BrooklineCAN: Help your neighbors. Help yourself. Help your town.
March 2012 Newsletter 

About the Brookline
Community Aging Network

  • Enables older residents to remain independent and fully engaged in the life of the community
  • Builds intergenerational networks
  • Makes our town an even better place for all

Future Stories
  • Transportation Options
  • Apartment Guide
  • Caregiver Parking

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Dear Brookline Neighbor,

In this issue we urge you to make your voice heard about the proposed MBTA cutbacks and fare increases that would seriously affect older people. We also report that many BrooklineCAN members are involved in a range of volunteer activities and let you know about two symposia that stress the importance of communication when a family member is seriously ill. We recommend a guided walk in one of the town's beautiful sanctuaries, and finally we direct you to a wide range of exercise opportunities in Brookline. We hope you enjoy this issue. Please tell your friends about fact, forward this newsletter to them.


Public Forum on MBTA Cutbacks
Fare increases and service reductions proposed by the MBTA would have a substantial impact on our mobility, our pocket books -- and Brookline's status as a livable community. The Brookline Council on Aging and BrooklineCAN will host a forum on Monday, March 5, 1:00pm, at the Brookline Senior Center, 93 Winchester Street, to discuss the proposed changes and what actions you can take to make a difference. Local legislators will be in attendance, along with Brian Kane, a budget and policy analyst for the MBTA Advisory Board. More information is available at the MBTA website (Note: The MBTA Advisory Board is separate and independent from the MBTA; Brian Kane is not an employee of the MBTA.)

Our Volunteering Habits
Volunteering appears to be a way of life for most BrooklineCAN members. According to our recent electronic survey, about three-quarters of us volunteer for two or more organizations. We pursue a range of activities, including committee work, one-on-one assistance, group work, and administrative tasks. Even though most of us have been able to locate activities through social networks, a large percentage of those who volunteer -- and three-quarters of the non-volunteers -- said they would like to learn more about volunteer opportunities in Brookline and beyond. Therefore BrooklineCAN will continue to seek volunteer opportunities for its members. If you are interested in volunteering or in assuming the new post of volunteer coordinator (see the position description here, please contact Alberta Lipson at 617-232-0408 or For a full report on this study, go to

Your Feedback Needed
One of the special benefits of membership in BrooklineCAN is access to our pre-screened list of service providers -- home contractors, handymen, plumbers, electricians, and computer experts. If you have used one or more of these service providers, please let us know about your experience by filling out a feedback form ( In addition, we welcome hearing about your favorite vendors who are not yet on the list. Tell us about them here (, and we will screen them as well. Or contact Karin Wannamaker at or 617-730-2753. Not yet a member? Join here ( or call 617-730-2777.

Saying Goodbye
Living for months, even years, with a terminal illness is increasingly normal due to remarkable advances in medical treatment. How family members can cope with this new reality will be addressed by psychologist and educator Dr. Barbara Okun in a free lecture on Wednesday, March 14, 7:00-8:30pm, at Brookline High. Professor Okun is author of Saying Goodbye: How Families Can Find Renewal Through Loss. She will offer guidelines for dealing with the setbacks and remissions of loved ones. And, given today's busy lifestyles, she will suggest ways to make space for extended periods of grief. For more information, call 617-730-2700.
Sponsored by BrooklineCAN and its founding partners (Brookline Senior Center, Center Communities of Brookline, Goddard House, and Jewish Family & Children's Service) in collaboration with the Brookline League of Women Voters and Brookline Adult & Community Education.

Member Discounts
BrooklineCAN members are eligible to take advantage of the discounts offered by our business associates, now numbering more than 50. For specific details, visit the discount page on our website ( Remember to bring your BrooklineCAN member card with you when you shop! To become a member -- for the low annual fee of $25 per person or $50 per family -- visit us on the web at or call 617-730-2777.

Tour the Lost Pond
Spend an afternoon at the Lost Pond Sanctuary, a wetland located in the southwest corner of Brookline. The tour, from noon to 3:00pm on Monday, March 12, will focus on the sanctuary's natural history and the plants and animals found there. Learn how a "kettle hole" has developed into a quaking bog on its northern edge. The $5 fee includes transportation from the Brookline Senior Center, 93 Winchester St., at 11:45 am; or from Soule Recreation Center, 652 Hammond St., at noon. Or meet at noon at the Arlington Road entrance. (See a map of the area here, and a full description here For more information contact Elizabeth Gugliotti (, 617-730-2082).

Exercise, Brookline Style
Whether you choose stretching, walking, yoga, swimming, dance or other forms of activity, make sure to keep moving so that you can reap all of the benefits of exercise. For a wide range of exercise opportunities in Brookline, see the exercise page on our website,

Discusssing End-of-Life Care
When it comes to end-of-life decisions, having a choice is of paramount importance to each of us. The question of why we, as a society, "are so ill-equipped to deal with one of the absolute certainties in life" will be addressed by Dr. William Mamuya of the Lown Cardiovascular Center. His talk, "Communication and Care at the End of Life," will be on Tuesday, April 3, 7:00-8:30pm at Brookline High, MLK Room. Conversations between patients, families, and their physicians are vital and can help to reassure patients that their end-of-life care will be well-planned and personalized. The program is free; pre-registration is not required.
Sponsored by Brookline Community Aging Network and its founding partners (Brookline Senior Center, Center Communities of Brookline, Goddard House, and Jewish Family & Children's Service) in collaboration with the Brookline League of Women Voters and Brookline Adult and Community Education.

Coping With Identity Theft
Identity theft takes many forms, but the end result is always the same: Your finances are in disarray. Repairing the damage to your good name and credit takes time because thieves use personal information to fraudulently obtain credit cards and even to set up telephone accounts or rent apartments. How to prevent and respond to this crime is covered in Identity Theft, a booklet available from the Massachusetts Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation, 10 Park Plaza (Suite 510) Boston, MA 02116. Call 617-793-8700, or visit this website:

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Brookline Community Aging Network
93 Winchester Street
Brookline, Massachusetts 02446

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