Dear Brookline Neighbor,
One of the vital missions of BrooklineCAN is to make our town an even more livable community for all. In that connection, we bring you up to date on the wide-ranging activities of our Livable Community Advocacy Committee. In addition, we tell you about an exciting personalized car service coming to Brookline, offer information about some fascinating meetings, talks, and walks—and much more. We hope you enjoy this issue. Please tell your friends about BrooklineCAN. They can visit www.BrooklineCAN.org
to sign up for our electronic newsletter.
Personalized Car Service
Coming to Brookline
If you are over 60 and without a car—or planning to give up the keys—your next mode of transportation might be a personalized car service coming to Brookline in 2012. Independent Transportation Network (ITN) already provides 24-hour door-to-door service in 20 other communities nationwide. Members pay an annual fee of $60 ($100 for families) and approximately $11 for each ride (10% off on rides for members willing to travel with others). The service allows members to trade in their cars for free rides; it also enables volunteer drivers to store transportation credits for their own future needs. This program will be discussed by ITNGreaterBoston Executive Director Jean Patel Bushnell at the Council on Aging meeting, 93 Winchester Street, Wednesday, October 12, 1pm. More information at http://itngreaterboston.org/
Help Is Available
For Medicare Enrollment
If you want to enroll in Medicare, or change your coverage, October 15 through December 7 is the period to do so. Confidential counseling on all aspects of health insurance is offered free to Medicare enrollees by state-certified SHINE (Serving Health Information Needs of Elders) volunteers. To schedule a SHINE appointment, call the Senior Center, 617-730-2777. On October 24, 1:00pm, Kathy Worhach, Metrowest SHINE representative, will be at the Senior Center to provide information on upcoming changes to Medicare, the Medicare drug benefit, Medigap plans and Medicare Advantage plans. You can also receive assistance from a Medicare customer representative by calling 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227).
Wills, Health Care Proxies, Etc.
Understanding the importance of vital documents such as wills, health care proxies, powers of attorney, and living wills can be daunting. Everyone is invited to a free presentation on November 2, 1:00pm, at the Senior Center, when an attorney from the Elder Law Project of the Women’s Bar Foundation will help to demystify these documents. At a later date, low-income elders who qualify under the Elder Law Project’s guidelines can have these documents prepared free of charge. Additional information about the Elder Law Project’s services will be provided at the presentation. For more information, call 617-730-2777.
Healthy Aging: Talk by Brigham Chief
The public hears daily of supposed anti-aging strategies that range from miracle vitamins to plastic surgery. But what are the realities of healthy aging?
Dr. Jurgen H.A. Bludau is a helpful guide and navigator through the complex medical options facing older people. Chief of geriatric clinical services at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and author of Aging But Never Old, he
will speak on November 7, 7:00—8:30 pm, at Brookline High. Admission is free but pre-registration is required. Sponsored by BrooklineCAN and its founding partners (Council on Aging, Goddard House, Jewish Family & Children's Services and Hebrew SeniorLife). More information at the Brookline Adult Education website
Advocacy and Action
For You and By You
Helping to make our town a more livable community for all is an important goal of BrooklineCAN. Here are some of the issues being addressed by the Livable Community Advocacy Committee (LCAC).
We welcome and encourage your participation.
- Water Bills A recent change in the way water bills are calculated means a significant cost increase for homeowners who use modest amounts of water. We are asking the town to reduce the basic rates for low-income homeowners.
- Parking Meters The town’s new multi-space pay stations can be a long distance from an actual parking space, creating difficulties for some older people, especially during winter. Furthermore, the new pay stations are very difficult to use. We are proposing that older people be allowed to purchase an annual parking permit instead of paying for each use.
- Residential Buildings with Elevators To help people interested in moving to one-floor living, we are compiling a guide that will identify all condominium and rental buildings with elevators. Additional volunteers are needed to help in collecting and organizing information.
- Public Restroom Directory We want people to be able to find a restroom easily when they are away from home. Our website identifies the location of restrooms in public buildings in Brookline. We are also identifying restrooms available to the public in the town’s commercial areas.
- Caregiver Parking We are advocating for a regulation that would allow paid and unpaid caregivers of Brookline residents to park on the street for more than two hours and/or overnight during working hours.
