state as Long Term Care Ombudsmen and will be assigned a Berkshire County nursing home to visit weekly.

Elder Services' Berkshire Senior

For more information on the training, please call Elder Services' Ombudsman Manager Rita Schumacher at 236-1726. Page 5

Elder Services We Remember September Memorial Donations Doris Bryant Dr. & Mrs. Philip Mamolito Mr. James Shurtleff Ms. Emily Sottile

Esther Wheelock Ms. Irene F. Ropelewski

Elder Independence Appeal Ms. Anita Busch Mr. & Mrs. John Delisle Ms. Carol Edelman Mr. & Mrs. Tancred E. Jacob Ms. Debbie Kushnet Ms. Judith A. Primmer Ms. Cynthia J. Sault Ms. Lisa Sloane

Mr. & Mrs. Leonard F. Sniezek Ms. Kathleen Speth Ms. Denise M. Talabach Ms. Ann Thibert Mr. George Tillotson Ms. Theresa Valenti Ms. Mary J. Washburn Mr. Larry Strauss & Ms. Francine Weinberg

Meals on Wheels Mr. Lawrence L. Borden Mr. & Mrs. Ronald H. Bourgoin

Lenox National Bank My Com FCU

General Donations Mr. & Mrs. Alfred Bedini, Sr.

Editor’s Note: Unless requested otherwise, each month Berkshire Senior publishes the names of donors to Elder Services and those honored by the donations. These funds help Elder Services provide Berkshire seniors with programs and services to help them remain independent.

Visit Elder Services' new website! Check out Elder Services’ new website at www.esbci.org. The new website contains a wealth of information about the services available at Elder Services including: Information and Referral, Home Care, Meals on Wheels and lunch sites, Family Caregiver Support, volunteer opportunities, and a link to make a donation. The complete current issue of ‘Berkshire Senior’ is available, as well as archived copies. Helpful links to other programs, services, and sources of information and assistance are all available at the click of your mouse. You can also go to the website by using Elder Services' QR code (left). QR code, an abbreviation for Quick Response Code, is similar to a barcode, but when you scan the square graphic with a smart phone, you will automatically connect to www.esbci.org. We welcome your visit!

Contributions are tax-deductible to the extent of the law.

You Can Donate to Elder Services Online!

Happy Holidays

JUST GO TO WWW.ESBCI.ORG AND CLICK ON “DONATE NOW!” AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PAGE, YOU’LL BE GIVEN A NUMBER OF OPTIONS FOR SUPPORTING BERKSHIRE SENIORS, AND CAN USE YOUR PAYPAL ACCOUNT OR YOUR CREDIT OR DEBIT CARD TO DONATE TO THE ELDER INDEPENDENCE APPEAL, MEALS ON WHEELS, THE ELDER CARE FUND, OR TO MAKE A MEMORIAL DONATION.

THANK

YOU FOR YOUR HELP !

A Gift that Keeps on Giving If you are interested in establishing a lasting legacy through planned giving to Elder Services, please contact Louisa Weeden, Planning and Development Specialist, at 499-0524 or 1-800-544-5242.

Page 6

([,76*/(ZZPZ[LK3P]PUNH[4LSIV\YUL^LRUV^ [OH[MHTPS`PZ[OLOLHY[VML]LY`OVSPKH`JLSLIYH[PVU Wishing your family the happiest of holidays and good health in the New Year. For more information about EPOCH Assisted Living at Melbourne, call today!

   www.EPOCHMelbourne.com 140 Melbourne Road . Pittsfield, MA (ZZPZ[LK3P]PUN4LTVY`*HYL9LZWP[L

December 2013

Elder Services

The joy of "Healthy Eating" Graduates of Elder Services’ Healthy Eating Workshop met recently at Baba Louie’s Restaurant in Pittsfield. (Left to right): Flo Raynor and Ann Moran of Pittsfield; and Lil Sciarra, Elie Patella, Helene Calman, Helen Hainsworth, Gloria Simonetta, and Lucy Bernardo of Devonshire Estates, Lenox. Cassie Carmon

Elder Services welcomes recently hired staff members (left to right) Client/ Residential Services Coordinator David Oakes, Options Counselor Pam Austin, and Client/Residential Services Coordinator Michelle Arsenault.

