Newsletter of the Needham Rotary Club for January 18th, 2022
Our Speaker: Aicha Kelley, Program Coordinator, The Center at the Heights
Aicha Kelley is Program Coordinator at the Center at the Heights, the building at 300 Hillside Avenue that houses the offices and activities organized by the Town of Needham's Council on Aging. The Center is open, despite the pandemic, with visitors required to wear a mask. While current attendance is off, the number of activities remains as high as ever. There's a staff of seventeen, including four drivers, three social workers, and two clinicians. The Needham Council on Aging offers services to the town's population aged sixty-plus, including:
  • Outreach and counseling: confidential and free sessions, including some visits at home, on issues associated with aging, including substance abuse.
  • Advocacy.
  • Transportation: from home to the Center at the Heights or grocery store and return ($1 per ride donation; advance reservation required). Twice monthly to pharmacies; once monthly to Target or Walmart. 
  • Daily meals are offered Monday through Friday at noon at the Center at the Heights ($2 donation; 24 hour advance reservations required). Meals delivered to senior residents at home are offered through the Health Department.
  • Information and referrals: for example on homecare, financial assistance and health insurance (Medicare, Medicaid and Medigap) programs; homemaker or housing services.
  • Volunteer opportunities: "Friendly visitors" pairs volunteers with seniors, who have requested a visitor (zoom or in-person). "Phone pals" pairs seniors with high school students.
  • Health and wellness information and screening: the VNA Care Network offers free consultation with a registered nurse at the Center on the first and third Wednesday of each month (9-12).
  • Exercise, creative, educational and recreational classes: there are over 50 courses listed on the Center's website. There's a fitness room with a professional trainer open from 9-2 daily. 
  • Special events and trips.
  • The drop-in center for socialization.
With so many activities happening, how best to get informed on programs of interest to you? There's a monthly publication: "The Needham Compass", which is the senior newsletter. It is available within the section of the Town of Needham website devoted to the Council on Aging (http://www.needhamma.gov). You'll find the current Needham Compass under "publications". Aicha points out that to get a grip on what's happening at the Center at the Heights each day, see her daily newsletter called "COA Daily Highlights" within the Council on Aging portion of the Town website. Also, within that tab, you can subscribe to receive the COA Daily Highlights via email or text.
Our Next (Zoom) Meeting: Tuesday January 25th at noon. Our Speaker will be: Tom Keating, Chaplain, Needham Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #2498