Looking Ahead

Immunization clinics this month

... Looking Ahead, Council on Aging, October, 2008

from Jack Beckley, executive director, Melrose COA

Looking Ahead
Melrose Council on Aging
September, 2008

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

Immunization Clinics
Flu, Pneumonia & Tetanus

Don’t let the flu bug get you!


Tues., Oct. 21, 1-2:30 PM Memorial Hall
65 + years or with chronic conditions

Tues., Oct 28, 7-8 PM Memorial Hall
18 years old and older

Tues., Nov. 18, 3-4 PM Milano Center
18 years old and older

Tues., Dec. 2, 7-8 PM Knights of Columbus
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!

Many, many volunteers are needed to make these immunization clinics run smoothly. Please consider helping us out. Call Mary Beth Calnan at 781-665-4304 to volunteer. Thank you!

Senior Appreciation Luncheon

State Representative Katherine Clark will host the twelfth annual Senior Appreciation Luncheon on Mon., Oct. 27th from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at VFW Prince Palace Hall at 428 Main St., Melrose. Representative Clark invites all Melrose seniors to attend. Secretary of Elder Affairs and former State Representative, Mike Festa will be a special guest.

Community Meal

Recognizing that these are difficult financial times and that many families are struggling to make ends meet, Mayor Dolan has started a Tuesday evening community meal.
Starting October 14, Melrose residents of all ages are invited to socialize and enjoy hot, nutritious meals served from 5:00-6:00 p.m. on Tuesday evenings at the Milano Senior Center, 201 W. Foster St.

Please call 781-662-6886 to let us know if you plan to attend and how many will be coming with you. Say you are calling to register for the Tuesday community meal.

Volunteers are needed to help. If interested, please call Jack Beckley at 781-665-4304.

October Tea with Jony

Please join us for Tea at the Milano Senior Center on Tues., Oct. 28 at 2:00 p.m.

Prior to tea and refreshments being served, Melrose Chief of Police Mike Lyle and canine officer Joe Donovan will come by with the department’s new canine officer, "Jony.”

Please call 781-662-6886 to register. $1.00 suggested donation.

Additional SHINE Counselor

More help is available at the Milano Center for those seeking unbiased health insurance information. Lillian Martin continues to be available on Wednesday mornings from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and a new volunteer, Heather Gomez, is available on Fridays from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

No appointments are necessary.
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 the New COA Van

The Council provides transportation within Melrose for residents age 60 plus. The van runs Mon. - Thurs. from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and on Fridays from 8:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Rides within the city may be booked for any reason, such as shopping, banking or to visit a friend. However, medical transportation is given priority by allowing rides to be booked up to 3 months in advance.

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., Oct. 21 from 11:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. No lines, buy your stamps at the Milano Center.

Caring for a Loved One
with Memory Problems

Care giving can be a challenging and rewarding experience. Caring for a loved one with memory issues can present obstacles to your attempts to help. Patience, remaining calm, and responding to the emotions that the elder is exhibiting are important keys to helping them. If you are experiencing difficulties caring for a family member with memory issues, you can call The Alzheimer’s Association at 1-800-548-2111 or go on line at www.Alzmass.org for information. You may also call Doreen Lam at the Melrose Council on Aging at 781-665-4304. Doreen is a certified Alzheimer Instructor and can discuss care giving options. Please call to set up an appointment.

The Melrose Mirror

Read the Melrose Mirror, an Internet publication written by Melrose residents at the Milano Center, at: http://melrosemirror.media.mit.edu
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, 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. Recent winners were: Martha Edgeworth 1st, Esther Snow 2nd, Gloria Frazier 3rd. Also     
Doris Sullivan 1st, Bill Ciampa 2nd, Paul Frazier 3rd; and Millie Wadland 1st, Gloria Frazier 2nd, and Esther Snow 3rd.

Duplicate Bridge September’s winners were Ann Donoghue and Arthur Hughes, N-S and Gloria Frazier and Paul Frazier, E-W.

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).


AARP Chapter 1124 Oct. 10, 1:30 p.m., Milano Senior Center. Business meeting followed by program,  Sit back and enjoy a trip to the country fair” with Bill Patton.
Melrose Veterans’ Club  Meets Fridays at 9:00 a.m., GAR Room, Memorial Hall.