Meet Elder Services’ Staff Michelle Arsenault and David Oakes are Client Services Coordinators/Residential Services Coordinators, who are responsible for assessing the in-home and community based needs of Elder Services clients and coordinating services to meet those needs. Michelle Arsenault has a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Colby-Sawyer College and a Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Northeastern University. Prior to coming to Elder Services, she was employed as a Victim/Witness Advocate for 10 years at Berkshire County District Attorney’s Office in Pittsfield. David Oakes has a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work Degree from Elms College and a Master’s Degree in Social Work from Springfield College. Prior to coming to Elder Services, he was employed as a Jour-

neyman Carpenter for the Local #108 Carpenter’s Union for four years in Pittsfield and Springfield. Pam Austin is Elder Services’ Options Counselor. She assists seniors and individuals with disabilities in need of long term services and supports to make informed choices regarding setting and services, and finding resources to help pay for supports and services. Austin makes referrals to Elder Services’ programs and programs outside the agency as needed. She has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sociology from Framingham State College and a Master’s of Education from Cambridge College. Prior to being employed by Elder Services, Austin was employed as a Community Executive in the American Cancer Society’s Health Initiatives program for six years in Holyoke.

The Healthy Eating workshop was held at Devonshire Estates during September and October. Healthy luncheons at local restaurants are offered free to the graduates upon completion of each six-week workshop. A new schedule of Healthy Eating and My Life, My Health workshops will begin in January, 2014. For information about these free healthy living programs, contact Maria Connors, Elder Services’ Healthy Aging Program Coordinator, at 1-800-544-5242, ext. 140, or [email protected]

WANTED Compassionate Caregivers for Elder Services' Adult Family Care Program

Elder Services is in need of individuals or families willing to open their hearts and homes to care for elders and individuals with disabilities. If you have a spare bedroom and a bathroom, preferably on the first floor of your home, please consider this important opportunity. You will receive a tax-free stipend, along with support and monitoring by a Social Worker and a Registered Nurse. For more information, call the Adult Family Care Program at Elder Services: 499-0524 or 1-800-544-5242, both at extension 718.

Berkshire Senior TV Berkshire Senior TV produces programs on topics of special interest to seniors and their families. These informative halfhour programs are shown regularly on local Berkshire cable channels. Check your cable TV guide for exact broadcast times of Berkshire Senior TV. PCTV - Access Pittsfield (Central Berkshire) – Channel 15 Tuesdays at 7 and 11 a.m., & at 3, 6:30 and 10 p.m.

Make a Difference! Drive a Senior

NBCT (Northern Berkshire) – Channel 15 Thursdays 9 p.m. CTSB (Southern Berkshire) – Channel 16 Visit www.ctsbtv.org or call 243-8211 WilliNet (Williamstown) – Channel 17 Visit www.willinet.org/schedule/WilliNet Channel 17 or call 458-0900

Elder Services invites you to join our team of exceptional volunteers who make a difference in the lives of others. Many area seniors without transportation rely on the dedication and commitment of our volunteers who drive them to and from medical and other appointments. Please call Elder Services at 1-800-544-5242 or 499-0524.

December 2013

Elder Services' Berkshire Senior

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SHINE (Serving Health Insurance Needs of Everyone) Medicare Part B Annual Enrollment: January 1, 2014March 31, 2014

Preferred Pharmacies for 2014 Medicare Prescription Drug Plans

Many of the Medicare Prescription Drug Plans (PDP) for 2014 have preferred pharmacy pricing, meaning members will pay a reduced (or sometimes no) co-payment for prescriptions filled at one of the plan’s preferred By Bonny DiTomasso pharmacies. Below you will find the plans that have preferred pharmacy pricing and the corresponding preferred Medicare Part B (Medical Insurpharmacies. If a PDP is not listed below, it does not use preferred pharmacy pricing. ance) helps cover services from doctors and other health care providers, CVS Sam's Stop& COSTCO Kmart RiteAid Target Walgreens Walmart outpatient care, home health care, Pharmacy Club Shop durable medical equipment, and AARPMedicareRx X X X X X some preventive services. Plans Medicare provides an annual Aetna X Part B “late enrollment” period CVS/Pharmacy for those who did not choose Part BlueMedicareRx X X B when they first became eligible ValuePlus for Medicare (higher premiums or CignaMedicareRx X X X penalties may apply). Additionally, ExpressScripts X X X X X the annual Part B “late enrollment” MedicareChoice period serves those who at the time FirstHealthPartD X X X X of first Medicare eligibility were still ValuePlus covered by an employer health plan HealthMarkets X for actively working employees and now are not. Those who were covered HumanaEnhanced X X X by an employer health plan, and are HumanaPreferred X X no longer, have eight months after the Rx end of such coverage to sign up for HumanaWalmart X X Part B without penalty. Rx This year’s 2014 Medicare Part MedicareRx X X B enrollment period is from January rewards 1, 2014 through March 31, 2014, and SilverScriptPlans X X coverage takes effect on July 1, 2014. Consumers applying for MediSmartDRxPlans  X care Part B during Annual Enrollment should contact the Social SeUnitedAmerican X X X curity Office at 1-866-446-7111 or Plans 1-800-772-1213. WellcarePlans

