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MOW Walkathon banner 2019

Carol Foote Headshot July 2018Carol Foote

March 2019 MOW Walkathon Concert Wrap Up photoThe Northfield Mount Hermon (NMH) benefit concert for Meals on Wheels on Sunday, February 18, was a great success!

The fun factor was ratcheted up as the NMH student musicians kept concert attendees guessing and each selection gave more reason for delight. Wistful violins? Boisterous winds? Staccato samba? A Motown medley? The Flintstones theme? Percussion by tap shoe? Yep, Sunday’s concert truly had something for everyone.

Thank you to those at NMH - the student musicians, Steve Bathory-Peeler, Ron Smith, Sue Rhenow, and Susan Podlenski - who, for 15 years, have made space for LifePath and those we serve by hosting this concert to benefit our Meals on Wheels program. And special thanks to the supporters who helped to raise $859 that will directly impact elders in our community. We are so grateful.

If you regretfully weren’t able to be with us, we have good news! We have uploaded a short video featuring clips of songs from the concert to our Facebook page; have a listen!

If you wish to support LifePath’s Meals on Wheels program, please give online or send your gift to: LifePath, 101 Munson Street, Suite 201, Greenfield, MA 01301.

Finally, remember to save the date for this year’s Meals on Wheels Walkathon, scheduled for Saturday, April 27 from 8:30 am to 11 am! Learn more about becoming a walker, donating, or becoming a sponsor.

Karen Lentner head shotNutritionist Karen LentnerDid you know that inflammation is more than a swollen ankle or a cut finger after a fall or injury? Inflammation, especially chronic inflammation, can be far more serious and may be the cause of serious health issues including cancer, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, depression, and more.

There are two types of inflammation, acute and chronic:

Acute inflammation

Acute inflammation often occurs after an infection or injury, such as a sprained ankle or redness in the skin caused by a scrape or cut. It’s a healthy, natural process that helps your body heal.

Chronic inflammation

Chronic inflammation is long-term and persistent, often occurring in conditions including arthritis, asthma, and inflammatory bowel disease. Foods, stress, and chemicals may also be a cause of inflammation.

What are signs of chronic inflammation?
Signs of chronic inflammation include:
  • chronic fatigue
  • high blood glucose levels
  • gum disease
  • allergies
  • depression
  • anxiety
  • joint pain or stiffness
  • reddened, blotchy skin associated with eczema or psoriasis
  • digestive problems including gas, bloating, diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), or constipation

Obesity or excess fat around your waist may be a sign of inflammation in your gut.

Since chronic inflammation can contribute to health issues, what can we do to decrease it?

One of the most powerful ways to fight inflammation is by DIET – avoiding common inflammatory foods, and adding anti-inflammatory foods rich in antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and nutrients. These foods help fight inflammation and nourish your body to keep you healthy.

Foods that fight inflammation – INCLUDE plenty of these in your diet:
  • Green leafy vegetables: spinach, kale, chard, and cruciferous vegetables including broccoli, cabbage, brussels sprouts, and cauliflower.
  • Fruits: including berries, oranges, cherries.
  • Fatty fish: salmon, tuna, mackerel, sardines
  • Healthy fats: including olive oil, coconut, walnut and hazelnut oils, and avocado.
  • High fiber foods: whole grains, nuts, seeds, and beans (legumes).
  • Probiotics and fermented foods: including yogurt, kefir, kombucha, kimchi, sauerkraut, and miso. Check labels to make sure they contain live organisms that help restore gut health and reduce inflammation.
  • Teas: including white, green, and oolong, which have antioxidants that may reduce inflammation.
  • Herbs and spices: including turmeric, curry, ginger, garlic, cinnamon, basil, rosemary, and thyme: use these seasonings generously.
Foods to avoid that may promote inflammation – try to AVOID:
  • Refined carbohydrates, sugars: including white bread, pastries, donuts; and for some people, avoiding gluten is helpful.
  • Processed meats: hot dogs, sausage, kielbasa, and red meat (burgers, steaks).
  • Soda, other sugar sweetened beverages.
  • Fried foods, lard, shortening.

For an overall healthy diet that helps reduce inflammation, consider the Mediterranean diet as it’s rich in fish, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and healthy oils. Consider eating less processed and more natural foods as these may improve your physical and emotional health and your overall quality of life. Exercise daily, get enough sleep, consider yoga or mindfulness to reduce stress, and maintain a healthy weight.

Consider joining us for a healthy meal at one of our dining centers or call LifePath to set up Meals on Wheels at 413-773-5555 or 978-544-2259.

Volunteer with Long-Term Care Ombudsman

Next free training: March 27, 28, and 29, 2019, Springfield, Mass.

Sept 2017 AVS Linda Ackerman Ombudsman Volunteer photo WEBLinda Ackerman, volunteer Long-Term Care Ombudsman, visits with Richard Boyle, a resident of a local a nursing facility.In just a few hours each week, you can make a big difference in the lives of residents of local nursing facilities and rest homes. By slowing down and really listening to a resident’s concerns, you can find joy in ensuring the residents you speak with have a high quality of care and quality of life.

Interested volunteers must successfully complete the application process, which includes a criminal offence record check (CORI), reference checks, and an interview with the program director, before attending the training. Volunteers are reimbursed for their mileage to and from the facility to which they are assigned. Ongoing support is provided.

