911 Silent Call Procedure
The silent call procedure helps people with certain disabilities or concerns to communicate their needs. This method works using a touch-tone, landline telephone, or a cell phone. Here’s how to use it:
When the dispatcher answers, use your telephone’s keypad to “talk” to the dispatcher.
Press 1 if you need police. Press 2 for fire. Press 3 for an ambulance.
If the dispatcher asks you questions:
Press 4 for “yes”. Press 5 for “no”.
If a Massachusetts dispatcher answers a 911 call and it is silent, they will go through these steps to see if there is a response. You do not have to remember the procedure, they will ask you while on the telephone.
AARP is the nation's largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering Americans 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. Read more or join!
Administration for Community Living
The Administration for Community Living was created around the fundamental principle that older adults and people of all ages with disabilities should be able to live where they choose, with the people they choose, and with the ability to participate fully in their communities. Learn more.
The Alliance for Aging Research is dedicated to accelerating the pace of scientific discoveries and their application to vastly improve the universal human experience of aging and health. Read more.
Or check out MIT's AgeLab, a multidisciplinary research program that works with business, government, and NGOs to improve the quality of life of older people and those who care for them.
Joyce and Bill Cummings established Cummings Foundation, Inc. in 1986. At that time, the commercial real estate firm Bill founded in 1970, Cummings Properties, was thriving, and the Winchester couple wanted to give back in the Boston area where the growing business operated and where its staff and clients lived. Learn more.
Energy and Utility Assistance
Cold Relief Heatline
For general inquiries, call 1-800-632-8175. See below to find out where to apply for Fuel Assistance (LIHEAP), Weatherization (WAP), and the Heating System Repair and Replacement Program (HEARTWAP).
Fuel Assistance (LIHEAP)
From November through April, Action for Boston Community Development (ABCD) offers opportunities for low-income, elderly, and handicap residents to get help with fuel assistance and direction toward other energy related issues during New England’s coldest months. Call 1-781-322-6284 to see if you qualify.
Weatherization (WAP) and the Heating System Repair and Replacement Program (HEARTWAP)
The Weatherization Assistance Program is a year round program funded by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) which serves LIHEAP-eligible households by providing energy efficiency services designed to help reduce home heating bills. Typical work includes: air sealing, attic and/or sidewall insulation, weather stripping, and minor repairs associated with the weatherization work. For more information call 617-884-6130 or visit www.capicinc.org/.
Improving Energy Usage
MassSave offers free in-home assessments to identify your home’s energy performance, reduce your energy bills, and make your home more comfortable. Call 866-527-SAVE (7283) to schedule your no-cost Home Energy Assessment with a Mass Save Energy Specialist, or see www.masssave.com.
To qualify for a free gas energy assessment, your household income must meet eligibility requirements and your utility bill must be in your name. Application and income guidelines available online at www.nationalgridus.com.
Eversource Discount Rate Program
To qualify for a free electric energy evaluation, your household income must meet eligibility requirements and your utility bill must be in your name. Application and income guidelines available online at www.eversource.com.
National Grid and Eversource also offer arrearage forgiveness programs where eligible clients may have their utility debt forgiven while adhering to a structured payment plan. NGRDI: 1-800-233-5325, EVERSOURCE: 866-315-2496.
Good Neighbor Energy Fund
To be eligible to receive energy assistance through The Massachusetts Good Neighbor Energy Fund, you must be a Massachusetts resident who, because of temporary financial difficulty, cannot meet a month's energy expense and is not eligible for state or federal energy assistance. For more information about eligibility requirements, please call 1-800-334-3047, 339-502-5900 or visit www.magoodneighbor.org.
The Oil Heat Program offers free heating oil to people in financial need. Each eligible household is allowed a one-time delivery per heating season of 100 gallons of home heating oil for free. Call 1-877-JOE-4-OIL to request an application.
Winchester Senior Energy Grants
For Winchester Residents who own and occupy their home, are 60 years of age, and whose income does not exceed $70,000 for individual and $80,000 for couple could be eligible, after completing an energy audit by MassSave, for a grant amount per project for up to $800 to make improvements on their homes energy efficiency. These grants, which are subsidized by the federal government and some local utilities, offer financial assistance as well as home improvements, new appliances, and other help for eligible clients – all at no cost. Call 781-721-4759 for details.
