May Newsletter

Spotlight

Dear COA Members,

I saw some flowers pushing up through the leaves this morning and it brought a smile to my face remembering the many seasons that have passed when I’m happy to see signs of spring.

On May 31, we celebrate a different day of remembering as Memorial Day comes again. Traditionally Memorial Day is viewed as a time of honor and remembrance of those who gave their lives in service to our country. Throughout the United States, it is common to visit cemeteries, particularly military ones, and decorate graves of the deceased with flowers, small flags, and wreathes. Other common traditions of Memorial Day 2021 that are still practiced today include raising the U.S. flag quickly to the tops of flagpoles, slowly lowered to half-mast, and then it is raised again to full height at noon. The lowering of the flag at half-mast is meant to honor the fallen soldiers who have died for their country over the years. While reraising the flag is meant to symbolize the resolve of the living to carry on the fight for freedom so that the nation’s heroes will not have died in vain. We are grateful to them, and we are grateful for you, our community members, who keep these traditions alive, giving us a common thread to knit us together.

Please call to let us know how we can be of assistance to you, or just call to check in at 781-438-1157 or 781-850-0619

Maureen and staff,
Maureen Canova, Director
Stoneham Council on Aging and Stoneham Senior Center

Scam Awareness

The Senior Center has offered many programs on scams but with new ones coming out, we wanted you to be aware! Trust your instinct and don’t take the bait;

NEVER LET ANYONE ONTO YOUR DEVICE!
NEVER WIRE MONEY TO A STRANGER!
KEEP THE POLICE PHONE NUMBER HANDY TO CHECK UP ON A CALL!

COVID-19 and Vaccine Scams
The good news is that effective COVID-19 vaccines are now available. The bad news is that scammers are trying to take advantage of this promising development. Since the vaccine will be free for all Americans, if you’re being asked for money for a vaccine, you can be sure someone is trying to cheat you. Other scams to avoid are paying to be added to the waiting list and offers to undergo additional testing or procedures when obtaining the
vaccine. Call 211 for Governor Baker’s Covid scheduling line.

The Fake Accident Scenario
Scammers will call saying that someone related to or known by the victim has been injured and is currently in the hospital requiring money to be sent immediately. The scammer often pressures the victim to send the money before verifying the validity of the injury and relation to the person who is injured. Another con artist is often involved to act as the police officer, doctor, or lawyer at the scene of the “accident.”.
IMMEDIATE RESPONSE REQUESTED!
CALL RIGHT NOW TO AVOID LOSS OF SERVICE!

Telemarketing Swindles
Telemarketing scams are one of the most common scams to happen to the elderly, due to no face-to-face Interaction and convincing charades of being an authority figure. Scammers can hook seniors by pretending to offer:
• Free trials!
• Extended warranties!
• Can’t-miss investment opportunities!
• The chance to travel for cheap or free!
• Incredible prizes!
• Advance loans!
Scammers may also get seniors’ money by representing themselves as:
-IRS agents
-Investors
-Bank officials
-Family members

One of the worst parts of a telemarketing scam is that if it is successful on someone, the victim’s name will be likely passed on to other con artists as an easy target to prey on. The best way to prevent falling victim to any telemarketing scheme is to know that any legitimate financial institution or large corporation along with agencies, such as the IRS, will not call and ask for personal information over the phone.

Should you receive such calls, it’s best to hang up immediately and find the direct number to the company claiming to require your information. Then, call to see if it is actually trying to reach you. Below are a few of the most common scams over the phone.

The “Grandparent Scam”
This scam usually entails a perpetrator calling or emailing seniors pretending to be a family member in trouble or an authoritative person representing the relative (a lawyer, for example). The “relative” then asks for money to be wired to him or her to pay rent, lawyer fees, medical bills, or some other fake expense. The victim is often asked to not tell anyone, such as other family members because the caller wants to keep the problem on the down-low. The older adult never hears from this “relative” again and is out of hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars.

