BrooklineCAN: Help your neighbors. Help yourself. Help your town.
November 2011 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


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Dear Brookline Neighbor,

In this issue, we announce the start of a service to help members find pre-screened, licensed plumbers, contractors, and handymen. We also tell you about a unique errand service, an important meeting on long-term care insurance, a workshop on better understanding your medications, and much more. And of course we note with pride that Frank Caro, co-chair of the BrooklineCAN steering committee, has been honored for his role in helping to found and shepherd our nascent organization. Please tell your friends about BrooklineCAN...in fact, forward this newsletter to them.

Warmly,
BrooklineCAN

 
Frank Caro An "Unsung Hero"
Frank Caro, a founding member of the Brookline Community Aging Network (BrooklineCAN) and co-chair of its steering committee, is being honored by the Brookline Community Foundation as one of the town's "Unsung Heroes." The award cites Frank's work in helping to establish BrooklineCAN, calling him an "enthusiastic and active community organizer" and "a tireless and dedicated volunteer on behalf of the Brookline community." Two other honorees are Scott Hillman and George Vien, founders of the Brookline Youth Lacrosse Program. Since its launch in April of this year, BrooklineCAN has advocated in eight areas to make the town more livable, membership has grown to nearly 300, and almost 50 businesses have agreed to offer member discounts. Earlier this year Frank was given the Louis Lowy Award by the Massachusetts Gerontology Association for lifelong contributions to the field of gerontology. The community is invited to the celebration Wednesday, November 3, 6-7:30pm in the Arcade, 318 Harvard St., Coolidge Corner.


Know Your Medications
The benefits of medications can be undermined if taken at the wrong time or with the wrong foods. This and other issues will be addressed by a Medication Awareness Program at the Senior Center, November 7, 2–5 p.m. Attendees should bring their medications, vitamins, and supplements for review by a pharmacy student and registered pharmacist, who will then clarify how users can derive the greatest benefit from the medications. Call for an appointment, 617-730-2770. You can also bring in outdated medications, so they can be properly disposed of by the Police Department.
The Medication Awareness Program is presented by the Massachusetts Health Council and the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. Sponsor of the program is Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts.


Service Referral Program Launched
As a benefit to our members, the BrooklineCAN website now has a listing of pre-screened workers – home contractors, handymen, and plumbers. This list is just a beginning. In the future, we will add other service providers once we verify their qualifications and have at least three in each category. With winter coming, we are interested in hearing about members' favorite vendors for snow removal, roof repair, and window and gutter maintenance. The best way for us to offer the widest possible choices is for you to send us your recommendations. You can do this by filling out our contractor survey. You may also email us at kwannamaker@brooklinema.gov or call 617-730-2752 with the names and contact information of your referrals.  


Volunteer Drivers Earn Points
Recruitment of volunteer drivers for Brookline's new "door-through-door, arm-through-arm" transportation service is being carried out during November. Starting in January ITN Greater Boston will provide personalized rides 24/7 to those over 60 for an annual fee of $60 ($100 for families) and an average cost of $11 per ride. Eligible drivers use their own cars and should be able to give 4-6 hours per month, night or day. Drivers receive partial mileage reimbursement plus transportation credits that can be stored for their own future needs or transferred to a loved one or to a fund for low-income riders. You can download a driver application or call 781-296-1496.


Mutually Beneficial Errand Service
Have your grocery shopping done, your letters carried to the post office, dry cleaning delivered, your dog walked – and feel satisfied that the young person carrying out these tasks at no cost to you is learning valuable lessons. The errand runners are academically gifted students, all taking college level courses. But they require assistance in learning social and job-readiness skills. These 17 and 18 year olds are part of a special program at Brookline High School that serves students with non-verbal learning disabilities. Each student worker is always accompanied by a teacher while the errand is run. To set up an initial interview with a student and teacher, contact Susan Foster (Susan_Foster@brooklinek12.ma.us), 617-713-5242. More about the program at the Education Collaborative website.