Minibus to Square One Mall in October. Call 781-665-4304 to reserve seats on the bus.
October 6 - Leaves Cefalo Memorial Complex at 10:00 a.m. - returns at 1:00 p.m.
October 20 - Leaves Julian Steele & McCarthy Houses at 10:00 a.m. - returns at 1:00 p.m.
October 27 - Leaves City Hall at 10:00 a.m. - returns at 1:00 p.m.
200 CLUB

Oct. 22 Winnipesaukee Turkey Train, Meredith, NH Includes Christmas Tree Shopping, Salem, NH; Winnipesaukee Turkey Train, 2 hour scenic ride with full turkey dinner with all the fixins by Hart’s Turkey Farm! Stop at Apple Hill Farm                                                
Pick-ups: 8:45 a.m. Stone Place; 9:00 a.m. Levi Gould; 9:15 a.m. Cochrane House. $62 pp

Nov. 12 Mohegan Sun Casino/Cornerstone Theatre, Mystic, CT Includes motorcoach; 5 hour stay at Mohegan; $30 package ($10 food/$20 free bet); 90 minute performance of "The Nutty Cracker Christmas Sweet”; Snack pack lunch for ride home.

Pick-ups: 7:00 a.m. Stone Place; 7:15 a.m. Levi Gould; 7:30 a.m. Cochrane House: $59 pp

Dec. 10 Bright Nights at Forest Park, Springfield, MA Includes motorcoach; Christmas Tree Shop in Holyoke; Historic Yankee Pedler Inn for dinner; Meal choices: Baked Scrod, Chicken Pot Pie, or Yankee Pot Roast; 35-minute ride "breathtaking” through Forest Park - over 500,000 Christmas lights!

Pick-ups: 10:30 Stone Place; 10:45 am Levi Gould; 11:00 a, Cochrane House.    $56 pp

Dec. 31 New Year’s Eve DAY Party Holiday Inn, Mansfield, MA starring Meryl Galaid. "The Best of Broadway and More” with  "A Little Garland & A Little Minnelli.” Lunch featuring escarole soup, roasted turkey dinner, oven roasted potatoes, glazed carrots, cheesecake with berry sauce, coffee or tea. The New Year’s Eve Countdown!

Pick-ups: 9:30 a.m. Stone Place; 9:45 a.m. Levi Gould; 10:00 a.m. Cochrane House. $59 pp

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

Save Your Grocery Receipts

Shaws grocery receipts equal cash for a Servants Heart food pantry. Please save your receipts and drop them in the box in lobby of the Milano Center. For every $5,000 in receipts collected, Shaws donates $50 to the pantry.

Please consider making a donation to the Melrose Friends of the Aging in support of the Milano Senior Center and programs and services of the Council on Aging. Last month generous donations were received from Henry and Maura Bagley, Ruth DaForno and Susan Sorrenti.

A generous donation was also received from Rola Savarino in memory of Arthur Savarino.


What Happens in Vegas -- After a night of heavy partying in Vegas, two strangers (Cameron Diaz and Ashton Kutcher) wake up to realize, much to their displeasure, that they've gotten married, and now, each must vie for a $3 million jackpot won since their wedding. The more zealous they become about seizing the riches, the more passion they develop for each other. See you at the movies on Tuesday, Oct. 7 at 1:30 p.m.

Mayor Dolan Proposes Changes to the City’s
Property Tax Work-Off Program

In late September, after Looking Ahead’s deadline, the Board of Alderman was scheduled to consider expanding the city’s Property Tax Work-Off Program by raising income eligibility limits for couples and increasing abatements from $500 to $750. Requested changes also permit homeowners to participate in the program every year, rather than every other year as in the past. For details about the program and changes that may have been approved by the Board of Aldermen, please contact Jack Beckley at 781-665-4304.

The City of Melrose is still accepting applications for its Property Tax Work-Off Program open to income eligible residents age 60 and over and disabled residents under age 60.

Applications are available at the COA office, the Milano Senior Center and in City Hall. Completed application should be returned to the Council on Aging, 235 West Foster Street, Melrose, MA 02176. For additional information, call Jack Beckley 781-665-4304.

Elders urged to Vote No on Question 1

The first question on the November ballot will ask citizens if they would like to repeal the state income tax. No one likes to pay taxes, but income tax revenues make up 40% of the state’s operating budget. Should the repeal pass, community programs such as police, fire, schools, and elder services would probably be cut drastically. The Board of Directors at Mystic Valley Elder Services (MVES) and the Massachusetts Association of Council on Agings (MCOA) have both taken official positions against the repeal of the income tax. Please consider joining MVES and MCOA and vote No on Question 1. Help continue the programs that are so important to residents.

State Launches New Reverse Mortgage Web Site

With the popularity of reverse mortgage loans on the rise among senior citizens, the state recently launched a new web site, www.mass.gov/reversemortgage, to provide information and guidance to borrowers about these types of products.

