93 Winchester St. Brookline, MA 02446    617 . 730 . 2770    info@brooklineseniorcenter.org

One Person Can Make a Difference

VOLUNTEERING: “One Person Can Make A Difference

 JUNE 2019

The Brookline Council on Aging and the Brookline Senior Center (BSC) are always happy to enlist new volunteers who can share their talents and program ideas.

Your contributions would enable us to expand the number and variety of high level programs and activities that are provided for all seniors in Brookline. If you would like to actively pursue volunteer service, please make an appointment with Patricia, the Volunteer Coordinator (617-730-2743) to learn more about the Senior Center & opportunities where you might best share your time and talent. We are always eager to hear new ideas & keep a list of volunteers for special events and future opportunities.

– – Volunteer content written by Patricia Burns

 

JUNE SPOTLIGHTED VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES: This month’s spotlighted opportunities include:  Food Commodity program on 3rd Wednesday of each month–people able to help with phone calls and/or lifting 30-35 lbs. in the morning from 9-noon;Photographer – for events and individual portraits; TRIPPS – people interested in helping with transportation issues. If you would like to apply for these or other volunteer opportunities or have ideas for new opportunities at the BSC, please call Patricia, the Volunteer Coordinator @ 617-730-2743 or email her at pburns@brooklinema.gov to make an appointment to talk about things you like to do, your skills and potential volunteer opportunities.

VOLUNTEER HELP NEEDED TO WORK ON A RE-DESIGNED BROOKLINEVOLUNTEERS.COM WEBSITE

This website is for people of all ages who are searching for meaningful volunteer opportunities in the local Brookline area. The website needs to be redesigned to focus more on local volunteer opportunities. People who are interested will be members of a small Volunteer Committee under the auspices of the Brookline Senior Center and the Brookline Community Aging Network (BCAN). The tasks involve:

  • Brainstorming about what volunteer opportunities should be excluded and what new ones should be included;
  • Update website to ensure that volunteer opportunities on the website are still active;
  • Help make decisions about marketing so more people know about the website;
  • Meet with people individually as a Volunteer Coach to assist them in finding suitable volunteer opportunities;
  • Follow up with people who have been seen to see how they are doing in their quest to find meaningful activities.

Time Commitment: Flexible.

Location: At your own home, at the home of a member of the Volunteer Committee, or at the Senior Center.Requirements:  Owning a laptop and an interest in helping people find meaningful volunteer experiences. Ability to program is not necessary but might be helpful.If interested, please contact Alberta Lipson at albertalipson@gmail.com

ANNUAL VOLUNTEER SURVEY: The 2019 Volunteer Survey results are in. A record 121 of our 416 volunteers responded. This year’s questions focused on three areas:

  • Demographics – age range, years of volunteer service at the BSC, types of volunteer jobs
  • Transportation – types each person uses, and top three
  • Exercise – number of times per week volunteers engage in exercise/fitness for 30 minutes, types of exercise and what would help increase their physical activity.

The results have been analyzed and reflect the answers of the 121 volunteers who replied, but may not be representative of all 416 volunteers.

Some highlights are:

  • Top 3 age ranges of volunteers – 1) 71-80 (56), 2) 61-70 (24) and 3) 81-90 (19)
  • Number of years volunteering @ BSC – 2 yrs. (16), 10 years (15), less than 1 year (13)
  • Type of volunteer work @ BSC – Mailings (17), Food Pantry (14), Lunch (13), Craft Fair (13)
  • Transportation used – walking (79), driving own car (60), the ‘T’ (59)
  • Number of times each week exercise for 30 minutes – 3 times (27), 5 times (19), 7 times (19) (11 volunteers said none)
  • Kind of exercise – walking (97), strength training (40), balance (25)
  • What would help increase physical activity – less pain, an activity buddy, more small group outings/walks

LIBRARY CONNECTION: Are you a lover of library books and other resources, yet unable to enjoy the pleasures of browsing on your own? We have a solution for you! The Library Connection, a partnership of Brookline’s Council on Aging and the Public Library of Brookline, provides delivery of library materials directly to homebound Brookline residents who are unable to come to the library themselves. A volunteer from the community will deliver materials to you throughout the year. If you are interested in receiving this service, contact the Volunteer Coordinator, Patricia Burns at the Council on Aging 617-730-2743.

SHOP PROGRAM 2018-2019

The SHOP Program (Students Helping Older People)partners Brookline High School (BHS) student volunteers with seniors to do grocery shopping once a week during the school year. In turn, seniors help the students fulfill their community service requirement. Frequently, this becomes an intergenerational friendship between the senior and their student shopper(s).