For more information or to apply, click here or contact Trevor Boeding, program director, at 413-773-5555 x2241, 978-544-2259 x2241, or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Volunteer with Benefits Counseling

Training is ongoing

Benefits counselors with LifePath are volunteers who assist elders and people with disabilities with learning about the benefits to which they are entitled and filling out applications. Volunteer benefits counselors from all over Franklin County and the four Worcester County towns of Athol, Petersham, Phillipston, and Royalston in the North Quabbin help their neighbors access benefits programs offering assistance with home repair, weatherization, fuel assistance, disability modifications, foreclosure protection, utility discounts, and SNAP (food stamps). Usually meeting in an elder’s home or other setting of their choice, the counselors will work with an elder to assess their needs, explain what they can expect, help gather the necessary paperwork, and begin application processes.

For more information or to apply, click here or contact Laurie Deskavich at 413-773-5555 x2211, 978-544-2259 x2211, or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Why volunteer with LifePath?

Your life experiences and knowledge are invaluable and can make a difference in our community. Your time, no matter how small, can make a big difference.

The benefits of volunteering with LifePath are numerous:

  • We provide support and free training for volunteers on an ongoing basis.
  • As a volunteer, you will get to meet and connect with other volunteers in your chosen program.
  • Some programs provide free events and other ways to connect with colleagues during the year.
  • LifePath experts provide one-on-one guidance throughout your volunteer experience.
  • Some programs offer mileage reimbursement.

Additional volunteer opportunities are available. Contact us to learn more.

Jessica Riel headshotJessica Riel, Editor, The Good LifeAfter over six years as the editor of The Good Life, I have decided to move on to a new opportunity here in the Pioneer Valley. It has been a pleasure to serve as editor during my time as the media and communications director at LifePath, and I have enjoyed and will miss connecting with the many contributors, featured individuals, readers, and others involved in the publication over the past several years.

As a reader of The Good Life, we at LifePath value your input. Similar to our annual request for information you’d like to read in The Good Life, LifePath is also seeking participants in a survey about LifePath’s community engagement. Your feedback about how you engage with LifePath and, more broadly, how you prefer to get your news and information, will help us to better communicate our message and serve more people.

Please take a few minutes to complete our online survey - and enter to win a $25 gift card to Green Fields Market or McCuskers Market, donated by Franklin Community Co-op!

To share additional feedback about The Good Life, feel free to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or write to The Good Life, LifePath, Inc., 101 Munson Street, Suite 201, Greenfield, MA 01301.

So much about life is about change and learning how to successfully navigate and weather the storms and sunny days we all face. It has been an honor to play a role in helping so many of you learn about options for independence through these pages, and I hope you will continue to turn to LifePath when you or a loved one need a helping hand or want to lend one as a volunteer or donor, and that you will encourage others to do the same.

Learn more about LifePath’s services for elders, people with disabilities, and caregiversread past editions of The Good Life, or contact us.

What to do about robocalls

Consumers are getting more and more unsolicited robocalls. As the number of these calls has multiplied, so have the number of complaints reported to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), state and local law enforcement agencies, and consumer organizations across the country.

March 2019 FTC Robocalls photoRobocalls are oftentimes an annoyance, but they can also be illegal and a scam. If you get a robocall, it is best to hang up the phone and not press any numbers.What's a robocall?

If you answer the phone and hear a recorded message instead of a live person, it's a robocall.

You've probably gotten robocalls about candidates running for office, or charities asking for donations. These robocalls are allowed. But if the recording is a sales message and you haven't given your written permission to get calls from the company on the other end, the call is illegal. In addition to the phone calls being illegal, their pitch most likely is a scam.

What's the reason for the spike in robocalls?

Technology is the answer. Companies are using autodialers that can send out thousands of phone calls every minute for an incredibly low cost. The companies that use this technology don't bother to screen for numbers on the national Do Not Call Registry. If a company doesn't care about obeying the law, you can be sure they're trying to scam you.

What's the FTC doing about robocalls?

During the last few years, the FTC has stopped billions of robocalls that offer everything from fraudulent credit card services and so-called auto warranty protection to home security systems and grant procurement programs. Tracing these calls is a tough job.

Many different companies use the same or very similar recorded messages.

Robocallers fake the caller ID information that you see on your phone. That's called caller ID spoofing — and new technology makes it very easy to do. In some cases, the fraudulent telemarketer may want you to think the call is from your bank, or another entity you've done business with. Sometimes, the telephone number may show up as "unknown" or "123456789." Other times, the number is a real one belonging to someone who has no idea his or her number is being misused.

Robocallers often place the calls through internet technology that hides their location.

What should you do if you get a robocall?

If you get a robocall:

Hang up the phone.

Don't press 1 to speak to a live operator and don't press any other number to get your number off the list. If you respond by pressing any number, it will probably just lead to more robocalls.

Consider contacting your phone provider

You can ask them to block the number, and whether they charge for that service. Remember that telemarketers change Caller ID information easily and often, so it might not be worth paying a fee to block a number that will change.

Report your experience to the FTC

File a complaint online or call 1-888-382-1222.

What prerecorded calls are allowed?

Some prerecorded messages are permitted — for example, messages that are purely informational. That means you may receive calls to let you know your flight’s been cancelled, reminders about an appointment, or messages about a delayed school opening. But the business doing the calling isn’t allowed to promote the sale of any goods or services. Prerecorded messages from a business that is contacting you to collect a debt also are permitted, but messages offering to sell you services to reduce your debt are barred.

Other exceptions include political calls and calls from certain healthcare providers. For example, pharmacies are permitted to use prerecorded messages to provide prescription refill reminders. Prerecorded messages from banks, telephone carriers and charities also are exempt from these rules if the banks, carriers or charities make the calls themselves.

Article reprinted from the Federal Trade Commission website.