Helping Hands Food Cupboard 
Free Food

With health care and prescription costs rising, seniors are finding it more and more difficult to make ends meet. Living on Social Security and fixed incomes, many will find themselves living in poverty. NO ONE should go hungry! Swansea is doing something about it.  The Cupboard offers assistance to those in need. If you or someone you know is in need of food, please contact us.  While this program was adopted by the Council on Aging for seniors, we will assist any Swansea family who meets the eligibility criteria for this program.  For more information or to register, please call (508) 676-1831. We’re here to help!

Click here to view "The Cupboard".  If you would like to apply for this program, you may do so at the Swansea Council on Aging.  A copy of the application can be downloaded by clicking The Helping Hands Food Cupboard Application.  

 

AARP Tax Aide - Free Income Tax Returns

Once again, the Swansea Council on Aging is scheduling appointments for FREE Income Tax returns.  To be eligible for for an appointment at our center, you must be a Swansea resident who receives low to moderate income.  Appointments begin in February and can be made by calling (508) 676-1831.  This program is being brought to you through the generosity of wonderful volunteers at AARP's Tax Aide Program.  We thank them for their service! 

Silver Alert Program
Protect Your Loved One

The Swansea Council on Aging (in conjunction with the Swansea Police Department) is pleased to announce a new program that will benefit seniors at risk and their families - The Silver Alert Program.  It is said to be modeled after the Amber Alert Program.  The Massachusetts General Laws define this program as a "community response system".  Its purpose is to "alert public safety departments when an adult with serious memory impairment such as Alzheimer's disease or other dementia is reported to a police department as a missing person."  It is not available in all states.  Although Massachusetts law makers recognized the importance of this program and passed it into law in August, 2010, it is not presently mandated but rather is to be available pending the availability of funds.  Therefore, each city/town is left to implement this program in the manner it feels best suits the needs of their community.  Financial constraints upon municipalities have made it difficult to bring this service to their residents.  As a result, there are still many communities throughout the Commonwealth who have not been able to bring this program to fruition.  If you are a caregiver of someone afflicted with Alzheimer's disease or any other cognitive impairment, you know first hand the challenges you face in caring for your loved one.  You understand better than anyone the confused state, fear and panic your loved one lives each day.  As dedicated as you are to providing the best possible care, seniors with Alzheimer's disease have been known to wander from the safety of their homes.  We are committed to helping you keep your loved one safe.  By registering your loved one with Swansea's Silver Alert program, you enable us to help you in the event of such an emergency.  For more information on this program, please call the Swansea Council on Aging at 508-676-1831 or email Executive Director, Laurie A. PimentelCLICK HERE to view or print your registration form. 

Watercolor Classes

We are pleased to continue Watercolor Painting Classes at the Swansea COA.  Instructor, Michele Poirier-Mozzone will instruct students in our third series of Watercolor classes.  Classes run for 6-week sessions.    Instructor Fee:  $5.00 per class ($30.00 for the 6-week session).   Our next series will run on Tuesdays from March 18th through April 20th at  12:30 PM.  To enroll in this series, all class fees must be paid in full by March 14th.   Michele Poirier-Mozzone is an Artist member of the Rhode Island Watercolor Society, signature member of the Connecticut Pastel Society and member of the Pastel Painters Society of Cape Cod.  Click here to visit Michele's gallery. To view photos of our art classes and their bodies of work, please click here.

Last summer artists from our Watercolor classes graciously agreed to share their work with members of our community.  The Swansea Council on Aging hopes to share more of our artists' work when we host Second Annual Watercolor Art Show.  Check back for dates and times! I would like to give special thanks to proud instructor, Michele Mozzone for her contribution to these classes and for her assistance preparing the art work for display.  Click here for a closer look at this special day.

Congregate Meal Site

Congregate Meal Site:  The Swansea Council on Aging serves lunch Monday through Friday at 11:30 AM.  Reservations are required and there is a suggested donation of $2.00 per meal. 

