Looking Ahead

GoldenLiving Center donates toward exercise equipment

... news from Looking Ahead, February 2009

from Jack Beckley, director, Melrose Council on Aging

Looking Ahead
Melrose Council on Aging, February, 2009

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

GoldenLiving Center-Melrose made a $1,000 donation for exercise equipment at the Milano Senior Center.  Pictured from the left are Jack Beckley, COA executive director; John Gerety Jr., director of GoldenLiving Center-Melrose; and Mayor Robert J. Dolan.  

At the check presentation ceremony, Mayor Dolan congratulated Gerety on the GoldenLiving Center receiving the highest five star rating given on the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ new nursing home rating system unveiled in December. The ratings are available at www.medicare.gov.


The U.S. Census Bureau is hiring over 1,000 workers for various temporary positions in Middlesex, Essex, and Suffolk counties.  Join the 2010 census team and be part of history working as an enumerator (census taker), crew leader, or census clerk.

The U.S. census helps the federal government to apportion the seats in the House of Represen-tatives, draw state legislative districts, distribute more than $300 billion annually in federal, state, and local funds, evaluate the success of community programs, identify populations that might be open and responsive to new services, and deter-mine sites for new businesses.

Applicants must be over eighteen years of age, have a valid social security number, and pass a background check.  Interested applicants take a 30 minute multiple-choice Employee Selection Test. The test evaluates the applicant’s clerical, reading, num-ber, interpretation, evaluation, and organizational skills. This test is now being offered at sites in Melrose, Wakefield, Saugus, and other local communities.  The test will be given at the Mi-lano Senior Center on Tuesday Feb. 3 and 24 but you must register by calling one of the telephone numbers listed below.

For information about testing dates, locations, and times, please call (617)848-3260 or 1(866)861-2010. You will need to ask about the required identification to bring to the test. Please do not call the individual test sites.
Additional information and a practice test is available at www.2010censusjobs.gov.

A beautiful basket will be raffled off at the Valentines Day Luncheon on Feb. 12.  Proceeds go to support the Milano Senior Center.  Please take a chance.  Tickets are $1 each or 6 for $5.


Mark your calendars and plan to come to the Valentine’s Day Special Luncheon on Thurs., Feb. 12 at 12:00 p.m at the Milano Center.  Afterwards, there will be a 15 minute musical performance a group of 4 year-old children from the Early Childhood Program.  From past experience, we promise you will be charmed by these beautiful children and will leave with a smile on your faces.  
Lunch includes tomato Florentine soup, crab-stuffed white fish with Newburg sauce, baked potato, fiesta mixed vegetables, and cherry pie.   
Please see Senior Dining Program below to reserve your meal.  If you do not want lunch, just come at 12:15 p.m.

                    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 are in the local newspapers.

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 donation is requested for each meal.  Rides are available by calling 781-665-4304 ($1 suggested donation).
                        LOOKING AHEAD
The COA monthly newsletter, Looking Ahead, is available without charge at the Milano Senior Center and at several locations 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.

                    STORM CANCELLATION POLICY    
When storms force delayed openings at the Melrose Public schools,
the Milano Center will open at 10:00 a.m. When school is cancelled:  
•The Milano Senior Center will be closed
and no congregate meals will be served.
•The Minibus will not run the entire day.
•The COA office will be open unless City Hall closes.
•To find out if Home Delivered Meals will be delivered,
please check local television channels 5 or 25. You will
also find cancellations on the following web sites: www.whdh.com, www.thebostonchannel.com, www.wrko.com, and www.myfoxboston.com.

                        RIDE IN COA VAN
The COA provides rides for residents age 60 plus within Melrose.  The minibus runs Mon.- Thurs. from 8:30 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. and on Fri-days from 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.  
To reserve or check on a ride, call 781-665-4304 mornings and 781-662-2030 afternoons un-til 3:30 p.m. A $1 per ride suggested donation is requested.

