Around Amherst: Elder access to home care needed

Staff Writer
Thursday, April 11, 2019

AMHERST — Making sure elders have access to home care and that those with limited means can more easily stay in their own homes as they age are among legislative priorities identified for senior citizens by State Rep. Mindy Domb.

Domb, speaking to the Council on Aging at a recent meeting, said she wants to see the Massachusetts Legislature work to improve home care, increase home care options and find better ways for low-income elders to age in place.

In addition, Domb said she is aiming to make sure that next year’s census is as comfortable as possible for senior citizens and other residents to fill out, observing that many immigrants are concerned by the citizenship question the Trump administration wants to put on the survey.

“It’s not only unprecedented, it’s probably unjustified,” Domb said of that question.

Senior Center Director Nancy Pagano said the federal census is vital to receiving the formula grant that helps cover portions of the salary for a social worker and a nurse.

“That money is so important to us,” Pagano said.

That grant recently increased from $10 to $12 for each elder, which meant an additional $9,000 for town services, Pagano said.

Among other priority issues for Domb are funding regional transit authorities and higher education, including the University of Massachusetts. She has introduced 16 bills and cosponsored others, including one that would create a system for buying, storing and distributing diapers, similar to work Domb did at when executive director of the Amherst Survival Center.

Domb has also introduced constitutional amendments, one that would allow any legislator to affirm the oath of office, rather than swear the oath, and to replace all references to “he” in the constitution with the non-gendered “they.”

Farmer a Local Hero

An Amherst farmer is being recognized as a Local Hero by Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture.

Hana Martin, assistant manager at Old Friends Farm, earned the award for the day-to-day operations of the farm and its long-term viability.

“The Local Hero Awards are our way of honoring farms and individuals who exemplify CISA’s mission of strengthening farms and engaging the community to build the local food economy,” said Claire Morenon, CISA’s communications manager.

Other awardees are the Diemand family of Diemand Farm in Wendell and Elizabeth O’Gilvie, chairwoman of the Gardening the Community Board and the Springfield Food Policy Council.

Benefit lunch

A Patriots’ Day lunch at the Amherst Senior Center will be held Monday from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The soup-and-sandwich meal will be served in the Large Activity Room at the Bangs Community Center, followed by a concert from well-known local entertainer Donna Lee.

For those interested in following the Boston Marathon, a flat-screen TV in the Senior Center’s lounge will be tuned to race results.

Tickets are $10 and available at the Senior Center, 70 Boltwood Walk, or from members of the Friends of the Amherst Senior Center.

The event raises funds for services and programs for Amherst elders.

To register, call the Senior Center at 259-3060.

LSSE wins award

The Massachusetts Recreation and Parks Association recently honored Amherst’s Leisure Services and Supplemental Education Department with its Agency Award for exceptional recreational program outreach.

Just one department across the state is honored for how it helps underserved populations in their communities at the association’s conference. That conference was held March 27.


MONDAY: Regional School District Planning Board, 10:30 a.m., Ramsdell Community Room, Pelham Library.

TUESDAY: Town Council Rules of Procedure Committee, 9:30 a.m., Town Room, Town Hall.

WEDNESDAY: Planning Board, 7 p.m., Town Room, Town Hall.

THURSDAY: Zoning Board of Appeals, 6 p.m., Town Room, Town Hall.

FRIDAY: Regional School District Planning Board, 10:30 a.m., First Floor Meeting Room, Town Hall.