Looking Ahead

Summer activities continue at the Milano Center

... New van, new program on the docket

from Jack Beckley, executive director, Melrose Council on Aging

Looking Ahead
Melrose Council on Aging      
July/August 2008

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

Summer Celebration

New Minibus on Order

In June, Mayor Dolan and the Board of Aldermen approved the purchase of a new minibus to replace the current eight year-old vehicle.
The $40,000 vehicle is a Ford E-350 van that will be converted to a ten-passenger, wheelchair-equipped minibus with a raised roof, similar to our current vehicle. The conversion is expected to take 6-8 weeks.

The minibus provides from 500-700 rides per month to destinations within the city. To schedule a ride, call 781-665-4304 mornings or 781-662-2030 afternoons.  

Looking Ahead Summer Issue

This issue of our COA newsletter Looking Ahead combines July and August.  Regularly scheduled activities are reflected on the Monday to Friday schedule. Special events are noted with the date. If you have questions, please call us.

Fall Prevention
& Ice Cream Social

You’re invited to an Ice Cream Social at the Milano Senior Center on Wednesday, Aug 13 at 1:30 p.m. Because we care about you, the price of admission will be to listen to a brief “Fall Prevention Tips” presentation by Barbara Strzykalski, Director of the Rehabilitation Dept. at Harborside Health Care.

For reasons that are not entirely clear, reported falls across the country rose dramatically last year, so much so that the National Institute of Health is investigating. Don’t become a statistic. Come learn how to prevent falls.
Please register by August 6th by calling the Center at 781-662-6886.

Art Keeps Us Human
at the Fitch Home

"Art Keeps Us Human", a program that received raved reviews when recently given at the Milano Senior Center was presented by dynamic Jane Blair, owner and founder of ArtMatters, at the Fitch Home of Lake Avenue in late July.

Art Keeps Us Human is a brief mini-history of western civilization through art, from the caves to the shuttle, to see how art and civilization depend upon each other. The event was highly successful, according to Joyce Lamb, director of the Fitch Home.
This program was supported in part by a grant from the Melrose Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.  

Receive Looking Ahead at Home

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.

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 and 781-662-2030 afternoons. $1 per ride suggested donation.

U.S. Post Office

For your convenience, representatives of the U.S. Postal Service are at the Milano Senior Center on Tues., August 19, from 11:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. You can buy stamps, including one-cent stamps, mail small packages and even apply for a passport.  

SHINE Program Summer Hours

During July and August, SHINE counselor Lillian Martin will be at the Milano Senior Center on the first and third Wednesdays of the month by appointment only. To schedule an appointment, call 781-662-6886.
Lillian can answer health insurance-related questions and help deal with bureaucratic problems. SHINE (Serving Health Information Needs of Elders) is an Elder Affairs’ program providing support and on-going training.  

The Melrose Mirror

Read the Melrose Mirror, an Internet publication written by Melrose residents at the Milano Center, at:

After reading the Mirror, send us an e-mail to let us know what you think.  If you are interested in editing, writing, photography, graphics, editing, etc., come to a meeting on Wednesday afternoons at 1:30 p.m.

Senior Dining Program

Delicious noontime meals are served each weekday in the Milano Center. The lunch program is run in cooperation with MVES, Inc.
To reserve a meal call 781-662-6886 from 10:00-11:45 a.m. at least a day before you plan to attend. A $1.50 meal donation is requested. Rides are available by calling 781-665-4304 ($1 suggested donation).

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

Economic Stimulus Payments

Some low–income workers and retirees who normally do not file tax returns may still be eligible to receive economic stimulus payments of from $300 to $600 for individuals and $600-$1200 for joint filers. As long as they can show qualifying income of at least $3,000, people have until October 15, 2008 to apply for the payments. In addition to wages, qualifying income includes Social Security, and certain veterans’ and Railroad Retirement benefits.

Forms are available at the COA office and the Milano Senior Center. For more information or for help filling out the form, call Doreen Lam at the COA office (781-665-4304).


Minibus to Meadow Glen Mall in July and Square One Mall in August. Call 781-665-4304 to reserve seats on the bus:  
Aug. 4 - Leaves Cefalo Memorial Complex at 10:00 a.m. - returns at 1:00 p.m.
Aug. 11 - Leaves Julian Steele & McCarthy Houses at 10:00 a.m. - returns at 1:00 p.m.
Aug. 18 - Leaves City Hall at 10:00 a.m. - returns at 1:00 p.m.

200 CLUB

Aug. 3-4 Pops By the Sea, Cape Cod  Includes one night at the Tidewater Motor Lodge, West Yarmouth; Two complete meals (one lobster dinner); seats for the Boston Pops; boat cruise Hyannis harbor; The Cape Cod Scenic Train. $310 (Twin), $295 (Triple), $375 (Single).