Variations on this scheme have scammers contacting seniors through online dating sites or social media platforms such as Facebook. A senior has a legitimate profile or account and engages in correspondence with a scammer who builds trust and perhaps romantic interest. When the request for money comes after an “emergency,” the senior is all too happy to indulge. Sometimes, scammers may even pretend to be lonely U.S. soldiers serving overseas.

Community Bulletin

Stoneham TV on DemandStoneham High School Project Update

PROPOSED SHS PROJECT BEGINS TO TAKE SHAPE: In this newsletter on page 5, you’ll find a graphic of the proposed Stoneham High School project, which continues to be refined and ultimately be submitted to the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) this coming July for its approval. In October, Town Meeting members will be asked to approve the funding for the project; and, if approved, a proposition 2 1⁄2 debt exclusion ballot vote will be conducted in November.

We will be providing short videos on Stoneham TV in the coming months to share more details about the project. The next Community Forum will be held on May 26, 2021, at 6:30 p.m. virtually. More information about the project and future
meetings can be found at http://www.stoneham-ma.gov/hsbc.

Mystic Valley Elder Services

Diabetes. Healthy eating. Stress reduction. Fall prevention. These issues all affect older adults yet many do not know where to turn for resources to help them address these challenges effectively. Enter the Healthy Aging Program at Mystic Valley Elder Services (MVES), a comprehensive program of classes designed specifically for seniors wanting to remain healthy and independent in their own homes.

“Open to any older adult from the 11 communities served by MVES, our classes provide the perfect platform for learning and sharing,” says Donna Covelle, Healthy Aging Program coordinator for MVES. “In addition, our classes are made available at no cost, making them accessible to any older adult wanting to participate.

”MVES Healthy Aging Program offerings include a chronic disease self-management class, diabetes self-management class, healthy eating for successful living class, fall prevention class, and tai chi classes. Classes are held in series ranging from 6-8 weeks. Each class typically has between eight and 12 participants

To learn more about the MVES Healthy Aging Program, please contact Donna Covelle at dcovelle@mves.org 781-388-4867.

Thank You

As the days ahead are beginning to look brighter, we want to express our gratitude to so many in our community who have supported the Council on Aging/Senior Center and the residents we serve during this challenging year.

On behalf of the staff and Board of Directors, we are so thankful to the Friends of the Stoneham Senior Center for supporting new outreach programs that have been developed over the past months. The Friends Group has been instrumental in allowing us to continue on our mission of supporting older adults and their families. Programs included the distribution of greeting cards sent to over 2,000 residents simply to say hello and remind them that although we are not open to the public, the staff is available to assist in any way we can. Whether it was buying masks for distribution or goodies for our Grab & Go events throughout the year, this group has been there for us.

We also want to thank Representative Michael Day and his team for supporting our St. Patrick’s Day event with a delicious traditional Irish luncheon catered by Nobility Hill of Stoneham and more importantly, taking the time to be at the event to greet residents and converse (at a safe distance) and listen to some great Irish music.

We are grateful for the generosity of Wegman’s of Burlington, Market Basket of Reading, Accardi Foods of Medford, Lowe’s of Woburn, Harrow’s of Reading, Evergreen Florist of Stoneham, and StonehamBank for making the many Grab & Go events fun and full of surprises for all those who attended. StonehamBank’s staff has also volunteered their time to be at these events and assist in other outreach efforts. Stop & Shop of Stoneham has also been a wonderful partner during this past year, providing “essential bags” to residents, collaborating with town officials and employees to coordinate and deliver much-needed groceries to residents during the first 6 months of the pandemic, and for the ongoing support of our monthly events.

A big thank you as well to Melrose-Wakefield Healthcare for their continuous delivery of “essential bags” of items that have been distributed to those who could use a little extra support at this time. We are also thankful to members of the Stoneham Coalition for a Safe and Healthy Community who so graciously assisted in delivering tea time bags to residents and made numerous care calls to residents to check-in.

We are so very fortunate to have such a caring community that has stepped up with open arms to support older adults when support was needed the most!

