REPORT OF THE COUNCIL ON AGING (COA)
The Town supports its Seniors age 60 and older through the Council on Aging
Department. We presently operate in a part-time (30 hours) office in Town Hall
(there is an elevator). A monthly newsletter, The Senior Informer, is mailed to
every Senior in Abington. Our Mission is: "To provide information, resources
and opportunities for all Seniors and their families to access programs and
services, to improve the quality of life of Seniors living in the Town of
Abington and to advocate for services to enhance their independence and
well being." To accomplish this, we concentrate on three things:
transportation, nutrition and outreach.
Transportation: The Council on Aging Van (wheelchair accessible) travels
Mon.-Fri., year-round. Our drivers convey Seniors to medical appointments,
banks, grocery shopping, hairdressers, errands, etc. During 2004, the van
clocked over 10,000 miles. The COA also books appointments through the
Dial-A-Bat program, which takes Seniors to further destinations, including
Boston. Friday Shopping on the yellow school bus includes rides to grocery
shopping, malls and department stores. All transportation modes are available
to those 60 years and older, for a very modest fee.
Nutrition: Nutrition is key to health! The Council on Aging coordinates the
year-round weekday "Meals on Wheels" program, also known as Home
Delivered Meals. Homebound Seniors receive a nutritious hot lunch,
delivered by a different volunteer each weekday. The visit by the volunteer is
reported to be the best part of the meal! We also sponsor a luncheon for
Seniors out in the community, on Thursdays. This is known as a "Congregate"
meal. In close collaboration with and subsidized by the School Nutrition
Program, our Seniors are asked to contribute just $1.50 for a full course meal.
A speaker or entertainer often follows the meal. (St. Vincent de Paul of
Abington boasts an expansive food pantry, where volunteers cater to Seniors
who might need a little help keeping healthy foods in the home.)
Outreach: Outreach describes a variety of services provided by the COA
Outreach Worker (Norma Clark, a retired nurse, has been our Outreach
Worker for 12+ years). Outreach is funded for 17 hours weekly and involves
assessing a Senior's needs, helping complete forms, making referrals for
services of all kinds, troubleshooting and general advocacy. Working with
families to determine options for their Senior loved one is another feature of
Outreach. Ms. Clark is also a certified "SHINE" Counselor (S.H.I.N.E = Serving
the Health Information Needs of Elders). She volunteers 15-25 hours of her
own time monthly to the Abington COA in this capacity.
A Senior Center would help fill many of the un-met needs of Seniors.
Therefore, developing a Senior Center is a priority, (see Senior Center
Hats off to the 2004 Council on Aging Staff: Office (Norma Clark, Rita Estey,
Eileen Maraget), Drivers (Alice Dumas, Jean LaCamera, Jack McGrath) and
Luncheon Workers (Marianne Crooks, Kay Cotter, Joe lacobucci, Joan Jolley,
There are over 80 Council on Aging Volunteers who donate time. The majority
of volunteers are Seniors themselves, which makes their volunteerism
especially noteworthy. We continually add to our numbers, because one gets
a good feeling when one gives service to other folks. In 2004 the value of our
volunteer services exceeded our entire department budget. In other words,
Seniors gave to the Town more than they took!
Thank you to the COA Board of Directors and all individuals and organizations
that have made an investment in the lives of Abington's most wonderful
citizens - the Seniors.
Council on Aging Coordinator
The Board of Directors 2004
Betty Berry ('/2 yr)
Robert Donlan ('/2 yr)
Joe lacobucci ('/2 yr)
Bill Kendall, Vice-Chair
Hazel Libby ('/2yr)
George Whitney, Jr., Chair
|Council on Aging - 2004 Annual Report