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Brief occasional items announcing in-house EPOCH news, such as staff promotions.

Support healthy hearts

American Heart Month FundraiserHome to Valentine’s Day and American Heart Month, February is the perfect time to focus on your heart health. Heart disease is the leading cause of death among men and women alike. Yet, we can significantly reduce our risk for it by making some smart lifestyle changes.

In particular, high blood pressure or cholesterol levels significantly increase our risk for developing heart disease. Try these heart healthy tips to keep levels low:

EPOCH opens Berkshire County’s first Memory Café

Diane WeinsteinBy Diane Weinstein, Executive Director, EPOCH Assisted Living at Melbourne

Caregivers often say that one of the greatest challenges in caring for a loved one with memory loss, Alzheimer’s disease or other form of dementia is a feeling of aloneness and isolation. Because of the nature of conditions that cause progressive memory loss, there is often a change in the quality and type of social interactions between couples or in a parent/child relationship. Instead, days can be filled with difficult and tedious tasks, communication challenges, and managing confusing symptoms.

Honoring Veterans Day

Veterans Day is just around the corner on Monday, Nov. 11. It’s a day to honor our nation’s veterans for their patriotism and willingness to serve for the common good. At our EPOCH communities, we like to make a big deal out of Veterans Day. Especially since many EPOCH residents are veterans themselves, we strive to observe this day in meaningful ways each year.

At EPOCH Assisted Living at Melbourne, for example, the Food Service Director and Executive Chef always prepare a luncheon for veterans at the Dalton Senior Center. Melbourne also recently held a craft fair at which many veterans shared their stories (the photos are of EPOCH vets and local elementary students at the fair); the community donated proceeds to the local veterans’ organizations American Legion and Veterans of Foreign War.

Art reception features Community Access to the Arts

Community Access to the ArtsEvery month, our Melbourne community hosts a great reception to feature the work of local artists. We always enjoy meeting new artists and supporting their creative aspirations.

This month, we held a very special reception featuring artists from Community Access to the Arts (CATA), an award-winning nonprofit founded in 1993 by Sandra Newman to nurture and celebrate the creativity of people with disabilities.

CATA’s visual art has been exhibited at business, cultural and community sites throughout Berkshire County and beyond, including the Norman Rockwell Museum, the Ferrin Gallery and VSA Boston. At EPOCH, we were honored to feature their artwork at our reception and to display it throughout October. 

The original paintings and drawings by artists in CATA’s visual art workshops will continue to grace our walls until Thursday, Oct. 31. If you haven’t seen it yet, stop by and check it out before it’s too late! The exhibit is open between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Writing keeps seniors mentally sharp

Writing for seniorsWriting is an excellent way to express ourselves, exercise creativity, and stimulate the brain. Particularly as we age, writing helps us stay mentally active, keeps our memories sharp, can offer us a sense of fulfillment, and helps us create a legacy. At many of our EPOCH communities, we host various writing groups for these very reasons. At EPOCH Assisted Living at Brewster Place, for example, many of the residents enjoy participating in our memoir-writing class. Below is an essay written by Brewster Place resident Patricia Dyke during a recent workshop.