Looking Ahead

August update. Looking Ahead

... FEMA is still available

by Jack Beckley, executive director, Council on Aging

Looking Ahead, August 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

Milano Center to the Rescue

Following May’s rains and extensive flooding, the Milano Senior Center became a Disaster Recovery Center to help residents of Melrose and surrounding communities.

While open, several hundred people took advantage of the numerous agencies on hand to help including state and federal emergency management agencies, Small Business Administration, Division of Insurance, and mental health and elder service agencies.

Thanks to our senior citizens for sacrificing during this crisis and foregoing their Milano Center activities for the good of the community.

Thanks also Executive Director Ann St. Pierre and the Melrose Housing Authority for opening its doors to our Senior Dining Program and to our incredible volunteers and Mystic Valley Elder Services staff for staffing the elder services table 12 hours a day for two weeks.

Milano Spruce Up

This summer, the exterior of the Milano Senior Center will get a much-needed freshening with a new coat of paint. While the painting may be a little disruptive, the Center will remain open for all program and activities.

The painting will be done without charge by inmates of the Middlesex County Sheriff’s Department. While the labor is free, the Melrose Friends of the Aging will pay for equipment and paint.

The exterior of the Milano Center will be painted from July 31 through August 18. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you.

Let Us Do the Cooking!
This summer, beat the heat by letting us do the cooking. Dine in the air conditioned comfort of the Milano Senior Center.

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 lunch donation is requested.  Rides are available by calling 781-665-4304 ($1 suggested donation).

While the Milano Center is closed for painting (July 31 to Aug 18), the Senior Dining Program will be relocated to the Julian Steele House at 1 Nason Drive. To reserve your meal there, call 781-665-5796 between 10 AM and noon at least a day in advance.

Ride in COA Minibus

The Council provides transportation within Melrose for residents age 60 plus. During July and August, the minibus runs at reduced hours. Summer hours are Mon. - Fri. from 8:30 a.m. to 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.

MVES: Here to Help

Mystic Valley Elder Services (MVES) is a non-profit organization that provides information and services to elders and their caregivers. Our services are focused on helping elders live safely and independently in the setting of their choice. We are a one-stop resource for elder care information, advice, services, and solutions for anyone, regardless of age or income. Please call 781-327-7705 or visit www.mves.org to reach MVES.

Bridge Club – Meets Wednesday mornings. New members are always welcome.

Melrose Mirror Online

The Melrose Mirror is an ever changing online publication with lots of pictures and interesting stories. It is written and produced by Melrose residents, SilverStringers, at the Milano Center. Take a look at it at http://melrosemirror.media.mit.edu.

The SilverStringers welcome new members to their Wednesday afternoon meetings at 1:30 PM. During meetings members receive training and discuss story ideas.


The listing of Club Meetings and Events will resume in September.


Minibus to Meadow Glen Mall in July and to the Square One Mall in August. Call 781-665-4304 to reserve seats on the bus.
July 3/Aug 7 - Leaves Cefalo Memorial Complex at 10 a.m.- returns at 1 p.m.
July 10/Aug 14 Leaves Julian Steele & McCarthy Houses at 10 a.m.- returns at 1 p.m.
July 17/Aug.21 Leaves City Hall at 10:00 a.m. returns at 1:00 p.m.

200 Club – Register for trips with Rosemary Behrle (781-665- 3258). Checks payable to: The 200 Club.

Aug 16: Songo River Cruise, Naple ME. River Queen is a replica of the famed Mississippi River Stern Paddle Wheelers. Enjoy Maine’s breathtaking view of the mountains. Lunch included at Cole Farms Restaurant, Gray, ME. Choices: Boneless Chicken, Yankee Pot Roast. Pick-up: Cochrane House 8:45 a.m./Levi Gould 9 a.m. $49

Sept. 7-14 8 Day Mackinac Island A unique island destination, between Lake Michigan and Lake Huron, where you will experience the sights 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

Project Safe

Project Safe, a Mystic Valley Elder Services initiative for Melrose residents age 80 and over has started in Melrose. Project Safe is designed to promote safety and independence as well as to provide residents with valuable information about community services.

