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REPORT OF THE COUNCIL ON AGING 2009

The Sturbridge Senior Center is a municipal facility that is the focal point for the organization and provision of a broad spectrum of services suited to the diverse needs and interests of independent seniors, which includes information and referral, health, wellness, social, and education services; and socialization, recreation, activity and nutrition needs that enable seniors to stay connected to their community and support networks.

The Sturbridge Council on Aging (COA) Board is appointed by the Selectmen and serves as an advisory board to the COA Director. Meetings are held on the second Wednesday of the month at 10:00 a.m. from September through June. Those who served on the COA Board in 2009 are Virginia Peabody, Rachel Sprague, Elizabeth Darcy, Donna Campo, Kathryn Smith, Alex Menafo, William Grandone, Barbara Henry, and Robert MacWilliams. The COA is ably staffed by Barbara Kalber, Carmen MacGillivray, Earl Martin, Jose Alvarado, and Rebecca Dilboy.

Other entities that operate in the Sturbridge Senior Center include; Tri-Valley Inc. who provide the congregate and home delivered meals through the able supervision of Mary Goggin, and the Friends of Sturbridge Seniors who raise money to support programs for seniors in the community and to purchase supplies for the Senior Center.

Volunteers Friends of seniors at

continue to contribute to the success of the Sturbridge Senior Center. The

Sturbridge Seniors volunteer their services and provide

their

monthly

meetings.

Volunteers

coordinate

many

entertainment for activities; TOPS,

Cribbage, and transportation

the Senior Stamping Project, as examples. Volunteers serve as medical drivers, friendly visitors, SHINE counselors, book deliverers, greeters,

substitute exercise leaders, and minor home repair people. essential to the well-being of seniors and are greatly appreciated.

Their

contributions

are

Fuel assistance and medical insurance continue to be the two most frequent concerns addressed by the COA Director and Community Resources Coordinator. In addition, medical transportation provided by the COA experienced an increase in demand due to the funding cutbacks to Elderbus. An advocacy campaign launched by COA Directors contributed to keeping an Elderbus fare increase to a minimum, and to level funding for the coming year.

Program highlights include the evidence-based Healthy Eating series, Sturbridge Cultural Council supported “The Power of Fairy Tales” series, six health/wellness check up programs, Sturbridge Lions Club supported “Confident Living with Low Vision” series, and the Senior Carnival. A list of all the “special” and regular programs can be found on the Town’s website under Council on Aging.

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