Virtual Learning

Welcome to Art Classes with Susan McFarlane 1–2 pm on Tuesdays, via Zoom!

Drawing 

In a positive atmosphere, discover ways to improve or begin, drawing the world around you. Work with materials readily available at home. This class will cover foundational drawing skills-proportion, perspective, and value to help you draw a 3D world.

Zentangle 

Take a break with a relaxing, meditative, easy-to-learn drawing practice. No prior art experience is required. You will need paper, a pencil, and a pen (felt tip, Micron, or something that writes nicely). A blender/ tortillon or rolled paper is helpful for shading.

Zentangle two parts May 4 & 25, and one drawing class May 11 (no class on May 18) After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meetings. Register once and attend any of the sessions. If you’ve registered for a previous session, you are still registered.
Class opted for ZEN GEMS, TWO PART SERIES in May: Materials needed:
 smooth paper with a bit of tooth (examples: Zentangle tile, Artist tile, hot press watercolor paper, BFK printmaking
paper, heavy drawing paper)
 Prismacolor brand colored pencils (must have a bit of wax in the pencil for the technique to work). Choose ONE
color scheme and get dark, medium, light, plus a light contrasting color. WHITE is needed for layering and
blending. Here are some suggested color combinations:
 Black Grape 996, Tuscan Red 937, Carmine Red 926, Spanish Orange 1003, WHITE
 Violet Blue 933, Peacock Blue 1027, Cerulean Blue 904, Violet Parma 1008, WHITE
 Indigo Blue 901, Dark Green 908, Apple Green 912, Deco Yellow 1011, WHITE
 MUST HAVE ONE SET, a total of 5 pencils. Every single gem uses 5 colors. If you want more than one gem you
may use more than one set to get different color gems. Michaels sells these pencils singly and in sets. The
pencils cost about $2-3 per pencil.
 pencil
 micron
 tortillion/blending stump

Jackie Sorenson Aerobics Classes Hosted by Rosemary Graham 

The Senior Center is working with Jacki Sorensen Instructor Rosemary Graham to offer Fitness Classes on Zoom Monday through Saturday at 9:00 am. If you would like to join, please email Rosemary Graham at rosemarygraham700@yahoo.com.

Relaxation Circle with Angela Shea

Join us as we focus and practice various simple techniques that can be used daily to aid in relaxing and help begin the ‘Mind-Body-Spirit’ connection. Please contact Angela at angelite9@gmail.com to get the Zoom link.

Fitness Classes with Aimee Borda

Zumba® Fitness Monday 11:15 am and Friday noon Fee $3 

We take the “work” out of workout by mixing low-intensity and high-intensity moves for an interval-style, calorie-burning dance fitness party. Once the Latin and World rhythms take over, you’ll see why Zumba classes are often called exercise in disguise. Equipment: towel, water, lots of energy

Dance & Tone Wednesday 11:15 pm Fee $3 

We start with some simple but fun dance choreographies, followed by some toning exercises combined with dance moves (interval training style). We will use all our muscle groups, using light dumbbells and body weight. Some stretches to improve our flexibility will be included at the end of the class. Exercises can be performed standing or seated. Modifications will be taught if needed, so all are welcome! Equipment: light dumbbells or bottles of water, mat, if going on the floor, towel 

Fitness plus Total Body Conditioning Saturday 12–1 pm Fee $5 

This 60 min class consists of 30 minutes of Zumba® Fitness and 30 minutes of Total Body Conditioning. We will be working on all our muscle groups, using whatever pieces of fitness equipment you have (resistance bands, Pilates rings, dumbbells, bars, and body weight). If no equipment available, I’ll provide options of improvised equipment). Some flexibility exercises will be included at the end of the class. Modifications will be taught if needed, so all fitness levels are welcome!

For more information or to register for a class, please contact Aimee at aimee@nushapept.com or 617-304-3903.