In the coming months, if you are age 80 or over, you can expect to receive a letter from MVES explaining Project Safe in detail. Your involvement is totally voluntary but we believe that, because the program will benefit you in a variety of ways, you will want to participate. In the meantime, if you have questions, you can call the Council on Aging office or Ellen Holmes, MVES Project Safe Coordinator (781-324-7705 ext. 322).

The Melrose Friends of the Aging gratefully acknowledges generous contributions from Myrna Deane and Don & Lea Shea. A generous donation was also received from Ruth Charlton in memory of her sister-in- law, Ethel Charlton.

Movies -- Movies -- Movies

"Last Holiday": Shown at the Milano Senior Center on Wed., Aug. 23 at 1:30 PM. Told she’s dying, a dowdy, reserved woman goes on a vacation to Europe and lets it all hang out for once in her life. There she finds not everyone on the Continent appreciates her style. PG-13, 112 minutes.

City of Melrose

The City of Melrose has a Property Tax Work-Off Program, managed by the Council on Aging, that is open to senior citizens, age 60 and over, and disabled residents under age 60. The Property Tax Work-Off Program allows homeowners to provide services to the City in exchange for abatements of up to $500 on their property taxes.

How to Apply

Applications are available at the COA office, the Milano Senior Center and in City Hall. Complete the application and return it to the Council on Aging, 235 West Foster Street, Melrose, MA 02176 by Sept. 19, 2006 . If more applications are received than the 25 available slots, a drawing will be held on Sept. 22. Otherwise, applications will continue to be accepted until all 25 positions are filled.
Eligibility Requirements
  • Age 60 plus or disabled.

  • Homeowner or current spouse.

  • Own and occupy the property for which Melrose taxes are paid.

  • Income eligible. Annual income no more than:
        $29,400 - one person household
        $33,000 - two or more person household

Selection Process

  • Eligible applicants are selected by lottery.
  • Applicant must have appropriate skills for one of the positions offered.

  • Applicant and department head must both agree that it is an appropriate match.

Benefit Limits

Senior citizens and disabled individuals may receive a $500 maximum property tax abatement based on $6.75 per hour of service. 25 program slots available.

Participants in the program may not participate in two consecutive years.

Deadline for Drawing

Applications must be received at the Council on Aging, 235 West Foster Street, Melrose, MA 02176 by September 19, 2006. On September 22, 2006 applicants’ names will be drawn at random and assigned numbers. Candidates with the lowest numbers will be contacted, interviewed and, if appropriate, offered positions until the jobs are filled.

Types of Jobs

Primarily clerical positions requiring some typing, filing, data entry and phone work or custodial. Positions will vary from year-to-year depending on departmental needs.
For additional information, call the Council on Aging office at 781-665- 4304.


All sessions are free and may be attended separately. Please call the Center to reserve your place. Seating is limited.

For all Computer Room updates and activities call {781}662-6886, or check the bulletin board.

Winthrop School Seeks
Senior Citizen Representative

The Winthrop Elementary School is seeking a volunteer for its School Site Council board. This Council, composed of parents, teachers, and community members as well as the school principal, is responsible for determining such matters as school staffing, budget, school rules, curriculum, building matters and other issues facing the school.

The Site Council meets on the last Monday of the month. Please contact Bryna Davis, Winthrop School Principal with any questions or to join us! 781-979-2280.

Volunteer Opportunity

The Council on Aging’s Friendly Visitor Program is looking for volunteers to visit homebound seniors in their homes. In just 1-2 hours a week you can bring happiness and comfort to someone by simply taking a walk, reading together, listening to their stories or helping with errands. As someone anonymously said,  To the world you may be one person, but to one person you may be the world.”

Please contact Tara Deeble at 781-665-4304 for more information  

The Senior Chorus performs at the COA’s Volunteer Appreciation Program under the direction of Starr Demitre on the piano. Playing the oboe is Jean Allen.

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