Topics: Aging

CHATHAM — A week after town meeting voters rejected it, the proposal to build a new senior center could soon be making a comeback. A revised plan—likely on a different parcel of land—could be back before voters as early as this summer. “I think we all kind of agree generally we have to move ahead,” Selectman Peter Cocolis said Monday. “I believe that we need a new council on aging building.” Delaying the pro...

HARWICH — The assisted living facility Royal at Harwich Village has closed, and its residents have been relocated to other facilities. But advocates for the elderly are criticizing the way the abrupt closure was carried out. Around April 25, the facility notified residents and their families about plans to close by July 26, the 90-day minimum required by state regulations. The notification was followed sever...

HARWICH — It seems almost everybody on the Lower Cape has a story to share about a friend or family member with Alzheimer's disease or dementia, and there's a growing need for support, counseling and programs. This weekend, a special fundraiser will take place to support the grassroots Alzheimer’s Family Support Center of Cape Cod , which offers a range of services, all free of charge, covering the full range ...

Cape Is Leader In Elders In The Workplace

By: Debra Lawless

“When I turned 80, I realized I needed to do something more than just face each day thinking about what I had accomplished in the past,” a senior worker at Oz clothing boutique in Barnstable says at the beginning of a nine-minute video featuring three employers given Age Forward Employer Awards last year. Nationwide, nearly one quarter of the labor workforce is age 55 or older. On Cape Cod, that number is high...

CHATHAM — Officials last week unveiled scaled-down plans for a new 10,200-square-foot senior center proposed for town-owned land off Middle Road. But before bringing the plan to town meeting, proponents want to make sure they’ve answered questions about the cost and the location. At a public meeting hosted by selectmen Saturday, architect Joel Bargmann of the Boston-based firm Bargmann Hendrie and Archetype ...

HARWICH — With the February sun streaming through the windows on a recent morning, John and Helen Beck sat together at a table at Rosewood Manor in Harwich Center, sipping ginger ale. After nearly 70 years as husband and wife, just being together is enough. Every time Helen visits her husband, he greets her the same way. “The first thing he says is, ‘I love you,’” she said. “She’s a good woman,” Joh...

Survey, Study Aims To Make Cape 'Age-friendly' Region

By: Debra Lawless

Imagine this scenario: An elderly widow with chronic health problems, whose only child lives in Wisconsin, retires to a house at the end of a 200-yard lane in a rural area of the Outer Cape. Does this sound like an ideal scenario if that woman needs emergency services? If she can no longer drive, how will she obtain groceries, or go to a medical appointment, church or a movie? The point is, if you are going...

COA Honors Volunteers, Presents Laurel Awards

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — With 52 percent of Harwich residents over 60 years of age, the work of the council on aging would be daunting without the commitment of approximately 100 volunteers who help provide services to seniors. Last Thursday the COA held a luncheon at Jake Rooney's restaurant to honor the volunteers. The COA also recognized three of the participants as Volunteers of the Year, presenting the Laurel Award to S...

Monteleone Shares The Secret Of Living To 100

By: Russ Allen

EAST HARWICH — Isabelle Monteleone will become the Cape’s latest centenarian on Saturday, Dec. 15. Earlier this fall, 60 of her family, friends, caregivers, and other acquaintances came to her daughter’s East Harwich home to preemptively celebrate, with displays of memorabilia from the phases of her life and a special a video-recorded birthday greeting from Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, arranged for b...

Elayne Perlstein, 90, is the sole librarian at the South Chatham Public Library, keeping the non-profit library open two afternoons a week year-round. On a sunny Friday afternoon in late August, Perlstein, who describes herself as “a people person,” greets a visitor warmly, but too many patrons are waiting to check out books to chat now. A few days later, at the West Chatham Dunkin’ Donuts, she has the leisure...

COA Director Resigns, Returns To Orleans Job

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — Council on Aging Director Judi Wilson will have been on the job for just over a year when she leaves in mid-September to return to her former position as COA Director in the Orleans. Wilson tendered her letter of resignation to Town Administrator Christopher Clark on Aug. 10. Wilson took the position in Harwich last Sept. 5, replacing Barbara Anne Foley, who served as director for 18 years. “After...

Brigadier General Jimmy Gordon Dishner, U.S. Air Force (Ret.), of Orleans goes by “Jimmy” much like another famous Jimmy, President Jimmy Carter. The plaques and commendations on what he jokingly dubs his “I love me” wall in his home all say “Jimmy,” as do his Virginia birth certificate and his Massachusetts driver’s license. Yet when he goes for his morning take-out coffee at the Hot Chocolate Sparrow near...

CHATHAM — The summer residents' advisory committee is looking for some answers about the proposed new senior center. But having not yet chosen a site, town officials can’t judge the size of the facility or its potential staffing needs. That means some of those answers will have to wait. Meeting on July 20, the summer residents’ committee quizzed Council on Aging Director Mandi Speakman and Principal Planner ...

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...