Please visit our "Senior Scoop Newsletter" page to view our daily menu for these programs

Alzheimers Caregiver Support Group
Choosing the right one

This helpful information is provided by the Alzheimer's Association. 

The right support group offers a lifeline for caregivers.  The primary purpose of a group should be to help provide its members with emotional support as well as up to date information about the disease and caregiving skills.  The combination of education and support will assist you where ever you are in your caregiving and getting to know others who truly understand what you are going through can be surprisingly helpful.

Each support group is different.  The format and atmosphere are created by the leaders as well as the participants.  Even if it's not required, call the leader before the group meeting. Ask about the makeup and size of the group - spouses, adult children, men and women.  Ask about the typical format.  This is a great way to find out if you feel drawn to this particular leader and group.  Ask how confidentiality is handled.  All information shared at a support group should be kept strictly confidential unless it poses a risk of safety to caregiver or patient.  Ask about the group leaders' experience - knowledge of Alzheimer's disease, length of time facilitating the group.

If you decide to attend, this conversation will make your first meeting easier.  Even if the first group you attend isn't what you want, don't get discouraged.  Talk with the group leader about your reaction.  Every meeting is different and it be that particular meeting was/wasn't typical of what usually happens.  We all spend time finding the right hairdresser, physician or auto mechanic...it may take time to locate the support group that best meets your needs and style.  Be patient, as many seasoned support members would say... "it's well worth it."

There are currently over 185 Alzheimer Caregiver Support Groups meeting in Massachusetts and New Hampshire.  For a full list of groups in your area, please contact the Alzheimer's Assosciation's 24/7 Helpline at 1-800-272-3900 or visit us on-line at: www.alz.org/MAHN.  The Alzheimer's Association also offers other programs and services such as professional training, educational programs and care consultation.

Transportation Service

The Swansea COA is pleased to announce the arrival of two NEW handicap accessible vans to better serve you.  We offer transportation for doctors' appointments and grocery shopping.  To schedule the van service, please call the Transportation Coordinator between the hours of 9 AM to 4 PM, Monday through Friday.  Notice is required at least 24 hours prior, except in cases of emergency.  In cases of emergency, we will make every attempt to accommodate your needs.  Grocery shopping is available on Wednesdays or Fridays.  Please keep in mind that our first priority will be for doctor appointments.  To schedule your transportation, please call Transportation Coordinator, Jeannie Shoesmith at (508) 674-6772.

SRTA ID - BUS PASS

The Swansea Council on Aging, in cooperation with Southeastern Regional Transit Authority (SRTA) is offering Swansea residents an opportunity to obtain a photo ID card for use on SRTA buses.  Residents may come to the Swansea Council on Aging to: 

  • Have your electronic photograph taken
  • Fill out a SRTA application
  • Pay $5.00 for the ID - Make checks payable to SRTA

The Swansea Council on Aging will forward all your information to SRTA.  Once your application has been processed, you will receive your SRTA Senior ID card in the mail.  If you need transportation to the center for this service, please call (508) 676-1831 and arrangements will be made.  The ID Card is good for three (3) years.

Free Reading Glasses

Your eye sight is nothing to fool around with.  The Swansea COA has non-prescription reading glasses available to Swansea residents FREE OF CHARGE!  These glasses are meant to be used as an aid and should NEVER be used to replace your prescription glasses.  If your optomotrist has fitted you for prescription glass and/or contact lenses, you should always continue to use them unles otherwise directed.  However, if you find yourself struggling to read the morning paper or that new novel you picked up recently, you could be staining your eyes and we may be able to help.  It's never too early to protect your eyes.  For mor information, or to pick up your FREE paid or non-prescription reading glasses, please stop by the COA office or call us at (508) 676-1831.  No gimmicks, no tricks - It's that easy!!  Take advantage of this wonderful opportunity and pick up your free glasses today!!

Health Clincis

Free Blood Pressure screenings

Free Glucose screenings are held Wednesdays from 10 - 11:30 AM.

