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Caregiving Chronicles

Information and resources that support your role in caring for a loved one.

Caregiving Chronicles


Caregiving Chronicles will present news and analysis on caregiving topics in MetroWest and around the world, in-depth Q&As with experts in fields related to caregiving and updates and announcements about caregiving resources available in MetroWest from Program Director Douglas Flynn.

By DebraMcDonagh / October 13, 2020

Natick, Mass. - (September 16, 2020)

The Elder-Well ® Adult Day Program, a new social model adult day franchise program, is scheduled to open in Natick in mid-October 2020, under the direction of co-founders Kara and Ken Harvey. The Harveys previously ran an adult day
program in Wayland at The Constance Rose House.

About The Elder-Well® Adult Day Program: 

The Elder-Well® Adult Day Program is a non-medical social model adult day care program. It provides a safe, supportive and stimulating alternative to an isolating day at home. This unique program provides much needed support services to older adults with mild to moderate cognitive and/or physical needs and their caregivers. Daily services offered in a welcoming, warm, safe atmosphere help to ease stress and anxiety for guests and their families.




Provided daily between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. and will include:

  • Group and individual therapeutic and educational activities
  • Health and wellness monitoring 
  • Community outings 
  • Presentations
  • Nutritious breakfast, lunch and afternoon snack
  • Gentle exercise programs
  • and more!

Additionally, support for activities of daily living (ADLs) and instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs) will be provided, as will specialized Alzheimer’s and dementia supportive services for clients and their family caregivers.

Benefits to Caregivers

Caregivers will benefit with essential respite from caregiving responsibilities, and clients may receive up to eight hours of daily compassionate, supervised care. A basic one to six staffing ratio will be followed, with additional staffing as needed. All staff members have diverse eldercare, educational and business backgrounds and the team will include home health aides, a staff nurse, an activities and education professional, certified Dementia Practitioners (CDP) and administrators.

"While adults in the day care program experience many benefits, social models also positively impact caregivers and family members who require much-needed time off from the demands of caring for another. Participation in a program allows caregivers to continue their professional and personal life obligations and activities," said Kara Harvey.

The Space: Functional and Safety Conscience

In its 1,500-square-foot space, Elder-Well will feel like a welcome home with a living room, dining room and quiet area designed to be comforting and familiar. Two handicap-accessible bathrooms are located within the program space.

As part of its Covid-19 and seasonal flu risk mitigation, Elder-Well is following all guidelines put forth by the CDC, Massachusetts and the Town of Natick, including strict cleaning and disinfecting protocols; social distancing and limited enrollment; maintaining an adequate amount of personal protective equipment on site; educating staff, volunteers and clients about infectious disease and personal hygiene; and health monitoring and contract tracing measures, to name a few.

Additionally, the space has recently been updated with a new high-efficiency rooftop HVAC unit with the ability to introduce fresh air into the space.

Elder-Well Adult® Day Program is located at:

12 Washington Street, Natick, Mass., 01760 (Click for google maps)

Located at the intersection of routes 135 and 27, Elder-Well is easily accessible to many surrounding communities and close to the Natick Center MBTA Commuter Rail Station.

For additional information:




Lauren Schiffman

By DebraMcDonagh / October 2, 2020

The Virtual Healthier You 

A six-week program which will be facilitated by Laila Vehvilainen, MS, MPH, a health educator and certified senior wellness specialist. 


Weekly topics include:

  • Brain Fitness
  • Lowering Your Health Risks
  • Moving More
  • Stay Connected
  • Be Present, Stress Less
  • Find Your Passion
Program Dates:
October 21st - November 18th
Program Cost: 
*No one will be turned away for inability to pay.
It’s Easy to Register
Contact he Sherborn Council on Aging with your information.


This program is funded in part from the Older Americans Act as granted by Bay Path Services, Inc. A provision of the act is to allow for the opportunity to make a voluntary donation to support some of the program expenses. If you would like to make a voluntary donation, please mail a check to Town of Sherborn, Council on Aging, Sherborn Town Hall, 19 Washington Street, Sherborn, MA 01770.

By DebraMcDonagh / August 3, 2020

Things to do while stuck inside during the pandemic....

1. Take an online class.

Have you ever wanted to learn something new but never found the time? When you are "staying safe at home," it is a perfect time! is very inexpensive and offers all kinds of classes from a creative course on photography, art, and design, to business courses, languages, and personal development classes. You can even download their app to a mobile device.

2. Learn a new recipe. 

Getting tired of hearing, "I don't know! What do you want?" when you ask a family member what they want for dinner? Try some new ideas out! Pinterest is a never-ending source of finding recipes and meal plans. But you can also go straight to some proven recipe websites like,, or



3. Start a Journal. 

Try these prompts to get you going: 

  • Make a list of things you are grateful for. It can be big things or as basic as "I have a roof over my head" or  "my car started today." 
  • Write down your life goals & then group them into items to try now, next year, next five years.
  • Write about whatever (or who ever) is stressing you out today - you don't even need to keep it! Write it and throw it out - we promise it will make you feel better!

Treat your self to an inexpensive but beautiful journal to inspire you!

