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

News and Events

2018 Volunteer of the Year: Eleanor Small

Eleanor Ruthann

– – Eleanor Small, left

Our John and Molly Dolan volunteer of the year is Eleanor Small who’s been with us for 12 years.  She works the gift cart, food pantry and the craft fair.  Eleanor is also the co-leader of the out to lunch bunch and an avid bridge player.  Ruthann Dobek describes Eleanor as warm and welcoming.  “She never waits to be asked to help.  Eleanor is a true ambassador of the Center and exemplified the sharing, giving and paying it forward of John and Molly Dolan for whom the award is named.”


2017 Volunteer of the Year: Barbara Kean

barbara Volunteer of the Year is Barbara Kean.  The award was presented at the volunteer lunch.  Barbara is an ambassador for us who exemplifies kindness and concern.

“When the law firm she worked for closed, she was devastated. After six months, she decided to come to the BSC. She remembers opening the front door and feeling, “When one door closes, another door opens”. When asked what she likes best, Barbara said the kind people. She said that it is a place that makes her happy, that she loves the classes and the good feeling she gets when she’s here.”

Commendations also went to Corey Cohen, Frank d’Entremont, Rita d’Entremont, Regina Frawley, Carol Fullerton, Phil Fullerton, Rhona Hirschowitz, Charlotte Millman, Michelle Moshin, Fran Pechenick, Vera Sharma, Eleanor Small, Muriel Stark, David Weinberg, Louise Weinberg, Ada White and Roberta Winitzer.

Community Partner 2018


– – left to right: Patricia Burns, volunteer coordinator; director Ruthann Dobek and SHOP advisor Lisa Gaffey

Our community partner of the year is the Brookline High School SHOP program.  SHOP is a collaboration between us and the community service group at the school:  students helping seniors with shopping along with developing new friendships.  Student coordinators are  Nick Brown, Shahar Hartman and Roy Golan along with faculty advisor Lisa Gaffey.  In March, the SHOP program was featured on Boston 25 NEWS (link to the right). The luncheon was dedicated to the memory of Vivian H. Freeman, a volunteer coordinator for 18 years.  Vivian was a Wellesley College graduate with a master’s in education.

Celebrating his one-year anniversary as a volunteer: Daniel Price:    Thank you speech     (click to listen)    We feel he has enriched our lives as much as we have enriched his.

Tax Scams

Tax identity theft occurs when someone steals your Social Security number to file a fraudulent tax return or to get a job. The computer virus “emotet” sends emails supposedly from the IRS with a fake copy of your return. Once you click, you become vulnerable to hackers. IRS scam calls are more common in season.

If the IRS gets a duplicate tax return with your SSN, you get a written notice. The IRS also sends mail if you have unreported income or that you and someone else are claiming the same dependents. The IRS does not initiate contact by email, text or social media. The IRS will not call you unless you first heard from them by mail. The IRS never insists on wired payments, cash or gift cards or prepaid money cards.

– – Submit returns early in the tax season

– – Don’t give our personal information unless you know who is asking.  Don’t be shy about refusing.

– – Don’t open email attachments that are not from a verified sender.

– – Shred sensitive information with a micro cut shredder

– – Know your tax preparer

You can check the status of a refund at www.irs.gov/refunds  If you get a notice from the IRS that someone has stolen your identity, call the number on the notice or 800. 908. 4490. Learn more at www.identitytheft.gov  – – Gayle M. Bellotti, coordinator, senior programs Norfolk County District Attorney’s Office

Phone Scams

Scammers look for someone to answer the phone so they can scam them out of money or identity.  If a call looks like it’s from a neighbor, without showing a name, don’t answer.  Hang up, don’t answer personal questions like account numbers, social security or maiden names.  Register with the Do Not Call: www.donotcall.gov. You will still get political, charitable, debt collection and survey calls.  Mass: www.mass.gov/how-to/register-your-number-on-ma-do-not-call-list                                           

And http://nomorobo.com/                       

– – Courtesy of Gayle M. Belloti, coordinator, senior programs, Norfolk County District Attorney’s Office

Center Connections: Adding Life to the Years

Social isolation and loneliness are public health issues. We are so fortunate to live in a community that cares so much about its residents and offers opportunities for people to be involved and connect.  Research shows that helping others is one of the best ways to overcome loneliness and isolation.  The Senior Center welcomes everyone. – – Ruthann Dobek, director

The United Kingdom now has a Minister of Loneliness. Why? Because loneliness and social isolation can contribute to premature death.  Social isolation is a challenge for all generations.  In the U.S., Dr. Vivek Murthy, former surgeon general, says: “Loneliness places the body in a chronic stress state and increases inflammation, our risk of cardiovascular disease, and other chronic illnesses. The mortality effect associated with loneliness is even similar to the life-shortening we see with smoking 15 cigarettes a day.

What the Brookline Senior Center is doing and how you can help:  We have a long history and commitment to helping you become more engaged with peers and the community. We encourage people to attend activities here.  If you’re at home, we offer Library Connections (the library comes to you); friendly visiting; SHOP (groceries to you) and the MY Buddy Program.

