COUNCIL ON AGING
A NOTE ABOUT OUR APRIL NEWSLETTER
As you now know, the Senior Center is currently closed to the public in an effort to slow and reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our community.
Since we will not be hosting any of our special or ongoing programming in April, we had to get a little creative with our April newsletter. Our hope is that we can provide you with some necessary and helpful information during this unsettling and uncertain time and that we can also provide some suggestions on how you can have a little fun in the days ahead.
Even though we can’t physically be together at the moment, please know that we are thinking of you all and we are trying to figure out ways that we can be “alone together” going forward.
We hope that you and your loved ones stay healthy and well in the days ahead and we look forward to celebrating with you all when we are able to safely reopen the Senior Center.
The social work staff will continue to check our voicemail and email in the meantime, so please don’t hesitate to reach out if you need anything or if you would just like to say hello.
You can leave messages for us at 617-730-2777 or 617-730-2770. Be well!
IMPORTANT NOTICE REGARDING
THE BROOKLINE SENIOR CENTER
In order to proactively slow and reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our community, the Senior Center is CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC at this time.
The Brookline Senior Center will be monitoring its phone lines during the Covid-19 emergency. Older adults can leave their names and phone numbers on our voicemail at 617-730-2777 or 617-730-2770. Staff will be responding to questions and concerns Monday-Friday from 8:30 am-5 pm. Emergencies should be directed to 911.
In order to address the many questions and concerns that exist in the community, the Town of Brookline would like to share the following information :
For general COVID-19 questions, please call the State 2-1-1 line. For Brookline specific medical or public health inquiries, please contact the Department of Brookline Public Health at 617-730-2300. For non-medical questions specific to Brookline, please call the Brookline COVID Information Call Center at 617-879-5636. These call centers, for the time being, will be operational Monday through Friday from 8am – 5pm, these hours will be adjusted as needed. Messages can be left after hours and will be returned the next day. You can also email your non-medical inquiries to: COVID19Info@brooklinema.gov.
STAY UP TO DATE ON COVID-19 UPDATES HERE: https://brooklinecovid19.com/senior-center/
Please remember the importance of social distancing to reduce the impact of COVID-19, and please stay home as much as possible. Thank you.
THE BROOKLINE COUNCIL ON AGING
BOARD MEMBER ORIENTATION MANUAL FY20
NOW AVAILABLE IN DIGITAL FORMAT
NEWSFLASH: HEALTHY AGING IN BROOKLINE
The 2018 Massachusetts Healthy Aging Data Report, prepared by a research team from the Gerontology Institute, examines the health of a million older people living in the Commonwealth, including detailed profiles of every city and town. It equips policymakers and service providers with information they need to help give everyone a fair chance to experience healthy aging. Read about the report's findings on the Town of Brookline HERE
Are you a lover of library books and other resources, yet unable to enjoy the pleasures of browsing on your own? We have a solution for you! The Library Connection, a partnership of Brookline's Council on Aging and the Public Library of Brookline, provides delivery of library materials directly to homebound Brookline residents who are unable to leave their home. A volunteer from the community will deliver materials to you throughout the year. If you are interested in receiving this service, contact Volunteer Coordinator Patricia Burns at the Council on Aging 617-730-2743.
Welcome From Director Ruthann Dobek
On behalf of the Council on Aging board and staff, I welcome you to our website. I am pleased to present information about the services and programs that we provide for Brookline residents age 60 and over and their families.
About the Council on Aging
The Brookline Council on Aging is a town agency responsible for planning, coordinating and providing comprehensive services for Brookline residents age 60 and over. We work with other town agencies and community service providers to enhance the quality of life for our elders.
Programs & Services
WHAT MAKES BROOKLINE'S COUNCIL ON AGING SO EXTRAORDINARY?
The Brookline Council on Aging’s (COA) Senior Center is indisputably one of the most active centers in Massachusetts. The Brookline COA is a Town agency responsible for planning, coordinating and providing comprehensive services for Brookline area residents age 60 and over. We work with other Town agencies and community service providers to enhance the quality of life for our elders. The Brookline Senior Center (BSC) is a gathering place dedicated to enriching the aging experience by providing a diverse environment with a wide range of opportunities, programs and services (the majority of which are provided by volunteers) in the areas of health, learning, art, socialization, nutrition, and recreation. In addition, and perhaps more importantly, the Brookline COA provides Brookline area seniors a strong and inviting community in which to meet new friends, socialize, volunteer and stay active.
