The Mattapoisett Council on Aging will be throwing open the doors and inviting the community to come in and learn more about services and programs on Thursday, June 17, from 3:00 to 5:00 pm.
COA Director Jackie Coucci said, “It’s a chance to welcome people back or meet new people who want to find out more about us.” She said that a representative from S.H.I.N.E. would be present as would the public health nurse, volunteer coordinator, and people from the Friendly Callers and visitor programs. “We are here to help,” Coucci said, and that that was the message of the open house. Transportation will be provided for those calling in advance.
The board also discussed the measured return of face-to-face services at the COA.
“If you ride on our vans or cars, masks will be required,” Coucci said. For some programs, especially those where maintaining distancing is not an option, masks should be worn, she said. “The COA is in a town building, so we’ll be following the state guidelines,” said Coucci, pointing out that masks will continue to be worn in healthcare facilities, nursing homes, and congregate-care facilities. “If we are going to be close together, then masks on.”
Moving forward, Coucci also said that she would review the necessity of wearing masks on a case-by-case basis. “I want everyone to feel that the COA is a safe place.… Everything is subject to change,” she said.
Some of the programing offered by the Mattapoisett Council on Aging will continue to require preregistration and masks. Coucci said that such programs as chair yoga, strength and balance classes, and similar movement activities will continue to require preregistration.
Coucci was pleased to announce the return of a program titled Art for the Mind presented by Jill Sandford beginning on July 1; she also said that shuttle services from the parking lot at Ying Dynasty to the Harbor Days festival will be provided by the COA from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm Saturday, July 17, and Sunday, July 18. Masks will be required.
The board briefly discussed the Master Plan currently being studied by a volunteer group that includes COA member Shirley Haley, who shared the themes of the last meeting featuring a discussion on potential school consolidation. Coucci said she would be attending the meeting scheduled for later in the day. She said she was asked to bring ideas for passive recreational needs of the town’s seniors.
Chairman Bethany Couto asked the board to consider whether or not the town should pursue a statewide initiative titled Dementia Friendly Massachusetts. The program is designed to help the community deal more effectively and with greater understanding with those stricken by the disease, she explained. The board thought a subcommittee should take up the matter. The discussion was tabled until next month.
The next meeting of the Mattapoisett Council on Aging is scheduled for Wednesday, July 7, at 8:30 am.
Mattapoisett Council on Aging
By Marilou Newell