Council on Aging

Medicare — Open Enrollment
REMINDER: Medicare Open Enrollment ends on December 7. If you want to sign up for Medicare or make changes in your plan, you must do it during this date.

Help Needed — Volunteer Tax Preparers
Would you like to join the JENKS/AARP Tax-Aide Team? We prepare federal and state income tax returns for low- and middle-income taxpayers with special attention to those aged 60 and older. Tax returns are prepared and e-filed by computer, free of charge.

Any person with several years of experience preparing their personal returns by computer would be a viable candidate.

For more information, leave your name and telephone number at the front desk.

Festival of Life

Tuesday, December 2, noon - 2:00 p.m., in the Pond Room

The Winchester Cooperative Bank and the Council on Aging are once again sponsoring, an intergenerational party. The Festival will be shared with seniors and McCall School students.

This event, which is meant to celebrate the gift of life, will include lunch provided by the Bank with entertainment provided by the McCall School students. There is no cost. As much as we would like every senior to attend, we only have 100 seats available in the Pond Room with the rest going to the students. If you would like to come, call the Center beginning Monday, November 3 to make a reservation. Reservations will not be accepted until then. After that, places will be reserved on a first-come, first-served basis.

Social Security Update

Friday, December 5, 10:00 a.m.

Francine Kollias, our Social Security representative, will update us on the latest changes in Social Security and will answer any questions you may have about your benefits. Whatever your questions, Francine has the answers. Her presentations are not only informative but also very humorous. You do not want to miss this. Note it on your calendar.

Getting Adequate Income in a Low-Yield Environment

Friday, December 12, 10:00 a.m.

The best way to get the cash flow you need might not be from fixed-income securities. Our speaker, Thurman Smith will describe very low-risk buy-and-hold, no-load equity funds which can be the source of systematic withdrawals to get the cash flow you need. He calls it “eating your cake and growing it too.” Mr. Thurman is principal of Equity Fund Research, a Winchester based fee-only investment management firm. He edited and published the highly rated (by Hulbert Financial Digest) Equity Fund Outlook newsletter from 1987 to 2008.

Nutritional Consultant

Wednesday, December 17, 2:00 p.m.

Jesse McNeil is with us again to discuss interesting news about nutrition. Jesse provides a one-hour lecture followed by a questions and answers period to discuss any nutritional subject you choose. If you would like an individual consultation with her, call the Jenks Center in advance or ask to see her after the lecture.

The topic for this month is “Holiday Tips: Grains, Whole or Wheat. What’s the Difference?

Food Management - Get Your Money’s Worth

Friday, January 9, 10:00 a.m., in the Jenks Room

Our nutritionist, Jessy McNeil, will not be with us in December.

Jessy McNeil is running a program this year that tells you how to eat well and economically. She will be speaking on the second Friday of every month in the Jenks Room. In this program, her topic is “How To Keep Your Food Safe From Bugs.”

We thank the Cummings Foundation for their support of this Program.

Green Energy Grant for Seniors

Money is still available from the Winchester Green Energy Grant for Seniors to help seniors lower their energy bills and make it easier for seniors to continue to live in Winchester. If you are interested in having an energy audit or to learn about energy improvements you could make to your home, call 781-721- 4759.

Food Donations Needed

Donations of non-perishable food items are requested for the Woburn Council of Social Concern Food Pantry. The Council serves Winchester as well as Woburn. Packaged foods, canned goods, juice etc may be brought to the Jenks Center.

Transportation for Seniors Using Volunteer Drivers

Our seniors have been experiencing difficulty obtaining a volunteer driver these past two months. Our population of riders has doubled. Our drivers can only handle four rides on each shift. Thus we have had to refuse rides when our bookings were full. This has been frustrating to those who need rides and canno get them. It has also been very frustrating to us.

We are trying to get more drivers so we can put three drivers on a day instead of two. We also find that one driver cannot handle as many riders if more than two of them are going in opposite directions at the same time. For instance one person wants to go to the western side of Lexington at the same time as another one wants to go to the eastern corner of Medford. This often happens with medical appointments.

Beginning December 15, we are going to try an experiment:

  • For anyone needing a medical ride, please call between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. two days before the appointment.

  • For anyone going shopping or to places around Winchester, pleasae call for rides between 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.
This will give us time to get extra drivers if the ride requests are impossible for one driver to handle. We hope this will ease the problem. Bear with us if you find problems. This is a trial and we need to know if the system is better or more difficult.

Thank you for your help.