Utility Protection Information
There are utility protections for specific people such as the Elderly, seriously ill, infants. Included are the Cromwell Waiver and Winter Moratorium. When facing termination of heating-related utility services, households can protect themselves if they meet certain conditions or criteria. Please contact your utility company for full details.
Housing and Mortgages
A senior is generally defined as a person of age 62 or above who receives either a pension or Social Security payments. Check out Home Mortgage and Financial Planning Guide for Seniors. And here is another resource for housing and mortgages.
My Senior Center
The Jenks Center uses the MySeniorCenter platform to support programming and activities. Have you registered yet? In addition to registration features, you can also obtain a parking permit to use any of the 26 designated Jenks Center parking spaces, available on a first-come, first-served basis. Download and print the form and bring in at your next visit.
Property Tax Relief
The Winchester Council on Aging works with town departments to offer seniors (60 years or older) the opportunity to work 125 hours in designated Town departments to earn $1,500 off of their annual property taxes. To qualify for participation in this unique program, a resident needs to:
own your home in Winchester.
have a maximum income of no more than $60,000 for an individual or $91,000 for a couple.
your house is assessed for no more than $1,076,250.
Participants generally enjoy the opportunity to get out of the house and engage in meaningful work in exchange for property tax relief. For more information, contact Phillip Beltz, Director, at 781-721- 7136.
Everyone, seniors especially, should take extra care to keep cool and hydrated during hot, humid days. If you believe you, or anyone you are with, is experiencing a heat-related medical emergency, promptly call 911, and if possible, move to a cooler place. Here are a few tips for enjoying the summer weather while keeping comfortable and safe:
– Wear light colors and light materials such as linen and cotton.
– Wear loose fitting clothing.
– Wear a wide-brimmed hat for protection.
– Stay indoors during extremely hot weather.
– Lower shades and blinds to keep sun from heating up your home.
– Use a fan to keep air circulating.
– If you do not have air conditioning in your home, go to a cool place if possible, such as mall, senior center, pool, etc.
– Wear sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 30 or higher.
– Wear a wide-brimmed hat or take an umbrella to block the sun.
– Schedule outdoor activities before 10 a.m. or after 6 p.m. and take frequent breaks in shaded areas.
– Take your time. Avoid strenuous activity and long walks.
– The best liquid to drink during hot, humid days is water. Drink plenty of water, even if you are not thirsty, in order to stay hydrated.
– Avoid alcoholic beverages and caffeinated drinks that will dehydrate your body.
– Drink sports drinks that have the added minerals that your body loses when it sweats.
– Eating fresh fruits and vegetables is another way to keep hydrated.
For further questions or concerns, please contact the Jenks Center Nurse.
Great website for travel, interesting articles and enjoying this phase of life. Check it out.
SHINE (Serving the Health Insurance Needs of Everyone)
SHINE is an acronym for “Serving the Health Needs of Elders.” SHINE Counselors are volunteers who provide information, counseling, and assistance regarding health insurance and health benefit options. Our counselor understands the nuances of health insurance and is here to help seniors maneuver through the health insurance system. Appointments required.
Access information and tools for Social Security and Medicare planning. Learn more.
Contact information for Winchester State Legislators:
Senator Jason Lewis (Precincts 1, 2, 3 and 8)
State House, Room 511B
Office Hours: 2nd Friday of each month, 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m. at the Winchester Public Library
Senator Patricia Jehlen (Precincts 4, 5, 6 and 7)
State House, Room 424
Representative Michael S. Day
State House, Room 448
The retirement years can be an exciting time to see the world, with travel easier and safer than ever before. With a little planning and some caution, seniors can safely visit almost any destination. Check out the CDC's guide to travel health for seniors.
While many seniors enjoy traveling as they get older because they have newly freed-up time, it can get more complicated than traveling when you’re younger. As an older traveler, you may fall victim to thieves or your health may impede your plans. It’s important to consider travel insurance.