X

X

X

X

Bonny DiTomasso is Elder Services’ SHINE Program Coordinator.

Where to Meet with a SHINE Counselor? Elder Services’ SHINE program provides free, unbiased health insurance information and counseling to seniors and Medicare beneficiaries of all ages. In addition to calling Elder Services at 499-0524 or 1-800-544-5242 for an appointment at 66 Wendell Avenue in Pittsfield, you can schedule appointments with SHINE counselors at the following Council on Aging locations:

City/Town/Phone Adams 743-8333 Becket/Otis/Sandisfield 269-0100 x107 Dalton 684-2000 Great Barrington 528-1881 Hinsdale 655-2310 or 655-2929 Lanesborough

448-2682 Lee 243-5545 Lenox 637-5535 Pittsfield 499-9346 Sheffield 229-7037 Stockbridge 298-4170 x263 Williamstown 458-8250

December 2013

Elder Services' Berkshire Senior

Address Visitors Center 3 Hoosac Street Otis Town Hall One North Main Road Senior Center 40 Field Street Extension Claire Teague Senior Center 909 South Main Street Hinsdale Town Hall 39 South Street Lanesborough COA 83 North Main Street Lee COA 21 Crossway Community Center 65 Walker Street Ralph J. Froio Senior Center 330 North Street Senior Center 25 Cook Road Senior Center 50 Main Street Harper Center 118 Church Street

Page 8

Elder Services Annual Meeting 2014

Elder Services’ Executive Director John Lutz and State Senator Benjamin B. Downing

Several people who have retired from Elder Services were in attendance: (left to right) Rita Burns, Roger Suters, Joan Kearney, Pat King, Stephanie Talanian, and Catherine R. May.

Three of the four new Board officers elected at Elder Services’ Annual Meeting: Diane Sheridan, Clerk; Mary K. O’Brien, President, and Edward Perlak, Treasurer. Not shown: Sully Garofano, Vice President.

Some of the staff who received awards recognizing their many years of service to the agency, with their respective years of service: Front Row: Marge Noble (15), Cindy Danforth (10), and Nancy McCarthy (20). Back row: Maureen Tuggey (10), Faith Lemaire (10), Karen Bates (5), and Nicholas Kirchner (25).

Three new members joined Elder Services’ Board of Directors: Donna Smith and Dawn Dellea of Pittsfield, and (not pictured) Kathleen Luczynski of Savoy.

Nine members of Greylock Federal Credit Union staff showed their support for Elder Services by attending the Annual Meeting. (Left to right) Jodi RathbunBriggs, Sharon MacEachern, Deb Kushnet, Marilyn Sperling, Karen Reilly, Bob Maxwell, Marie Paradise, Jeff Naughton, and Dan Dillon. Photos by Jack Poore & Louisa Weeden

MEETING PAGE 1 •







Several current and outgoing members of Elder Services’ Board of Directors: Mary Washburn, Catherine R. May, Deb Kushnet, Diane Sheridan, Karen Gold, Susan Kormanik, Donna Smith, and John Philpott. December 2013

5 years: Accounts Payable Bookkeeper Karen Bates, Meal Site Directors Sally Bohl and Marie Kirchner, MOW Drivers Stephen Alcombright, Monica McGrath, and Albert Sartori. Outgoing Board President Stephen M. Long, Incoming Board President Mary K. O’Brien and Elder Services’ Executive Director John Lutz each addressed those assembled, offering words of appreciation for the board, the staff, and the volunteers of Elder Services.

