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A spotlight of both planned events and spontaneous moments.

Meet our caring staff: Mary Kirk, Director of Social Services

Mary KirkMary Kirk is a longtime member of our team at EPOCH Senior Healthcare of Brewster. Now in her 14th year as our Director of Social Services, Mary has developed rich, deep bonds with residents and staff alike.

Mary meets daily with residents and families to offer guidance and help them navigate the healthcare process. Mary’s support is valued by all, but is particularly important for our new residents. As Mary says, moving from a beloved family home to a nursing home is a difficult transition, one that often makes seniors feel they’re losing their independence. Mary aims to help both seniors and their families cope with the change and adjust to their new home. “I see my role as their key go-to person to help them through the whole process,” she said.

Meet our caring staff: Tom Enderby

Tom Enderby with Ms. T and Norton residentWith May being Older Americans Month, we’d like to take this opportunity to honor someone who goes above and beyond to better the lives of seniors.

Tom Enderby is the official driver at EPOCH Assisted Living of Norton, but he’s become so much more to residents and staff. Above all else, Tom is a good friend to everyone here. Beyond providing transportation for doctor appointments and errands, Tom takes Norton residents on field trips around town, most notably to the reservoir and Winslow Farm – a sanctuary for abandoned and mistreated animals –and brings along his trusty golden lab Ms. T to brighten everyone’s day. 

Celebrating local artists

Celebrating local artistsWe’re celebrating local artists this week. First, we’ll host an art opening for Pittsfield folk artist Jo-Anne Irwin, who paints real and imagined scenes of simpler times in the Berkshires. Then, we’ll host a reception for EPOCH of Norton’s own resident artist, Thomas Casso. Stop by to view Tom’s beautiful nature-themed paintings and talk to him about his inspirations.

We also look forward to a book club discussion of the thrilling novel, “The Art Forger,” as well as a discussion with Stonehill College professor Gary Hylander on the riveting presidential election of 1940. Everyone is welcome to join us for any of these free events – just be sure to RSVP! Keep reading to learn more.

Young at heart: Seniors feel positive about aging

Seniors have positive attitudes on agingNo matter how old you get, you always feel young at heart.

At least, that’s what many aging adults reported in UnitedHealthCare’s ninth annual 100@100 survey.

Centenarians on average reported feeling 83 years old, while 65-year-old baby boomers felt at least 10 years younger than they were. On top of that, many centenarians also reported feeling “blessed” and “happy” to be 100.

So what’s the secret to growing older without feeling like you are? Good health is surely a significant factor. Most of the respondents who reported feeling young were in relatively good health. The centenarians, for example, could carry out most of their daily activities without assistance. Respondents also visited their doctors annually for checkups and maintained an active lifestyle.

What volunteering means for seniors

It’s National Volunteer Week – a great time to get involved in your community, encourage others to do the same, and to recognize those who already commit themselves to volunteerism.

Volunteering is a worthwhile cause no matter who you are, but it can be particularly valuable for seniors. By helping those in need, volunteer work often provides older adults with a newfound sense of purpose at a time when their social roles are changing. Although the freedom that comes with retirement offers us an opportunity to explore new things, it can be difficult to adjust to having so much free time after a lifetime spent going to school, caring for kids and working. Volunteering is a great use of your time and will help you feel a sense of accomplishment and fulfillment.