Council on Aging

Reminder – Tri-CAP Energy Assistance Program Comes to Winchester

Friday, February 6, 9:00 a.m. to noon

If you need help with home heating this winter, Tri-Cap will be at the Jenks Center one final time to take applications. Please call the Malden office (781-322-6284.) to make your appointment.

The Tri-City Community Action Program (Tri-CAP) is the State Agency working to assist eligible homeowners and tenants by paying a portion of the cost of home heating (oil, gas, electricity, rent, if heat is included in the rent). Eligible households may receive discounts on their monthly utility bills and telephone bills. Fuel assistance is not intended to cover the entire cost of home heating, but it may make the cost of home heating more affordable. The amount of assistance varies with the number of people in a household and the amount of income for that household.

If you have used the program before, you only need to call Tri-CAP at 781-322-6284 to reinstate your application. If you have not used the program before, you can call Tri-CAP at 781-322-6284 to make an appointment to fill out the application at either of the following locations:

  • Tri-Cap office, 110 Pleasant Street, Malden, MA
  • Jenks Center (February 6 only)
In either case, they will tell you the information you need to bring to the interview.

Appointments must be made through the Malden Office, not through the Jenks Center.

Tax Preparation Available at Jenks

Monday, February 9 through Friday, April 10

Personal federal and state income tax returns for taxpayers with low and moderate income will be prepared and e-filed free of charge at the Jenks Center. Business and rental property returns are excluded.

This program is part of the nation-wide AARP Tax-Aide program. Tax sessions will run each Monday, Wednesday and Friday, with appointments at 9:30 a.m., 10:45 a.m. and noon. Please call 781-721-7136 for an appointment and remember to bring last year's tax return copy, as well as all pertinent 2014 tax information to your appointment.

Why Fiber is Good for You

Wednesday, February 11, 10:45 a.m.

Come hear Peg Mikkola, Registered Dietician and Nutrition Consultant with Minuteman Senior Services, who will speak about the benefits of fiber. Please bring all your questions about this and other nutrition issues.

Do You Have A Chronic Health Issue?

Wednesdays, February 11 through March 18 from 1:00-3:30 p.m.

The Winchester COA and Minuteman Senior Services are pleased to offer this six-session Chronic Disease Self Management class. This evidence-based program, developed by Stanford University, helps people live life more fully while dealing with a chronic health condition like diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure or other chronic illness. Participants will learn techniques for improving quality of life, improving communication with physicians and building support networks. Classes are fun and interactive, but space is limited so please register early by calling the Jenks Senior Center at 781-721-7136. Participants should plan to attend all six weeks of the program.

Literary Lunch Club

Thursday, February 12, 11:30 a.m., at Jenks Center

The book for discussion this month is the children’s classic Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt. The Tuck family is confronted with an agonizing situation when they discover that a ten-year-old girl and a malicious stranger now share their secret about a spring whose water prevents one from ever growing old.

Copies of the book are available in the Jenks Center Office.

Food Management - Get Your Money’s Worth

Friday, February 13, 10:00 a.m.

We are pleased that our nutritionist, Jessy McNeil, is continuing this program through June. Jessy’s goal is to focus on how to eat well and economically. She will be speaking on the second Friday of every month in the Jenks Room.

Her topic this month is “Comfort Foods During Tough Times.”

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

Nutritional Consultant

Wednesday, February 18, 2:00 p.m.

Jessy McNeil will be with us on the third Wednesday of every month through June with interesting news about nutrition. She will provide an hour-long lecture followed by questions and answers and discussion about any nutritional subject you choose. If you want an individual consultation with her, call the Center in advance or ask to see her after the lecture. You can meet with her about any nutritional subject. It does not have to be about the day’s lecture.

The topic for this month is “Keep that Heart Beating: Increase Omega 3 Fatty Acids.”

Update – Green Energy Grant for Seniors

The Green Energy Grant Program continues into 2015, offering seniors ways to save money and increase their comfort during our bitter winters. One aspect of the program that has not been highlighted is offering to double the rebate buyers receive when they purchase a new EnergyStar-rated appliance such as a refrigerator, washer or dryer: when the appliance is bought, NSTAR typically offers a rebate of $50. The Green Energy Grant Program will double that, giving you an additional $100 rebate, which makes the total rebate for the appliance $150!

For further information and for an application, please call 781-721-4759 and leave your name and number. Your call will be returned as soon as possible.

Rides! Rides! Rides!

The COA is fortunate to be able to use the Mount Vernon House van to transport our seniors on shopping trips. We hope that you will sign up because we want the Mount Vernon House to know we appreciate this gift. The following trips are scheduled for this month:

Scheduled Time
Sign-up Deadline
Market Basket, Woburn Tuesday, February 3
9:00 a.m. - noon
Friday, January 29
Assembly Square Mall, Somerville

Mall includes: The Christmas Tree Shoppe,
Bed, Bath & Beyond, Kmart, A.C.Moore, T.J.Maxx,
Staples and Sports Authority. Plus other outlet
stores such as Chico’s, Clarks and many children’s
clothing stores and more!
Thursday, February 5
9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Tuesday, February 3
Market Basket, Woburn Tuesday, February 10
9:00 a.m. - noon
Thursday, February 5
Market Basket, Woburn Tuesday, February 17
9:00 a.m. - noon
Thursday, February 12
Market Basket, Woburn Tuesday, February 24
9:00 a.m. - noon
Thursday, February 19

NOTE: Please call (781) 369-9105 to make a reservation. This number will connect you directly with our Transportation Coordinator. Please leave a message.

