May is Older American Month
In tough times, communities find strength in people—and people find strength in their communities. In the past year, we’ve seen this time and again in our communities as friends, neighbors, and businesses have found new ways to support each other.
In our 11 communities we serve, older adults are a key source of this strength. Through their experiences, successes, and difficulties, they have built resilience that helps them to face new challenges. When communities tap into this, they become stronger too.
Each May, the Administration for Community Living leads the celebration of Older Americans Month (OAM). This year’s theme is Communities of Strength, recognizing the important role older adults play in fostering the connection and engagement that build strong, resilient communities.
Strength is built and shown not only by bold acts, but also small ones of day-to-day life—a conversation shared with a friend, working in the garden, trying a new recipe, or taking time for a cup of tea on a busy day. And when we share these activities with others—even virtually or by telling about the experience later—we help them build resilience too.
This year, Mystic Valley Elder Services (MVES) will celebrate OAM by encouraging community members to share their experiences. Together, we can find strength—and create a stronger future.
Here are some ways to share and connect:
• Look for joy in the everyday: Celebrate small moments and ordinary pleasures by taking time to recognize them. Start a gratitude journal and share it with others via social media, or call a friend or family member to share a happy moment or to say thank you.
• Reach out to neighbors: Even if you can’t get together in person right now, you can still connect with your neighbors. Leave a small gift on their doorstep, offer to help with outdoor chores, or deliver a home-cooked meal.
• Build new skills: Learning something new allows us to practice overcoming challenges. Take an art course online or try a socially distanced outdoor movement class to enjoy learning with others in your community. Maybe you have a skill to share? Find an opportunity to teach someone.
• Share your story: There’s a reason storytelling is a time-honored activity. Hearing how others experience the world helps us grow. Engaging with family, friends, and neighbors can open up new conversations and strengthen our connections.
When people of different ages, backgrounds, abilities, and talents share experiences—through action, story, or service—we help build strong and educated communities. And that’s something to celebrate!
To learn more about what MVES has to offer older adults, please visit us at www.mves.org or call 781-324-7705.
Social Engagement Program is Helping Older Adults Feel Connected
Social isolation is a prevalent concern for approximately one-quarter of community-dwelling Americans aged 65 and older who are considered to be socially isolated, and a significant proportion of adults in the United States report feeling lonely, according to a report conducted by National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. And with the coronavirus pandemic altering people’s lives and the ways in which they interact with others, isolation among older adults is at an all-time high. Social isolation can affect everything from mental health, nutrition, and mobility.
There are many reasons for social isolation beyond the pandemic. Some older adults might not have family, might be estranged from their family, might not be as technologically savvy as younger folks, and might rely on transportation or Adult Day Health in order to socialize.
To address this issue, Mystic Valley Elder Services (MVES) launched the Social Engagement Program a year ago, established to help improve the health and well-being of isolated older adults in the community by providing meaningful social connections.
The Social Engagement Program connects to older adults through supports that could include the following: the Telephone Reassurance Program, where a volunteer calls the isolated individual and provides a social contact and friendly conversation; the Card and Letter Writing option where participants and volunteers socialize through an exchange of cards and letters; the Email Pen Pal Program which provides socialization through email, and; the Friendly Visitor Program, in which the individual receives home visits that focus on in-person socialization and companionship(when it is determined safe to do so). Trained and carefully screened volunteers are paired with community members and provide the visits, cards and letters, calls and emails.
MVES continues to respond to the increased social isolation faced by many older adults during this difficult past year. Cheryl, a 61 year old, was struggling to recover from hip replacement surgery. She was feeling isolated and very stressed-out, and wanting a listening ear and friendly support. Cheryl was very worried about her adult African American son, the recent racial protests, and how her family may be impacted. She needed someone to talk with who would understand her reality and lived experiences. That’s where the Social Engagement Program came in to Cheryl’s life.
Cheryl was matched with a MVES Social Engagement volunteer who had shared experiences and could relate to Cheryl’s family experiences and feelings. It has been a very supportive match for Cheryl and made such a positive difference in her life. When Cheryl speaks of her volunteer, she shares “We’re buddies. We really talk and laugh. We talk about serious things too.” Cheryl enjoys their phone calls and is looking forward to days ahead when she can spend time in person with her Social Engagement Program volunteer.
The Social Engagement Program is not only benefitting Cheryl, but more than 50 other socially isolated older adults who have their own unique life challenges.