During the 2018-2019 school year, 42 seniors have benefited from 49 BHS students and the BHS SHOP Student Coordinator, Sidonie Brown shopping and socializing with them. On more than one occasion, students have contacted the Senior Center concerned that they had not been able to reach ‘their senior’ as usual. Such concern goes well beyond just shopping and/or fulfilling community service; it shows how much these relationships mean to the students and to the seniors. A letter of appreciation has been sent to each SHOP student expressing our thanks for their time, energy, caring and going above and beyond expectations.

ALZHEIMER’S & BRAIN AWARENESSMONTH

June is Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness month, which is an opportunity for global conversations to be held about the brain and Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. 50 million people worldwide are living with dementia and 5.8 million Americans are currently affected by Alzheimer’s disease.

The mission of the Alzheimer’s Association is to eliminate Alzheimer’s disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health.

BROOKLINE SENIOR CENTER ALZHEIMER’S WALK TEAM

Once again The Brookline Senior Center will have a team to ‘WALK THE WALK’. Please join the BSC team and/or donate to the BSC team to combat this disease and help accomplish the Alzheimer’s Association’s vision of a world, without Alzheimer’s disease!

Credit card donations can be made on line to the Brookline Senior Center Team or by check or cash at the Senior Center. Checks should be made out to the Brookline Senior Center with Alzheimer in the memo line as the Center makes one donation for all of our donors.

To sign up for the team or get answers to your questions, please call Patricia Burns, Co-Captain @ 617 730 2743  or email to pburns@brooklinema.gov

SPOTLIGHT VOLUNTEERS:

Brookline Senior Center Food Distribution Team:The Brookline Senior Center (BSC) has held a Food Distribution every Tuesday for more than ten years. Up to 101 nearby residents come each week to supplement their food needs by shopping at the Food Distribution. Unlike other food pantries in the area, the BSC’s program has NO membership, asks NO questions about residency, age or income and allows shoppers to come every week. What really makes the BSC program shine is the dedicated volunteer team, some of whom are shown in the photo above. Whether it is the morning crew that sorts and sets up the incoming food or the afternoon crew who help shoppers make selections and ready the room for the next morning’s activities, their ready smile and welcome not only make the process efficient, but enjoyable. Huge thanks to the Team for all your efforts to help provide food security to those who come to the BSC.

BROOKLINE SENIOR CENTER VOLUNTEERS IN THE NEWS:

Article re: 2019 John & Molly Dolan Awards with photo of Brookline Bank executives receiving the Community Partner Award was featured on the 1st& 4th pages of the Brookline TAB on April 25th2019.  The Brookline Senior Center Alzheimer’s Walk Team photo and blurb were featured on the Your News page of the Brookline TAB on September 27.The Brookline Senior Center Food Pantry along with Springwell and the Brookline Food Pantry were filmed in June for airing on Brookline cable’s (BIG) Age Friendly City series. The topic of this episode is Food Insecurity in Brookline. The program can be viewed on: http://www.brooklinecan.org/index.html#TV and http://www.brooklinecan.org/agefriendly.html#TV.The SHOP Program between Brookline High School and Brookline Senior Center was featured on Boston 25 News on Thursday, February 22. The link to see the feature story can be found athttps://t.co/9zECVvJDEd. The Brookline Senior Center Alzheimer’s Walk Team photo and blurb were featured on the Your News page of the Brookline TAB on September 28. Ruthann was quoted in a recent article in theCommonwealth Magazine (http://CommonwealthMagazine.org/economy). Brookline shared an article with the Chicopee COA in the October issue of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Medex quarterly publication, Healthy Times. Brookline Senior Center intergenerational volunteers were spotlighted on Wednesday, March 29 on BIG, the local TV channel. If you missed it, you can find the ½ hour program link on the BCAN website or on the BIG Facebook page https://youtu.be/iDDCgi8vKCk. Patricia also updates the volunteer pages of the Town and BSC websites and contributes to the BCAN Volunteer page monthly. She urges everyone to check these websites (www.brooklineseniorcenter.org/, www.brooklinema.gov/) and http://www.brooklinecan.org/. Brookline Senior Center volunteers were featured in an article in the April, 2016 issue of the fiftyplus advocate entitledVolunteering: A Work of Heart at the Brookline Senior Center. The article can be found on line at www.fiftyplusadvocate.com