                         SHINE PROGRAM
Get help with your health insurance related questions. SHINE counselor Lillian Martin is at the Milano Senior Center to help on Wednesdays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Heather Gomez on Fridays from 10:00 a.m. to 12 p.m. SHINE (Serving Health Information Needs of Elders) is an Executive Office of Elder Affairs program. No need for an appointment, just stop in.

                        U.S. POST OFFICE
For your convenience, representatives of the U.S. Postal Service are at the Milano Senior Cen-ter on Tues., Feb. 10 from 11:00 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.  No lines, buy your stamps at the Milano Center.  


FREE WELLNESS CHECK – Thursday, Feb. 19, at 11:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Mel-rose/Boston VNA Nurse Cynthia Giansiracuso provides free health checks including pressures, weights and more.  Please note that the Wellness Checks are normally held on the second Thursday of the month but will be on the third Thursday this month. Feel free to drop in; appointments are not necessary.

PODIATRY Friday, Feb. 20, Dr. Robert J. Connolly, D.P.M. provides foot care & consul-tations ($30).  Contact Dr. Connolly directly for appointments by calling 781-438-2525.  

ASK A NURSE, Tues., Feb. 24, at 10:00 a.m.  Joan Farren, R.N. provides individualized health care counseling courtesy of Hallmark Health Homecare.  She’ll check your blood pressure, listen to your lungs and answer you health related questions. “Ask a Nurse” is free and no appointments are necessary. It’s held 10–11 a.m. on the last Tuesday of the month.

Movies  Movies  Movies

EAGLE EYE Returning home after the shocking death of his overachieving twin brother, an aimless slacker named Jerry (Shia LaBeouf) finds himself inexplicably linked to notorious terrorist cell. Now, with the nation's law enforcement agencies hunting them down, Jerry and single mother Rachel (Michelle Monoghan) -- who's also been framed -- must work around the clock to thwart a political assassination and clear their names in the process.  117 minutes. PG-13.  See you at the movies on Tuesday, February 10, at 1:30 p.m.  Keep your fingers crossed.  Hopefully, the new 65" plasma television so generously donated by the Piccalo Family Charitable Foundation will be installed by the time this movie is shown.

Mayor Dolan invites you to Community Dinners on Tuesday evenings from 5 to 6 p.m. at the Milano Senior Center.  Reservations are requested and can be made by calling 781-662-6886 by the Friday be-fore the Tuesday meal.  The dinner will not be held on days when the Melrose Public Schools are closed due to inclement weather.


AARP Chapter 1124  Feb. 13 –– 1:30 PM at the Milano Senior Center. Business meeting followed by “Remembering Revere Beach” by Bob Upton.

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

Melrose Womans’ Club    February 21, 12:00, Most Blessed Sacrament Church Hall.  New mem-bers are always welcome.   


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.
Feb. 2- Leaves Cefalo Memorial Complex at 10 a.m. - returns at 1 p.m.
Feb. 9 - Leaves Julian Steele & McCarthy Houses at 10 a.m. - returns at 1 p.m.
Feb. 23 - Leaves City Hall at 10 a.m. - returns at 1 p.m.

200 CLUB

FEB 11  “IT'S SHOWTIME AT SPINELLI'S ROUTE 1, LYNNFELD, MA  Complete lunch at noon; your choice of Yankee pot roast or Boston baked scrod.  “SHOWTIME” with Mel Simons – live music, line dancing, ballroom dancing. NO BUS! $44 pp             
MARCH 17 ST.PATRICK"S DAY CELEBRATION, THE VENUS DE MILO, SWANSEA, MA   Luncheon Menu includes minestrone soup; choice of baked scrod or corned beef and cabbage; potato and vegetable; dessert and coffee.  St. Patrick’s Day themed entertainment.  Departures:  9:30 am – Stone Place;                    
9:45 am – Levi Gould; 10:00 am – Cochrane House                $49                                
APRIL 15  SPRING FLING AT THE SEA CREST RESORT, FALMOUTH, MA  Luncheon includes choice of broiled Chatham scrod or roast chicken with New England apple bread stuffing and pan gravy; all served with salad, rolls, dessert, coffee/tea. Floor show and sing-a-long with the Piano Man.  Departures:  9:15 am – Stone Place; 9:30 am – Levi Gould; 9:40 Cochrane House.  Return 4:00 p.m.  $63 pp

