Wednesday Schedule

Plenary (12:00-1:00)

In today’s welcome, Secretary Elizabeth Chen recognizes those towns and cities that have become Dementia Friendly, and Robin Lipson will give a keynote on the Age and Dementia Friendly initiatives.  This will be followed by two great TED Talks from Carl Honore and Tom Wujec.

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Session One (1:45 – 2:45)


W1-1  Using the Medicare Plan Finder

This program is designed to help attendees walk through the process of creating a MyMedicare account and to use the Medicare Plan Finder to determine the best health insurance and drug coverage plans that meet their needs and financial concerns. Provider network, Medigap plans, pharmacy choice and plan details will be discussed.

Kathleen Grant, SHINE Assistant Director, SHINE Program

CEUs Offered: No


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W1-2  Network of Care Massachusetts: A Virtual Tool for Locating Behavioral Health Resources

In this workshop, participants will learn how to use Network of Care Massachusetts—an online tool that helps users find information about resources in their communities for people of all ages with mental health and substance use needs. Network of Care Massachusetts is designed to serve individuals at risk for or living with behavioral health (mental health and/or substance use) conditions, their families and friends, care coordinators and other staff at provider organizations and state agencies.

The demo will include a 15-minute virtual demonstration of Network of Care Massachusetts with a special focus on resources and information for older adults, tips for finding the information you need in the service directory, and a 15 minute Q&A session.

Jessica Larochelle, Director for Public Policy and Government Relations at Massachusetts Association for Mental Health
Stefani Karr, Network of Care Project and Data Manager at Massachusetts Association for Mental Health
Kathy Sterbenc, Vice President at Trilogy Integrated Resources

CEUs Offered: No


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W1-3  Going Virtual: Using Technology to Build Intergenerational Relationships and Programs

As the need for physical distancing continues, offering creative ways for older adults to engage socially is critical. This session will explore how intergenerational programs can help older adults new to the digital world increase their tech literacy and connectedness–and help prevent social isolation.

Stephenie Hou, Program Manager, Little Brothers-Friends of the Elderly
Kelly Prister, Program Coordinator, Little Brothers-Friends of the Elderly
Cynthia Wilkerson, Program Director, Little Brothers-Friends of the Elderly

CEUs Offered: No


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W1-4  At the Intersection: Bridges Between Brain Injury and Substance Use Disorder

This workshop will provide an introduction to the treatment, accommodation and support needs of individuals with both brain injury and substance use disorder, and describe the activities of the “Bridges Between” grant.

Gabriela Lawrence-Soto, Grant – Project Manager, Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission
Helen Reid Stewart, RN, CBIS, Outreach Coordinator, Brain Injury Association of Massachusetts

CEUs Offered: 1 SW CEU, 1 Nursing CEU, 1 LMHC CE



Instructions for OSU Modified Acquired Brain Injury Screening Tool – MRC 2020 Revised 10.21.20

MRC – Accommodations and Compensatory Strategies for Cognitive Deficits Handout 10.21.20

MRC SUD-TBI Awarness Presentation for MCOA 10.21.20 Final

OSU Accommodating Symptoms of TBI booklet 1-14

OSU Modified Acquired Brain Injury Screening Tool – MRC 2020 Revised

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W1-5  Staying Connected with Alexa and Virtual Vacations

When we talk about the term Healthy Aging, we often hear words like “resilience” and “adaptation” as key attributions. Like the people we advocate for, Council on Agings also need to be adaptable and resilient especially during these unusual times of quarantine and disconnect. Now more than ever, COA’s must adapt programming to maintain connections with its older adults. We must be resilient as we look at programming and outreach just like our elders. As concerns of physical health have been at the forefront of this current crisis, mental health concerns must be addressed as well. The Amesbury COA has developed two programs that have helped seniors stay connected while staying home. The first is a smart device loan program to help reduce feelings of loneliness and isolation. The second is a weekly virtual tour of places like Boston, Franconia Notch and the Newport Mansions – to offer some fun, variety and socialization. Join us as we discuss the funding, the challenges, and the successes!