Enrichment and Resources

Art Matters: May

Primary Video – 

Primary Video – Mother and child
The bond between parents and their children is very special, very personal, and yet universal. This relationship transcends language, different cultures, great distances, and time itself. Art speaks to this bond, so we can understand and share the connections and experiences made between mothers & their children throughout our human history. Fathers welcome! Join us for a special sharing and invite your children.

Bonus Video – 

Bonus Video – Animals in Art, Our Pets
Although we use art to communicate with one another as Human Beings, it is with other animals we are sometimes more connected to. We have a special relationship with our most intimate friends, the ones with which we share our daily lives. We are very emotionally connected to our pets. Join us for a journey around the world and throughout history, with art, to see and appreciate how connected we are, and how well we understand our relationships with our many pets.

This wonderful program is available to COA members. To view either the primary video or bonus video (both are available for the month and will change monthly), please call the Senior Center at 781-438-1157 for log-in information. If you have trouble logging in, please reach out to us for assistance.

Health Insurance Counseling (SHINE)

The SHINE Program provides free health insurance information and counseling to all Mass residents (and their caregivers) on Medicare. If you currently have Medicare or are about to become Medicare eligible, you may speak with an impartial certified counselor to learn about benefits and options. Call (781) 438-1157 to schedule a conference call (Wednesdays only).

Attorney Kimberly Kelly Presents- Know what you need!

Elder law education program
Topic: VITAL PAPERWORK
May 18 at 2:30 pm
Please call the center to sign up and receive log-in information

Melrose-Wakefield Healthcare’s Aging in Balance May 2021

Slips…Trips…Falls What can you do to prevent falls?
Falls are not a “normal” part of aging. There are steps you can take to reduce your risk for falls. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention “Each year in the US, nearly one-third of older adults experience a fall”. Falls can be devastating, costly, and most importantly falls are largely PREVENTABLE. Join Stephanie Chissler, Occupational Therapist, for an interactive and informative online workshop that will highlight ways you can prevent falls at home and in the community.

Sleepless in New England Wednesday, May 19, 7 p.m.
We have all suffered from the occasional sleepless night but what happens when that one night turns into many sleepless nights. Not getting enough sleep causes an increased risk for chronic conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, obesity and depression. According to the Center for Disease Control “Sufficient sleep is increasingly being recognized as an essential aspect of chronic disease prevention and health promotion”. Joya Pezzuto, RN will facilitate this 1.5-hour program providing participants with tips for good sleep hygiene.

Let’s Zoom! Tuesday appointments available 1 or 2 pm
Feeling isolated from friends and family? Maybe you’ve seen fun and informative classes being offered on Zoom but you don’t know how to set it up or use it. If you have a computer and an email address you are in luck! Stephanie Chissler of Aging in Balance at Melrose Wakefield Healthcare can help you. She offers remote appointments every Tuesday afternoon to help you get set up. Email or call her to schedule your appointment so you can start Zooming!

Coffee & Conversation
Ongoing weekly teleconference every Thursday afternoon 1-2 pm Join in these weekly calls. Call in once or call in every week for conversation, support, resource sharing and tips to reduce stress and anxiety. No need to register just call in! Phone 1-646-558-8656 and when asked, enter meeting ID 131-672-167##
To register for Aging in Balance Programs contact Stephanie Chissler at 781-338-7559 or email schissler@melrosewakefield.org

Stoneham Public Library Program

Mystery Book Group Zoom Meeting – Thursday May 13 at 7 PM

ELUSIVE Part 1 of the On the Run series – Zoe Hunter loves living on the edge. Free-spirited and spontaneous, she’s built a life stringing together various freelance gigs that keep her bank account barely in the black. But when her ex, Jack, goes missing along with several million dollars from his business and the FBI zeros in on her as a person of interest, Zoe’s life goes from delightfully unpredictable to downright frightening. Plunged into a world of fake identities, deception, and murder, she’s afraid to trust anyone. Zoe impulsively skips town in a search for answers that take her from Las Vegas to Italy, but instead of tracking down answers, she only uncovers more questions. If you like globetrotting adventure, European destinations, and a dash of romance, you’ll enjoy Elusive, the first book in the On the Run International Mysteries, from USA Today and Audible bestselling author Sara Rosett.