Senior Rides Needs Drivers

The Council on Aging Senior Transportation System has been operating for over 30 years. It is an invaluable service as it keeps so many people from being isolated. Volunteers drive seniors, who are no longer able to drive, to appointments or shopping in Winchester or to medical appointments in towns contiguous to Winchester. This program is entirely dependent on volunteers. Seniors who need rides call two working days in advance of their need and make an appointment for either a morning appointment or an afternoon appointment. The driver assigned to the ride contacts the senior to confirm the ride. There is no cost for this program.

The demand for this service increases every year. We always need more drivers to fulfill our requests. Each driver takes a 3 1/2 hour shift every two weeks. One may drive from 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. or from 12:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. There is reimbursement for the mileage. If interested, please call 721-7136 and ask for Ruth Young.

Non-seniors are always welcome to volunteer for this wonderful program. Our drivers find this to be a most fulfilling and pleasurable experience.

Rides! Rides! Rides!

The COA is fortunate to be able to use the Mount Vernon Bus to transport our seniors to special events. Following is a list of events we are doing in December. We hope you will sign up for rides. We want the Mount Vernon House to know we appreciate this gift and intend to use it.

Scheduled Time
Sign-up Deadline
Market Basket, Woburn Tuesday, December 2
9:00 a.m. - noon
November 26
Liberty Tree Mall, Danvers Thursday, December 4
9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
December 2
Market Basket, Woburn Tuesday, December 9
9:00 a.m. - noon
December 4
Kohl's Shopping Center, Woburn Thursday, December 11
9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
December 9
Market Basket, Woburn Tuesday, December 16
9:00 a.m. - noon
December 11
Market Basket, Woburn Tuesday, December 23
9:00 a.m. - noon
December 18
Market Basket, Woburn Tuesday, December 30
9:00 a.m. - noon
December 26
Market Basket, Woburn Tuesday, January 6
9:00 a.m. - noon
January 1

NOTE: Please call (781) 369-9105 to make a reservation. This number belongs to our transportation coordinator.


Share-A-Meal is a program in which families prepare and deliver holiday meals to share with Winchester residents. Sharon Johnson is the chairperson for Share-A-Meal. If you or someone you know would like a visit and a meal to brighten Christmas, please call Diane Saparoff at the Jenks Center at 781-721-7136 by December 19 to reserve a meal.

Eating Together

December is the month we visit with Winchester’s younger children. On Wednesday, December 17, the Winchester Cooperative Nursery School will be here to sing to us from 11:15 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. On Monday, December 22, the Ambrose School Kindergarten will sing from 11:15 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. These are always precious events. Maybe your grandchild will be here.

Remember to join the Eating Together Group on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Sign up by the Friday of the week before the meals are to be served. We have space for 30, so call early at 781-721-7136. Donation for the meal is $3.00. Please remember to cancel your lunch 24 hours ahead of time if you are unable to attend. We hope to see you!

It is imperative that you sign up in advance for Eating Together and that you cancel your reservation if you are unable to come.

The menu for this month is:

Monday, December 1
Caesar Salad
Wednesday, December 3
BBQ Chicken
Roasted Potatoes
Mixed Vegetables
Friday, December 5
Macaroni and Cheese
Green Salad
Monday, December 8
Roast Turkey w/Low Sodium
Mashed Potatoes
Green Beans
Whoopie Pie
Wednesday, December 10
Chicken Parmesan /
  Tomato Sauce
Rotini Pasta
Green Beans
Friday, December 12
Beef Stew w/carrots
   and potatoes
Green Peas
Dinner Roll
Mandarin Oranges
Monday, December 15
Stuffed Shells w/Tomato Sauce
Caesar Salad
Italian Bread
Mixed Fruit
Wednesday, December 17
Baked Fish w/Lemon Sauce
Rice Pilaf
Cake Cup
Friday, December 19
Cold Sliced Meats and
   Cheese (Turkey/Roast Beef,
   Swiss Cheese)
Green Salad
Sandwich Rolls
Pineapple in Juice
Monday, December 22
Roast Pork w/Low
   Sodium Gravy
Roast Potatoes
Wednesday, December 24
Chicken Zit and Broccoli
Caesar Salad
French Bread
Jello w/fruit
Friday, December 26



Monday, December 29
Chicken Noodle Soup / Crackers
Caesar Salad
Wednesday, December 31
American Chop Suey
Italian Green Beans
Italian Bread
Pineapple in Juice
Friday, January 2
Milk and 100% whole grain bread served with all meals unless otherwise specified.

We look forward to seeing you!