COUNCIL ON AGING
MAY 2022 BROOKLINE SENIOR CENTER
UPDATE & NEWSLETTER
Let the spring cleaning begin! Our annual shredding event will take place on June 1st. Clean out all of your paperwork and bring it to the Senior Center for secure shredding. Thank you to Norfolk District Attorney, Michael Morrissey for co-sponsoring this popular annual event. Please register for an appointment at 617-730-2770.
As always, there is an abundance of information in our monthly Senior News & Events. You can find the May 2022 edition as well as any past or future editions of the newsletter here: https://www.brooklinema.gov/Archive.aspx?AMID=37
Here are some highlights for the first week of the month:
May 2nd: Spring Flowers Workshop
May 3rd: Gallery Talk
May 4th: Brookline Music School Concert (Justin Meyer Trio)
May 5th: Easy Travel: Lilacs at Arnold Arboretum
Please vote in the Wednesday May 3rd Town election. This is an important election, as all Town Meeting Members are up for reelection. Please review this helpful guide from the Brookline League of Women Voters: https://my.lwv.org/sites/default/files/leagues/wysiwyg/%5Bcurrent-user%3Aog-user-node%3A1%3Atitle%5D/vg-2022-final-sqz.pdf
Wishing all a Happy Mother’s Day on Sunday, May 8th. This is one of my favorite times of year, when fragrant lilacs are in bloom. I hope that you are able to get out for a walk to enjoy their beauty.
All the best,
Ruthann Dobek, Director
Brookline Council on Aging/ Brookline Senior Center
COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT & THE COA
At the top of the Town of Brookline’s organizational chart are its residents: we are in charge. Therefore, to do its job, Brookline’s government must engage with the community: Brookline is strongest when ALL of its residents are full partners in the Town’s leadership. To support this partnership, we have developed Brookline’s first Community Engagement Plan, prepared following the adoption by Town Meeting of the Community Engagement Bylaw in fall 2019.
CLICK HERE to read the Community Engagement goals specific to the Council on Aging.
For the Town of Brookline's full Community Engagement Plan document, CLICK HERE.
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), the Elder Resource Guide, and the Caregivers’ Respite Program.
Our on-site fully equipped, supervised Fitness Center provides – Mat & Chair Yoga, Flexibility, 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 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, Current Events Discussion, 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.