Opened and dedicated in January 2008, the building is home of all activities and programs of the Medfield Council on Aging. A town department geared towards meeting the needs of the older community adults. In March 2012, “The Club” opened, through a grant from the MetroWest Health Foundation, offering caregiver relief two days a week.
The Council on Aging provides valuable services to our senior community by offering transportation, meals, counseling, and a variety of other services. The Council on Aging Board consists of Louis Fellini, Chairman, Neil DuRoss, Michael Clancy, Gwen Centore and Virginia Whyte. Each member is instrumental in providing support, direction and sets policies and procedures for the Council on Aging and the facility. The Council on Aging staff includes Roberta Lynch, R.N. as Director, Cheryl Lavallee, LICSW as Outreach Worker, and Susan Bernstein, MA as the Volunteer Coordinator and William Pardi as Transportation Coordinator.
The Council on Aging coordinates and works with other human service agencies, voluntary organizations, citizen’s associations, governmental agencies, area agencies on aging and others in the community to provide services to the older adults in the community.
The following pages of information provide basic COA policies and a sampling of the services the COA provides. Some activities include fitness and exercise classes, educational and social programs, food shopping assistance, friendly visiting, individual and group support, health benefits counseling, health screenings, health services, assistance with fuel and food stamp applications, supporting home delivered meals, home repair referral, housing assistance, medical equipment loans, legal assistance,The Ride applications, snow shoveling program, social day program, transportation, wellness checks, veteran’s counseling, salon services, daily congregate meals, tax work-off program and a variety of unique trips.
Are you caring for a loved one at home? Could you use a break? Inquire about “The Club” on Tuesday and Thursday. It may be just the relief that you need. This program is funded in part by the MetroWest Health Foundation. Call the Center for more information at 508-359-3665.
Natick VNA Health Promotion Clinic- Jean Sniffen RN will be available at the Center on the first Tuesday each month at 11:15am for health consultations.
Health Insurance Counseling– SHINE Counselor,Trish Monahan will be available for individual counseling for Medfield residents every other Tuesday 10am-12pm. Call for an appointment.
IMPORTANT NOTICE: Our SHINE volunteer will continue to meet the needs of Medfield seniors seeking counsel on their Medicare healthcare concerns, however, this free counseling is available for Medfield residents only.
Veteran’s Office Hours– Veterans’ Service Officer, Ron Griffin will be available for appointments on Mondays from 10am -12noon for Medfield residents only and appointments are required.
Legal Check Up- Attorney Mary Roque will be available on the first Wednesday of the month from 9:00am -10:30am for one-on-one consultations. Please call the Center for your appointment.
Walpole VNA Blood Pressure Clinic-On the third Tuesday each month at 12 noon, a Walpole VNA registered nurse will be available at the Center for your blood pressure assessment.
Selectman Office Hours – Meet with Selectman Pete Peterson the first Friday of the month from 9-10am.
A caregiver is someone who provides assistance to another person who cannot live fully independently due to physical, psychological, or mental disability. Often times the role of caregiver begins without our noticing. It may start out by stopping by someone’s house every few days to tidy up, check out the house or their need for groceries. Or the duties may be more involved. Caregivers find their role expanding as their loved one’s condition deteriorates slowly over time. Often times the caregiver makes arrangements for the loved one to move in or they move in to provide constant assistance with a variety of tasks. Caregiving eventually becomes a full-time job with many rewards and pitfalls. Caregivers provide as much support as possible, while helping someone to retain independence, and in some cases, a caregiver may provide training which is designed to promote independence for their loved one. The added responsibility of being responsible for a loved one can take its toll on the caregiver and it is important for that person to get help, rest, relief and support. There is help for caregivers in our community as we offer a monthly Caregiver Support Group meeting on the last Thursday of the month at 10am. This gives people the opportunity to educate themselves on services and programs that they may find helpful. The group meeting also provides support to its attendees through a sharing of stories and ideas. We welcome all caregivers to this monthly offering. If interested in receiving the monthly invitation please call the Center at 508-359-3665 and speak directly with our social worker, Cheryl Lavallee. In conjunction with the group meetings, we also offers a supportive day program “The Club at the Center” which offers supervised companionship, one or two days per week, for your loved one. This program allows the caregiver some free time to enjoy doing whatever they want. If you find yourself in a caregiving role, please call the Center to receive information and the support that is without a doubt needed and deserved.
