- Written by Jessica Riel
- Published: 10 May 2017
After nearly 26 years at the Farren building in Turners Falls, LifePath, formerly Franklin County Home Care Corporation, is leaving 330 Montague City Road for a new main office located within the Greenfield Corporate Center at 101 Munson Street, Suite 201, in Greenfield, Mass.
“The current offices located at Farren Care Center are no longer able to meet our staff and visitor needs due to agency growth,” says Executive Director Roseann Martoccia, who reports that the agency has experienced a growth rate of 5 to 6% per annum. “We appreciate the partnership with the Farren Care Center during our collocation over the years.”
Each year brings growth and innovation in services, as the organization adjusts to serve a growing and changing demographic of elders, persons with disabilities, and caregivers. LifePath now employs more than 100 people, a great leap from its origins in 1974 with a staff of six.
As of Monday, May 15, 2017, LifePath will be operating out of the new office space in Greenfield. The two satellite offices in Florence, housing aspects of the Personal Care Attendant and Adult Family Care programs, and Pittsfield, operating Berkshire Elder Protective Services, will remain at their current locations. The other contact information will remain the same; call 413-773-5555 or 978-544-2259, fax 413-772-1084, send an email, or find LifePath online anytime at LifePathMA.org.
LifePath’s 40+ year history
LifePath has been located in Turners Falls since its incorporation on July 22, 1974, when Governor Francis L. Sargent set up the Department of Elder Affairs as a cabinet position within the state government of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Secretary of Elder Affairs Jack Leff visited the Franklin County Commissioners in the winter of 1974 and explained that there would be money available to serve elders across the state. The county human services coordinator, Ted Harrison, was assigned the task of making arrangements for a new organization.
At that time, the Franklin County Health Care, Inc., (also known as Senior Services) of Greenfield served meals at sites in Athol, Orange, Deerfield, Erving, Northfield, Shelburne Falls, Turners Falls, and Greenfield. On April 18, 1974, the Franklin County Home Health Care, Inc., applied for a Project Grant for the proposed Franklin County Home Care Corporation for a year of funding in the amount of $82,000. The grant was received and provided for the hiring of an executive director, community coordinator, fiscal manager, intake supervisor, case worker, secretary, and office equipment. And, thus, Franklin County Home Care Corporation came into being.
The newly formed organization just needed an office. The Town of Montague offered the Central Street School on Central Street in Turners Falls. It consisted of four classrooms, a principal’s office and a basement. One of the upstairs classrooms was being used by the Junior Women’s Club and the other by the American Legion. The Central Street building was leased from the Town of Montague for $1 per year, with the new organization responsible for utility and repair costs.
At that time, the nonprofit corporation operated home care programs in Franklin County, plus the four Worcester County towns of Athol, Petersham, Phillipston, and Royalston, to assist older persons over 60 years of age with hot meals, nutrition, medical services, legal services, nursing services, homemaking, social services, or any service which will prolong the life and wellbeing of older persons.
In June of 1991, after 16 years, LifePath moved to a new home located at what had previously been the Farren Hospital building at the Farren Care Center. The mission of the agency officially expanded by vote of the Board of Directors to include providing services to other populations, in addition to elders, becoming the first “Home Care” in the state to be approved to provide Personal Care Attendant (PCA) Services. Another program, Congregate Housing, offered for the first time an interdependent living arrangement – a private room coupled with common rooms, a daily meal, activities and a part-time coordinator – providing a supportive living situation.
Additional expansions of services followed. In July of 1997, the agency was designated as the lead agency for the SHINE health insurance counseling program in Franklin and Hampshire counties, recruiting and training new SHINE volunteers to meet the need to provide health insurance information to elders in both counties. Also in 1997, the organization became the first ASAP/AAA (Aging Services Access Point/Area Agency on Aging) in Massachusetts to expand information services online with the introduction of a website.
LifePath’s dedicated staff offer “options for independence,” working to help each person find the best options for their unique needs. LifePath supports elders and persons with disabilities to maintain independence and quality of life in their own homes and communities and helps busy caregivers to find relief and help loved ones to choose the right path.
LifePath still offers programs and services in Franklin County plus the North Quabbin, operating in Athol, Petersham, Phillipston, and Royalston in Worcester County. Additionally, Adult Family Care, Personal Care Attendant, and SHINE serve Hampshire County and parts or all of Hampden County, and Elder Protective Services and Personal Care Attendant serve Berkshire County.
Learn more about LifePath by calling 413-773-5555 or 978-544-2259 or visiting LifePathMA.org.