Information for Seniors

TRANSPORTATION

Need a Ride?


Senior Van: Transportation to and from Eating Together on Wednesdays and Fridays, 9:30 a.m. – Noon. Please call at least two business days in advance to RSVP.

Volunteer Drivers: Travel anywhere in Winchester, and to adjacent towns for medical appointments only. Monday– Friday 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Please call two days in advance to schedule.

Medical Transport: Transportation to medical appointments in the greater Boston area and the Arlington and Burlington Lahey Clinics. Monday–Friday. Please call one week in advance to schedule.

Taxi Vouchers: Sold on Tuesdays 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. at the Jenks Center.

Grocery Shopping Trips: Thursdays 9:45 a.m. – Noon. Please call at least two days in advance to RSVP.

HEALTH AND SOCIAL SERVICES

Need Some Help?


Social Worker and Housing Counseling: Home visits and consultations; Monday – Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Financial Counselor: Workshops and individual counseling, by appointment only.

Eating Together: Hot lunches and socialization; Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, 11:30 a.m. & 12:15 p.m. Please call at least two day in advance to RSVP.

Handyman Services: Small repairs on request. Please call and ask for the social worker for more info.

After Care Nurse: Post hospital home care coordination and medical loan program; available Monday & Tuesday, 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m., and Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Keep Well Clinic: Blood pressure and weight check-ups, 1st and 3rd Thursday of each month, 9:30 – 11:30 a.m.

SHINE Counselors: Insurance clarifications; Thursday, 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. Appointments required.

Caregivers Support Group: 4th Thursday of each month, 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. For more information please call our Social Worker, Suzanne Norton, at 781-721-7136.

Legal Consultation: Last Monday of each month, 10:00 a.m. – Noon. Appointments required.

Meals on Wheels: Monday – Friday. For informaiton, call 781-721-9817 or send email to winchestermow@gmail.com.


Contact the Jenks Center for more assistance with any of the above mentioned programs at 781-721-7136.

Tax Relief for Seniors

Winchester Senior Property Tax Reduction Program

The Senior Citizen Tax Reduction Program, which allows seniors to work off $1,000 of their property tax, has vacancies. These vacancies are not just positions for greeters. Because we have so many greeter positions in the schools, seniors have come to believe that is all we can offer. We also have seniors working in a secretarial capacity, in libraries, writing grants and operating computers. In fact if you are eligible for the program, we look to find the job which may interest you. Don’t you have a big property tax bill with which you could use help? With the new high school, the bill will get larger. This program is designed to enable seniors to work 125 hours in our town departments in return for a $1,000 reduction on property taxes.

The main qualifications are that seniors are Winchester home owners, living in the house for which they seek tax reduction. They must be residents of Winchester and be 60 years of age or older. Maximum allowable income is $58,000 for an individual and $73,000 for a couple. The house can be assessed for no more than $850,000.

For more information, contact Phillip Beltz, Council on Aging Director, at 781-721- 7136.

911 Silent Call Procedure

It’s a terrifying thought. You need to call 911, but you can’t speak. Maybe you’re choking, or you’re trying to seek help without alerting a criminal. In these sometimes life or death situations, there is a silent way to let emergency responders know that you need their help. It’s known as Silent Call Procedure.

The silent call procedure also helps people with certain disabilities communicate their needs. The state’s public safety office says this method can be used on a touch-tone, wireline telephone, or a cell phone.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Call 911
  2. 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
  3. 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. The dispatcher’s screen will show them which numbers are being pressed.

SOURCE: MA State 911 Department and the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security

Winter Reminders 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.

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.
Dress for Warmth
Cold temperatures can lead to frostbite and hypothermia – a condition where the body temperature dips too low. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (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.

Energy and Utility Assistance


December is here and the cold weather is upon us. Here are some ideas on how to keep warm this Winter Season:

Cold Relief Heatline
For general inquiries, call 1-800-632-8175. To find out where to apply for Fuel Assistance (LIHEAP), Weatherization (WAP), and the Heating System Repair and Replacement Program (HEARTWAP):
  • Fuel Assistance (LIHEAP) - Each year, 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. 2017 income guidelines are 1 person $34,001 2 person $44,463. Call 1-781-322-6284 to see if you might be eligible.

  • 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. This brochure is intended. For more information call 617-884-6130 or visit www.capicinc.org/.
Improving Energy Usage
  • MassSave - Free in-home assessments to educate yourself on 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.

  • National Grid - To qualify, your household income must also meet eligibility requirements and your utility bill must be in your name. Please contact your local Community Action Agency for additional guidelines. Application and income guidelines available online at www.nationalgridus.com.

  • Eversource Discount Rate Program - To qualify, your household income must also meet eligibility requirements and your utility bill must be in your name. Please contact your local Community Action Agency for additional guidelines. Application and income guidelines available online at www.eversource.com.

  • Arrearage Forgiveness - 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 visiting www.magoodneighbor.org.

  • JOE-4-OIL - The Oil Heat Program offers free heating oil to people in financial need who can't afford to pay their heating bills. 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 other 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 such as for the Elderly, someone with a serious illness, infant, the Cromwell Waiver, 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 to see if you qualify.

Contact the Jenks Social Worker for more assistance with any of the above mentioned programs via email or by calling 781-721-7136.

Know Your Legislators

Contact information for Winchester State Legislators:

  • Senator Jason Lewis (Precincts 1, 2, 3 and 8)
    State House, Room 511B
    Phone: 617-722-1206
    Email: Jason.Lewis@masenate.gov
    Office Hours: 2nd Friday of each month, 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m. at the Winchester Public Library, 12-1 p.m.

  • Senator Patricia Jehlen (Precincts 4, 5, 6 and 7)
    State House, Room 424
    Phone: 617-722-1578
    Email: PatriciaJehlen@masenate.gov

  • Representative Michael S. Day
    State House, Room 448
    Phone: 617-722-2582
    Email: Michael.Day@mahouse.gov