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Carol Foote, Outreach and Development DirectorCarol Foote, Outreach and Development DirectorOn Saturday, May 7, The All Together Now Festival: Celebrating LifePath’s 30th Annual Walkathon allowed us to give, receive, and be happy together. 

Attendees had the opportunity to walk, learn, connect, and spread joy and goodwill. We thank the LifePath staff who created opportunities for attendees to engage with their programs. Many times over we heard, “I didn’t know that you provide that,” “I’m so glad I know that now,” and other similar responses. These conversations and connections reminded us that this community is a special place to grow and age together. The isolation we have endured was, all of a sudden, nonexistent as participants greeted each other with smiles, stories, informational materials, and engaging activities. Only a fraction of the many resources that may be found in our community were displayed, but personal tool kits were filled with helpful resources. We thank the following community partners for joining us on event day:

The Bement School; Cohn & Company; Community Action - Fuel Assistance; Community Legal Aid; FootCare By Nurses, LLC; Franklin County Community Meals Program; Franklin County Regional Housing Authority; Franklin County's YMCA; Franklin Regional Council of Governments; Pioneer Valley Hospice & Palliative Care; RSVP; South County Senior Center; and TRIAD.

More than 25 teams and 96 fundraisers joined the 2022 effort to secure more than 560 gifts.

We offer thanks to the performers who graced us with their talents, adding spirit to the day: The ROMEOs (Gary Regan), Eventide Singers (Joe Toritto), and the Farley String Band (Harry Sharbaugh). And special thanks to WHAI for broadcasting live.

More than 25 teams and 96 fundraisers joined the 2022 effort to secure more than 560 gifts. We would like to recognize the following teams and captains by announcing their totals as of May 13: 

  • $5,513.97, Boardwalkers, Judi Fonsh
  • $4,158.72, Rethermalytes, Charles Cornish
  • $3,682.04, Food Brood, Debbie Mumblo
  • $3,609.19, Cheryl's Pride, Brittani Brooks
  • $3,511.63, Clogston Cloggers, Barbara Bodzin
  • $2,953.74, First Congregational Church of Shelburne, Alan & Deborah Coutinho
  • $2,706.79, South County Senior Center, Nicole Graves
  • $1,876.35, Warwick Walkers, D. Carol Foote
  • $1,493.71, Nutrition All-Stars, Ann Kaczenski
  • $1,225.00, Phillip Stones, Paula Haley
  • $1,103.72, One Step At A Time, Eileen Krol
  • $904.54, Ambling Allies, Janis Merrell
  • $896.98, People's United Bank, Jamie Sonnabend
  • $734.00, FRCOG Public Health Protectors, Phoebe Walker
  • $690.00, Gill/Montague Senior Center Team, Mary Jones and Elsie Gilman
  • $587.00, Athol COA, Cathy Savoy
  • $520.00, First Congregational Church of Montague, Ann Fisk
  • $500.00, Senior Walkers, Arlene Farr
  • $375.00, Athol Women's Club, Maryann Rabideau
  • $320.00, Ellaminnowpea, Nancy Baker
  • $150.00, Petersham Council on Aging, Kay Berry
  • $125.00, Karen Fogliatti
  • $120.00, Team Buckley, Sarah Bompastore
  • $100.00, Team Weyers, Sharon Weyers
  • $50.00, Personal Care Attendant Team, Amy Dlugosz
  • $31.00, Orange United Methodist Church - Friends of Frank, Nancy Blackmer
  • $28.00, FootCare By Nurses, Andrea Conrad

This (incomplete!) list represents weeks of dedication and a commitment to what LifePath offers and who we serve. Congratulations to all the teams represented, and special thanks and congratulations to the top performing teams! The teams’ total stands at an incredible $37,935.38! Should you still be holding gifts you have secured for this effort, please send them before mid-June to be counted in this year’s effort.  

Additionally, we offer our thanks to the sponsors that prioritize LifePath’s mission.

The generosity from every person, business, and organization creates the opportunity for older adults, individuals with disabilities, and caregivers to access resources to seek, find, and extend their independence in their own homes and communities.  These resources include options for in-home care, nutritional support, housing, SHINE counseling, Healthy Living courses, protective services, financial resources, wellness and safety. By actively developing community partnerships and working alongside care providers, we can meet and improve the health and wellness of those we serve.

Thank you for coming “All Together Now” in recognition of 30 years of bringing the community together. Click here to view all photos from the event. We are grateful for your thoughtful generosity inspired by this fundraising effort. Thank you.

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Nancy and Gary Maynard had fun volunteering at the food table.
South County Senior Center came out to be All Together Now!
We were so glad to have Joe and Ray from TRIAD with us, along with a number of other community partners.
Participants enjoyed hearing The Farley String Band perform.
LifePath’s Nutrition Department was well represented on event day!

