Council on Aging Update

News and Notes, Monday November 7th, 2022

Last June, Massachusetts COA in conjunction with the Executive Office of Elder Affairs declared Williamstown to be a “Dementia Friendly” community. The declaration was a recognition of the work we had done here at Harper just prior to the year and a half where we lost time to Covid. We had recruited Dementia Friends, had training in leading memory classes-Marion and I completed our sessions on March 12th, 2020, the day before the world shut down- and we were ready to begin the process but ended up shifting everything to Covid work…

With that hopefully in the rearview, we’re ready to begin again.  It’s time.

Recently we were told of a couple different instances where unkind things were said to individuals struggling with their memory. How would you feel if you were having issues with your cognisance, knew it and there was no solution for you? We all know better than this right? Please be kind to everyone, we have no idea what they are going through.

Anyway, we’re beginning a new campaign to recruit a new group of dementia friends. All that’s required is a short sensitivity session and your help making people living with dementia, and their caregivers, comfortable and included when you cross paths. If you’re interested, let us know. We’ll be reaching out to the community in the coming weeks, don’t be surprised if we ask you. 

By the way, we have already recruited our first volunteer for the next class of Dementia Friends! Yay!

If you’re a bicyclist, here’s a resource you should know about. The Northern Berkshire Community Coalition hosts a Bike Collective. Their  open hours are on Mondays, 3:30-5:30pm, at The Armory, 206 Ashland St., North Adams 

Bring your own bike or work on a bike at the bike collective. You’ll have the opportunity to learn from other community members on basic bike fixes, or team up with more experienced bike mechanics to rebuild a bike. Tools and stands are provided. All NB residents are welcome! For more info, call us at 413-663-7588.

Don’t forget our coat drive to help our neighbors in need of a warm winter coat! Bring your new or gently used apparel to us here at the Harper Center We’re collecting through January 31st! You can also drop your donations at the Water Street building where the Northern Berkshire Transport office is or at NB EMS building on River Street in North Adams.

This Fall MCLA Arts & Culture (MAC) is offering free tap dancing workshops by teacher Jenny Herzog at the MCLA Art Lab Folks of all ages and skill levels can learn how to “Tap for Joy.” Featured on NPR and in the Boston Globe, Herzog started the community workshop during the pandemic to bring people together to connect, make music and facilitate joy during rough days.  The workshops are free and open to the public and will occur on Saturday afternoons. Shoes and boards will be provided.  Here are the remaining dates:

Nov 12, 12:00-1:15 p.m. 

Nov 19, 12:00-1:15 p.m. 

Herzog is a singer, tap dancer, teacher, and director who splits her time between the Berkshires and Cambridge, Mass. She believes that the arts are for everyone and strives to facilitate collaboration with community members through music and dance.

Finally, don’t forget the annual Thanksgiving Turkey dinner delivery program. Starting today you can make a reservation to have a full course Thanksgiving meal, Turkey and all the fixings, delivered to your door on Thanksgiving day. So…if you’re 60 and are alone on the holiday with no real way of having a traditionalThanksgiving meal, here’s your chance. Starting today, November 7th through November 18th call All Saints Berkshire Epipiscopal Church at 413-664-9656 Monday through Thursday from 8:00 to 1:00 to reserve your meal. If nobody answers, leave a message and include your name, address, town and telephone number and someone will call you back. You have to make a reservation for a meal, OK?

Did you remember to set your clocks back?


Friday is Veterans Day and we’ll be closed


If you haven’t already, don’t forget to vote tomorrow!


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