- Property Tax Relief Through the efforts of BrooklineCAN, along with the Council on Aging and the town’s Assessor, property taxes for some low-income elders have been reduced.
- Elder-friendly Parks We are advocating for parks with features attractive to older people, focusing particularly on new parks such as that at Fisher Hill and on established parks slated for refurbishment.
- Sidewalks and Street Crossings We are seeking improved maintenance of sidewalks to ensure that they are safe for older pedestrians. We also support improved attention to cross walks to protect pedestrians of all ages.
You are welcome and invited to help in any of these areas. Please visit the LCAC page
on our website or contact LCAC chair Frank Caro
BrooklineCAN members are eligible to take advantage of the discounts offered by our business associates, now numbering nearly 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 http://www.brooklinecan.org/join.html
or call 617-455-1964.
Evergreen, Ever Learning
A hop, skip, and a jump from Brookline is the Evergreen Lecture and Discussion Series offered at Boston University. On three Tuesdays in November, leading faculty will
cover a range of topics—from developments in the Middle East, to 19th
century British and French art, to a “mystery” composer said to be the most seminal, most underrated composer of the last century. In addition, the PEN/O’Henry Prize Stories of 2011 will be discussed on five Wednesdays. The series ($30 for three classes; $50 for five) is open to anyone at least 58 years old. To pre-register and for more information, visit the Evergreen site
or call 617-353-9852.
Know Your Prescription Drugs
You can learn more about the medications you are taking by visiting the federal government’s Prescription Drugs website
. Topics range from information on drug interactions to questions and answers about generic drugs and ways to get help in covering drug costs.
Three Brookline Walks Tree Identification Walk
Learn the key characteristics of common street and park trees in Brookline during a 1—1 ½ mile
walk along Olmsted Park from Brook House to Ward’s Pond. Meet Tree-Planting Committee Chairman Hugh Mattison at the parking lot opposite Brook House, 33 Pond Ave., Sunday, October 9, 11am—noon. More information at Brookline Walking Tours
Muddy River Restoration Project
A one-mile, one-hour walking tour of areas to be restored starting in 2011. Highlights include a variety of footbridges in Back Bay, Fens, and Riverway Park. The tour is held on Columbus Day (Monday, October 10, 1–2pm) as part of the Fenway Alliance
“Opening Our Doors” event. Meet at Evans Way and the Fenway, Boston, MA (map
). More information at Brookline Walking Tours
“Olmsted” Himself as Tour Guide
Actor, playwright, and director Gerry Wright assumes the persona of the great landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted and leads a walking tour of Olmsted park on October 22, 11:30am—1:00 pm. Walk around the park’s three ponds and its fields and meadows, all the while listening to “Olmsted” describe the park’s design and its contrasts with the natural landscape of Jamaica Plain. Meet at the Daisy Field parking area, Willow Pond Drive, Brookline. Cost $10. Registration and more information at Brookline Adult Education
Waterworks Museum Tour
Learn about Boston’s water-system history, tour Great Engines Hall, view a multimedia presentation, and explore iconic architecture. Friday, October 28, 12:30–4:00, 2450 Beacon Street, Chestnut Hill. Fee: $10 with reservation; $14 without. This tour is for over 55’s only. Van pickup at Soule Recreation Center, 652 Hammond St. at noon; and at Brookline Senior Center, 93 Winchester St., at 12:15. Information and registration at Brookline Recreation
(Catalog, p. 25) or 617-730-2069.
Fall Foliage Trip
Take the Hobo Railroad in Lincoln, New Hampshire, for a 15-mile, 80-minute excursion through beautiful foliage country. While on board, feast on a catered turkey dinner. After the train ride, travel to the Manns Orchards in Methuen to shop for produce or homemade delights. This trip is for those 55 and over. On Wednesday, October 19, 7am–6pm. Bus pickups are at 7am, Soule Recreation Center, 652 Hammond St., and 7:15, Brookline Senior Center, 93 Winchester St. Cost is $50 if you reserve ahead; $68 if not. More information at the Recreation Department
(Catalog p. 25) or 617-739-2069.
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