Join a Free Healthy Living Class this Summer

The Cost of Inactivity
For those of us with chronic conditions, being physically active and exercising are two of the best things we can do to improve health.

In the Time Magazine article “The New Science of Exercise,” Dr. Mark Tarnopolsky says, “the most effective, potent way that we can improve quality of life and duration of life is exercise.” Dr. Topolsky and a team studied mice with a terrible genetic disease that caused them to age prematurely. Over the course of five months, half of the mice were sedentary. The other half were coaxed to run three times a week on a miniature treadmill. By the end of the study, the sedentary mice were barely hanging on. The fur that had yet to fall out had grown coarse and gray, muscles shriveled, hearts weakened, skin thinned—even the mice’s hearing got worse. “They were shivering in the corner, about to die,” Tarnopolsky says. But the group of mice that exercised, genetically compromised though they were, were nearly indistinguishable from healthy mice. Their coats were sleek and black, they ran around their cages, they could even reproduce. “We almost completely prevented the premature aging in the animals,” Tarnopolsky reported.

What Exercise Can Do
Physical activity and exercise have been shown to help our cardiovascular system, elevate our mood, and improve our heart, lungs, and blood vessels. They improve muscle strength no matter how old we are, as well as our endurance, stamina, and flexibility. They help us lose weight and sleep better, have more energy, and have less fatigue, pain, anxiety, and depression. They improve our balance and coordination which help prevent falls. In contrast, people with low levels of physical activity are at higher risk for many different kinds of cancer, as well as heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and early death by any cause. Long before that, inactivity can worsen arthritis symptoms, increase lower-back pain, and lead to depression and anxiety—not to mention cause a sallow complexion. Many symptoms often attributed to “aging” are actually due to inactivity.

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Kinds of Exercise
We are advised to include four types of exercises in our routines that all play a part in bringing us these health benefits.

Endurance or Aerobic Activities (walking, hiking, swimming, or dancing), for a suggested total of 150 minutes a week, increase your heart rate and strengthen your cardiovascular system.

Balance Activities help to challenge our balance, maintain good posture, and involve coordination and movement exercises.

Strengthening Activities, done 2-3 times per week, make your muscles stronger by working them harder, usually against resistance (weights, resistance bands, or even your own body weight).

Flexibility Activities, ideally done every day, are movements, done slowly, that stretch or loosen muscles and joints. Yoga is a common example of this type of activity.

Remember that these are goals to work toward; they are not the starting point. Even a few minutes of activity several times a day is a good beginning. We urge you to create your own program or take advantage of the array of free or low-cost exercise programs available at our area senior centers and the area YMCAs (Greenfield YMCA: 413-773-3646, Athol YMCA: 978-249-3305), Springfield College’s PT Department: email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 413-748-3475), or the array of virtual exercise offerings online. Ask us at LifePath or your medical provider about area resources. What matters is that you choose some form of exercise and make it a habit. The best exercise is the one that you will do!!!

LifePath’s Healthy Living Summer Workshops!

In the Healthy Living Department at LifePath, our workshops teach about exercise and provide support from others in a similar situation to overcome our barriers to getting started. These evidence-based workshops provide information and practical skills for people living with long-term health conditions to better manage our health and improve the quality of our lives. Here are the workshops we are offering this summer.

◻ Living Well with Long-Term Health Conditions (Live Video Conference): Topics include healthy eating, relaxation techniques, communicating, goal-setting, problem solving, and more. Fridays, June 10-July 29 (skipping July 1), 9:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
◻ A Matter of Balance–Managing Concerns About Falls (In-Person at Elm Terrace, 1 Elm Terrace, Greenfield, MA): Teaches practical strategies to reduce the fear of falling and explores medical, behavioral and environmental risk factors for falls, stressing the importance of developing an exercise plan. Mondays, June 6-August 1 (skipping July 4), 1:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m.
◻ Living Well with Persistent Pain (Live Video Conference): Helps participants assume an active role in managing problems specific to chronic pain, including fatigue, frustration, and poor sleep. Topics include appropriate exercise for improving strength, flexibility, and endurance; pain management techniques; goal-setting; and problem solving. Wednesdays, June 8-July 20, 1:00 p.m.-3:30 p.m.
◻ Living Well with Diabetes (Live Video Conference and Telephone Toolkit): Teaches the basics of balancing medication, diet, and exercise; techniques to deal with hyper/hypoglycemia; meal planning; stress reduction; goal setting; problem solving; and more for people living with diabetes or their caregivers.
Live Video Conference Workshop: Tuesdays, July 5-Aug 16, 5:30 p.m.-8:00 p.m.
Telephone Toolkit Workshop: Thursdays, June 9-July 23, 1:00 p.m.-2:30 p.m.

