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Driverless cars promote seniors’ independence

Seniors and DrivingDriving provides us with a stronger sense of independence and self-sufficiency. Unfortunately, with deteriorating eyesight and slower reflexes, many people face giving up their car keys as they age.  

Relinquishing driving privileges is a difficult decision for many seniors, especially those who strongly value self-reliance. Giving up the car keys means they have to rely on others to get to the grocery store, doctors' appointments, dates with friends, and other errands and meetings.  

Within the next few years, there might be a new solution that would allow seniors to reclaim the independence that comes with driving: computer-operated autonomous vehicles. In other words, self-driving cars.

Free concerts all week long

ConcertsAlthough Thanksgiving celebrations are over, we still have plenty of great events lined up at our communities. Please join us this week for any of the free musical performances we have planned. We’ll enjoy visits from Duo 44, the Cumberland-Lincoln Community Choir, jazz singer Krisanthi Pappas, and the Berkshire Hills Chorus. Keep reading to learn more!

Tips for family financial caregivers

Financial caregivingDiscussions around family caregiving often focus on providing assistance with chores and errands, as well as looking after a loved one’s physical and emotional health. But an equally important aspect of family caregiving is financial caregiving.

Many adult children become responsible for their parents’ finances so gradually, they often don’t realize it’s happened. Yet, managing a loved one’s finances can be one of the most stressful aspects of caregiving. Especially as lay fiduciaries, assuming responsibility for another person’s finances and acting in their best interests can be challenging, despite your best intentions.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the American Bar Association offer these tips to financial caregivers:

Enjoy free events during Thanksgiving week

ThanksgivingHappy Thanksgiving! We have some great events leading up to and following the holiday. On your to or from visiting family and friends, we welcome you to stop by and join your friends at EPOCH for a presentation by a professional photographer, a classical piano concert, or just to catch up! Keep reading to learn details about our upcoming events.

Pittsfield: Photographer features ‘The Beauty of the Berkshires’
Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2:30 p.m.
EPOCH at Melbourne, 140 Melbourne Rd.
Photographer Phyllis Prysby will present a slide show of photographs she has captured of Berkshire County’s landscapes and features. Call 413-499-1992 for more information or to R.S.V.P.

Childhood music lessons have lasting health effects

Childhood music lessons have lasting health benefitsA new study suggests that your brain may still be reaping benefits from those childhood music lessons you took so many years ago.

The Northwestern University study, published in the Journal of Neuroscience, examined adults aged 55 to 76 to determine whether a link exists between limited musical training in childhood and the way the brain responds to sound as we age.

Participants listened to a recorded speech sound while the researchers measured electrical activity in the part of the brain that processes sound. Those participants who took music lessons during childhood had a faster brain response to the speech sound than those who did not. And the more years participants had spent playing an instrument, the faster their brains responded. Participants with four to 14 years of music training had the fastest response times.