MVES is playing an important role in the community to combat the effects of social isolation. From increased well-being calls to ongoing home delivered meals and other in home services to providing resources for family caregivers now worrying about their elderly loved ones from afar, MVES is committed to remaining a consistent presence in the lives of those community members we are privileged to serve.
If you would like to learn more about the Social Engagement Program, please contact Linda Cornell at (781) 388-4839 [email protected].
Due to the increased demand from community members, MVES is seeking volunteers for the Social Engagement Program. If you would like to learn more about volunteering for the program, please contact Leah Mulrenan at (781) 388-2375 [email protected].
Everett Water Department Receives Outstanding Performance Award
Mayor Carlo DeMaria is pleased to announce that the Everett Water Department received the Commonwealth Citation for Outstanding Performance in 2021 by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (Mass DEP). The annual Performance Recognition Program is an opportunity to formally recognize state employees for their extraordinary contributions to public service.
“Thank you to our water department members who work hard everyday in protecting and supplying safe, high quality water to our residents and thank you to the Commonwealth for recoginizing the department and their efforts within our city,” said Mayor DeMaria.
In order to be nominated for the Commonwealth Citation for Outstanding Performance, the following requirements are necessary:
• Executive Branch or Higher Education employees who have been in state service for at least two years as of May 1, 2020 may be nominated for a Citation, except those employees currently holding positions to which they were appointed directly by the Governor, employees whose appointments were subject to the formal approval of the Governor and/or College Presidents and Agency Heads.
• An individual employee may be nominated by a supervisor, peer, professional colleague or someone else who is familiar with the person’s work. An individual may not be nominated by a relative or a subordinate, nor may a person nominate himself or herself.
• A group of employees may also be nominated for its performance as a unit. If this is the case, and a group is selected as a winner, the group name is printed on the citation with each individual’s name printed below the group name on their citation. In citing the reasons as to why an individual or group of employees should receive a citation, particular emphasis should be placed on one or more of the following: Exceptional managerial, organizational and/or communications achievements; Exemplary leadership; Achievement of significant improvements in productivity and/or cost savings in agency operations; etc.
• All nominations must be signed and the nominator’s relationship to the nominee(s) clearly specified.
2021 Youth Public Safety Academy to be Held Virtually
The Middlesex Sheriff’s Office has announced that it will be offering a free, virtual Youth Public Safety Academy (YPSA) once again this summer.
“While our goal had been to host an in-person camp this summer, it takes months of planning to properly prepare for a high-quality learning experience like YPSA,” said Middlesex Sheriff Peter J. Koutoujian. “With limited guidance available to us early in the planning process on how summer camps could safely operate and what compliance measures might look like, we decided the best decision was to follow the successful model we implemented last year when we held a series of free, virtual YPSA sessions.”
Additional information regarding the 2021 Virtual YPSA will be released in the coming weeks. Families with questions about YPSA may contact Director of Community Affairs Ken Doucette at 978-495-7408 or at [email protected].
To read the full letter from Sheriff Koutoujian to families regarding this year’s YPSA, please visit middlesexsheriff.org/YPSA.
Mayor DeMaria to Host Virtual Community Meetings
Mayor DeMaria is pleased to announce that he will be virtually hosting community meetings on Zoom beginning on Wednesday, May 12th at 7pm. Each meeting will be with a different ward of the City of Everett to learn more about the current issues facing the specific neighborhood.
“My Administration and I are excited to meet with the different wards of Everett,” said Mayor DeMaria. “Over the past year, the pandemic presented many issues in addition to the ordinary concerns that arise and I want to hear from our residents. We look forward to further connecting with the community and discussing the issues that are affecting their everyday lives.”
The schedule for the meetings is as follows:
•Ward 2: Wednesday, May 26, 2021
•Ward 3: Wednesday, June 9, 2021
•Ward 4: Wednesday, June 23, 2021
•Ward 5: Wednesday, June 30, 2021
•Ward 6: Wednesday, July 14, 2021
To join the meeting for your ward, please use the following Zoom information:
Join the Zoom meeting using this link:
Meeting ID: 915 1121 3761
Dial in: +1 646 558 8656
Adrien for Mayor Fundraiser/Signature Stops
The campaign Gerly Adrien for Mayor has shifted gears from a city council race to a mayor’s race. The campaign brought on staff and has scheduled its first Major Fundraising Event for Mayor. On May 23, at 7 p.m. Adrien will be hosting a Virtual Fundraising Reception to kick off her Race for Mayor.
