AARP Tax Preparation Assistance

taxThe Senior Center again offers tax assistance by AARP Tax Aide volunteers on Tuesdays between February 13 and April 10..  It is important that you bring your 2016 returns with you; also note that the volunteers will not be able to assist you with any amended tax returns other than for the year 2016.    Call 617-730-2777 to schedule an appointment.

Emergency Preparedness Buddies TV Program

buddyphoto1The 15th Age Friendly Cities (AFC-TV) show continued the discussion of emergency preparedness, introducing the unique Brookline Emergency Preparedness Buddies (EPBuddies) program. http://www.brooklinema.gov/530/Emergency-Preparedness  Guests were Cheryl Anne Snyder, Department of Public Health coordinator for emergency preparedness, and Sophie Gordon, EPBuddies coordinator. Cheryl explained the Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) and the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) and their role in providing coaches for EPBuddies.

Sophie explored the role of coaches and buddies, the background, and the operation of the EPBuddies program in detail. Sophie and her coaches assign buddies to individuals needing assistance in preparing for emergencies of all types that challenge our readiness for ourselves and our pets.

Check out the Brookline Age Friendly Cities TV programs on the BrooklineCAN web site http://www.brooklinecan.org/ and note references on the BrooklineCAN Twitter and Facebook accounts.   Programs are aired on Channel 3 on Comcast and RCN immediately following The Grandstanders live sports analysis show.

Need Some HELP?

help1The HELP Program at the Senior Center maintains a list of carefully screened helpers who can assist with a wide range of tasks, from simple household chores to shopping to escorting you on errands, or even visiting and playing cards or other games. After a home visit to assess your situation, a home care worker is assigned. The fee is $13-$15 per hour, with a minimum of two hours. Brookline residents age 60 – up are eligible. For information, call the HELP line at 617- 730-2752. Here are some examples of satisfied HELP clients.

*Mrs. G. lives alone and during recovery from knee replacement surgery, she needed help with laundry, weeding her flower garden, and taking walks. The HELP program matched her with Mrs. T, who continued to work with her long after her recovery.

*Mrs. H. needed to install a new air-conditioner, and when the HELP home care worker arrived, he found that the new air-conditioner was defective. He accompanied Mrs. H. to return it, then carried the new unit into the house and installed it.

*Mrs. L. was recovering from surgery. Her HELP home care worker’s tasks included laundry, trash removal, tidying the kitchen, shopping, and changing bed linens.

*Mr.  A. has vision issues. He needed help with transportation to eye care appointments so his wife would not always need to bring him. He continues to get ongoing rides from the home care worker who he claims he “hit it off well” with on the first ride.

*Mr. T. lives in subsidized housing and the laundry was in the next building. He couldn’t walk there due to short-term physical issues. His home care worker did his laundry. He was very happy with her as she was “very sociable and got things done efficiently.”

Age-Friendly Business Campaign

AFBLOGOBrooklineCAN has launched an Age-Friendly Business Campaign with two aims.  First, Brookline businesses are encouraged to add features that make them hospitable to seniors. Second, we want to encourage members to patronize local senior-friendly businesses. Propelling the campaign is the major demographic shift now underway. Between 2010 and 2030, Brookline’s senior population is expected to increase by over 40%. Businesses can be accommodating to seniors in many practical ways such as providing print material in large sizes, making web sites easy to navigate, providing bright lighting, providing doors that are easily opened, controlling noise levels, making rest rooms available to customers, and offering discounts to seniors. Participating businesses will be listed on our website and will receive decals for their windows. They will also be recognized at a public event that will serve as the climax for the Campaign.

