Topics: Aging

CHATHAM – The board of selectmen has rejected pursuing private property for a new senior center. At an executive session July 2, the board declined two proposals from private property owners that were the result of a request for proposals the town put out for privately owned parcels that might be suitable for a new council on aging facility, according to a statement. “Out of fiscal prudence, the board decid...

When JoAnne Clancy of Harwich retired from her work as assistant town accountant for the town of Harwich in 2009, she thought she’d have loads of time to work on her craft of decorative painting on slates, mailboxes, plates, wineglasses and barrel staves. Not so. “I’m too busy,” she says. Clancy became a volunteer for the Harwich Cranberry Festival, managing the craft fairs as well as keeping the festival’s...

Chatham Joins Regional 'Age Friendly' Movement

By: Alan Pollock

CHATHAM — Judging by the numbers of seniors living here, one might assume that the Lower Cape is a pretty attractive place to grow old. But for many elders, the high cost of living, the lack of housing and transportation make it difficult to stay here and age with independence. Chatham has now joined Orleans and other Cape towns in seeking a state designation as a regional “Age-friendly” community. Demogr...

ORLEANS — A meeting with state legislators on the concerns of seniors last week morphed into a conversation about the Cape's aging power delivery systems. On March 16 at the senior center, state Sen. Julian Cyr and state Rep. Sarah Peake welcomed state Rep. Danielle Gregoire, House chair of the Joint Committee on Elder Affairs. Modestly admitting that she hadn't even been a member of the committee before bei...

Selectmen Endorse Senior Center Planning Funds

By: Alan Pollock

CHATHAM — Though they’re decidedly undecided about a location for a new senior center, selectmen this week endorsed a town meeting article that funds a feasibility study and the hiring of an owner’s project manager. The article asks town meeting to appropriate $100,000 to fund a site feasibility study, to pay an architect to produce a conceptual design and cost estimate for a new senior center, and to hire a...

FinCom: COA Project 'Too Big, Too Ambitious'

By: Ed Maroney

CHATHAM — The ghost of the controversial fire station project hovered over selectmen and finance committee chair Stephen Daniel last week as they discussed a new senior center. “The sense of the finance committee is that we've seen this movie before,” he said Feb. 20, recalling the escalating construction costs of the station. “A $2 million to $4 million project 18 months ago is now $8 million to $10 million...

Wilderness Sarchild Takes A Poetic Approach To Aging

By: Debra Lawless

Wilderness Sarchild, who will turn 70 in a few days, has found her own way of coping with aging: Embarking on a new career as a poet and a playwright. Her book “Old Women Talking” (Passager Books, 2017) begins with the words of an anonymous poet who writes that she doesn’t want people to think of her as “a sweet old lady.” Rather, she wants them to think “What’s she up to now?” The same can be said for Sarchil...

Imagine this: EMTs arrive at a resident’s home only to be locked outside even as they can see the resident lying on the floor helpless inside the house. That’s not a situation that anyone wants to contemplate. But putting into place two simple elements—a key box to allow the fire department to enter and the File of Life form to bring the EMS crew up to speed on the senior’s health – can save lives. Let’s sa...

Woman Suffers Carbon Monoxide Poisoning At Home

By: Alan Pollock

CHATHAM — A Crowell Road resident is clinging to life after being exposed to deadly carbon monoxide in her home Monday. Officials received a call Monday morning from two women at the senior center reporting that their friend, 91-year-old Nancy Olson, hadn’t shown up as expected. “She goes there regularly to play Scrabble, and she didn’t show up this morning,” Deputy Fire Chief David DePasquale said Mond...

CHATHAM — After a crack appeared in the ceiling of the computer training room, town officials brought in a structural engineer to check the condition of the council on aging building on Stony Hill Road. The results weren't good, and officials say the repairs could top $100,000. The problem was discovered in March, and the engineer recommended the installation of a steel beam to better support the roof. Witho...

ORLEANS — A 108-year-old tradition was renewed in Orleans Friday when Town Clerk Cynthia May awarded the Boston Post Cane to the oldest resident of the town, Sarah Harris. And the tradition is only a bit older than the honoree. Harris turned 103 in June. “I don't mind being old,” Harris quipped. From the comfort of her living room easy chair, she received the congratulations of Selectmen Jon Fuller and Alan...

Death Cafe: An Informal Discussion About Facing Mortality

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — People have a hard time talking about death and dying and discussing plans for the inevitable. So the Council On Aging has taken steps to encourage such discussion, not in the form of grief support or counseling, but in a more informal fashion. Kevin Grunwald, MSW, social service coordinator at the COA, facilitates the Death Cafe, a group-directed discussion of death with no specific agenda. Using...

Orleans COA Director To Head Harwich Senior Center

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — The town of Orleans will be looking for a new executive director of its council on aging after Harwich Selectmen confirm the appointment of Judi Wilson as the town's new director of the council on aging. Wilson replaces Barbara Anne Foley, who retired on July 3 after 18 years as director. She and her husband are taking over management of the Commodore Inn in West Harwich. Wilson is scheduled to start...

Robert Cutts And Barbara Burgo: Cape Verdean Strength And Wisdom

By: Jennifer Sexton-Riley

Robert Cutts and Barbara Burgo, both Harwich-born and of Cape Verdean descent, have only known each other for a few short months, but the two have joined forces in a labor of love. Their shared passion is the creation of the Harwich Cape Verdean Museum in order to preserve and share the unique culture, food, language and history of the nation of islands off the coast of West Africa which gained independence from ...

Planning Advances For New Senior Center

By: Alan Pollock

CHATHAM — Though it's too early to know what it might look like, or even where it would be located, a new senior center is in its earliest design stages. Officials have hired an architectural firm to calculate how much space would be needed in a new council on aging building, and the firm will also present some conceptual floor plans to generate discussion. It remains to be seen whether the existing site on...

B.U. Seeks Cape Residents For Alzheimer's Research

By: Alan Pollock

CHATHAM — When she's not spending time with her family in Chatham or volunteering for the town's Independence Day parade committee, Nicole Gullotti is helping fight a disease that afflicts more than 5 million Americans. She's part of a Boston University team that's conducting a host of studies and clinical trials to better understand Alzheimer's disease. Gullotti's job is to recruit participants for the vari...