Brookline Community Aging Network February 2013 Newsletter
BrooklineCAN: Help your neighbors. Help yourself. Help your town.
February 2013 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
  • Engages in public policy advocacy on behalf of Brookline's older residents.

Future Stories
  • Tax Preparation Assistance
  • Evergreen Program
  • Recreation and Fitness

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Dear Brookline Neighbor,This month we inform you about a BrooklineCAN-sponsored program for older drivers and their families, a course for seniors on job hunting, and a trip to the Boston Flower & Garden Show. We offer you tips on getting solutions to problems with Town services, continue our new column on book groups, offer new volunteer opportunities, and much more. Please tell your friends about fact, forward this newsletter to them.Warmly,
Older Drivers
"Aging Behind the Wheel: Considerations for Older Drivers and Their Families", presented by BrooklineCAN in partnership with Brookline Adult & Community Education, will be held at Goddard House, 165 Chestnut Street, Brookline on March 13. Dr. Angela Catic, an academic geriatrician at Beth Israel Medical Center, will discuss the decisions that elders, their families, and their healthcare providers must make about the ability to continue driving when medical or cognitive issues raise safety concerns. The talk will be followed by a panel discussion. Hors d'oeurvres from 5:30 to 6:00 will be followed by the program from 6:00 to 7:30 pm. The event is free, but pre-registration is required by calling Birdie Johnson at 617-731-8500, x 113.

Seeking Volunteers for Age-Friendly Cities Initiative
The Age-Friendly Cities committee is seeking volunteers. The Town has been accepted as a member of the World Health Organization's Network of age-friendly cities and communities. The initiative will call attention to Brookline's many age-friendly features and seek to make the Town even more age friendly. Brookline has joined over 100 cities in 18 countries in this effort. The Town will be relying primarily on volunteers to carry out projects for the initiative. Volunteers are needed for the committee that will coordinate the effort and for committees concerned with specialized aspects of the initiative such as transportation, housing, library, health, and participation. Volunteers will be needed also for some needs assessment projects concerned with transportation, parks, and health. For information about Age-Friendly-Cities volunteer opportunities, contact Frank Caro: or 617 739 9228.

Use of Website to Report Problem with a Town Service
We have learned a better way to use the Brookline Town website to report a problem with a Town service. The Town's home page <> has an interactive feature, Brookonline, inviting the public to report problems through a form visible by clicking on "See a problem, want to report it?" This option provides 11 categories for reporting problems to the Police and Public Works departments. No provision is offered for reporting a problem related to other departments.

The better option is to click on "Feedback" on the right edge of the Town home page; this presents: "Brookline Online Request/Comment Form". At the bottom are the words: "Nature of request/comment:", followed by a drop-down menu listing 35 problem areas (such as elderly services, noise, no heat, trash collection and "other") and below is a space for describing the problem. The categories are important since the messages go to designated Town employees who are matched to categories. Reports classified as "other" go to a Town staff member expected to be well informed about the full spectrum of Town services.

We encourage members to report problems to the Town when they see them and we would like to hear about follow through by the Town. Contact Frank Caro, Livable Community chair, to report on the effectiveness of the Town's problem solving. Frank can be reached at or 617 739 9228.

Job Hunting?
"Wisdom Works: A Job Search Program for Mature Workers" is a comprehensive three-week class being offered at the Senior Center, 93 Winchester Street on Wednesdays, February 20, 27, and March 6, from 2:00 to 5:00 pm. The class explores skills and accomplishments, resumes, networking, interviews, and job search resources. A materials fee of $5 will be collected at the first class.

For more information or to register, email Anne Spangler at or contact Deidre Waxman at 617-730-2767.

Empowering Older Women
"Women Growing Older: Our Bodies Ourselves" will be presented by Brookline Adult & Community Education on Tuesday February 26, 6:30 to 8:00 pm at Brookline High School. Joan Ditzion, a founder and co-author of all editions of Our Bodies, Ourselves, will discuss key aspects that affect our health, social, emotional, and sexual well-being, and focus on our need to change the aging paradigm so women over 60 can age well and healthfully. Joan is a practicing social worker counseling late-life families, and is an adjunct faculty member at Lesley College. Following the lecture, there will be ample time for participants to share their experiences, questions, and concerns. Course Code: X271 Sec. 01:$6 Register online or by phone at 617-730-2700.

Reminder on Free Microsoft Training
Brookline CAN's collaboration with the Microsoft store at the Prudential Center offers the following upcoming Friday morning classes: February 8, "Online Privacy and Settings"; February 22, "Skype"; March 1, "Creating and Storing Secure Passwords"; March 8, "Movie Making in Just a Few Clicks". The classes are for those with basic computer skills who want to expand their repertoire. Several BrooklineCAN members have been attending the sessions and finding them enjoyable and useful. The classes run from 10:00 to 11:30 am and are free of charge. Register for one or more on the Education page of the BrooklineCAN website.

Book Group Column
This month, the book discussion group focus is on the Senior Center's monthly Tuesday non-fiction group, facilitated by Tom Faulhaber. The book for Tuesday, February 26 is Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything, authored by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner. Copies of the book are made available at the Coolidge Corner branch of the Brookline Public Library. The discussion group meets from 9:00 to 10:00 am at the Senior Center, 93 Winchester Street. Planning ahead: For March 19, the book is What Money Can't Buy: The Moral Limits of Markets by Michael J. Sandel.

Taxi Services for Residents with Special Needs
When you want a cab driver who will help you with your special need, inform the dispatcher about your need when you call to order the cab. One of our members received this useful tip from Officer John J. Canney of the Brookline Police Department. Officer Canney is responsible for enforcing regulations affecting cab services. If the dispatcher knows about a special rider need, the dispatcher will put out a call for a driver who is willing to be accommodating.

Because of a disability, our member needs to ride in the front seat of an automobile. Many drivers require that their passengers ride in the rear seat. Officer Canney put our member in contact with a dispatcher at one of the cab companies that serve Brookline. So far, our member is pleased with the service being provided by that cab company.

Boston Flower & Garden Show
Spring flowers will be with us soon. The Brookline Recreation Department 55+ program is sponsoring a trip to the Boston Flower & Garden Show on Friday, March 15, 10:30 am to 5 pm. Enjoy Boston's biggest horticultural event at the Seaport World Trade Center. Admission to the Flower Show and round trip transportation are included in the cost of $24 for residents and $33 for non-residents. Trip pickup/drop off will be at the Soule Recreation Center, 652 Hammond Street, and at the Senior Center, 93 Winchester Street; additional pickup locations may be arranged--please inquire. Register online at or by calling 617-730-2069.


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Brookline Community Aging Network
93 Winchester Street
Brookline, Massachusetts 02446

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