Looking Ahead

Carriage House Lounge Open House

... Looking Ahead, April 2006: SilverStringers Special Invitation

Jack Beckley, director Melrose Council on Aging

Looking Ahead, April 2006
Melrose Council on Aging
Eileen M. Olsen, Chairperson
Jim Driscoll, Vice-Chairperson
Kay McCarte, Secretary
William Ahern
Peggy Kenny
Rosemary Behrle
George Nelson Torrey

Visit the Carriage House Lounge

We are delighted with the favorable comments received from visitors to the renovated lower level of the Milano Senior Center, now called "The Carriage House Lounge".

Opened last fall, the facility has proven popular as a warm, inviting gathering place. Adjacent to the lounge is the new computer lab where seniors can either take lessons or surf the internet using our high speed connection.

If you have not visited the senior center lately, we invite you to drop in any time.

SilverStringers Open House
April 11 & 12, 2006, 10:30 AM to 2 PM

If your schedule permits, you may be interested in attending an open house being conducted by a group of seniors - SilverStringers - who edit and publish the on-line monthly publication, "The Melrose Mirror". It will take place in the Milano Center’s Carriage House Lounge.

There will be on-going informal presentations by the Stringers, providing insight into the writing, editing, presentation of photographs, and publishing of the Mirror. Light refreshments will also be served.

The occasion also provides an opportunity to view the work of the late SilverStringer Bill Jodrey, who at the age of 87 had a book published, the "Diary of a Hobo". This chronicles his personal experiences as a young man "on the road" during the depression years of the 1930's. Limited copies of the book will be available for purchase.

For anyone interested in writing and/or photography, the Stringers will be glad to discuss their experiences and how individuals can participate with the group.

Medicare Prescription Drug Program
Online Help

On Thurs., April 20, from 1:00 to 4:00 PM, volunteers will again be at the Milano Center to help you, via the Internet, determine what Medicare prescription drug plan best meets your needs. Afterwards you’ll receive a printout of the three least costly plans meeting your needs.

Call the Milano Center (781-662-6886) to schedule an appointment. Remember, you must select a plan by May 15, 2006 to avoid a penalty if you elect to join later.

Is Now the Time to Join an HMO?

Do you still have questions about the new Medicare Prescription Drug benefit or wonder if now is the time to join an HMO?  If so, come to the Milano Center on Mon., April 24, at 10:00 a.m. A representative from Tufts Health Plan Medicare Preferred (formerly Secure Horizons) will explain the basics of the Medicare Prescription Drug benefit plan and explain how the federal coverage has its affected plans.

Congratulations Jim!

Jim Driscoll, who serves on our COA Board and, recently, as principal fund raiser during the Melrose Friends of the Aging’s successful capital campaign to create the Carriage House Lounge, has been named "Citizen of the Year” by the Melrose Chamber of Commerce.
We extend our sincere congratulations to Jim for this richly deserved honor.

Senior Dining Program
Delicious noon-time meals are served each weekday at 12 noon in the Milano Center. The lunch program is run in cooperation with Mystic Valley Elder Services. Entrees are listed in Looking Ahead’s calendar and the complete weekly menus in the Melrose Free Press.

To reserve a meal call 781-662-6886 from 10:00-11:45 AM at least a day before you plan to attend. A $1.50 donation is requested for each meal. Rides are available by calling 781-665-4304 ($1 suggested donation).

Ride in COA Van

The Council provides transportation within Melrose for residents age 60 plus. The van runs Mon.- Thurs. from 8:30 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. and on Fridays from 8:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

To reserve a ride, call the COA office (781-665-4304) mornings. In the afternoon, you may check on a ride or make a last minute cancellation by calling the Milano Center at 781-662-6886. $1 suggested donation.

Looking Ahead

The COA monthly newsletter, Looking Ahead, is distributed in bulk around the City. If you prefer to receive it by mail, please send a $4 check payable to the Melrose COA, 235 West Foster Street, Melrose, MA 02176. Those who are homebound and unable to afford the $4 can receive the newsletter without charge.

Introducing Katrina Rideout,
Melrose Recycling Coordinator

In January, Melrose Public Works hired Katrina Rideout as the City’s Recycling & Solid Waste Coordinator. Katrina comes to Melrose from Clark University in Worcester, where she oversaw the University’s recycling and reuse program. She has also worked with Framingham’s recycling program and the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection.

Katrina works to coordinate, evaluate, and promote Melrose’s solid waste, recycling and yard waste programs. She also conducts outreach and education to residents, schools, City employees, and businesses with the goal of increasing recycling participation within the City.

If you have questions about recycling or would like more information about the City’s recycling programs, you may contact Katrina at 781-979-4174.

Melrose Arts Festival

Don’t miss the free Melrose Arts Festival at Memorial Hall, April 8-9th from 12-5 PM. The Festival will exhibit the work of approximately 35 regional painters, photographers, and sculptors. Along with the exhibits the crowd will be treated to live music.