     For Information Contact Rosemary Behrle (781) 665-3258
        Please make checks payable to: THE 200 CLUB

                    HEAD WEST AND HELP MVES
Take a trip to see beautiful California and help Mystic Valley Elder Services (MVES) at the same time! In collaboration with Collette Vacations, MVES is organizing a group trip to San Francisco. The dates of the trip are October 12-16, 2009. Proceeds from the trip will benefit the MVES Gap Fund. Please call MVES at 781-324-7705 to learn more.

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 Dorothy Reilly, Alberta Turner, Ruth Scully, and the Wednesday Bridge Club. Betty Yaffe made a contribution in memory of Filomena Ciccia Pisano and Sheila Driscoll made a contribution to the newly-created Jim Driscoll Endowment Fund.   

                       ELDER LAW ATTORNEY
Free help with certain legal issues is available from Boston Legal Services thanks to a grant from Mystic Valley Elder Services.  Case priorities include housing (especially eviction defense), Mass-Health, Medicare, Social Security, SSI, Food Stamps, veterans' benefits, guardianship defense, and nursing home transfers and discharges.  Legal advice is also given on many other issues, especially consumer collection and debtor relief.  If you have such legal problems, please call the elder intake line at (617) 603-1776.  
Many elders seek coverage under MassHealth, only to find that their income is above the Mass-Health income limit of $887 per month.  However, there are a few ways by which an elder above that income may be eligible for MassHealth.  For example, if an elder living at home is so disabled that she would meet the clinical criteria for nursing home coverage under MassHealth, she may be eligible for the home and community-based waiver and be eligible for MassHealth if her income is under $1,911 per month in 2008 ($2,022 in 2009).  If the elder is capable of working ten hours per week (even if it is for babysitting her grandchildren at subminimum wage), she may be eligible for CommonHealth, which could give her MassHealth coverage for a relatively small premium based on income.

         Social Security Launches “Retire Online” Campaign
  Michael J. Astrue, Commissioner of Social Security, and Patty Duke, Academy Award, Golden Globe and Emmy winning actress, today unveiled Social Security’s new online retirement application and launched the agency’s Retire Online campaign.  Featuring cousins Patty and Cathy Lane from the hit 1960’s sitcom, “The Patty Duke Show,” the campaign will let Americans know that it’s now easier than ever to retire online at www.socialsecurity.gov.
 “Social Security’s new online retirement application can be completed in as little as 15 minutes from the comfort of your home or office,” Commissioner Astrue said.  “Filing online means there’s no need to drive to a local Social Security office or wait for an appointment with a Social Security repre-sentative.  I’m thrilled that Patty Duke has volunteered to help us promote retiring online.”
  To apply, go to www.socialsecurity.gov and click on “Applying Online for Retirement Benefits.”  You will be asked a brief series of questions about you and your work.  Need to look up some infor-mation?  You don’t have to complete the application in one sitting.  You can stop and restart the ap-plication without losing any of the information entered.  Have a question?  There are convenient “more info” links that you can click on to get an answer.  And when you’re done, just click the “Sign Now” button to submit the application.  There are no paper forms to sign, and usually no additional docu-ments are required.  If more information is needed, Social Security will contact you.
 “To meet the needs of Patty and 80 million of her fellow baby boomers, who are becoming eligible for retirement at a rate of 10,000 a day for the next 20 years, Social Security is developing a wide range of online and automated services,” Commissioner Astrue said.  “In addition to our new online retirement application, and other services like our new Retirement Estimator, the highest rated online service in government, we are continuing to expand and improve our Internet service options.  These services will help us provide the American public with world-class service for generations to come.”