Aug. 18 Maine Lobsterbake, Scarborough, Maine  Includes: Salad, Chowder, Steamed Clams, Lobster or Chicken, Potato, Cole Slaw, Rolls, Strawberry Shortcake, Coffee/Tea; Afternoon shopping at Kittery Outlets.  Pick ups: 8:45 Pleasant St.; 9:00 a.m. Levi Gould; 9:15 a.m. Cochrane House: $59.

Sept. 3 Martha’s Vineyard: Includes round-trip motorcoach to Falmouth; ferry aboard M/V Island Queen; 3 ½ hours Island tour; 2 hour stop in Edgartown to shop. Lunch is on your own! Pick-ups: 7 am Pleasant St.; 7:15 am Levi Gould; 7:30 am Cochrane House. $59

Sept.14-15 Indian Head Resort “Lobster Fest”, Lincoln, NH. Includes round-trip motorcoach; 1 night hotel; 3 meals (breakfast, lunch, pick of the menu dinner-lobster offer); open bar cocktail party; floor show Live Dance Band “Cahlua & Cream”; outlet shopping in Tilton. Pick –ups: 8:30 am Levi Gould; 8:45 am Cochrane House – Returns 4:00 pm. $59 pp/db

For information, contact Rosemary Behrle (781) 665-3258. Checks payable to: The 200 Club.

The Melrose Friends of the Aging gratefully acknowledges generous contributions from Dot and John Allen, Ellen Fahey, Ruth Christensen, and Ann Valerio.

Movies  Movies  Movies

Flawless - Wed., Aug 20 at 1:30 p.m. On the eve of his retirement, a British janitor (Michael Caine), angry over his company's refusal to pay an insurance claim for his ill wife, persuades an unhappy American executive (Demi Moore) to join him in a jewel heist. The two hatch a daring plan to steal the gems from their employer, the London Diamond Corp. Set in 1960 London, this compelling crime drama directed by Michael Radford is loosely based on actual events. PG13

City of Melrose
Fiscal Year 2009 (July 1, 2008-June 30, 2009)

The City of Melrose has a Property Tax Work-Off Program, managed by the Council on Aging, that is open to residents 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. 12, 2008. If more applications are received than the 25 available slots, a drawing will be held on Sept. 15. 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: $31,200 - one person household, or $35,000 - 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 $8.00 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 12, 2008.  On September 15, 2008 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.

Elevator Gets Safer

By the time you read this newsletter, the Milano Center’s elevator will have a new vinyl floor and should have new door safety edges. The safety edges are designed to cast a series of invisible light beams across the entrances of the elevator car doors. If the light beam is interrupted, the doors will automatically re-open and remain open until the person or object is removed from the opening.
The old mechanical safety edges met safety codes but, because they actually contacted obstructions in the door before opening it, they were less safe than the new light beams.   

CRH Elderly Housing Accepting Applications

Thinking about where to spend your senior years? Come Live With Us!  Congregational Retirement Homes is an independent living facility with a total of 320 apartments, comprised of efficiencies, studios and one bedrooms boasting all the comforts of home without the work & responsibility. The property is fully staffed with an Executive Director, Office Managers & Maintenance Staff, Monday-Friday. Emergency maintenance services are available after hours.

CRH is in walking distance to downtown Melrose & the Milano Senior Center. It is conveniently located near commuter train & bus line and is only seven miles to Boston! CRH is a private non-profit housing facility for seniors (62 yrs of age, handicapped and or disabled) funded by the Dept. of Housing and Urban Development. Federal annual income limits apply: Single applicant: $46,300 maximum, Couple, $52,950 maximum. Rent includes all utilities with the exception of telephone & cable.

We have an open short waitlist & welcome eligible applicants. For more information, please feel free to call CRH at 781-665-6334.

Sign Up for Your New Senior or T.A.P. CharlieCard
MBTA staff will be on hand at the Milano Senior Center in Melrose to issue MBTA Senior and Transportation Access Pass (T.A.P.) CharlieCards. Staff will also be available at this time to answer any questions regarding the MBTA’s automated fare collection system.  

Location: Milano Senior Center
201 W. Foster Street
Date: Thursday, August 21, 2008
Time:    1:00 – 4:00 PM        

New Senior CharlieCard ID’s will be processed for customers exchanging their old Senior ID’s (issued before May 2005) and to first-time Senior customers (65+ with proof of age). The new Senior CharlieCard will arrive by mail.

Applications for the MBTA Transportation Access Pass (T.A.P.) CharlieCard, issued to persons with a qualifying disability, will also be available.
For additional information, please call the MBTA Office for Transportation Access at (617) 222-5438 (voice), 1-800-543-8287 (voice), (617) 222-5854 (TTY)

Newsletter notices/announcement 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 preceding the month in which you wish your announcement to appear.  Questions?  Call us at 781-665-4304.

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