Reverse mortgages are loans that enable senior homeowners to convert the equity in their home into income. "There are many services available for Massachusetts elders who wish to continue to live in their homes. Seniors should contact their elder service provider at 1-800-AGE-INFO to learn about what programs and services are available before entering into a complex and expensive reverse mortgage,” said Secretary of Elder Affairs Michael E. Festa.

For free, individual counseling about reverse mortgages, contact Homeowner Options for Massachusetts Elders (HOME, Inc.) at 617-451-0680.

Help for Blind and Low Vision Individuals

Nokia’s new cell phone can read documents aloud for the vision impaired people. According to the National Federation of the Blind, this is the first time that the text with speech technology has been used with a cell phone. A person with impaired vision can now go into a restaurant and use the cell phone to scan a menu and read it aloud for them. Differentiating between currency, reading a phone book, household bills, or reading labels at the food market are now possible for all. To learn more about this cell phone and the reading software capability, contact David Dzumba, Senior Manager for Accessibility at Nokia, Nokia, 6000 Connection Drive, Irving, Texas 75039, phone 469-231-3125 or e-mail david.dzumba@nokia.com.

Seniors among Groups Hardest Hit by Flu
CDC Gives Top 3 "To Do” List for Seniors during Flu Season

Enjoying your golden years can mean embracing exciting and new activities, enjoying grandchildren, and spending time with friends. To stay healthy and active, there are important actions you can take to keep health threats like the flu from knocking you off your feet. People 65 and older are most vulnerable to getting severe illness from the flu.
Fortunately, there are actions you can take to protect yourself and your loved ones from the flu.

First, take time to get a flu vaccine. "The flu vaccine is the best way to protect against flu,” says Dr. Nancy Cox, Director of the Influenza Division at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "We have an all-time high supply of vaccine this season and because flu viruses can cause illness into the spring, getting the vaccine even in December or later can still protect against flu.”

"Second, make sure to take everyday steps that can help stop the spread of germs like covering your nose and mouth with a tissue and washing your hands with soap and water often. Try not to touch your eyes, nose or mouth since germs spread this way. And remember to stay away from others if you are sick to keep from spreading your illness to others.

"Third, if you do find yourself sick with flu symptoms, such as a high fever, headache, extreme tiredness, dry cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose and muscle aches, there are flu antiviral drugs that can help. These drugs should be started within 48 hours of getting sick, but must be prescribed by a doctor.

"So don’t let the flu take you out of commission this season. Take these easy steps to take care."

Side bar: Did you know?
Each year on average:
36,000 people die from flu-related complications.
90 percent of those deaths occur in people 65 years and older.
More than 200,000 people are hospitalized from flu complications; more than half of these are people 65 years and older.

Melrose Cultural Council Presents Picasso!

Pablo Picasso was the Leonardo Da Vinci of the 20th Century. Whether you swear by him, or at him, he was undeniably the most successful and influential artist of the 20th Century. Join us as we look at and discuss the many styles, expressions, loves and lives of the man at the heart of modern art.

This presentation takes place at the Milano Center on Tues., Oct 14 at 1:30 p.m. It is 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.  

It’s Back School for YOU

If you woke up this morning saying to yourself, "Oh, my aching back,” please come to the Milano Center, Melrose, on Tues., Oct. 14, from 1:00 pm to 2 p.m., to attend "Back School.” The lecture, sponsored by Hallmark Health VNA and Hospice, will be presented by Joane McMillan, RPT of Reading Hallmark Health Medical Center. Joane will give an instructional lecture on Prevention through Self-Management for posture strengthening exercises. Bring a hand towel and learn how to make your own "Lumbar Roll” for low back support. We hope to see you at back school. Refreshments will be provided.

Trouble Paying For Prescription Drugs?

Do you need help with prescription drug costs? If your income is less than $15,600/yr ($21,000 if married) and your assets are less than $11,990 ($23,970 if married), you can apply for "Extra Help” (Low Income Subsidy) to pay for your medication. The state estimates that there are still 155 elders in Melrose who qualify for the "Extra Help” who have not applied. Contact Mystic Valley Elder Service’s SHINE program at 781-324-7705 ext. 164 for more information. SHINE Counselors are at the Milano Senior Center on a drop-in basis. Lillian Martin is available on Wednesdays
11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Heather Gomez on Fridays 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Computer Help

Friendly computer help is available at the Milano Center. Marion Ewell helps on Thursday mornings from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and Maureen Cotter on Fridays, Oct. 10 & 24 from 9:00-11:00 a.m. Learn to use email, send pictures, or use the internet to check on a low auto insurance rate, medical conditions, vacation spots, news, anything. There is no charge to use the computers; however, a $3 suggested donation to the Senior Center is requested for one-to-one assistance. No appointment necessary, just drop in.

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

October 3, 2008

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