BrooklineCAN: Help your neighbors. Help yourself. Help your town.
February 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
  • Why We Volunteer
  • Apartment Guide

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Dear Brookline Neighbor,

In this issue we proudly announce an honor bestowed on our young organization, tell you about two gatherings that offer aid and comfort to those caring for ill family members, and ask for your help to ensure safe crosswalks in town. We also inform you about a new feature on our website and let you know about a fascinating exploration into animal communication and a day-long mindfulness retreat. Please tell your friends about fact, forward this newsletter to them.


Award to BrooklineCAN
BrooklineCAN is being honored with the 2011 Herb Carlin Community Health Award by the Friends of Brookline Public Health during a public ceremony on Wednesday, February 1, at 6pm in Hunneman Hall, the Main Library. The award recognizes our efforts to promote the health and well-being of older residents in town. Since its launch last April, BrooklineCAN has spread the word about available support services and educational forums; advocated in eight areas to make the town more livable; established an exchange of information about carpenters, computer repair workers, and other vendors; recruited 50 businesses to offer member discounts; and built our membership roster to more than 300. To learn more about BrooklineCAN, visit our website Also being honored with the Carlin Award is Bountiful Brookline, an organization promoting the benefits of locally-grown healthy food.

Invitation to Family Caregivers
If you are caring for a loved one who is ill, you are invited to join other caregivers for an evening discussion and complimentary Valentine's supper on Monday, February 13. The featured speaker, Boston University epidemiologist Lisa Fredman, will describe her study on the health effects of care-giving in older women. Surprisingly, she has uncovered measurable health benefits and resilience in caregivers and also found that the positive effects of care-giving may outweigh the stress. The event, from 6:00 to 7:30, is at Goddard House Assisted Living in Brookline, 165 Chestnut St. Goddard is a founding partner of BrooklineCAN. RSVP to or 617-731-8500.

Repainting Crosswalks
Motorists are obligated to stop for pedestrians in crosswalks, but sometimes crosswalks are no longer visible because the paint has worn away. This situation has been of concern to BrooklineCAN's Livable Community Advocacy Committee. We are pleased to report that lane markings will be repainted twice a year as a result of an increase in the town's budget for street painting. If you spot a crosswalk that needs repainting, call the Department of Public Works at 617-730-2156. LCAC recently tested the system by reporting a neglected crosswalk on Station Street near the Brookline Village T stop. Within two weeks the crosswalk was repainted. See the before and after photos on our website (

Computer Repair Is Here!
Computer repair vendors are the latest addition to our Repair Referral list--an ever-evolving roster that already includes electricians, plumbers, home contractors, and handymen. Our system: BrooklineCAN members suggest vendors, and we verify that the workers have required licenses and insurance. To take advantage of this members-only benefit, log on to our website at and use the password on the back of your member card. We welcome recommendations for vendors in other categories, such as roof repair, window and gutter maintenance, and snow removal. Email suggestions to Karin Wannamaker at or call her at 617-730-2752.

Links You Can Use
A new feature on our website--a "Links" page--gives readers on-line access to articles, web sites, and blogs on issues related to aging and independent living. Items are arranged by broad topic, such as "Finance," "Housing," and "Retirement." For example, through "Links" you will find a recent article from Smart Money offering advice on how to get your retirement back on track, and a web site--"Laws and Regulations Concerning Seniors"--that serves as a portal to government information. Our Links page ( will be updated on a regular basis.

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/educator Barbara Okun, PhD, in a free lecture on Wednesday, March 14, 7:00-8:30pm, at Brookline High. A faculty member at Northeastern and Harvard Medical School, she is co-author with Joseph Nowinski 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 suggest ways to make space for extended periods of grief. For more information, see or call 617-730-2700.

Zoo Story
Animal communication--the posturing and preening, the alarm calls and mating rituals--these and other gestures and behaviors will be the subject of a two-hour tour at the Franklin Park Zoo on Saturday, February 11, 1:00pm. As you observe the subtle and not-so-subtle movements displayed by various animals, a zoo expert will help to explain the thoughts and feelings the animals might be expressing. Participants must be 16 or older. Meet at the Main (Zebra) Entrance of the zoo, 1 Franklin Park Road, Dorchester. Fee is $34. More information at or call 617-730-2700.

Mindfulness: Day-Long Retreat
The simple technique of being watchful moment-to-moment and breath-to-breath--the ancient practice of mindfulness--can help us reduce stress-heightening reactions and develop new insights into the ever-present center of our being. A retreat on mindfulness will be offered on Saturday, February 11, 9:00am-2:00pm, at Brookline High. Teacher Patricia Howard trained at the Brennan School of Healing. Bring a yoga mat and bag lunch. Fee is $80. For more information and to register, go to or call 617-730-2700.

Volunteer Coordinator Needed
BrooklineCAN seeks a Volunteer Coordinator to
  • promote volunteer opportunities for Brookline residents including intergenerational volunteer opportunities,
  • establish connections with Brookline non-profit organizations to determine their need for volunteers,
  • publicize volunteer opportunities on the BrooklineCAN website with links to the Town of Brookline website, and
  • update volunteer information on a regular basis.
The volunteer coordinator will develop a team of volunteers who will collectively offer a comprehensive service.

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Brookline Community Aging Network
93 Winchester Street
Brookline, Massachusetts 02446

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