Topics: Aging

Despite the ongoing pandemic and the cold of winter, seniors can still step forward to help people of all ages in our local communities by volunteering through the AmeriCorps Seniors RSVP of Cape and the Islands. The group is always looking for volunteers who must be over 55, says Stefanie Paventy, the local director of AmeriCorps Seniors RSVP, based in South Dennis. Currently, RSVP is collecting items that...

When Norman Katz, 84, was a young man straight out of Northeastern University, he was chosen to work in a clandestine position in the White House Continuity of Government Special Operations Division. In that capacity he was present during the Cuban Missile Crisis of October 1962 and on the day of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination in November 1963. “I’m the last one left in the world from this whole ...

Chatham's Oldest Resident Dies At 108 CHATHAM – One of Juliet Bernstein's most cherished memories was accompanying her mother in a horse-drawn surrey so that she could vote for the first time following the ratification of the 19th amendment in 1920. "I was 7 but it truly impressed me," Mrs. Bernstein said in a 2020 interview. That experience helped shape a dedication to equality and social justice that foll...

EAST HARWICH — The various tracts of land preserved by the Harwich Conservation Trust are home to more than just peaceful walking trails, great views and wildlife habitat. They’re a storehouse of naturally downed trees. A new partnership with the Trust, AmeriCorps Cape Cod and the Harwich Council on Aging aims to put some of that wood to good use heating local homes. The project was the idea of HCT Land Stewar...

CHATHAM — Mandi Speakman’s usually tidy office at the senior center is now cluttered with boxes. It’s a bittersweet time, she says; after nine-and-a-half years as the town’s council on aging director, Speakman is stepping down next week to take a position with Barnstable County. Her last day in Chatham will be Friday, Nov. 12. On Monday, she starts work as the new deputy director of the Barnstable County Dep...

After nearly 59 years of marriage, Louis and Diane Zinnanti of South Chatham still sparkle in each other’s company. “We’re very happy people,” Diane says. Sitting in their living room with a visitor, they reminisce about their family, their love of collecting and various jobs they’ve held. They fill in the details of each other’s stories and laugh a lot. Today happens to be Diane’s 81st birthday. She and Lo...

“It’s just a number,” Ella Lombard of Harwich says about one’s age. “It’s what you do with it.” Ella celebrated her 100th birthday on May 21. This remarkable woman lives at home with her pet pug and still drives herself to the grocery store and bank. She took up painting in her 70s when her niece tutored her; today, a quilt that she is sewing is spread over the dining room table. To date, she has completed 46 ...

CHATHAM – It doesn't take a close inspection to see the failings of the current senior center on Stony Hill Road. Originally built as a residence, its rooms and offices are small and lack privacy, a steep staircase leads to more constricted spaces on the second floor, it lacks an adequate ventilation system, and the building had to be shored up a few years ago because of structural problems. A decade ago, talk...

CHATHAM — Some of the services the town provides its older residents are there for all to see: senior luncheons, social events, classes and programs. But town officials have also been working behind the scenes to help the most vulnerable older adults, using a unique partnership that involves the COA, police, firefighters and public health workers. Speaking to the select board last week, Council on Aging Direct...

CHATHAM — John and Barbara Emison of Chatham met 78 years ago when they were both students at DePauw University. The world was torn apart by World War II when the 17-year-old freshman and the 20-year-old junior went on a blind date. “John’s good friend and my roommate wanted us to meet,” Barbara Emison, 95, recalled during a telephone interview last week. His friend and her roommate came up with a ruse beca...

Local COAs Help Seniors Get Through The Holidays

By: Debra Lawless

Nine months ago when the coronavirus pandemic began, few could have predicted that medical experts would recommend that families not travel or get together during the holidays to avoid spreading the virus. “For nine months we’ve been seeing increasing isolation,” says Emily Mitchell, director of the Harwich Council on Aging. “There’s no worse time to be isolated than at the holidays.” “This is hard, this is...

Firefighters, COA’s Work To Keep Seniors Safe At Home

By: Alan Pollock

It’s no secret that most seniors want to remain at home as they age, but it’s important to make sure that home continues to be a safe place as the years pass. To that end, local fire departments and councils on aging are collaborating to provide home safety assessments, even during the pandemic. In Chatham, the assessments are part of a community risk reduction program, and residents or concerned family member...

New Chatham Senior Center 'In Holding Pattern'

By: Tim Wood

Chatham seniors have been waiting more than a decade for a new senior center, watching patiently while other town departments get new, state-of-the-art facilities. Their turn was supposed to come this past spring, but because of the pandemic, they'll have to continue to be patient. “We're in kind of a holding pattern,” said council on aging chairman Barbara Segall. In the spring, selectmen postponed a number o...

William Nickerson Walker’s third spy novel, “Target Switzerland,” will be released later this month. In retirement, Walker, 82, is a prolific writer, an indefatigable golfer and an energetic vice president of the Nickerson Family Association, Inc. (NFA). In the past he was an international businessman and financier, diplomat, government official and partner in a large Wall Street law firm. Two years ago, Wa...

COA Making Adjustments To Address The Needs Of Seniors

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — The council on aging, working with the Academic Public Health Volunteer Corps, will be reaching out to senior citizens to better understand their unmet needs. The COA has been functioning without a social services coordinator since April 24 when Susanna Keith resigned to take a new job closer to family in Maine. Because the town has a hiring freeze in place due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic...

The constant flow of information about COVID-19 over the past three months has led local councils on aging to daily changes requiring new ways of living, limiting activities and programs, closing buildings and dispersing staff and volunteers, and leading to readjustments in services and a rethinking of how to get things done. That is now being followed by a slow process of reopening that may continue for months. ...