Text Size: A A A


A spotlight of both planned events and spontaneous moments.

Honor older Americans this Senior Citizens Day

National Senior Citizens DayDid you know that August brings National Senior Citizens Day? Since Ronald Reagan issued the proclamation in 1988, August 21 has been a day to honor older Americans for a lifetime of contributions to our communities and country. In his proclamation, Reagan wrote:

“With improved health care and more years of productivity, older citizens are reinforcing their historical roles as leaders … Many older people are embarking on second careers, giving younger Americans a fine example of responsibility, resourcefulness, competence, and determination. And more than 4.5 million senior citizens are serving as volunteers in various programs and projects that benefit every sector of society. Wherever the need exists, older people are making their presence felt – for their own good and that of others.”

Meet our residents: Ina Starobin

Ina StarobinAt EPOCH, our residents impress and inspire us again and again with the incredible stories they have to share. This is true in the most literal sense of Boylston Place resident Ina Starobin. Ina, a longtime storyteller and writer, writes under the penname of Ina R. Friedman and currently has five published children’s books.  

Her most successful work is the picture book, “How My Parents Learned to Eat.” This humorous story depicts the budding romance between an American sailor and a young Japanese woman, both of whom are afraid to go out to dinner together. Their fear is not due to rampant butterflies fluttering in their stomachs, but rather, to the fact that they don’t know how to eat with one another’s native utensils. The gentleman worries he’ll embarrass himself because he doesn’t know how to use chopsticks, while the woman harbors similar anxieties because she doesn’t know how to use a knife and fork. The story teaches children a valuable lesson about embracing others’ cultures – there are different ways to do all sorts of things, and we can all learn other customs (and better understand each other) if we just try. The book may be ordered through your local booksellers or through Amazon.

“How My Parents Learned to Eat” has sold a half million copies and is the recipient of a Christopher Award, which honors work that positively influences the public and encourages audiences to see the better side of human nature. In fact, all of Ina’s works might be considered for Christopher Awards, given that they all strive to educate their audience, helping kids embrace cultural differences, better understand race relations, and learn about history from the perspective of people who lived it.

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.