Looking Ahead

Mike Festa new chief on aging

... and Thanksgiving dinners in abundance!

by Jack Beckley, executive director Melrose Council on Aging

Looking Ahead
Melrose Council on Aging
November, 2007

Eileen M. Olsen, Chairperson
Jim Driscoll, Vice-Chairperson
Kay McCarte, Secretary
Rosemary Behrle
George Nelson Torrey
Rick Mockler
Ted Bond

At the State House, Melrose's Michael Festa was sworn in as Director of Elder Affairs by Governor Deval Patrick. At the left is Sandy, Mike's wife.

Melrose’s Own Mike Festa Popular Choice
for Secretary of Elder Affairs

The Massachusetts Association of Councils on Aging is very pleased with the recent appointment of Mike Festa as Secretary of Elder Affairs. Executive director David Stevens commented that, "Representative Festa has a long career in the legislature of developing and championing legislation that has benefited seniors in our Commonwealth. Most recently Mike led the successful effort to pass Equal Choice -- the most significant piece of elder care legislation of this decade.”

Melrose COA executive director, Jack Beckley, said, "It’s exciting that Mike, with his close ties to Melrose and his proven track record for being creative and proactive on elder issues, will be leading Elder Affairs.”

"This is a good week for elders in the MVES communities and all over the state,” said Daniel J. O’Leary, executive director of Mystic Valley Elder Services. Representative Festa will be a superb leader of Elder Affairs.”

"Let’s Give Thanks” Tea
Wed., Nov. 14, 2007, 1:30 PM

Being November and two days after Veteran’s Day, we’re having a  Let’s Give Thanks” Tea. Please come ready to share something you are thankful for with others at your table, such as the generation or period in history you were born into, a life experience you’ve had, or some good fortune that has befallen you.

Please let us know that you plan to attend by calling 781-662-6886.

Thanksgiving Special Luncheon

Come to our delicious Thanksgiving Luncheon at the Milano Senior Center on Thurs., Nov. 15 at 12:00 p.m. There will be roast turkey with gravy, cornbread stuffing, whipped potatoes, peas & onions, cranberry sauce, and for dessert apple pie with whipped topping.
Seating is limited and tickets ($1.50 suggested donation) will be available only until noon on November 13, so get them early. This holiday feast is offered in cooperation with Mystic Valley Elder Services. Door prizes, generously donated by the GoldenLiving Center Melrose, will be given away.

High School Thanksgiving Luncheon

Students in Sharon McCauley’s High School cooking classes are preparing another Thanksgiving feast. Tickets, though limited to 30 people, are free thanks to sponsorship by the Melrose High School Student Council.

Melrose residents only, call 781-662-6886 to place your name in the drawing for tickets. Each of the 15 names drawn will receive two tickets. The meal will be served at Melrose High School at 11:30 AM, Fri., Nov. 16. The drawing will take place at the Milano Center at 10:00 AM on Nov. 13. You do not have to be present to win tickets.

Omega-3s: Find Out Why They Are Good For Your Heart

Join Candace Quigley, Registered Dietitian, from Mystic Valley Elder Services to learn about what Omega-3’s are, why everyone should be eating Omega-3’s and how they benefit your body. The presentation will take place on Tues., Nov. 20 from 12:15 – 12:45 p.m. Handouts will be provided. If you would like to have lunch before the program, call 781-662-6886 in the morning at least a day ahead to reserve your meal.

SHINE Program

Many health insurance plans have their open enrollment periods in the fall. Prescription Advantage now has yearlong open enrollment. SHINE volunteer, Lillian Martin, can answer your health insurance related questions at the Milano Senior Center Wednesdays from 11 AM – 2 PM. SHINE (Serving Health Information Needs of Elders) is an Executive Office of Elder Affairs program providing support and ongoing trainings. No appointments necessary.

