Looking Ahead

Looking Ahead -- January '04 -- Section Four

 ... Club Meetings, Trip Info, latest news for seniors

by Jack Beckley, executive director, Melrose COA



CITY OF MELROSE
SENIOR CITIZENS' WATER
DISCOUNT FOR LOW CONSUMPTION USERS


For your convenience, an application for a 20% water discount is available. To be eligible for a discount on next year's bill, you should apply now. Simply fill out the form (available at the CoA office) and send it to the Public Works Dept., 562 Main St., Melrose, MA 02176.

In order to receive a discount, you must apply each and every year. Please do not deduct 20% from your water bill because you anticipate using less that 6,000 cubic feet for the entire year. At the end of the annual billing cycle, this will be done automatically by computer (after July 1st).
Applications will be taken from Jan. 1st to May 31st only.

To qualify:

Applicant or spouse must have passed the age of 65 in the calendar year prior to that in which he/she is making application for the discount.

Applicant must be the owner of record and his/her name must appear on the water bill for that property.

Yearly consumption of water by the applicant shall not exceed 6,000 cubic feet for the entire year.

Discount applies only to owners of one and two family homes.

CLUB MEETINGS


Jan.  6 -- Community Associates -- 1:00 p.m. meeting at Melrose Highlands Congregational Church.
Jan. 10 - AARP Chapter 1124 - 1:30 meeting at First Congregational Church.
Jan. 17 - Ham & Bean Supper - 6:00 p.m. Green Street Baptist Church. $7.00 Children under 12 free with parents.  No reservation needed. Call 781-665-7331 for more information.
Jan. 21 - Woman's Club - 12 noon meeting at First Congregational Church. Mary Wescott, Antiques Appraiser.
Jan. 26 - Melrose Arts & Crafts Society - 9:30 a.m. classes at the First Baptist Church. Applique Oriental Design, Wearable Art, and Egg Class. Program, 1 p.m. Auction.

Melrose Veterans' Club - Meets every Friday at 9:00 a.m., GAR Room, Memorial Hall. All are welcome!

Go Go Seniors - No meeting in January.
                                                           
TRIP INFORMATION


Minibus to Meadow Glen Mall - Call 781-665-4304 to reserve seats on the bus.
Jan. 5 - Leaves Cefalo Memorial Complex to Meadow Glen at 10 a.m.- returns at 1:15 p.m.
Jan. 12 - Leaves Julian Steele & McCarthy Houses to Square One Mall at 10 a.m.- returns at 1:15 p.m.                             
Jan. 26 - Leaves City Hall to Square One Mall at 10 a.m. - returns at 1:15 p.m.

200 Club - Call Rosemary Behrle at 781-665-3258 to register for trips
Mar. 16 - St. Patrick's Irish Cabaret, Luciano's Lake Pearl - Wrentham, MA  $49
Apr. 1-4 - Washington, DC - Twin $379, Single $549; Triple $369
Jan. 12 - Lincoln Greyhound Park, Lincoln, RI - $10 per person includes $5 cash voucher, $5 food coupon, key chain, race program, race dedication and deluxe motor coach transportation.

GO-GO SENIORS - Call Mary Pagano at 781-662-9796.
Mar. 17 - St. Patrick's Irish Cabaret at Luciano's Lake Pearl, Wrentham, MA. $49
Apr. 7 - Foxwoods Casino - Buffet. $18
Apr. 14 - The Ricky & Lucy Show at Chez Josef, Agawam, MA. Full lunch. $63
May 5 - Top of the Hub. Lunch plus show. $65

CRAFT GROUP - You are invited to join a Craft Group taught by Marie Salamanca. The first class will be Monday, Jan. 5th, at 1:30, at the Milano Senior Center. The project for that day will be a framed silhouette of an old-fashioned girl. The cost will be $15. On Monday, Jan. 12th, we will make a no-sew fleece throw. The cost for the throw will be $20. Both projects are easy and fun to do. Call the Milano Senior Center at 781-662-6886 to reserve a place and leave your name and phone number. The only equipment you need to bring is a sharp scissors for the throw. Everything else will be supplied.

Social Security Payout to Rise

Monthly payments to the nation's 47 million recipients of Social Security benefits will rise 2.1 percent in January.  Medicare deductibles and premiums will also rise, the monthly premium for part B of Medicare, which covers physician services, outpatient hospital services and other costs, will rise 13.5 percent. The deductible for hospital stays will also increase to $876, up $36 from this year.

Retirement Age has Increased

The full retirement age is also moving up. This year people born in 1938 have had to wait an extra two months, that is, they have to be 65 years and two months, to qualify for full benefits and avoid having those benefits perhaps reduced by income they have earned.