Want to make a difference?  Volunteer.  We always need more.  Share a skill, share an interest. It’s a great way to meet new people and give back.  Get in touch with Patricia Burns:  pburns@brooklinema.gov     617. 730. 2743




https://www.aarp.org/aarp-foundation/find-help/         AARP resources

www.brooklinema.gov/DocumentCenter/View/282      Elder Resource Guide

Brookline Senior Center Social Work referrals (confidential):  617. 730. 2777

www.fw4elders.org     or call Friendship Works:  617. 482. 1510

Springwell Protective Services (local agency)  617. 926. 4100

Brookline Police: 617. 730. 2222


www.theagingamericaproject.com       The Aging Project

www.theagingamericaproject.com/the-big-idea.html    The Big Idea in Four Minutes


District Attorney Alerts

Is Public Wi-Fi Safe? – Free public Wi-Fi in places like airports or coffee shops is convenient but it can be risky.  Scammers monitor network names and set up their own “evil twin” access points hoping your computer or device will connect to it without your consent.  Or they launch “man in the middle” attacks, hacking between you and your Wi-Fi- connection.  Their goal is grabbing your personal information, email, credit card numbers and passwords.

Any data you send over free public Wi-Fi is vulnerable.  Even if it seems obvious, ask an employee the name of the network.  At the airport don’t assume “free airport Wi-Fi” is a legitimate wireless network. We also recommend not doing online banking, making credit card buys, or posting on social media.  Check device setting to be sure it doesn’t auto connect to any free public Wi-Fi.  – – Gayle M. Bellotti, coordinator, senior programs, Norfolk County District Attorney’s Office

Credit Freeze – restrict access to your credit report

Phone Scams – This year 30% of calls to cell phones are fraud.  Landline fraud is declining (but not in my house).  Watch area codes.  Caller ID shows a local number.  Answer if a person you know name shows.  On Smartphones, you can block phone numbers call by call.  T-Mobile shows likely spam calls (they really do).

Identity Theft and Fraud – Don’t carry Social Security card or number.  Don’t print it on checks. Use a paper shredder. Carry one or two credit cards (Review statements. If mysterious charges show up, call!) Don’t carry passwords, don’t conduct business on shared public computers or hotspots, use anti virus software, use secure websites with “HTTPS” not http. Never give any information to telemarketers. Get your free credit report once a year: 877. 322.8228.  Don’t order from TV ads

Read the entire article in the November newsletter: https://www.brooklinema.gov/Archive.aspx?AMID=37

Federal Trade Commission Scams

The FTC is getting reports that people are pretending to be from Social Security who are trying to get your social security number and your money.  They may say your number is linked to a crime in Texas involving drugs or sending money out of the country illegally.  They’ll tell you your number is blocked and you need to pay to reactivate it or get a new one. He will ask you to confirm your old number.

Other variations: they tell you someone used your number to apply for a credit card and you may lose your benefits.  Or your bank account is going to be seized, you need to withdraw the money and they’ll keep it safe.

SOCIAL SECURITY WILL NEVER CALL to ask for your number or ask you to pay anything. It won’t threaten your benefits.

Your caller ID may show their real number: 800. 772. 1213. Computers make it easy to show any number on called ID.  Never give your number to anyone who contacts you like this. Do not give a bank account or credit card number – EVER – to anyone calling you.

Remember that anyone who tell you to wire money, pay with a gift card or send cash is always a scammer no matter who they tell you they are. If you’re worried, hang up


Gift cards – are a popular item that are rife with opportunities for fraud.  When buying, make sure the PIN is not showing.  Also, “anyone who demands payment by gift card is always,always a scammer,” says Jennifer Leach, assistant director of the FTC’s division of consumer and business education.

Fake retail websites – “Any malicious link can be made to look like Amazon.com,” says Experian. Addresses look similar (amazon-shop.com) and are visually identical. If you try to buy, you’re just giving scammers your credit card number.

Donations – These scams rely on phony sites that look like the real thing. “You have to pay close attention that you’re not going to the wrong site and not clicking bad links,” says Experian.  Not all scams are digital. Unsolicited phone calls can be checked on AARP’s Fraud Watch Network and charities can be checked on Charity Navigator or Give.org

Travel – If a travel offer looks too good to be true, it probably is, says Experian. Fake travel sites are common also.

Data theft – Experian’s recent holiday survey shows 42% of people they surveyed don’t use a personal, protected internet connection.  They use public Wi-Fi or connections without spam and malware protection.  Shoppers should always look for sites that use “https://” which means the site is using a secure, encrypted connection to your computer. – – from Gayle M. Bellotti, coordinator, senior programs Norfolk County DA’s Office


Donate via Paypal


  • News

  • – – – – – – – – – –

    Gallery 93  through April 30

    Oh, The Places I’ve Been, photography by Patricia J. Burns

    elephant bath

    – – – – – – – – – –


    Be one:  http://www.brooklinecan.org/age_friendly_business.html

    – – – – – – – – – –


    The Library Connection delivers library material to home bound Brookline residents. Volunteers will deliver. If you want to be a volunteer or receive the service, contact volunteer coordinator Patricia Burns: 617. 730. 2743

    – – – – – – – – – –



    – – – – – – – – – –



    – – – – – – – – – –


    – – Find the newsletter here, at the library, Town Hall, banks, Stop & Shop on Harvard, Star Market on Beacon and Brookline Booksmith.  The best way to get one is subscribe: for $10 we’ll mail it to you for a year.  If you’re a retailer with space for newsletters, call us.  We deliver.  Advertise with us:  Click for ad specs

    – – – – – – – – – –



    – – Consider leaving a legacy to the Senior Center.  Your bequest is a gift of hope.  Please call Ruthann Dobek, director:  617. 730. 2756 and help us secure a bright future. Brookline Multi-Service Senior Center Corp  (EIN 04-2719972), a Massachusetts non-profit corporation.