Shopper’s Bus to Johnnie’s Foodmaster

Every Thursday, Foodmaster offers senior customers in elderly housing who take the bus:
  • A 5% discount on their purchase

  • A chance to win a $10.00 Foodmaster Gift Card

  • Free transportation to and from their elderly housing residence.

  • Bus pick-up times and locations: Steele House 9:10 AM; Cefalo House 9:30 AM; Levi Gould & Fuller Houses 9:40 AM and Cochrane House 9:50 AM.

Thanksgiving Day Dinner

This year, Scott Macaulay is hosting his 22nd Thanksgiving Dinner in cooperation with the First Baptist Church. It will be held on Thanksgiving, November 22, at 1:00 p.m. It’s free and all are welcome, but reservations are necessary and must be made by Mon., Nov. 19. To reserve your meal, call 781-662- 7235. Happy Thanksgiving!

Senior Dining Program

Delicious noontime 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 the calendar section.

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).

Crafters –- Learn Swedish Weaving

Kathy Bowen is teaching Swedish weaving to make beautiful lap ropes, baby blankets, wall hangings and more. Come to Handcrafts Thursdays at 1:30 p.m. No charge for instruction; you pay just for the materials. It’s a friendly group.

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 schedule or check on rides, call the COA office (781-665-4304) mornings and 781-662-2030 afternoons until 3:30 p.m. There is a $1 per ride suggested donation.


SLEEP AND AGING: INSOMNIA ISN’T INEVITABLE AS YOU AGE, Thurs., Nov. 29, 1:00 p.m. Speaker: Judy Ellis, RN, Greater Medford VNA. Who knows? Maybe you can get a decent night’s sleep.

FREE WELLNESS CHECK, Thursday, Nov. 8, at 11:15 a.m. Melrose/Boston VNA Nurse Cynthia Giansiracuso provides free health checks including pressures, weights and more. Drop in; appointments are not necessary.

PODIATRY, Nov. 16, Dr. Robert J. Connolly, D.P.M. provides foot care & consultations ($30). Contact Dr. Connolly at 781-438-2525 for appointments.

EATING HEALTHY FOR THE HOLIDAYS, Nov. 14 at 10:00 a.m. This is the last of fours sessions for this support and education group led by community nurse Mary Joyce of Hallmark Health Homecare. Feel free to attend even if you missed earlier sessions.  

ASK A NURSE Tues., Nov. 27, at 10:00 a.m. Joan Farren, R.N. provides individualized health care counseling courtesy of Hallmark Health Homecare. Ask a Nurse” is free and no appointments are necessary. It’s held 10–11 a.m. on the last Tuesday of the month.


Bridge Club – Meets Wednesday mornings. Duplicate bridge winners: Ida McGirr and Mary Mihaljan N-S and George Hughes, Sr. and George Hughes Jr. E-W. Winners other weeks: Doreen Connell 1st, Jean Pulsifer 2nd & Ann Donahue 3rd; Mary Hicks 1st, Doreen Connell 2nd & Fran Vinnochi 3rd; Fran Vinnochi 1st, Bill Ciampa 2nd, & Nancy Mouradian 3rd. New members welcome.
Caregivers, MVES Cares!

November is National Caregiver Month and Mystic Valley Elder Services (MVES) would like to thank caregivers for the dedication that they show to others all year long. Please remember that at any stage of your caregiving experience there are professionals to consult with, support group members to lean on, conferences to attend, and programs that can help you over the course of your caregiver journey. Please call MVES’ Elder Care Advisor or Caregiver Support Coordinator at 781-324-7705 to discuss your caregiver concerns. Thank you for all that you do! MVES cares!


AARP CHAPTER 1124 Membership Meeting, Fri., Nov. 9, 1:30 p.m., Milano Senior Center. Business meeting followed by  The Legacy of the Upham Family” a presentation by Beatrice Wadland and Betty Guarente.