Doreen Arnfield MA, LSW Amesbury Council on Aging Director
Bridget Goerke, MSW COA Amesbury Council on Aging Case Worker
Richard Stewart, MSW Salem State Intern

CEUs Offered: No


Alexa Pilot Program – Pre_Post Test (1)

Alexa Pilot Program Liability Waiver

Alexa Pilot Program Manual

Alexa Program Process Outline

Alexa Program Progress Data Sheet Template

Device Loan Liability Waiver

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W1-6  Understanding Technology Access and Utilization Among Older Adults During COVID-19

Technology access is essential for our physical and emotional health, often acting as the gateway to our lives for connection, information, healthcare and work during COVID-19. The importance of digital tools such as cell phones, internet and tablets that allow for social connection has only grown during this period of physical distancing, in which technology may be the only mechanism to engage with those outside one’s home. During this session, attendees will hear about the issues and opportunities related to technology access for older adults and will also learn about different ways that technology has benefited older adults and family caregivers across the Commonwealth through the aging services network.

Robin Lipson, Deputy Secretary, Executive Office of Elder Affairs
Sinan Erzurumlu, Faculty Director, FutureLab on Mobility, Babson College
Ayana Green from BCYF Grove Hall Senior Center

CEUs Offered:  No


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W1-7  “Who Knew?!” Getting the COA Message Out There

Proactively spelling out to the public the specifics of your pandemic efforts, accomplishments, and challenges is key to creating a supportive environment for both your staff and your seniors.  Participants will discuss strategies for keeping local elected officials, older adults, family members, and the community at large updated on any innovative alternative programming and services that you’re offering as well as obstacles encountered and areas of concern.

Tina Gorman, Executive Director, Westfield Council on Aging

CEUs Offered:  No

Notes – Who Knew, Getting the COA Message Out There, 10-21-20 (1)



Session Two (3:00 – 4:00)


W2-1  Pivoting Your Strategic Planning & Marketing/Branding in the Time of COVID-19

The pandemic has been challenging, heart-wrenching and expensive. You’ve pivoted to online programs, new forms of food distribution and much more outreach via phone to your older adult community. You’re working harder than ever. Do your community’s residents and municipal officials know and appreciate what you’re doing? Do they think your building being closed this spring means you’re not working or don’t need as much support? Do they know what you offer, and all that you do to maintain the physical, mental and emotional health of older adults?

The pandemic creates an opportunity to reinforce how essential your services are. This session will give examples of what some senior centers are doing to pivot and update their strategic planning and marketing. It will offer some best practices of how Senior Centers can improve the perception and awareness within your communities and help them understand and appreciate what you do, especially during COVID-19.

Barrie Atkin, President, Atkin Associates Strategy-Marketing-Fundraising

CEUs Offered: No


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W2-2  Complementary Webinars/Presentations from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts

BCBSMA is proud to offer online educational webinars to the COA’s throughout Massachusetts. Our programs include Medicare Education and Wellness presentations. We have been offering educational programs for 20 years and are excited to make them available as webinars to help keep seniors connected at this time of social distancing.

If you would like to get an idea of what we are offering COA’s, we hope you will join us for a condensed version of some of our most popular offerings. See below:

Planning for Medicare-Countdown to 65

This presentation helps people approaching Medicare eligibility understand their health insurance options outside of employer-sponsored coverage.  The presentation will explain: Medicare Parts A and B, Medicare enrollment timeline, Medigap Plans that supplement Medicare coverage, Medicare Advantage Plans, such as HMO and PPO’s, Medicare Part D prescription drug plans, and plans and programs available to early retirees, such as COBRA.

Nutrition Do’s and Don’ts During Uncertain Times

Are uncertain times causing you to eat or drink more and move less? Learn alternatives to comfort foods, and how to use mindful eating and drinking practices when you do indulge. Discover strategies to manage food and optimize nutrition while working from home.

Yoga Chair Stretches and Guided Relaxation Practice

Join us to practice stress-relieving yoga chair stretches to ease tight muscles in your neck, shoulders, and back, followed by a 10-minute guided meditation. Practicing meditation and connecting with others can help us better cope with stress and feel less isolated. No previous yoga or meditation experience necessary.