Meals on Wheels (MOW) Driver Ugo Allessio and Fiscal Director Nicholas Kirchner. 20 years: Nancy McCarthy and MOW Driver Wesley Sagendorph. 15 years: Receptionist Marjorie Noble and MOW driver Claire Bedard. 10 years: Client Services RN Cindy Danforth, Client Services Administrative Professional Faith Lemaire, MOW Driver Michael Mach, and Client Services Direc- Louisa Weeden is Elder Services’ Plantor Maureen Tuggey. ning and Development Specialist.

Elder Services' Berkshire Senior

Page 9

Your Dollars

Financial consequences On-Line benefits check-up of “Observation” status hospital stays By Laura Feakes and Deborah Connolly

Maura Rose RN, FNP, iRNPA

Many seniors, due to their mobility issues and/or the medications they are taking, are at increased risk for falls and injury. And with winter’s snow and ice just around the corner there is added risk. So this is a good time to know, prior to having to go to the hospital or emergency room (ER), what the Medicare consequences are should you be placed on “observation status” while in the hospital. Observation status is given to patients in the hospital who are not well enough to go home, yet not sick enough to be admitted as an in-patient (This requires a doctor’s order). Patients can be considered receiving “out-patient" services, even though they may be in a hospital room (even the ICU) for 3 to 4 days undergoing tests and treatments. It is difficult to know if someone is admitted in-patient or on observation status without asking the doctor. Medicare does not require the hospital to inform patients of their hospital stay status. Since Medicare considers an observation stay equal to out-patient care, payment for hospital services and follow-up care is directed by the Medicare Part B plan. Therefore, if you are admitted on observation stay you will have co-payments for doctors’ fees and each hospital service. You will be responsible for all charges on any medications, including OTCs, given to you that you normally take at home. The most significant disadvantage to being given observation status is that you cannot receive Medicare coverage for follow-up care in a rehabilitation facility or nursing home, even though your doctor recommends it. Medicare beneficiaries must spend at least 3 consecutive days as an in-patient, not counting the day of discharge, to be eligible for skilled nursing facility (SNF) coverage. There has been a dramatic rise in

Always ask about your status when you are kept in the hospital.

On-line benefits screening services are a quick and easy way to learn the types of government assistance for which you may be eligible. They help you find out what programs are available, who is eligible, which benefits you can get, and how to apply. Types of programs screened for include food, health insurance, disability resources, mortgage assistance, and veterans’ benefits. Programs are not limited to financial assistance, but can also link you to community volunteer activities and employment assistance. The on-line screening services generally fall under one of two types. Benefit Screeners give a general idea of the range of programs for which you may be eligible. They use a set of questions to screen for a variety of programs, but do not check eligibility for specific programs. Eligibility Checks indicate your possible eligibility for specific assistance programs. An Eligibility Check asks short sets of questions about family, living situation, and finances. It then evaluates answers based on program-specific eligibility requirements. Below are four screening websites that assist Massachusetts residents. Some sites may require registration before you can use their Benefit Screeners and Eligibility Checks. Some agencies may offer an online application. 1. Benefits.gov (www.Benefits.gov) The official website of the US government connects citizens to available federal and state benefit and assistance programs. Each program’s benefit information page includes next steps and the contact information you will need to begin your application process. The screening tool is confidential and does not ask for or collect any personally identifiable information. Their top search categories are Food Stamps, Grants, SSI, Dental Benefits and Housing Assistance. 2. MassResources.org (www.massresources.org) offers an online Benefit Screener and eight online Eligibility Checks to help you find out if you are likely to qualify for various Massachusetts public assistance programs. The Benefit Screener uses one set of questions to screen for a wide range of programs including fuel assistance, utility shut-off protection, housing, transportation, and legal services as well as food, health, and financial benefits. The questions asked will be similar to the questions you will have to answer when applying and give you an idea of your potential eligibility. 3. Project Bread (www.gettingfoodstamps.org) is a free and confidential online resource to help answer your questions and determine your eligibility for SNAP, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as the Food Stamps Program. To see if you are eligible, try the online calculator or call Project Bread’s FoodSource Hotline at 1-800-645-8333. If you are eligible, the website above instructs you how to apply over the phone, by mail or fax, online using the Mass.gov Virtual Gateway (see number 4), or in person. 4. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts Virtual Gateway Screening Service (www.mass.gov/vg/selfservice) gives you the option of screening for food, health, tax credits or other public benefits, and also allows you to apply for Food Assistance. Once you have applied for benefits, you can also use this site to check the status of your Health, Food or Cash Assistance benefits.