MELROSE WOMAN'S CLUB Wed., Nov. 14, 12:00 p.m. Most Blessed Sacrament Church, 1110 Main St., Wakefield. Program: Homelife Day – We’ve Come a Long Way with Mary Page.  
Melrose Veterans’ Club  Meets Fridays at 9:00 a.m., GAR Room, Memorial Hall.


MINIBUS to Meadow Glen Mall Call 781-665-4304 to reserve seats on the bus.
Nov. 5  - Leaves Cefalo Memorial Complex at 10 a.m.- returns at 1 p.m.
Nov. 19 – Leaves Julian Steele & McCarthy Houses at 10 a.m.- returns at 1 p.m.
Nov. 26 – 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.

Nov. 6 & 7 The Beacon Resort, Lincoln, NH. Everyone takes home a free Turkey!. First day includes buffet lunch and a gift from Santa. Also, horse racing with prizes. Cocktail party precedes Lazyman’s Lobster Dinner. Live entertainment following dinner. Day Two: Leisure breakfast, Morning Bingo with prizes. Delicious lunches before we head home. $195.00 twin, $230.00 single

Nov. 14 Fabulous Fifties Show at Spinelli’s, Lynnfield, MA  Complete lunch at noon (Yankee Pot Roast or Boston Baked Scrod). Showtime, Starring "Big John Hartman.” Live music-Line Dancing.  Pick-up: Pleasant Street 10:30 am, Levi Gould 10:45 am & Cochrane House 11:00 am. 200 Club Bus: $64.00 …. On your own: $44.00

Dec. 31 New Year’s Eve Day Party, Lombardo’s, Randolph, MA Starring Jimmy Mazz. Spectacular day of music & entertainment; luncheon featuring New England Roasted Turkey Dinner, fresh homemade Strawberry Shortcake. Line Dances & Ballroom Waltzes and of course, The New Year’s Eve Countdown! Pick-up: Pleasant Street 10:00 am, Cochrane House 10:15 am, Levi Gould 10:30 am. $59.00

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Melrose Mirror Online

Read the Melrose Mirror online at http://melrosemirror.media.mit.edu. It is written and produced by Melrose residents, SilverStringers, in cooperation with MIT.


The Melrose Friends of the Aging gratefully acknowledges the generous contributions from Ruth Chandler, Delma Harrington, Marylen Leving, Eileen Olsen, Joe Poirier, Marie Merino Ryan, and Ruth Scully. A generous donation was also made by Rose and Vincent Puglia in memory of Mary and Paul Spadafora.

Movies -- Movies -- Movies

Fed up with the antics of her unruly daughter Rachel (Lindsay Lohan), exasperated Lilly (Felicity Huffman) takes her to Idaho to live with her flinty, no-nonsense grandmother, Georgia (Jane Fonda). The two lock horns at first, but the angry Rachel starts to mellow as she gradually connects with Georgia. Also starring Dermot Mulroney and Laurie Metcalf, director Garry Marshall's redemptive tale explores themes of forgiveness and family ties.
All are welcome to this free showing on Tues., Nov. 27, at 1:30 p.m. Rated R.

Pizza for one and all!

In September, Friday afternoon bingo players were treated to free pizza and punch after Bingo. Pictured here with a few pizzas left over are Bingo volunteers Reverend John Bernardi (caller) and (L-R) Barbara Bernardi, Leona McCaffrey, Marie Ryan and Anna Marie DeFillipo.

Medicare Health Plan Options

Blue Cross and Blue Shield now has continuous open enrollment for its Medex plans. Find out more when Blue Cross & Blue Shield representative Heather Hurd presents  Health Plan Options for People with Medicare” at the Milano Center on Wed., Nov. 14, at 12:30 p.m. in the Carriage House Lounge. The presentation will explain original Medicare, describe how Medigap and Medicare Advantage plans work, and give an overview of Medicare Part D.