Tickets for a Friday night Gala (April 7) are $15 and can be bought at Hourglass, Miter Biter, and Cedar Perk or at the door that night. For additional information, please visit the MACA website @ www.melrosearts.com.

Bridge Club – Meets Wednesday mornings. New members are always welcome. Recent winners were: Jean Pulsifer 1st, Mary Mihaljan 2nd, and Alan Faller 3rd; Arthur Hughes 1st, Rose Leone 2nd, & Fran Vennochi 3rd; David Brissette 1st, Mary Mihaljan 2nd, and Rose Leone 3rd.

U.S. Postal Service

For your convenience, representatives of the U.S. Postal Service will be at the Milano Center on Tues, April 11 from 11:00 AM – 12:15 PM. Come to buy stamps, ask questions, and mail letters and packages up to 6 lbs.  


AARP Chapter 1124 April 7 1:30 PM at the Melrose Highlands Congregational Church. Dessert Social with entertainment by Two for the Show.
Ham & Bean Supper April 15, 6:00 p.m., Green Street Baptist Church, 179 Green St. $7 adults (children 12 & under free with parents). No reservations needed. For information, call 781-665-7331.

Melrose Arts and Crafts Society April 24. 9:30 AM. First Baptist Church. Craft classes, Annual Meeting, and Pot Luck Luncheon.

Melrose Veterans’ Club  Fridays, 9:00 a.m., GAR Room, Memorial Hall. All are welcome!

Womans’ Club of Melrose  April 19, 12:00, Most Blessed Sacrament Church. Program: Retired Judge, the Honorable Robert Barton.


Minibus to Square One Mall Call 781-665-4304 to reserve seats on the bus. There is now a two person minimum for the van to make the trip.
April 3  - Leaves Cefalo Memorial Complex at 10 a.m.- returns at 1 p.m.
April 10 - Leaves Julian Steele & McCarthy Houses at 10 a.m.- returns at 1 p.m.
April 24 - Leaves City Hall at 10 a.m. - returns at 1 p.m.

200 Club – Call Rosemary Behrle at 781- 665-3258 to register for trips. Checks payable to: The 200 Club.
March 8-16 Greece 3-Night Greek Island Cruise aboard Louis Cruises’ Perla, 9-days/7 nights. Package includes sightseeing to some of the most beautiful and famous attractions in Greece; most meals, staying at first-class Divani Palace in Athens including a visit to Ephesus in Turkey!

$1,599 (outside cabin) $1,529 (inside cabin)

April 14, Mystery Trip: Something different that you have never done before! Trip includes: buffet luncheon, afternoon mystery activity, deluxe motor coach transportation. Pick up: Cochrane House 8:00 a.m./Levi Gould 8:15 a.m. $51.00

May 19 Portland, Maine By train and bus. One way train from Woburn, Mass. to Portland, Maine on Amtrak’s Downeaster; lunch at DiMillo’s Floating Restaurant (scrod or chicken); Shopping/browsing time at  Old Port.”  Pick-up: Cochrane House and Levi Gould – Pick up Cochrane House 8:15 a.m./Levi Gould 8:30 a.m.  $79.00

June 22-29 8 Day Mackinac Island A unique island destination, between Lake Michigan and Lake Huron, where you will experience the sites and sounds of a bygone era.  Tour includes: 7 nights hotel; 13 meals; ferry ride; carriage tour Greenfield Village and Henry Ford Museum and all sightseeing; taxes; baggage; professional tour guide by deluxe motor coach.      

$1,049 twin, $1,029 triple, & $1,429 single


The Melrose Friends of the Aging gratefully acknowledges generous contributions from Delma Harrington, V. Edward Perkins, Connie Robinson, Bill & Ruth Tracey, and Connie Webber. Generous donations were also made by Bruce Atkinson and Joe & Eileen Hinchey in memory of Dorothy McCarthy.

Movies -- Movies -- Movies

Pride & Prejudice, drama. Shown at the Milano Senior Center on Wed., April 12 at 1:30 PM. This wonderful, award winning love story is based on Jane Austen's novel. Mrs. Bennet seeks  suitable  marriage partners for her five daughters. But the independent Elizabeth defies her mother and turns down a proposal. Meanwhile, the intriguing Mr. Darcy may not be quite so snobbish as he first appears. PG. 129 min. All are welcome.

Prescription Advantage
Open Enrollment

The Commonwealth’s pharmacy assistance program is conducting an Open Enrollment March 15 through April 28, 2006.

Prescription Advantage is available to those who are:
65 or older with gross annual income not exceeding $49,000 single or $66,000 married.

Under age 65, work no more than 40 hours per month, meet MassHealth’s disability requirements, and have gross annual income of $18,424 single, $24,816 married.
How will Prescription Advantage work?

If eligible, you must sign up for Medicare Part D;
Applicants with incomes of $18,424 single, $24,816 or less must apply for  Extra Help” administered by the Social Security Administration.

Medicare Part D will be the primary drug insurance, Prescription advantage the secondary.

Prescription Advantage will cover portions of co-payments on a sliding scale according to the member’s income.

