Council on Aging Update

 News and notes, Friday morning, January 14th 2022

Just want to warn everyone that the violin recital we had planned for Saturday has been postponed. Why? The usual reasons in this dismal season; Omicron concerns and a touch of frigid weather coming to town. We’ll definitely reschedule and let everyone know.

If you missed the Selectboard meeting Monday night, Selector Wade Hasty read a note highlighting the Williamstown Strengthening Police and Community Partnerships (SPCP)   It’s a structured program where we invite everyone, and that means all Williamstown residents folks, to gather to talk about issues and identify issues we perceive as impacting the relationship between the WPD and community at large. We hope to develop solutions and subsequently implement these solutions formally.  All voices will be welcomed, participants will be able to share their own viewpoints on the subject and will also be asked to be respectful of others who do not share your views. Members of the SPCP planning team will reach out to individuals and groups who may have previously unheard or underrepresented points of view. The actual conversation will happen on Saturday March 12, 2022 at the Mount Greylock Regional School between 8:00am and 3:00pm. Of course there will be food, a light breakfast and lunch will be provided. More to follow. 

By the way, this project was conceived by Interim Chief Mike Ziemba as a means of opening lines of communication between the members of the WPD and Williamstown residents. Good things are coming folks!

 I think we talked about the return of the Matter of Balance class last month. Anyway, MOB is coming back to Williamstown in February!

MOB is short for the Matter of Balance program, an award winning program,  an “evidence based” program where you compare what you know  about yourself at the beginning versus what you know at the end and be amazed at your progress. It’s very user friendly, there are no tests, no structured surveys, it’s all about you evaluating your own progress. There will be eight sessions across an 8 week spread beginning on February 1st and culminating on March 22nd. Yes, it’s a commitment. To yourself. Are you game?

 These classes focus on  establishing routines aimed at the goal of, simply put, NO FALLING. There will be helpful discussion on strategy to avoid falls along with balance enhancing exercises designed to improve balance and flexibility and to reduce fears of falling among participants which can be a challenge on it’s own. 

 The class is being taught by our own Sarah Kline and our friend Janice Paquette from Sweetwood. Should be fun. Want to join? Visit us here at Council on Aging offices in the Harper Center or give us a call at 413-458-8250 and we’ll add you to the list.

There seems to be quite a bit of interest in Rick’s trip to the Clark Art Institute on the 20th. He’ll be leaving Harper at 10:30, dropping folks off at the museum and returning around 12:00 to pick up. If you’re interested in spending a morning looking at fine art, let us know, we’ll sign you up. 

Our great friend and exercise instructor Jane Jezouit will be out next week as well, her recovery from hip surgery is progressing but as those of you who have had any significant surgery, you frequently have to await the approval of your physician to return to work and play. So…she waits.

Elder Services is looking for SHINE counselors. The SHINE Program, which is an acronym for “Serving Health Insurance Needs of Everyone, is a statewide initiative, provides free unbiased counseling and information regarding Medicare, Mass Health, and insurance-related public benefits to Medicare beneficiaries and their families throughout Berkshire County. We lost our last SHINE counselor to COVID a year ago and have been successfully referring people to Shauna at Elder Services ever since. It would be nice to have our own SHINE person, dontcha think? There are a few requirements involved-a couple of these are initial investment type activity;

50 hours of classroom instruction (11 classes) and additional mentoring 

Pass a state exam

Provide counseling in a variety of locations including local non-profits and Councils on Aging

No prior knowledge regarding insurance is required. 

If you’re interested or have questions, contact Shauna Post at Elder Services, 413-499-0524.

Finally, if you’re wondering why Tuesday is blank on the calendar, I can tell you. We’ll be digging out following a messy Monday-we’re closed in observance of Martin Luther King Day.- and Tuesday is a meeting day. We have a new state grant which will enable us to do more awareness programming and solicit programming suggestions. We’re meeting about that Tuesday. More to follow!

Have a great weekend!


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