Fuel Assistance

The Tri-CAP Fuel Assistance Program can help low-income homeowners and renters pay for heating fuel. Tri-Cap’s Fuel Assistance, and Weatherization Programs help homeowners and tenants pay their home heating costs, conserve energy, and, in emergencies, repair, retrofit, new burners, and even replace heating systems.
Eligible households also receive a 25-35% discount on their monthly utility bills and a discount on their phone bill. For additional information, call Tri-Cap at 781-322-6284; for fuel assistance and for energy conservation, weatherization, or heating systems, call 781-322-4190. You can also visit the website at www.tri-cap.org

Computer Help Available

Volunteers are available to provide one-to-one, basic computer instruction including use of the Internet, word processing for writing a letter or other document, setting up email accounts, and computer maintenance. Volunteer Liz Emerald is available by appointment. Maureen Cotter, Trish Meuse, and Rich Meuse are available for drop-in help as scheduled on the calendar in the paper issue of this newsletter. There is a $3.00 per hour suggested donation to defray computer room expenses.

FISH Volunteers Needed

One of Melrose’s most dedicated volunteer groups, FISH, needs drivers and one or two people to match callers with volunteer drivers. Calling can be done from home with training provided and no driving required. If you can help even once a week, it will be much appreciated. Be a hero to someone in need. For further information, call Preston Johnson at 781-665-1796.

Passports Made Easy

Many people took advantage of the Malden Post Office’s September and October visits to issue new passports at the Milano Senior Center. Shown standing offering instruction is Janet Gould of the Malden Post Office. Seated at the table facing the camera filling out paperwork are Sarah Zahar (L) and COA chairperson Eileen Olsen (R).

Postal employees return on Tues., Nov. 20 at 11:15 a.m. to sell stamps and mail small packages. Come down. Why wait in lines at the Post office?

Grandparent and Grandchildren Educational Support Group

A custodial grandparents educational support group meets at the Stoneham Senior Center on the 1st and 3rd Fridays of the month. Please call 781-662-2722 for information and to register. Limited childcare is available. 

Teen-Aging Program

The Teen-Aging Program is starting its tenth year. The program geographically matches teens with elders who need assistance with yard work, errands and snow shoveling. Program coordinator, Doreen Lam, is recruiting teens now to help with snow shoveling. If you are a group, organization or individual interested in volunteering for this program, please call Doreen now at 781-665-4304. If you need help with snow removal and haven’t called already, please call now so Doreen can match you with someone before the snow flies.  

Friendly Visitor Program

The Council on Aging has a Friendly visitor Program. If you would like to have someone visit you at home or you would like to be a visitor, call Doreen Lam at 781-665-4304.

Defibrillator/CPR Training Milano Center volunteers, staff and class instructors are encouraged to sign-up for an Action Ambulance training in CPR and use of the Center’s defibrillator. It will be held on Wed., Dec. 5 at 1:30 p.m. If you can attend, please sign up in the lobby by Nov. 28.


Flu, Pneumonia & Tetanus immunizations.

Clinics will be held on:
Tuesday, Nov. 13 1-2:30 pm, Memorial Hall
Melrose residents 65 + years old or with chronic medical conditions

Tues., Nov. 20, 7- 8 pm, Memorial Hall
Melrose residents 18 years old and older

Wed., Nov. 28, 3-4 pm, Milano Senior Center
Melrose residents 18 years old and older

Wed., Dec. 12, 7-8 pm, Knights of Columbus Hall
Open also to adult residents of Wakefield, Malden, Stoneham & Medford

Wear short sleeves! Immunizations are FREE with Medicare Part B cards, HMO Blue, PPO Blue, Tufts Medicare Preferred, and First Seniority. They are $10 per shot without one of the cards. For information about the immunizations, call the Melrose Health Dept. at 781-979-4130.

Clinic Volunteers Needed! Please call Mary Beth Calnan at 781-665-4304.

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 proceeding the month in which your announcement will appear. Questions? Call us at 781-665-4304.

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