the number of patients being placed on observation status in an effort to reduce Medicare costs. The numbers have doubled since 2006, with 744,748 stays recorded in 2011. Many of these patients have been blindsided after their hospital stays with exorbitant bills they never anticipated. What to do? Always ask about your status when you are kept in the hospital. If you are assigned observation status and feel you should be an in-patient, ask your doctor to change your status. Be aware that the hospital’s utilization review board can overrule the doctor’s decision. If you feel that your charges for a hospital stay are in error, and the hospital would not change your status, file a challenge under Part B of the Medicare Summary notice. If you have been sent to a nursing home, ask them to submit a “demand bill” to Medicare. When it is denied, you may appeal. The Center for Medicare Advocacy, www.medicareadvocacy. org, has an on-line Self-Help packet that gives details for challenging an observational status. Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) has introduced legislation to the “Improving Access to Medicare Coverage Act” to count observation stays towards the 3-day mandatory stay for Medicare coverage of SNFs. The NY StateWide Senior Action Council has developed a Patients’ Rights toolkit available at Laura Feakes and Deborah Connolly are Elder Services’ Information and Referral Specialists. Contact them at 499-0524 or 1-800-544-5242. 1-800-333-4374. Maura Rose RN, FNP, iRNPA is a patient advocate and elder care consultant in Great Barrington, www. rnpaBerkshires.com.

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Caregiving

Coping with holiday stress By Bea Cowlin, LSW

Caregiving Proclamation Ann L. Hartstein, Secretary of the MA Executive Office of Elder Affairs (EOEA), holds a proclamation from Governor Deval Patrick naming November 2013 as Family Caregiver Month. The picture was taken at a quarterly Family Caregiver Support Program meeting at EOEA. Elder Services’ Caregiver Coordinator Bea Cowlin and Director of Client Services Maureen Tuggey, are second from left, and second from right, respectively. The others are Elder Services’ Family Caregiver Support Program colleagues from Western Massachusetts.

The holidays can be a stressful and difficult time for many people, including those providing hours of daily care to a loved one. Caregivers who are coping with the serious illness of a family member may face difficult decisions in terms of keeping up with yearly family traditions. It’s okay for you as a caregiver to state what you think you can or cannot do this year. Prioritize! Decide, with some input from family and the person for whom you are caring, which traditions you wish to keep. For example, if you usually bake cookies, prepare the holiday meal, shop for presents, wrap gifts, put up a tree and decorate, something may have to give. Ask for help! Enlist other relatives to assist with cooking. If there are children in the family, ask them to help. Explain why help is needed. If possible, involve the person you are caring for in the planning of holiday activities. If there are fewer decorations or holiday goodies, that’s okay. Some additional holiday tips When family and friends ask for gift suggestions, keep in mind that “help” is the best gift, such as visiting or taking your family member out for 2 to 3 hours every week or every other week. Keep family gatherings small. Too many people may be too much for you as a caregiver, and overwhelming to the person you are

caring for. Plan a “pot luck” meal so you are not responsible for all the cooking. Prepare yourself. Family members who have not visited in awhile may insist that everyone looks fine, and may down play your caregiving responsibilities. Be aware that television shows and magazine articles often portray unrealistic family gatherings where everything is perfectly happy, triggering feelings of sadness and other emotions. Take care of yourself! Try to find some quiet time for yourself each day, even if it’s only 10 minutes. Most important, keep your sense of humor and remember that you are not alone. For further information about caregiver support, contact Elder Services at 499-0524, 1-800-544-5242 or [email protected] Bea Cowlin is Elder Services’ Caregiver Coordinator.

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December 2013

In Our Community

Holiday dinners for seniors Once again holiday dinners will be delivered to seniors living in several Berkshire towns who are homebound and will be alone for the holiday. There are also some locations offering sit-down dinners for seniors. If you don’t see any organizations listed in your area, you may want to check with local food pantries and religious institutions for meals near you. Throughout Berkshire County Elder Services will be offering sit-down dinners for seniors at 11 Senior Group Lunch sites on Thursday, December 19. See page 16 to see which sites serve dinner on Thursdays. There is a suggested donation of $2.00 per meal for seniors, and $6 per meal for those under 60. Reservations must be made by Friday, December 13, by calling the phone number listed on page 16 for the site you wish to attend. Central County: Pittsfield, Lanesboro, and Dalton • The Civitan Club will be delivering dinners to seniors age 60 and over in the Pittsfield, Dalton, and Lanesboro areas. Meals will be delivered on December 24, between noon and 1 p.m. Seniors must be home to receive the meal. Contact Dan Boulais at 445-7837. • American Legion Post 41 will host a sit-down dinner at the Legion at noon on December 25. No reservations are necessary. They will also be doing deliveries to homebound seniors in the Pittsfield area, call Kelly Laframboise at 499-1435 to request home-delivered meals.