     Winter, Spring, Summer, or Fall—All You’ve Got to Do Is Call!
Living in Melrose, we can expect harsh winter weather. Snow, sleet, ice - we see it all. As you get older, you may find that such wintry conditions worry you more than in the past. If the winter weather is making it more difficult to remain independent, Mystic Valley Elder Services (MVES) can help. Of-ten MVES can provide just enough help to keep you safe and independent in your own home. Please call 781-324-7705 or visit www.mves.org for more information. Keep warm and take care this winter.

Since November, $90,000 in Shaw’s grocery receipts brought to the Milano Center generated a $846 check for Melrose’s Servants Heart food pantry.  That is a lot of money to buy food for folks who can really use the help.  So please drop your Shaw’s grocery receipts in the box in the Milano Center lobby.  Thank you!
Jeanne Shanklin writes about the
  Melrose Community Dinners:

 “Mayor Dolan should be commended for initiating the Tuesday night community dinners at the Milano Senior Center.  Not only is the food delicious, but there is a great spirit of camaraderie among the diners.  
  My two favorite ‘table mates’ are 97 year-old Anna Merino and her ‘kid sister’ 90 year-old Terry.  These two remarkable women surely deserve our votes as poster girls for growing old grace-fully.  
  Anna is the mother of Marie Ryan and Barbara Bernardi, active members of the Emblem Club and dedicated volunteers at the senior center and other facilities serving the elderly.”

Community dinners are served from 5:00 to 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday evenings.  Reservations are requested and may be made by calling the Center at 781-662-6886 by 3:00 p.m. on the Friday before the Tuesday meal.  Monthly menus are printed in the local papers.

                  DIARY OF A HOBO FOR SALE
The late Bill Jodrey’s book Diary of a Hobo is available for sale ($15) with proceeds going to support Council on Aging programs and services.  Bill was born in Melrose.  At age 19, he left to hobo his way across the U.S.  His experiences, written at age 86, are heartwarming and offer a unique perspective on hobo life during the great depression.  

                   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 (no Schedule C, complicated D, or E forms will be prepared).   Appointments with Tax-Aides will be available on Mondays, from 9:00 a.m. to 12 noon, starting February 9 (except Feb. 16), and continuing until April 6,2009.

Please bring: 1. A copy of your 2007 return; 2. All taxes paid for 2008 (withholding and esti-mated); 3.  All 2008 income report forms 1099s, W-2, etc.  If interested in the annual state income tax credit (“Circuit Breaker”) of up to $930, bring your property tax valuation, annual income and prop-erty 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.

You may qualify for $930 from the state if your property taxes (or 25% of rent) exceeds 10% of your annual income.  
To qualify for the 2008 Circuit Breaker, you must be age 65 or over in 2008; have income of no more than $49,000 single, $62,000 head of household, and $74,000 married, filing jointly, own or rent residential property (primary residence); have the assessed value of your home not exceed $793,000; and meet the 10% Rule.
10% Rule for owners:  The amount by which property tax plus 50% of water and sewer fees ex-ceeds 10% of income, up to $930.  10% Rule for renters:  Amount by which 25% of annual rental payments exceeds 10% of total income, up to $930.    
For help filing, make an appointment with the AARP Tax-Aide Program (call 781-665-4304 mornings) or call the Mass Dept of revenue at 1-617-887-6367.  

Bridge Lessons A list of people interested in taking beginners or intermediate bridge instruction on Wednesday afternoons has been started.  If you were thinking about taking lessons, please call now because, at this point, not enough people have signed up to start a class.  Instruction would be provided by Millie Ring, an American Contract Bridge League certified instructor.  The cost for the 8-session Beginners’ class would be $45 and $55 for the 10-session Intermediate class.  Please call the Milano Center (781-662-6886) to register.

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 your event will be held.  Questions? Call us at 781- 665-4304 - George Nelson Torrey, Editor.

February 6, 2009

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