All posts by MA Healthy Aging Collaborative

How to Identify Depression, and the Strength Behind the Pain

By Kathy Kuhn, Center for Aging and Disability Resource (CADER), BU School of Social Work

In my last blog post on mental health and aging, I described Ms. McKay, an older woman who was coping with multiple losses. She had significant hypertension, diabetes, and arthritis. She had been active in her church but was spending more and more time alone in her apartment and not even collecting her mail. Her closest relative had recently moved away. She felt that nobody really cared if she even showed up. Despite the clear signs of depression, Ms. McKay’s provider did not notice them during her last doctor’s visit. Continue reading

How You Can Fight Elder Abuse in Massachusetts

By Betsey Crimmins, Senior Attorney, Greater Boston Legal Services, Inc.

An elderly parent is neglected and isolated by his adult child; a 92 year old woman is at risk for eviction after being fleeced by scammers and does not have enough money to pay her rent; an elderly couple in their nineties begin to physically abuse each other; a 71 year old woman with limited education and sensory disabilities is duped by her son into transferring her home to him;  a proud 86 year old veteran finds himself standing outside his home in his bathrobe clutching money and very disoriented.  These are just some examples of how elder abuse affects our families, friends, and neighbors every day in our communities. Elder abuse is a complex and multi-faceted problem which must be addressed by everyone who works with or cares about older adults.

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Caregivers Have Plenty to Prepare for as Another Cold Winter Arrives

Cross-posted from Caregiving MetroWest
By Douglas Flynn, Program Manager, Caregiving MetroWest

The last of the Thanksgiving leftovers are long gone. Holiday lights and decorations are going up. And the first snow has already come down upon the area.

Winter won’t officially begin for another couple weeks, but don’t tell that to anyone who had to scrape the ice off their windshield this morning. Yes, the cold weather is here, and the dawn of another winter brings a number of issues for caregivers and their loved ones. Continue reading

It’s Older Driver Safety Awareness Week!

December is a time of many holiday festivities and family get-togethers. Here in Massachusetts, it’s also a time of snow and cautious driving. Older Driver Safety Awareness Week in the first week of December is an opportunity to promote the importance of safe driving among older adults. Continue reading

“It’s My Fault and I Just Need to Get Over It”: The Story of Ms. McKay’s Depression

By Kathy Kuhn, Center for Aging and Disability Resource (CADER), BU School of Social Work

I’d like to share with you a story from my days as a social worker at Kit Clark Senior Services (KCSS).

Ms. McKay is an 82-year-old African American woman living in Dorchester. She was single, with significant hypertension, diabetes, and arthritis. Although she had a prosthetic leg, she was mobile. She had been active in her church but was recently spending more and more time alone in her apartment and not even collecting her mail. Her apartment was getting increasingly cluttered, bordering on hoarding. Continue reading

Making Aging Sexy: Highlights from the MCOA 2014 Conference

By Angel Bourgoin, Consultant, JSI 

This year’s Massachusetts Association of Councils on Aging (MCOA) fall conference was a great success. Bringing together Councils on Aging, municipal agencies, researchers, and other partners in Falmouth, Mass. on October 8-10, the conference was a vibrant discussion on the important issues and opportunities in improving the lives of older adults. Joanne Moore, president of the MCOA Board of Directors, praised the conference’s presenters and staff, saying “Our 600+ engaged learners went back to their Senior Centers renewed, excited, and bubbling with ideas!” Continue reading

Leveraging Resources, Learning from Each Other

By Kayla Romanelli, Program Associate, Tufts Health Plan Foundation

“How many people in the room feel maxed out?” A few brave participants slowly raised their hands. Then another question, “How many people in the room wish they had a road map to achieve their goals?” More hands went up. “Today we are going to help you build that road map.” And with that, the workshop began. Continue reading

Improving Walkability in Fall River

By Jaime Corliss and Ben Wood, MDPH and Julie Kelly, Fall River Mass in Motion

Public health people love to talk about Policy, Systems and Environmental change (PSE for short). You probably have an understanding of what this concept means (and you may be sick of hearing about it; or if you are like us you live and love it!) but it is important to note how much this way of thinking is driving public health priority selection and resource allocation. Continue reading