Brookline businesses are being encouraged to apply for recognition as “Age- Friendly.” Application forms are available on the BrooklineCAN website. http://www.brooklinecan.org/age_friendly_business.html  We are looking for volunteers who will help to reach out to Brookline businesses to join the campaign. Contact Frank Caro at 617-739-9228 or frank.g.caro@gmail.com

Ending Ageism, Program March 8

MargaretMargaret Morganroth Gullette, Resident Scholar at the Women’s Studies Research Center at Brandeis University, will speak on her book, Ending Ageism, at the Brookline Public Library, 361 Washington Street, on Thursday, March 8.  Refreshments will be served from 6 to 6:30 pm with the program and discussion 6:30 to 7:30 pm.  Gullette believes that a major obstacle to aging well is ageism; she asks people to move from silence about their experiences to justified resistance.  This BrooklineCAN  program is free of charge; please call 617-730-2770 to register.

Flu Shots

flu2If you still need a flu shot, contact Brookline’s public health nurse, Barbara Westley at 617-730-2320 or bwestley@brooklinema.gov to schedule an appointment.

BrooklineCAN Makes a Difference

MembershipSince its inception in 2011, BrooklineCAN’s efforts for seniors have improved sidewalk safety, provided transportation support, and brought us valuable information through speakers, community TV shows, and online guides to residential buildings with elevators, restrooms available to the public, and licensed service providers and contractors. Our organization advocates with the Town to make Brookline even more age-friendly. Membership dollars support these activities, and membership numbers enhance BrooklineCAN’s advocacy influence. This year a small dues increase, the first since the organization began, is necessary. Individual annual dues, previously $25, will now be $35, and household dues, previously $40, will now be $55; a $10 discounted rate is available for those with income below $35,000. Your membership donation is greatly appreciated and it makes possible BrooklineCAN’s important work.

Winter Sidewalk Monitoring after Snow Storms

snow5Residents can help to assure that Brookline sidewalks are free of snow and ice by reporting hazardous sidewalks to the Town. Brookline has a bylaw that requires property owners to keep adjacent sidewalks in a “non-slippery” condition. The Town has a complaint-driven enforcement system. When a complaint is received, an inspector investigates. Violators receive a warning or a fine.  

BrooklineCAN monitors continue to inspect sidewalks in commercial areas after storms. You can help by reporting on sidewalks in residential areas close to your home.

The Town makes is easy for residents to report slippery sidewalks. One possibility is to download the free BrookONline app for use with a smart phone. Another possibility is to fill out the online Citizen Reporter Form located on the Town website: http://www.brooklinema.gov/.  During business hours, residents may also call DPW at 617 730 2156.

Brookline Celebrates Martin Luther King, Jr.

MLK1Martin Luther King Day provides an opportunity for Brookline residents to remember a hero martyred in the effort to achieve equality in America. This year’s celebration is  at 3:00 pm Monday, January 15, 2018, at the Coolidge Corner Theatre. Keynote speaker is Dr. Chad Williams, Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of African and Afro-American Studies at Brandeis University.  Dr. Williams will ask us to think about how Dr. King’s words and actions can be applied to today’s troubling times.

The program also features the poet/performer Regie Gibson, Brookline Poet Laureate Zvi Sesling, Brookline High School slam poet Carolyn Parker-Fairbain,  and acapella group Testostatones.  To reserve a free ticket, visit BrooklineMLK.eventbrite.com  until Sunday, January 14. Remaining tickets will be available at the Theater box office on the day of the event.  Sign language interpretation will be provided and the theater is accessible to persons with disabilities. For further information, contact Caitlin Haynes:  chaynes@brooklinema.gov, 617-730-2345.

Art Show and Reception

SelhubBrooklineCAN member Shirley Selhub is the featured artist in the current Gallery 93 exhibit at the Senior Center, 93 Winchester Street.  This display of watercolor paintings, entitled “Group Meditation”,  is being shown January 3 through February 28.  Shirley says of her watercolor classes:   “My classmates are mostly retirees who enjoy painting as I do, and most weeks we also share a good chuckle.  This is my meditation, a kind of group meditation!”  Gallery hours are Monday through Friday, 8:30 am to 5:00 pm.  A public reception with the artist will take place on Tuesday, January 9, 4:00 to 6:00 pm.