“Our goal is to help seniors maintain their independence and continue to be or become active members of their community. We believe wholeheartedly in enhancing growth, dignity and a sense of belonging while encouraging individual contributions and the sharing of diverse life experiences. The Senior Center welcomes all who walk through our doors, regardless of age, income, disability, ethnic, religious or sexual orientation.
Quote from Ruthann Dobek, Director:
One of our strengths is recruiting volunteers. We have >433 volunteers of all ages – 14 – 96 performing 693 activities. Many are active in more than one activity; many have volunteered with us for ten years or more. These volunteers, most of whom are seniors themselves, donate the equivalent number of hours of more than 20 full-time staff. Without our volunteers who execute the programs, the BSC could not provide the number and variety of programs and activities that we offer to seniors”
Assistance Programs:Social workers and volunteers provide help with accessing Fuel Assistance, SNAP, AARP Tax Preparation and Information and Referral. They also provide legal assistance (BLAB), assistance with identifying Medicare supplement options (SHINE), Job Search Support with individual appointments and workshops (REAP), Home and Escort Linkage Program (HELP), Equipment Loan Program (ELF), Real Estate Tax Workoff Program (TAP), Discount Taxi Coupon Program (BETS), the Elder Resource Guide, and the Caregivers’ Respite Program.
Our on-site fully equipped, supervised Fitness Center provides – Mat & Chair Yoga, Fexibility, Resistance Training & Balance and Aging Backwards as well as individual sessions. In addition, Tuesday Dance Party, Zumba Gold, Tai Chi, Solemates Walking Club, Ping Pong, Strength Training for Seniors, Senior Stretch, Exercise for Health & Rejuvenation and Arthritis Exercise provide exercise/fitness options for every taste and ability.
Exercise and Fitness:
Health:Programs to support seniors’ health at the Brookline COA include: Podiatry Clinic, Memory Café, Blood Pressure, Blood Sugar and Hearing screenings, as well as Reiki and Acupuncture. Health support includes: Ask a Geriatrician, Ask a Nurse, Low Vision Group and a Health Coach. Talks on Diabetes, Blood Pressure, Aphasia and Fall Prevention are also offered.
Food and Nutrition:Programs to assure that no Brookline area senior goes to bed hungry include our weekly Tuesday Food Pantry with donations from Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods and local bakeries, Monday-Friday hot and cold lunches provided by Springwell, the monthly Greater Boston Food Bank Federal Food Commodity program providing shelf stable food to 72 low income seniors and the SHOP Program where Brookline High School students shop for seniors as part of their community service requirement.
Arts & Crafts
:Programs include: Quilting, Beading, Knitting & Crocheting, Flower Arranging, Basic Drawing, Water Color, Still Life Workshop, Art for Pleasure, exhibits in the Brookline Senior Center Gallery supporting local artists and our Annual Holiday Craft Fair.
Entertainment: Tuesday Movies, Easy Travel, Theatre Club, Senior Chorus, Ukulele Group, Coolidge Corner Community Chorus, Swing Band, Chess, Mah Jong (US & Chinese), Scrabble, Bridge, Canasta and Bingo as well as the Let’s Go Out To Lunch Bunch and the LGBT Out 2 Lunch Bunch, concerts and theater productions and many other special events such as ‘Genius of George Gershwin’ and ‘Dance Caliente’.
Learning: ESL Conversation, Spanish Immersion, French Conversation, Lyudmilla’s Group, Current Events Discussion, Yuri’s Group, One-On-One Computer and Open Computer Lab, A Taste of Poetry, the Book Discussion Group, Living Our Values and Telling Our Story.
:Various Support Groups provided by social workers and volunteers throughout the year include: Bereavement Support, Job Search Support, Depression Support, Grandparent Alienation Support, Retired Men’s Club, Alzheimer’s Caregiver Support, and the Low Vision Support groups.
The Senior Center welcomes all who walk through our doors, regardless of age, income, disability, ethnic or religious background, or sexual orientation.
We recognize the efforts of all our program collaborators and are grateful of their support.