SHINE:Open Enrollment for Medicare supplemental insurance is in full swing!SHINE (Serving Health Insurance Needs of Everyone) is administered by the Massachusetts Executive Office of Elder Affairs in partnership with Councils on Aging and other aging service access points. SHINE helps people on Medicare and other seniors understand complex insurance options. SHINE volunteer counselors educate and provide unbiased help to choose an insurance program best for the individual. Seniors interested in making an appointment with a BSC SHINE counselor at the BSC (All appointments during this year’s open enrollment are full.) should call 617 730 2777

SHINE trains counselors in a 2 days/week – 6 week course. Meetings to get support and meet with other counselors occur monthly. Once certified, you will be assigned to work 6 hours per week in a senior center or other public setting. If you are interested in becoming a certified counselor, call Dorene Nemeth, MetroWest Regional SHINE Director: 781 455 7555, ext. 202

MASS ASSOCIATION FOR THE BLIND (MAB) – VIBRANT:

The Brookline Senior Center is collaborating with the MAB on a grant to train vision impaired seniors on new technological equipment that has been installed in the BSC computer lab. Jeremias Feliz is the VIBRANT Program Trainer and will be available with other volunteers by appointment on Wednesdays from 1-5 and most Thursdays.

Technology connects, empowers, and provides a path to freedom: From being able to hail a ride using Uber, to apps to keep you organized and pay bills on time, to software that narrates navigation while you’re walking, and even being able to tell the color of a piece of clothing or denomination of money without human assistance – technology can be a game-changer. VIBRANT will help you find the tools that allow you to do what you want to do when you want to do it and live on your terms. We are committed to helping people with vision loss find new ways to access technology that helps you meet your goals – customized for your life.

VIBRANT can teach you to use assistive technology to:

  • Access, enlarge and read print information, hard-copy or digital
  • Better manage your time via note-taking, organization, paying bills, and banking
  • Navigate your world via transportation information and apps
  • Participate in leisure and recreational activities
  • Accomplish daily tasks, such as shopping, reading, social media, email, travel planning, handling money, and obtaining information about a visual task

An app that interfaces with a camera and sends images back to a sighted agent on the other end; gestures that enable an iPhone to work without being able to see any of the icons on the home screen, programs for reading or walking without a sighted guide were just some of the many tools a consumer in the new VIBRANT assistive technology program may learn.

The first step is coming in for an assessment, so that program organizers can help you find the right tools to help you to do what you want to do when you want to do it.

We are committed to helping people with vision loss find new ways to access technology that helps you meet your goals – customized for your life.

MASS COMMISSION FOR THE BLIND: Help a visually impaired person by reading or shopping with them. No special skills needed. Call Kyle Robidoux, Director of Volunteer Support Services, Mass Commission for the Blind – 617 926 4312

BROOKLINE’S EMERGENCY FOOD BANK: The Brookline Emergency Food Bank needs donations of instant coffee and tea, sugar, oil, flour, spices, pasta, canned tomatoes and sauce, canned soup, beans, vegetables, fruit (low salt and low sugar) dry beans, healthy snacks for kids, granola bars, and fruit cups. They also need toiletries such as: shampoo, conditioner, moisturizer and sunscreen (not covered by SNAP). Donations may be left in thebin under the table in the reception area at the BSC.

REAP

Retirement Engagement Alternatives Program

The REAP program for Brookline senior residents 55 or 60 and above (depending on the program) is designed for people who wish to remain engaged and active in the community while in retirement or partial retirement. The goal of this program is to enhance the retirement experience by linking participants with either part-time paid or volunteer work in the community or at the (BSC) itself.

The BSC partners with several other local organizations to offer fulfilling and interesting opportunities. These include, but are not limited to: BrooklineCAN (BCAN), Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP), Brookline Adult and Community Education, Executive Office of Elder Affairs and Various Brookline Town departments. In addition, opportunities exist for Tax Work-Off, and limited grant funded employment at the BSC for income qualified Brookline residents.

The REAP program provides the following free services: individual, confidential and free consultation around skills and interests, on-going skills based workshops and training for employment seekers, employer-employee matching service, consultation and matching for participants seeking meaningful volunteer opportunities and on-going opportunities to network and explore avenues and options for self-fulfillment in the retirement years.

To enroll or for more information, call 617 730 2767 or email Deidre at dwaxman@brooklinema.gov

Brookline seniors – Boomers & Beyond – are eligible to receive free individual help with resumes, cover letters and LinkedIn profiles as well as tips on phone, skype, in-person and mock interviews. To schedule an appointment, call Patricia at 617 730 2743 or email her at pburns@brooklinema.gov