Adams Council on Aging celebrates with BART students The Adams Council on Aging (COA) hosted a lunch time Halloween Party at Elder Services’ Adams Senior Lunch Site. Seventy people attended with about 25 in costumes. BART Charter School Ambassador program students joined the seniors for lunch and served as costume judges, voting for Best Male and Best Female, Best Couple, Most Unique, and Scariest. The BART Ambassador program’s student ambassador’s mission is to educate the Berkshire community about the school and what it has to offer. The Adams COA Halloween Party was their first official event as BART Ambassadors. Both age groups had a great time and the costumes were fantastic.

North County: North Adams, Adams, Cheshire, Clarksburg, Florida, and Williamstown • The American Legion Post 125 in North Adams will host a sit-down dinner on December 25, and will deliver a holiday dinner to homebound seniors. Contact Bill Schrade at 664-9004. • The Berkshire Food Project will have a holiday dinner at the First Congregational Church, 134 Main St. (enter on Summer St.) North Adams. The dinner will be at noon on December 23. No reservation needed. If you have any questions, please contact Elder Services at 499- 0524 or 1-800-981-5201.

Always ask businesses if they offer senior discounts

Page 12

December 2013

For Your Information Book Review: Dying: A Guide to a More Peaceful Death By Cynthia Casoff Henry Most of us do not relish the idea of talking about death, whether it be our own of that of a loved one. Still, death is an inevitable part of life, and we were given no handbook on how to have a peaceful, “best as could be hoped for” departure from this life. Enter former hospice nurse, Cynthia Casoff Henry, and her slim, large print volume Dying: A Guide to a More Peaceful Death. A previously published review of her book, by Kirkus*, states: “The author offers sensible advice for dealing with loved ones approaching death: Listen to them, follow their wishes, believe that they understand what’s going on in their bodies, and give them permission to let go when they are ready – even if that’s an uncomfortable idea. Casoff Henry’s debut is slim and simply written, so that even someone in the midst of a crisis will be able to appreciate it. She urges families to see palliative care as a reasonable choice and not a failure, which can be a difficult concept in a culture where extreme medical interventions are the norm. She advocates self-advocacy for the terminal patient – not pushing for the best treatments at any cost, but getting honest information from doctors, getting psychological support and pain control, and taking charge of one’s decisions in order to peacefully accept the end of life. … She also suggests that families create advance directives such as living wills, health care surrogates and do-not-resuscitate orders. Secular readers will appreciate her advice’s lack of mystical or religious components. Casoff Henry’s practical compassion strongly comes through as she effectively points out simple ways to make communication and decision-making easier before death is imminent.” Casoff Henry’s book offers straight talk on a topic about which we will each need advice at one time or another. The book is available for sale on Amazon.com, through Kindle, or can be purchased at two locations in Gt. Barrington: The Bookloft and the Crystal Store, and in Lenox at the Lenox Bookstore.

