Council on Aging Update

News and notes, Wednesday September 8th, 2021

It’s still summer. Keep telling yourself that there are still 12 days of summer left…

A couple years ago before the new abnormal came to Town we had guests from the AARP here in the house who did a program with us they had called “Home Fit” The idea was to look at your physical surroundings and make adaptations to avoid aging related “issues”. During the course of the program we talked about simple fixes which can go a long way. Arranging furniture to allow for easier passage, checking carpeting, fire extinguishers for ease of use, changing knobs on cabinets, etc. Other conversions would require professional assistance but we talked about the ABC’s of hiring a contractor too.

It was a great session.The program was pretty well attended and everyone went home with a bag full of materials to consider as they reviewed their own homes.

Today in the aftermath of a pandemic and as we fool around with another Covid blip, we’re not likely to see our AARP friends offering this program live.anytime soon. In the age of remote everything, AARP has adapted to the times and will be hosting the HomeFit program virtually on a computer near you. It’s a 2 session event talking about home modification tactics ranging from easy DIY to more advanced call a contractor type fixes.

The HomeFit panel discussions are on Tuesdays September 28th and October 5th, both run from 2:00 to 3:00 PM. You can register to participate at; https://aarp.cvent.com/MAHomeFit

Check it out, it’s only a couple hours and you may be glad that you did.

At the beginning of the pandemic we ran around the community delivering hot food to people who needed it or were unable to access hot food for a variety of issues. That program quietly left the scene in August 2020 when everyone started coming out and places started reopening all over.

Today in the wake of the pandemic, the US Government has made available a significant amount of funding under the American Recovery Act. Elder Services of Berkshire County is a beneficiary of a significant chunk of change from Massachusetts and is working with the Executive Office of Elder Affairs to spend these ARPA funds appropriately. One of the target areas for this is nutrition. We’ve been asked if we’re interested in hosting a “grab and go” meals program. The idea is that food will be delivered here to Harper already packaged and interested folks would come and get it and take it away. It’s sort of a take out arrangement. It would also not be restrictive like the Meals on Wheels program is, you know, need based, homebound, etc. The idea is essentially to get food into the hands of folks who could use it.  It’s also not the old and discontinued congregate meals program. While you could meet your friends here and share a meal together, we’re not serving nor providing the dining room of old.  It’s essentially, well, Grab and Go.

For the record, we’re perfectly willing to host a grab and go meals arrangement. The issue will be the level of interest. We don’t know who would be actually interested in this option so we’re asking.for feedback. It’s really simple; you tell us that you’re interested and we’ll keep count and let Elder Services know the numbers. 

This will be a quick turn around request folks. They have to have a plan in place by the end of next week so please respond to us by Monday September 13th. If it’s a go, we’ll start sharing details. Otherwise there will be nothing to share. For your part, you can share with people who might be interested. That would be helpful.

Talk again soon.

Brian

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