All trips are subject to cancellation due to inclement weather. You will be notified by phone if a trip that you signed up for is cancelled.

Winter Safety Tips For Seniors

During the winter months, ice, snow and cold temperatures can make life challenging for everyone. Slippery sidewalks and cold weather can cause a wide range of injuries and illnesses, especially for seniors. Here is some helpful advice for preventing common winter dangers that the elderly population faces:

Avoid Slipping on Ice
Icy, snowy roads and sidewalks make it easy to slip and fall. Falls are a common occurrence for senior citizens, especially during the winter months. Often these falls cause major injuries such as hip and wrist fractures, head trauma and major lacerations.

While younger people often recover relatively quickly from such injuries, older adults face complications, which are a leading cause of death from injury in men and women over the age of 65.

Be sure to wear shoes with good traction and non-skid soles, and stay inside until the roads are clear. Replace a worn cane tip to make walking easier. Take off shoes as soon as you return indoors because often snow and ice attach to the soles and, once melted, can lead to slippery conditions inside.

Dress for Warmth
Cold temperatures can lead to frostbite and hypothermia, a condition where the body temperature dips too low. According to the CDC, more than half of hypothermia-related deaths were of people over the age of 65.

So don't let indoor temperatures go too low and dress in layers. Going outside? Wear warm socks, a heavy coat, a warm hat, gloves and a scarf. In very cold temperatures, cover all exposed skin. Use a scarf to cover your mouth and protect your lungs.

Your body temperature should never dip below 95 degrees; if it does get medical assistance immediately.

Fight Wintertime Depression
Because it can be difficult and dangerous to get around, many seniors have less contact with others during cold months. This can breed feelings of loneliness and isolation.

To help avoid these issues, family members can check in on seniors as often as possible; even a short, daily phone call can make a big difference. Seniors can also arrange a check-in system with neighbors and friends, where each person looks in on one or two others daily.

Check the Car
Driving during the winter can be hazardous for anyone. But it is especially dangerous for older people, who may not drive as often or whose reflexes may not be as quick as they once were. Get your car serviced before wintertime hits or ask a family member to bring it to a garage for you. Checking things like the oil, tires, battery and wipers can make a big difference on winter roads.

Prepare for Power Outages
Winter storms can lead to power outages. Make sure you have easy access to flashlights and a battery-powered radio in case the power goes out. Stockpile warm blankets. Longer power outages can spoil the food in your refrigerator and freezer so keep a supply of non-perishable foods that can be eaten cold on hand. If the power goes out, wear several layers of clothing, including a hat. Move around a lot to raise your body temperature.

Eat a Varied Diet
Because people spend more time indoors and may eat a smaller variety of foods, nutritional deficits, especially Vitamin D deficiency, can be a problem. Consuming foods that are fortified with Vitamin D, such as milk, grains and seafood options like tuna and salmon, will help to alleviate this.

Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Using a fireplace, gas heater or lanterns can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning. Ensure your safety by checking the batteries on your carbon monoxide detector and replacing it if needed.

The most important tip to keep in mind during the colder months, however, is to ask for help. If you need to clear your property of snow and ice, don't hesitate to ask a family member or neighbor or hire a professional. Arrange rides to the grocery store and doctor appointments. Don't be afraid to reach out for help. Wintertime certainly poses challenges for seniors, but with a bit of planning and awareness, you will stay healthy and experience the joys of springtime soon enough.

Eating Together

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:

Friday, February 2
Roast Turkey / Low Sodium
   Gravy / Cranberry Sauce
Mashed Potatoes
Cake Cup
Wednesday, February 4
American Chop Suey
Caesar Salad
French Bread
Jello w/Fruit
Friday, February 6
Corn Chowder / Crackers
Teriyaki Chicken
Monday, February 9
BBQ Chicken
Roasted Potatoes
Mixed Vegetables
Wednesday, February 11
Caesar Salad
Friday, February 13
Roast Pork / Applesauce
Baked Sweet Potato
Green Beans
Monday, February 16


Presidents Day

Wednesday, February 18
Baked Fish / Lemon Sauce
Rice Pilaf
Friday, February 20
Beef Stew (Carrots /
Green Salad
Whole Wheat Dinner Roll
Mandarin Oranges
Monday, February 23
Salisbury Steak / Low Sodium
Mashed Potatoes
Fruit Danish
Wednesday, February 25
Minestrone Soup / Crackers
Cold Sliced Meats / Cheese
   (Turkey / Roast Beef,
   Swiss Cheese)
Green Salad
Sandwich Rolls
Pineapple in Juice
Friday, February 27
Stuffed Shells / Tomato Sauce
Italian Bread
Mixed Fruit
Milk and 100% whole grain bread served with all meals unless otherwise specified.

We look forward to seeing you!