MOLST PAGE 1 •

it is medically appropriate based on the person’s current health condition, and • the person wants to express preferences about life-sustaining medical treatments. What is the process for filling out a MOLST form? It starts with a person (and/or their caregivers, family members) and a clinician (physician, nurse practitioner, physician assistant) talking about “advance care planning.” These conversations should include talking about the person’s health status, prognosis, personal values, and goals of care, and the potential benefits and burdens of treatments. This may result in the clinician and the patient filling out a MOLST form, if one is medically indicated and desired by the person. Can a person change his or her mind about treatment after they fill out the MOLST? Yes. They can ask for and receive needed medical treatment at any time, no matter what the MOLST form says. A person can also void the MOLST form and/or ask a clinician to fill out a new MOLST form with different instructions at any time. Who honors MOLST instructions? Health care professionals (nurses, emergency responders, etc.) honor valid medical orders, including MOLST, in any setting where clinical care may be provided (including in the patient’s home). Is MOLST the same as a “health care proxy” form? No. A health care proxy form is used to name a person’s health care agent. Only the health care agent is legally authorized to make medical decisions for another person if the person cannot make medical decisions themselves (e.g. because of unconsciousness, coma, dementia, or other mental limitations). Every adult age 18 and older in Massachusetts should fill out and sign a health care proxy form. If a person has written “final wishes” or a “living will,” isn’t that enough? No. Those are important forms that may be used as evidence of a person’s *Kirkus is a company that writes book reviews for librarians, booksellers wishes, but they are not authorized by law in Massachusetts. They do not and the general public. carry the same authority as a medical order like MOLST. If a person already has a “Do Not Resuscitate” (DNR) order, can they still use MOLST? Yes. DNR orders can be written on the MOLST form. The MOLST form also enables a person to express preferences about other types of lifesustaining treatments - and to either refuse or request certain treatments. Who keeps the signed MOLST form? The person with advanced illness keeps the MOLST form with them, in a place where it is easy to locate (e.g. on the refrigerator, beside the bed, or on the door), and it should be carried with them outside the home. Copies of MOLST forms are also valid and should be given to the person’s health care agent and primary care provider. Will the MOLST form be honored outside of Massachusetts? The Massachusetts MOLST form might be honored in some states but not in others. However, the MOLST form is always a good record of a person’s treatment preferences and may be honored as evidence of those preferences outside of Massachusetts. This is Part 1 of a series. Information for this article was provided by www. molst-ma.org. Cassie Carmon is Elder Services’ Human Resources Generalist. Since 1889, those who live and work in the Berkshires have relied on the friendly and familiar faces found at The Pittsfield Cooperative Bank to make them feel good. Many banks have come and gone over the past 124 years – making The Coop's continued dedication to the community so ... refreshing. And, that commitment will never fizzle out.

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Page 13

For Your Information

Winter emergency preparedness 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. 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, flashlight with spare batteries, a can and waterproof matches (to melt snow for drinking water), non-perishable foods, windshields scraper, shovel, sand, tow rope and jumper cables. Following are 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, not for drinking. 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 can 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, ask your doctor how you can prepare for a power outage. If you have lifesupport devices that depend on electricity, contact your local electric company about your power needs for life-support devices (home dialysis, suction, breathing machines, etc.) in advance of an emergency. Some utility companies will put you on a “priority reconnection service” list.

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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. • If you have special needs, find out what assistance may be available in your community. Register in advance with the local emergency management agency, fire department, 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. • Check 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 battery-powered 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 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 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, including TVs, microwave, computer, and cordless telephone. Leave on one light so that you’ll know when your power returns. • Use a battery or crank-operated radio to keep you up-to-date on weather news. After an outage • Be extra cautious if you go outside to inspect for damage after a storm. Call your utility company to report any outage-related 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. Avoid overexertion. For more tips go to the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) website: www.mass.gov/eopss/agencies/mema.

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Elder Services' Nutrition Program Elder Services' Senior Lunch Sites Elder Services offers hot, nutritious noontime meals at senior lunch sites located throughout Berkshire County. Anyone 60 or over can reserve a meal at any of the sites by calling the site they would like to attend by 11:30 a.m. the previous day. There is a suggested donation of $2.00 per meal.

City/Town/Phone Adams 743-8333 Becket 623-8934 Cheshire 743-9719 Dalton 684-2000/684-0016 Great Barrington 528-4118 Lanesboro 442-2682 Lee 243-5545

Meal Times

Address Adams Visitors Center 3 Hoosac Street Town Hall Route 8 Senior Center 119 School Street Senior Center 40 Field Ext. Claire Teague Senior Ctr. 909 South Main Street Town Hall 83 North Main Street Senior Center 21 Crossway Village

11:30 a.m.

Days Meals Served M T W Th F ¥

¥

¥

11:00 a.m. 11:30 a.m.

¥

Noon

¥

11:30 a.m.

¥

¥

¥

¥

¥ ¥ ¥

¥

¥

¥

11:30 a.m. 11:45 a.m.