Meanwhile, the campaign also announced in-person signature stops for Nomination Paper signing
This week, Councilor Adrien will be at the following locations with volunteers, collecting signatures for her nomination papers:
•15 Cumberland Street Everett, MA
•Glendale Park Elm Street Everett, MA
Wednesday, May 19, 6-8PM
Saturday, May 22, 11AM-1PM
•Everett Square Broadway and Chelsea St
Saturday, May 22, 9AM-11AM
•Rivergreen Park Northern Strand Trail
Thursday, May 20, 7-9PM (Tennis Court)
Saturday, May 22, 9AM-12PM (Dog Park)
•Lafayette School 117 Edith St
Friday, May 21st, 7-9PM
•McKinnon’s 620 Broadway Street
Saturday, May 22, 9AM-11AM
Sunday, May 23, 12PM-3PM
COVID-19 Vaccine Update
The City of Everett has received COVID-19 vaccines for this weekend, Saturday, May 22.
There are slots open for first vaccine appointments. Residents that sign up for their first dose will be receiving the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. The Moderna vaccine is only available for residents that will be receiving their 2nd dose. This is If you are eligible under Massachusetts state guidelines: https://www.maimmunizations.org/appoint…/en/reg/1982951600.
Pride Flag Raising
The City of Everett will host a Pride Month Flag Raising on Tuesday, June 1, at 11 a.m. on the corner of Church Street and Broadway next to City Hall. This will be the second year the Pride Flag has been raised in Everett, with School Committeeman Marcony Almeida Barros and Mayor Carlo DeMaria leading the first-time effort last year.
Spring Back Connolly Center Programming Mindful Meditation
Mayor Carlo DeMaria and The Council on Aging in conjunction with Neighborhood PACE are happy to present; Mindful Meditation. This class will take place Friday May 14, 2021 at The Connolly Center at 8:30am. After a short presentation with Neighborhood Pace, you are welcome to enjoy the ancient relaxation technique of Mindful Mediation with certified instructor Anna Noble. Anna will guide you through a short live practice. We look forward to having you join us.
Space is limited to 20 Participants only. Reservations for this event are required. Masks and temperature check are required. Social distancing must be observed. For reservations or additional information please call Margaret at 617.394.2323.
Council on Aging/Connolly Center
Mayor Carlo DeMaria and The Council on Aging, together, have been working diligently to be able to offer programing to our senior residents to slowly open up The Connolly Center while maintaining current safety practices and protocol. We are happy to announce our “Coffee Clutch” program.
The Connolly Center will be open Mondays and Fridays only, beginning Monday April 12. There will be two sessions offered to Everett Seniors, and one session offered on Friday. Each session will allow a maximum of 24 seniors. There will be 6 tables of 4 people each for a 90 minute session. Seniors will have the opportunity to see old friends, enjoy a snack and coffee and scheduled entertainment. Safety protocols, such as mask wearing, temperature checks and social distancing are mandatory. Our staff is required to sanitize before and after each session.
The “Coffee Clutch” Schedule is as follows:
Monday from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
Monday from 10:45 a.m. to noon
Friday from 10 a.m. to 12 noon
Reservations are a must. To make a reservation please call Margaret @ (617) 394-2323.
Everett Kiwanis Club to Hold Bocce Tourney in Methuen
Everett Kiwanis is proud to announce the Third Annual Frank Mastrocola Bocce Tournament to be held on Saturday, June 12 at the Methuen Sons of Italy, 459 Merrimack St, Methuen. First place team wins The Ersilia Cup and a $1,000 cash prize.
Free Library Problem
Join the Everett Public Libraries via Zoom to learn about turtles from “The Turtle Lady” on May 26 at 11 a.m. Registration is required, as there will be free kits to pick up so you and your child can engage in this interactive program. Kit includes Playdough and beads. Max of 25 participants. Recommended for ages 3-10. Sign up by calling 617-394-2300 or emailing us at [email protected]. Kit pickup is Wednesday 5/18 to 5/25 at Parlin at the lower entrance. Call ahead, ring the bell, or knock to have your kit brought out to you. If you would like to pick up your kit at Shute, let us know and the library will try to make accommodations.