Next year people born in 1939 will have to wait four months beyond their 65th birthday to qualify for full benefits. If you need additional information please consider making an appointment with Mary Sullivan our SHINE councilor (Serving Health Insurance Needs of Elders) by calling the COA office at 781-665-4304.

Multivitamins and Medicare

A recent study by the Lewin Group of Falls Church, VA found that older adults could reduce their risk of cardiovascular disease by 24% and improve their immune systems by taking a daily multivitamin supplement. The study also estimated how those improvements might affect healthcare spending in Medicare.

If Medicare provided a daily multivitamin for every adult over the age of 65, it would cost 149 million per year. However, if the study's estimates are accurate, $298 million would be saved due to lower rates of nursing home care and hospitalization for infections and cardiovascular disease.  The study continues by claiming that over five years, providing multivitamins could save $1.62 billion on healthcare expenditures. They admit, however, that even if Medicare supplied the vitamin supplements, many seniors would probably still not take them on a daily basis.

Silver Haired Legislature Representative

As your Silver Haired legislature Representative I would like to come to you to not only encourage you to feel free to come to me with issues of concerns you may be experiencing, but to inform me of concerns you may hear others may be having trying to maintain quality of life in one way or another. If you have senior family, friends, or neighbors that feel they are at a loss to know where to turn for help, find themselves in need of direction or have any suggestions you feel that can enhance the quality of life for seniors that I can take to our Senators and Representatives, please come to me at the Milano Senior Center or call me to make an appointment.

Anne MacGillivray
Silver Haired Legislature Representative


Storm Cancellation Policy

When storms force the cancellation of Melrose Public Schools:  
The Milano Senior Center will close for the day.
No congregate meals will be served at the Milano Senior Center. To find out if Home Delivered Meals will be delivered, call MVES at 781-324-7705 after 7:30 a.m.
The Minibus will not run the entire day.
The COA office will be open unless City Hall closes.


Minor Home Repair Program

All residents age 60 and over may use this program. However, the sliding fee scale makes it particularly beneficial to lower-income residents. Repair program hourly rates are $38 for the handyman and $70 for the electrician and plumbers.   Sliding fee users, of course, may pay significantly less. To be eligible for the sliding-fee, an individual's annual income must be $21,199 or less and $28,617 or less for a couple.

This program is supported by a grant from the Farnsworth Trust, and the Community Associates of Melrose through your donations.
  
Newsletter notices/announcements may be sent to the Council on Aging, 235 W. Foster St., Melrose, MA 02176. They must be received by the 5th day of the month before you want the notice to appear. Questions? Call us at 781-665-4304.

PROGRAMS & SERVICES

Health Programs Monthly Adult Wellness Service and Podiatry Clinic plus periodic audiological, vision and other screenings. Presentations on health-related topics.
Information and Referral Up-to-date resource information for referrals to services in the elder care network.

Legal Consultation Attorney to help seniors experiencing problems with bureaucracies, such as the Social Security Administration, landlord-tenant relations, and entitlement programs
 
Melrose Mirror Internet publication written by senior citizens at the Milano Senior Center. Published in cooperation with MIT Media Lab. Visit the site at http://silverstringer.media.mit.edu.

Milano Center Activities: Aerobics, art workshop, dance instruction, bridge, chair caning, cribbage, discussion groups, hand crafts, line dancing, parties, photography, Senior Chorus, Silver Singles, SilverStringers (Melrose Mirror Internet publication) pilot program with MIT) tai chi, yoga, and volunteer opportunities.

Minor Home Repairs Carpenter, electrician and plumber for small repairs. Program has a sliding scale for low-income residents.

Newsletter: Monthly Looking Ahead newsletter highlighting information of interest to senior citizens and detailing programs and services at the COA & Milano Senior Center.

Nutrition:  Mystic Valley Elder Services provides nutritious lunches weekdays at the Milano Senior Center.   $1.50 donation suggested.  Transportation is available.

Outreach: Information and referral, help with problems, emotional support and a clearinghouse of homemakers for persons over-income for state home care services.

Property Tax Work-Off Programs - Help for income-eligible elders and the disabled. Elders receive a $500 abatement for 74 hours of work while the disabled receive $600 (less taxes) for 88 hours of work.

SHINE (Serving Health Information Needs of Elders) for information on health insurance and entitlement programs.

Smoke Detectors: Properly working smoke detectors save lives.  Batteries should be changed annually. This program installs smoke detectors and replaces batteries that are supplied by the homeowner.

Transportation: Minibus service within to City to medical appointments, shopping and other destinations. General transportation information.

Additional Services: AARP Income Tax Assistance, Arthritis Support Group, educational presentations, Teen-Aging & Friendly Calls Programs, and volunteer opportunities.  

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