For more information or to register, contact: Andi Waisman, Healthy Living Program Manager, at 413-773-5555, x2297/978-544-2259, x2297 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Carol Foote, Outreach and Development Director, giving@lifepathma.orgCarol Foote, Outreach and Development Director, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.The All Together Now Festival: Celebrating LifePath’s 30th Walkathon was AMAZING!  To be all together was a true gift. Our hearts are filled with joy to have reconnected following two years of virtual events. What a treat to see so many faces, new and returning, at our celebration.

Thank you to all who participated to make this year’s event a success. Sponsors, fundraisers, team members, walkers, staff, family, friends and volunteers—it is clear that LifePath holds a special place within you. We are so grateful for all the ways you show your support so that we may provide the support and services needed by members of this community.

Money is still coming in and, in the coming weeks, we will share the impact of The All Together Now Festival.

Money is still coming in and, in the coming weeks, we will share the impact of The All Together Now Festival. For now we are basking in the goodwill you continue to share with us and those LifePath serves.

Special thanks to those who helped us to build the festival spirit we all enjoyed so much on event day: all attendees, the ROMEOs, the Eventide singers, the Farley String Band, the Bement School, Adams Donuts, Bagels N’ More, Big Y, Food City, Foster’s Supermarket, Franklin Regional Transit Authority, Pine Hill Orchards, and Stop & Shop.

Older Americans Month Age My Way 2022 logoOlder adults play vital, positive roles in our communities – as family members, friends, mentors, volunteers, civic leaders, members of the workforce, and more. Just as every person is unique, so too is how they age and how they choose to do it – and there is no “right” way. That’s why the theme for Older Americans Month (OAM) 2022 is Age My Way.

If you would like guidance with aging-related needs, we are here to help.

Every May, LifePath celebrates OAM, led by the Administration for Community Living. This year’s theme focuses on how older adults can age in their communities, living independently for as long as possible and participating in ways they choose.

While Age My Way will look different for each person, here are common things everyone can consider:

·     Planning: Think about what you will need and want in the future, from home and community-based services to community activities that interest you.

·     Engagement: Remain involved and contribute to your community through work, volunteer, and/or civic participation opportunities.

·     Access: Make home improvements and modifications, use assistive technologies, and customize supports to help you better age in place.

·     Connection: Maintain social activities and relationships and stay connected to your community.

If you would like guidance with aging-related needs, we are here to help.
 
Diverse communities are strong communities. We invite you to join us by getting involved with one of our volunteer programs, joining one of our boards or steering committees, or by joining your local Council on Aging or Village. Ensuring that older adults remain involved and included in our communities for as long as possible benefits everyone.

Attorney Seunghee Cha; Bulkley, Richardson and Gelinas, LLP; Hadley, MA; 413-256-0002Attorney Seunghee Cha; Bulkley, Richardson and Gelinas, LLP; Hadley, MA; 413-256-0002A common estate planning goal is smooth administration of one’s affairs in incapacity and at death. People often create a joint bank account adding another person, typically a spouse or an adult child, so the other account holder can assist with bill paying and have uninterrupted access to the account for funeral and other expenses. 

Make your intent clear: it can make a world of difference.

Joint bank accounts have two key attributes: (1) the owners have equal ownership and access to the account, and (2) the survivor automatically becomes sole owner of the funds upon the death of the other owner. Such survivorship facilitates transfer of the account without the need for  probate. In many families, the arrangement is sensible, but beware of these drawbacks, particularly when the other joint owner is not the spouse:  

∙ Each owner has the power to withdraw everything, meaning the account could be cleaned out without notice. 

∙ The account can be exposed to each owner’s creditors, who can claim rights over the joint account. 

∙ If you intend to leave your children an equal inheritance, remember that the joint  account passes outside of your estate. Only the surviving owner is entitled to that account. 

Consider Mary’s story: A widow, she adds her son, John, to her bank account. John assists Mary with bill paying, including prepaying for her funeral. At Mary’s death, the account holds proceeds from Mary’s condominium, sold well over a year ago. Mary’s bills and administrative  expenses turn out to be modest. John and his wife resent Anne, his sister, for not doing enough to help Mary in her last year of life and believe that John deserves to keep all the money in the account. Anne insists that her mother intended her children to receive equal shares from the sale of the  condominium. If they cannot resolve the issue, the siblings may be headed to court, with Anne having the burden of proving Mary’s intent to overcome the presumption of John's survivorship of the account. Regardless of the outcome of the case, the siblings likely will not speak to each other again. 

If you want the benefits of a joint account to facilitate your affairs, you should discuss the arrangement with your family to avoid misunderstanding. It is advisable to memorialize the purpose of the account, indicate whether the arrangement is for convenience only, and state its intended disposition by a signed writing, including whether the remaining fund is a gift to the surviving account holder. It would be prudent to have the joint owner acknowledge the writing in the presence of a witness and a notary, especially if the account holds or could potentially  hold a lot of money. Make your intent clear: it can make a world of difference.