There will be no monthly premium for Prescription Advantage members with incomes below $29,400 single, $39,600 married. There will be a $200 annual enrollment fee for those with incomes of $29,401 - $49,000 single and $39,601 - $66,000 married.

Prescription Advantage may pay all or part of your Medicare Part D premium.

How does Prescription Advantage Work for those not eligible for Medicare?

Prescription Advantage provides primary prescription drug coverage.

There are no monthly premiums however members pay a quarterly deducible and co-payments until an annual out-of-pocket spending limit is reached.

Those seeking more information or an application should call 1-800-243-4636 and press 1. Applications are also available at the Milano Senior Center and online at www.mass.gov/elders. To talk to a SHINE counselor, call 781-324-7705.

Volunteers needed for FISH

One of Melrose’s most dedicated and conscientious volunteer groups is in dire need of new members. FISH volunteers are needed to drive senior citizens to doctors’ appointments and, if you don’t drive, to help coordinate rides. Please volunteer. Be a hero to someone in need. For further information, call Preston Johnson at 781-665-1796.

Computer Room Programming

Classes: Basic & Intermedicate Computer, Exploring the Internet, and Microsoft Word. Classes are $25 for three lessons.

Public Service Events: The AARP Tax Aide Program takes place Monday mornings (see page 9). Medicare Part D Help find a prescription drug plan compatible with your pharmacy.

KeyBoarding Use an unstructional CD program to build your typing skill.

Practice Time Use computers to accomplish desired tasks. Peer assistants are available to help new users. The fee is $3 per one hour one-on-one session.
Open Use Computers may be used without charge when no classes are being held. The public is encouraged to take advantage of them.

Call 781-662-6886 for information about computer room activites, when classes will be starting and to register.  

Free AARP Tax Assistance

IRS trained Tax-Aide counselors assist disabled persons and those age 60 and over with low to moderate incomes in filing their taxes again this year at the Milano Senior Center.
Appointments with Tax-Aides will be available on Mondays, from 9:00 a.m. to 12 noon, through April 10, 2006. Please bring: 1. A copy of your 2004 return 2. All taxes paid for 2005 (withholding and estimated) 4. All 2005 income report forms 1099s, W-2, etc. If you are interest in the annual state income tax credit (often referred to as the  Circuit Breaker”) of up to $840, bring your property tax valuation, annual income and property taxes paid and paid water & sewer services. You do not have to pay state taxes to qualify for the tax credit.

Call 781-665-4304 mornings for an appointment. Time permitting, walk-ins are seen on a first-come, first- serve basis - after the appointments. Occasionally, time may not permit accommodating all walk-ins.

This year tax assistance will be held in the Milano Center’s Carriage House Lounge.

Grandparent and Grandchild Support Group

North Suburban Family Network in collaboration with the Melrose and Stoneham Councils on Aging, received a MVES Grant for monthly educational support group for grandparents.

Meetings are held on the last Friday of the month, 10 a.m.–Noon, through June 2006 at the Stoneham Senior Center, 136 Elm St., Stoneham. Limited childcare is available. Call 781-662-2722 to register for the April 28 meeting.

Citizens’ Drug Recognition Academy

The Melrose Health & Police Depts. and the Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition are sponsoring a unique program for parents and concerned citizens.  Citizens Drug Recognition Academy” provides a comprehensive training on recognition of drugs, drug paraphernalia, eye clues and symptoms of drug abuse.

The 4-part course begins on Wed., April 5, 2006, 7:00 pm to 9:00, pm, and continues each Wed. evening through May 3 (except for April 19-school vacation week) at the Milano Senior Center. The program is open to adults only.

Register through Kara Clemente, email kclemente@cityofmelrose.org or call (781) 979-4128.

Find Out About "Lifeline”

Though no one is exempt from medical emergencies, a personal response service, such as Lifeline, may provide some peace of mind.

On Wed., April 26, at 1:30 P.M. at the Milano Center, Kevin Duffey, Program Manager of Lifeline Program, Hallmark Health System will demonstrate the equipment and provide information about the Lifeline system.
Please join us for this informative program.

Unforgettable: Nat King Cole Story
April 8, 2006, 8:00 PM
Stoneham Theatre, Stoneham, MA

Come join us for an  "unforgettable" evening of musical entertainment. National Public Radio writes,  "A dazzling representation of Nat King Cole… Monroe Kent III is a consummate performer."

While seeing a fabulous show, your $50 ticket purchase supports the Mystic Valley Elder Services’ Gap Fund. This endowment fund helps elders whose income is too high for government funded services or who aren’t quite frail enough by government standards.

Additional information and tickets are available at the Milano Senior Center or by contacting Jenny Vanasse at MVES, at 781-324-7705.

Friendly Visitor Program

The Friendly Visitor Program, supported in part by a grant from MVES, matches volunteers with senior citizens who wish to be visited for companionship, walks, or sharing of mutual interests.

If you would like a friendly visitor to come to your home or you wish to volunteer, please call Tara Deeble at 781-665-4304.

April 7, 2006

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