Susan Flanagan, Senior Plan Consultant, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts
Tricia Silverman, RD, MBA, Tricia Silverman Wellness
Janet Fontana, RN and Certified Health Coach

CEUs Offered: No


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W2-3  Introduction to Hoarding: Ways to Communicate and Respond to Cases

Hoarding presents challenges for a variety of professionals, including COA outreach workers. This training will provide an understanding of factors impacting a resident’s hoarding issue, easy to use assessment tools, recommendations for improving communication with residents that hoard, as well as information about who to reach out to for intervention assistance.

Eileen Dacey, MSW, LICSW, Program Manager, North Shore Center for Hoarding and Cluttering

CEUs Offered: 1 SW CEU, 1 Nursing CEU


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W2-4  Connecting in the Commonwealth: A Community Toolkit to End Loneliness & Build Community

This program will present results of the work of the statewide Taskforce to End Loneliness & Build Community. The Taskforce convened 4 regional conversations with approximately 300 community based organizations to identify existing approaches to addressing social isolation and loneliness as well as to brainstorm new ideas. Information from these conversations was developed into a community resource that will support cities and towns to develop mechanisms to address the pervasive issues of loneliness and social isolation both in times of a global pandemic and beyond.  This program will provide instruction on how to utilize the community resource and maximize existing avenues to connect residents across communities.

Sandra Harris, Volunteer President, AARP Massachusetts
Caitlin Coyle, PhD, Research Fellow, University of Massachusetts Boston

CEUs Offered: 1 SW CEU, 1 LMHC CE


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W2-5  MySeniorCenter for the New World

We’ve created some new stuff and modified some old things to help you deal with the new norm. Let us show you how to use it all. We’ll cover online registration, voice broadcasts, texting, COVID waivers, tracking virtual programming, collecting online donations and more.

Eric Andersen, MySeniorCenter
Chris Hamilton, MySeniorCenter

CEUs Offerend:  No

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W2-6  How Community Responses to COVID-19 Support Healthy Aging

In this session, participants will examine how community adaptations in response to COVID-19 can contribute to more inclusive and equitable age-friendly practices. Tufts Health Plan Foundation, the Massachusetts Executive Office of Elder Affairs, Massachusetts Healthy Aging Collaborative and FSG Consulting collaborated on this project to understand recovery and resilience at the local level, focusing on six communities across Massachusetts that were among the most impacted by the pandemic. Cross-sector community leaders defined the needs and adaptations they implemented during the pandemic to support older adults. A deeper understanding from interviews and secondary research resulted in stories, best practices, and recommendations that may strengthen communities across the Commonwealth through existing age- and dementia-friendly work as well as new collaborations.

Robin Lipson, Deputy Secretary, Executive Office of Elder Affairs
Tiffany Clarke (FSG)
Nora Moreno Cargie (THPF)
James Fuccione (MHAC)
Martha Velez (Lawrence COA)
Dave Christopolis (Hilltown CDC)

CEUs Offered:  No


New Report – How Innovative Community Responses to COVID-19 Support Healthy Aging

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W2-7  Innovative Practices: Finding Community Resources to Support Senior Centers Initiatives 

This innovative practice discussion will look at how some senior centers have tapped a variety of community resources, organizations, businesses and more to support service and programming initiatives during COVID-19.  We encourage you to bring your questions and be ready to share your challenges, as well as best practices with the group.

Susan Curtin, Director, Norwell Council on Aging

CEUs Offered:  No

Innovative Practices_Finding Community Resources Presentation

Innovative Practices Finding Community Resources to Support Senior Center Initiatives


Session 3 – Just for Fun!

4:15 PM – Yoga Class

Kim O’Brien will lead a yoga based class that will consist of both seated and standing postures (with the chair available for balance assistance.) and will incorporate breath work, perhaps mudras and end in a guided meditation.

6:00 PM – Time for Trivia

Join Becky and Jodi for a fun filled evening of Trivia! Prizes will be awarded! Test your knowledge as we dive into MCOA trivia, Massachusetts trivia, general knowledge and so much more! You never know what kinds of questions will be asked, so join in and learn about the network, other directors and pick up useless information that you may never need again!