Hearing tests and evaluations  are held by appointment on the second Monday of the month, starting at 10 AM.  Appointments are required and can be made by calling the COA at (508) 676-1831. 

Medical Loan Closet

Temporary loans of medical equipment are available at the Swansea Council on Aging.  You may be able to borrow supplies such as hospital equipment, wheelchairs, canes, commodes, walkers, etc.  If you or someone you know is in temporary need of medical equipment, or if you know of someone who would lke to donate equipment, please call the COA at (508) 676-1831.

SHINE 
(Serving Healthcare Needs of Everyone)

Medicare Part A, Part B, Parc C, Part D, MassHealth, Medigaps, Medicare Advantage, SSI, Prescription Advantage - Confused?  You're not alone! SHINE (Serving Healthcare Needs of Everyone) is a program funded by the Executive Office of Elder Affairs.  The purpose of the program is to ensure that Massachusetts elders have access to free, accurate, unbiased information regarding your health care options.  Counselors inform elders of their rights under Medicare and assist with filing claims.  Counselors also assist with filling out applications.  Appointments are required and can be made by calling (800) 987-2510.  If you are a Swansea resident and need one-on-one counselling, please call (508) 676-1831.  Appointments are required.

NOTE:  There is still much confusion about Medicare Part D (Prescription Plans).  Many individuals assume that once they are enrolled in a Medicare Part D plan, no further action is needed.  This is NOT the case.  Each and every year there are changed to your plan.  Changes could be in the removal or inclusion of prescription plans being offered, monthly premiums, co-pays and deductibles.  Each year there is an open enrollment period that allows you to review your existing coverage and make necessary changes.  OPEN ENROLLMENT BEGINS OCTOBER 15, 2012!  Be proactive and be sure the plan you are in this year will meet your needs and be the most cost effective for you next year.  Assistance with this is available through the SHINE program.  Swansea residence may call (508) 676-1831 for an appointment.   

SHINE counselors are available to perform Medicare Part D Drug searches to see if there is a more cost effective plan for you in the new year.  If you are a Swansea resident and need assistance, please fill out the Medicare Plan Finder/Data Form by clicking here and mail it to the Swansea Council on Aging, 260 Ocean Grove Avenue, Swansea, MA 02777

Fuel Assistance

Any homeowner or renter who meets the income guidelines is eligible for fuel assistance through the Low-income Home Energy Assistance Program.  An outreach worker from the COA or from Citizens for Citizens, Inc., will visit homebound people to help them complete the necessary forms.  The COA can be reached by calling (508) 676-1831.  Assistance is available from CFC to keep your home or apartment in repair, insulated, and weather tight by calling 508-675-2157.  

Click HERE for the income guidelines to see if you qualifty.

J.O.B.S

A Job Opportunities Bank for Seniors and students is a listingservice available by contacting the COA.  Individuals on our J.O.B.S. list are NOT employed by the Council on Aging.  No recommendations of these individuals can be made to you.  The list simply allows us to help you network with people who have contacted us with services and tasks they may be able to help our seniors with.  The J.O.B.S. program allows us to share that information with you.  We will give out names, telephone numbers, and general rate of pay requested.  You must then make your own arrangements, which should include criminal background checks, references etc.  For a listing of individuals who may be able to help, please call the COA at (508) 676-1831.

Health Clinics & Education

The Swansea Council on Aging coordinates health clinics and health education services by working with the Swansea Ambulance Corp., Town Nurse, Board of Health, Southcoast Health Services and other agencies.   Previous clinics have included: Flu clinics; Cholesterol Screening, Hearing Clinics as well as others.  Health education is also offered and has included diabetic education and other health related topics.

Lawyer Referral

A legal assistance program is funded by Title IIIB through Bristol Elder Services, Inc., for people 60+.  The first consultation is free.  Additional services may be provided without cost or at reduced rates.  More information is available by contacting Seniors Law Project at (800) 244-9023 between the hours of 9am-2pm Monday through Thursday.  In addition, the local phone number of (508) 676-6265 is available 9-5 Monday through Friday.