Knowing when to turn over the car keys is an extremely difficult decision to make. Just thinking about making the change can be overwhelming, and many people panic at the thought of losing their freedom. We use our car to run errands, go shopping, visit friends, attend church, go to the doctor or just enjoy a sunny ride. Some people base the quality of their days on the ability to get around. However, when safety is at stake being honest with yourself is important.
Only you really know how you feel when you are behind the wheel. Are you beginning to get nervous in driving situations that used to be effortless? Perhaps you find yourself anxious when merging with traffic.
Another sign that you may be ready to stay off the roads is your reaction time. Studies show that as we all age, our reaction time slows down. And statistics used every year by state motor vehicle departments and safety associations link reaction time with crashes.
Assess your reaction time and be honest with yourself. Are you responding quickly enough when something unexpected happens? Have you been close to hitting another car or an animal in the road? Do you stop for pedestrians?
This is only food for thought and to encourage people to think seriously about their driving skills and take the necessary steps to continue to drive safely without injury to themselves or someone else.
The File of Life is available to you upon request; and we highly recommend that everyone has their File of Life available. It is a magnetic pocket holder for your refrigerator that holds your identification and medical information. We suggest that you put a photo on the pocket as well. Medfield EMT’s when responding to a request for help, look for the File of Life to help facilitate your care. The information if current can alert emergency workers about your medical history that helps deal with the situation at hand. Please remember to update your information when it changes, new information sheets are available at the Center upon request.
ARE YOU AT RISK FOR FALLING?
The possibility of a fall worries most older adults and their families. Falls are often the most common cause of nonfatal injury for older adults, often causing hospitalization and interfering with an independent life style.
Use this simple survey to assess risk of falling for yourself or on behalf of a loved one.
Do you live alone?
Have you fallen in the last 12 months?
Do you have vision loss?
Do you have difficulty getting up to a standing position?
When you stand up do you sometimes feel lightheaded, dizzy or off balance?
Do you take 4 or more medications each day?
Do you feel sad or “blue”?
Do you feel stiff or weak and have trouble walking?
Do your feet hurt?
Do you make hurried trips to the bathroom?
Do you limit your activities because you are afraid you might fall?
Do you have stairs to climb or go down?
Are items in your home in a hard to reach place?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, stop into the COA and pick up information to minimize fall risk.
Reproduced from Philips Life Line
With winter upon us, especially after December 9, with our first of the season cold, icy spell with many people taking falls, it is so important to be aware of our surroundings inside and out. Prepare accordingly so you can attempt to prevent a fall.
Wear proper footwear. Purchase walker traction cleats for icy conditions Keep sand and salt outside you door and spread as often as needed. Have your cell phone with you, if you have an emergency response system, be sure to wear it, always.
A sudden fall can be startling and upsetting. If you do fall, stay as calm as possible, try slow deep breathing to try to relax. Remain on the ground or floor for a few moments to get over the shock of falling. Decide if you are hurt, where is the pain, can you move your extremities, etc. If you think you can get up safely without help, roll over onto your side and attempt to get onto your hands and knees and crawl to something (for example, stone wall or a less icy area if outside or a chair if inside) so you can pull your self up. Slowly rise and again utilize deep breathing to help focus and assess your situation.
Each year, millions of adults aged 65 and older fall. Falls can cause moderate to severe injuries, such as hip fractures. head traumas, and can increase the risk of early death. Regular exercise will minimize the normal age related losses in muscle strength, flexibility, or balance reactions. Do not become a statistic, be proactive and minimize your chance of falling by awareness, regular exercise and practical life style adjustments.
The aging process provides us with many challenges and often we experience a variety of losses. Life coaching helps you learn how to make choices that create an effective, balanced and fulfilling life. Deborah A. Merriam, Ed.D. holds a master’s in counseling and a doctorate in behavioral studies. Dr. Merriam will work one on one with Medfield residents to help you navigate the challenges you are facing. Free confidential sessions are available every other Tuesday and require an appointment by calling 508-359-3665.