Please check stonehamlibrary.org for the virtual link. If you have any questions about library book groups please call 781- 438-1324 or email saltzman@noblenet.org. We are here to help you. This book group meets on Zoom on the first Thursday of every month at 7 pm. The next month’s title is chosen at the end of the meeting. Check the website for the meeting link @stonehamlibrary.org! For information on Adult Book Groups, please contact Maureen Saltzman at 781-507-2483!

Health

Caregiver’s Corner

Are you looking for fun things to do with your loved one? Watching tv, or a movie, can be fun but maybe it’s time to shake up the routine – just a little.

Being present with your loved one in what you’re doing together at that time not only brings happiness and peace during that specific time, the benefits of it can extend well after that. It’s not about perfection in what you’re doing, it’s about connecting with each other. Try to stay in the moment, don’t be worrying or thinking about what needs to be done later on. Be aware of the person’s physical and cognitive ability. If you notice signs of frustration or agitation, switch to something else, or take a break, maybe something more calming is needed now. You can break the activity up into shorter time periods through the day or the week, don’t make it a chore for either one of you.

With the warmer weather on its way, outdoor activities can be enjoyed. Watching and listening to the birds, working in the garden, or planting a few small pots of flowers or plants. Painting or drawing can be loads of fun. You don’t have to be an artist! There are books that you can paint, draw in, or just get some plain paper. You don’t need expensive materials. Read aloud, sing to some old-time favorite songs, look at photos, old and more recent ones, and maybe putting them into albums is a good project to do together. The list can go on and on. Have fun, laugh, reminisce, and enjoy your time together. Life is made up of small moments. If you’re looking for more ideas you can email or call me or you can share your ideas as well!

Anne Lawrence, LICSW
781-850-0619

Have specific questions? You can reach me at: Anne Lawrence, LICSW 781-850-0619 alawrence@stoneham-ma.org

Ask the Nurse

I noticed an insect bite that has been there for a while. There’s no rash, but is it possible I could have acquired lyme disease? With the arrival of spring and Lyme disease waiting to pounce, here are a few things to remember:

  1. If you’ve been bitten and the round rash is larger than a LIME consider LYME disease and call your physician.
  2. Most ticks that attach to humans are not the deer tick but are the wood or dog tick, which does not carry the bacterial organism
  3. The deer tick has an orange-colored cello-like figure on its body distinguishing it from the white necklace of the black dog tick
  4. The deer tick must stay attached 24-48 hrs to cause Lyme disease.
  5. Avoid tall grass from spring to fall and wear a repellent whenever possible.
  6. Do not attempt to obtain the Lyme test too early, before antibodies have become elevated, since the test may be FALSELY negative. (There is no benefit of blood testing for Lyme disease at the time of the tick bite; even people who become infected will not have a positive blood test until approximately two to six weeks after the infection develops (post-tick bite).
  7. If Lyme is suspected, but no symptoms are present, it is best to see your physician to start a prescription immediately with a low dose, short course antibiotic.

The above remedies are readily available over the counter and have worked very well in my practice. If no improvement with the above, of course, see your dermatologist, as you may need a prescription.

The Senior Center wishes to thank Dr. Philip Ellerin, retired dermatologist, for the above information. Treatments are suggestions based on his experience and are not meant to replace a visit with your physician.

Transportation

Grocery Shopping

Transportation for shopping is available to Market Basket and Stop & Shop using the senior center van. Safety measures and very specific protocol, including limited capacity, will be taken to ensure everyone’s wellbeing utilizing the van. Please call the center at 781-438-1157 for more details on the transportation services.

Medical Rides

If you need a ride to a medical appointment, please call the Senior Center for further details at 781-438-1157.

Quick Stops for You

Thursdays at 9:00 am stopping at convenient locations on Main St.

May Newsletter