¥

¥

¥

¥

¥

¥

¥

¥

City/Town/Phone Lenox 637-5535 North Adams 662-3125 Pittsfield 499-9346 Pittsfield-Kosher 442-2200 Stockbridge 298-4170 X263 Stockbridge 298-3222 Williamstown ** 458-8350

Address Community Ctr. 65 Walker Street Spitzer Center 116 Ashland Street Ralph J. Froio Senior Ctr. 330 North Street Cong. Knesset Israel 16 Colt Road Senior Center 50 Main Street Heaton Court 5 Pine Street Harper Center 118 Church Street

Meal Times

Days Meals Served M T W Th F

Noon

¥

¥

11:45 a.m.

¥

¥

¥

¥

¥

11:30 a.m.

¥

¥

¥

¥

¥

Noon

¥

¥ ¥

Noon ¥

11:30 a.m. 11:30 a.m.

¥

¥

¥ ¥

¥

¥

**Meals are also served on Sunday

If you receive Meals on Wheels and are not going to be home.

December

PLEASE use your phone! Call 1-800-981-5201. Drivers cannot leave meals if you are not at home. If you don’t come to the door, your driver will contact the nutrition office to do a well-being check on you, which may include contact with your local police department.

Menu subject to change without notice. * Modifications for sugar-restricted diets ** High sodium foods Suggested donation $2. All contributions help defray the cost of Elder Services' Nutrition/Meals on Wheels programs.

If you do not contact Elder Services’ Nutrition Department to let them know you will not be home to accept your meal, your driver will be concerned about your well-being, and the staff will need to make several phone calls to be sure you are all right. Please keep us informed, and we will be better able to serve you.

MONDAY

2

TUESDAY

3 Stuffed Cabbage Casserole Sugar Snap Peas Spinach Rye Bread Pears

9

Lasagna w/ Meat Sauce Broccoli Italian Blend Vegetables Italian Bread Applesauce 10

Veal Parmesan Spirals w/ Sauce Mixed Greens Italian Bread Mixed Tropical Fruit 16

11

17

30 Cheeseburg Potato Puffs Mixed Vegetables Hamburg Roll Apple

Pea Soup **Baked Ham w/ Raisin Sauce Broccoli Multigrain Bread Mixed Fruit 31 Salmon Puttanesca Roasted Red Potatoes Green Beans 100% Whole Wheat Bread Pears

Potato Leek Soup Baked Chicken Breast w/ Cream Sauce Green Beans Oatmeal Bread Banana 12

18

Minestrone Soup Tuna Salad Cheesy Potatoes Whole Wheat Hamburg Roll *Peach Cobbler 19

Chili Brown Rice Corn w/ Pimiento Multigrain Bread Orange 25

Baked Fish Boiled Potatoes Brussels Sprouts au gratin 100% Whole Wheat Bread Peaches (Tossed Green Salad Cong.) 13 Chicken & Biscuit Buttered Noodles Broccoli Fruited Gelatin w/ Topping 20

Holiday Meal Pot Roast w/ Gravy Mashed Potatoes Winter Squash Dinner Roll *Trifle 26

HAPPY HOLIDAYS

FRIDAY

6

Meatloaf w/ Tomato Sauce Garlic Mashed Potatoes Peas & Mushrooms 100% Whole Wheat Bread Pears

Macaroni & Cheese Green Beans Stewed Tomatoes Rye Bread Applesauce (Tossed Green Salad Cong) 24

Chicken a la King Mashed Potatoes Winter Blend Vegetables Rye Bread Peaches

THURSDAY

5

Calico Beans w/ Sausage Brown Rice w/ Bulgur Stewed Tomatoes Multigrain Bread *Chocolate Pudding w/ Topping

**Hot Dog Baked Beans Coleslaw Whole Wheat Hot Dog Roll Apple Crisp

Barbecue Beef Sweet Potatoes Spinach Oatmeal Bread Mixed Fruit 23

WEDNESDAY

4

Beef Burgundy Noodles Spinach Oatmeal Bread *Butterscotch Pudding w/ Topping

Swedish Meatballs Noodles Braised Red Cabbage 100% Whole Wheat Bread Pineapple 27 Roast Turkey w/ Gravy Mashed Potatoes Carrots Dinner Roll Applesauce

Extra sodium may be hiding in your holiday turkey. Although turkey is naturally low in sodium, it may have been injected with sodium solutions including broth, sodium phosphate, sodium lactate, and potassium lactate. These turkeys, labeled enhanced or pre-basted, can increase the sodium content as much as 280 milligrams per 3 ounce portion. Check the ingredient list and the nutrition facts label. If the sodium content is more than 75 milligrams per 4 ounce portion, look for an un-enhanced turkey.