Getting the Most Out of Your Long-term Care Insurance
The intricacies of receiving payments from your long-term care insurance will be discussed at the Senior Center on December 7, at 2:30 pm. This program—"You've Paid for It…Now How to Use It?"—is aimed at those who already have insurance but need guidance on how to utilize it. Participants are Karen Wasserman, director of "Your Elder Experts" program at Jewish Family & Children's Services; Nancy Shapiro, executive director, Goddard House; and Dr. Penelope S. Tzougros, financial planning consultant, Wealthy Choices.
The program is a joint presentation of the Brookline Community Aging Network and its partners—the Brookline Senior Center, JF&CS, Goddard House, and Center Communities of Brookline.


Flu Shots: Four Chances in November
The first chilly days of autumn remind us that it's time for the annual Brookline flu clinics. Remember to bring your medical insurance card. There are four opportunities.
  • Nov. 1: Brookline Senior Center, 93 Winchester St., 10a.m.—1 p.m.
  • Nov. 6: Baker School, 205 Beverly Rd., 11 a.m.—2 p.m.
  • Nov. 8: Devotion School, 345 Harvard St., 3—6 p.m.
  • Nov. 30: Brookline Health Dept., 11 Pierce St., 4—6 p.m.
For more information, visit the town website or call 617-730-2300.
Clinic sponsors are Brookline Health Department, Brookline Council on Aging, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and Brookline Housing Authority.


An Abundance of Crafts
The can't-miss event for holiday shoppers is the 27th Holiday Craft Fair at the Brookline Senior Center, which runs for two days – Friday and Saturday, November 4 and 5, l0am—3pm. Here's your chance to browse—and buy—a wide selection of merchandise that includes, jewelry, handmade knit goods, art work, baked treats, children's games, and more. All proceeds benefit the Brookline Senior Center.


Watershed Walking Tour
Take a 1 1/2 mile guided walk in Olmsted Park and follow the Muddy River to its source (Wards Pond). A representative of Brookline Greenspace Alliance will explain the role of the watershed and storm water management and offer a historical perspective on Frederick Law Olmsted's dual purpose water park. The 1 1/2 hour tour is on Veterans Day, November 11, 10–11:30am. Meet at the parking lot opposite Brook House, 33 Pond Ave., Olmsted Park (map) The walk is co-sponsored by the Muddy River Restoration Project Oversight Committee. More details at the Greenspace Alliance website.


Finding Volunteer Opportunities
Volunteering opportunities abound, but it's not always easy to find a position that can be enriching and rewarding. Practical advice about finding a "fit" between you and the agencies in need of help will be discussed by Ruth Levitsky at Brookline High on November 17, 7:30 pm. Admission is $6. In the meantime, there are a number of volunteer opportunities listed on the BrooklineCAN website. Levitsky's talk is sponsored by Brookline Adult Education


Book Groups Galore in Brookline
Newcomers to Brookline, or even long-time residents, may not be aware of several local book discussion groups.
  • The Main Library has three groups. The first meets on the second Monday of every month, 7:00-8:30pm. The November book is Victoria Patterson's This Vacant Paradise. The second group is devoted to mysteries and meets on the third Tuesday, from noon to 1pm. This month's mystery is Henning Mankell's Faceless Killers. The third group meets for a bag lunch and poetry on the first Thursday, from noon to 1:30. In November the poet is Edna St. Vincent Millay. Copies of poems are provided.
  • The Coolidge Corner Branch book group meets on November 21, 2:15-3:15pm. The selection is Daphne Kalotay's Russian Winter.
  • The Putterham Branch Sponsored by the Council on Aging, this book group meets on the third Monday, 2-3:30pm. This month's book is Christopher Kimball's, Fannie's Last Supper.
  • The Brookline Senior Center's Public Issues Book Group meets on the fourth Tuesday, 9-10am. This month's book is The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine by Michael Lewis.
  • The Brookline Booksmith Book Club meets on the second Monday, 7:30pm. The current book is True Grit by Charles Portis.
All groups are open to new members. You can come once or often. Copies of the books to be discussed at the library are available approximately one month in advance at the circulation desk of the host library. Books for the Senior Center group are available at the Coolidge Corner branch. For more information about the library groups, visit http://www.brooklinelibrary.org/programs/book-groups or call 617-730-2370.



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Brookline Community Aging Network
93 Winchester Street
Brookline, Massachusetts 02446
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