4. Play music. 

If you play music while you are cleaning or doing chores around the house, mundane tasks will seem more fun. If you feel sad - play upbeat music, try oldies from your younger days. If you need to concentrate on something, play instrumental music







5. Start walking outside. 

Fresh air and exercise are good for your health, and walking is an easy way to release endorphins, which will decrease depression, reduce stress levels, and boost self-esteem. Start small. Walk around the block or even your property. Go a little further each day!  Best of all, walking will increase your motivation and help you to accomplish Numbers 1-4 on this list ;-)

By DebraMcDonagh / August 3, 2020



The Sudbury Senior Center is closed until further notice, but they are offering many other activities on-line, including, exercise classes, fun informational seminars, and health centered workshops. Check out their August Newsletter for more information!

Below are two support groups for family caregivers. Now, more than ever, we need to find new ways to reach out for help. Consider joining these classes if you are at home caring for a loved one. 

Virtual Group for Care Partners and Loved Ones with Dementia

Class is being offered online via Zoom

When: 3rd Tuesday of the Month @ 2:00 PM (The meeting this month will be Tuesday, August 18 at 2:00)

Description: The Sudbury Senior center hopes you and your family are staying healthy and safe during these trying times. In an effort to stay in touch and provide some support, they are offering a caregiver support group for both caregivers and their loved one with dementia to participate in. 

The session will feature a caregiver and her husband who enjoy performing music together. You are welcome to share your talent, or  just sit back, listen and enjoy. 

RSVP: Please call the Sudbury Senior Center at 978-443-3055 or email Ana Cristina Oliveira at

Virtual Caregiver Support Group

Class is being offered online via Zoom

When: 1st Tuesday of the Month @ 2:00 PM (The meeting this month will be Tuesday, August 4)

Description: Caregivers often feel like they are alone. Therefore, a Support group can act like a family, where members feel supported, cared for, and accepted for who they
are. Inside a Support Group, people often feel protected and safe to express their feeling, whether positive or negative. 

A Support Group offers a place to be vulnerable and one’s self. Support Groups develop a sense of community through shared feelings and experiences. People feel connected with one another which can assist them in addressing their personal concerns and their need to ask questions. People feel comfortable to have a good laugh and rejuvenate through inspiring, and often comical stories that are shared between members.

RSVP: Please call the senior Center at 978-443-3055 or email Ana Cristina Oliveira at

To contact Staff please call 978-443-3055 and leave a Voice Mail message OR email

Are you unsure how to use Zoom? The Sudbury Senior Center understands that this is a new approach for many of us and have put together this informative page on their website that provides tips on how to get started with Zoom!  

By DebraMcDonagh / July 13, 2020

Stop the Spread

The Commonwealth is launching a strategic testing program in communities across Massachusetts that have continued to see a higher number of residents testing positive for COVID-19.

This program will support the testing of asymptomatic individuals in these communities to help stop the spread of COVID-19.  This testing will be provided at no cost to you.


  • Chelsea
  • Everett
  • Fall River
  • Lawrence
  • Lowell
  • Lynn
  • Marlborough
  • New Bedford

If you are a resident of one of these communities, even if you have no COVID symptoms, please get tested to help stop the spread.


This testing will be available July 10-August 14.







Language Capacity

Marlborough Hospital

157 Union St




Or visit our website



Interpreter services available

AFC Urgent Care

38 Boston Post Road, West

Sun – Fri

11 – 4

English, Spanish, and Portuguese


  • Open to everyone
  • You don’t need to have any symptom(s)
  • No cost to you
  • Testing at these sites is not restricted to residents of the city or town

Test results

  • Will be provided to each participant confidentially
  • Participants are encouraged to share these results with their doctors

For more information, click here


By DebraMcDonagh / July 6, 2020

Macintosh HD:Users:Colleen:Desktop:CGRG_Logo.jpg 

The Commission on the Status of Grandparents Raising Grandchildren is offering Statewide Zoom Support Group for Grandparents and Relative Caregivers!

  • Are you a grandparent raising a grandchild looking to connect with other grandparents or relative caregivers? 
  • Have you searched for a support group in your community but could't find one? 
  • Are you interested in learning about information and resources available to grandparents and relative caregivers but just did not know where to start?
  • If you answered yes to any of these questions, then please join the GRG virtual support group! 

In response to COVID-19, and in recognition of the importance of support during difficult times, members of the Commission will be hosting Zoom support groups for grandparents raising grandchildren and relative caregivers living in Massachusetts. Groups will be held bi-weekly and will be offered both in the morning and in the evening in order to accommodate busy schedules and needs. Guest speakers will be invited throughout the summer in order to provide the most updated information about services and resources for families or to address specific issues raised during meetings.

Schedule of Zoom Summer GRG Support Groups:

Monday, July 6th 7:30 p.m.

Tuesday, July 7th 9:30 a.m.

Monday, July 20th 7:30 p.m.

Tuesday, July 21st 9:30 a.m.

Monday, August 3rd 7:30 p.m.

Tuesday, August 4th 9:30 a.m.

Monday, August 17th 7:30 p.m.

Tuesday, August 18th 9:30 a.m.

You must register to receive the link for meetings. 

Contact Colleen Pritoni to register:

About the GRG

The purpose of the Commission of the Status of Grandparents Raising Grandchildren is to be a resource to the Commonwealth on issues affecting grandparents and relatives, other than parents, who are raising grandchildren or other kin. 

The Commission shoulders the following responsibilities:

  • Foster unity - Foster unity among grandparents raising grandchildren and community support organizations by promoting cooperation, sharing information, and encouraging collaboration and joint activities.
  • Serve - Serve as a liaison between government and private interest groups with regards to matters of unique interest and concern to grandparents raising grandchildren in the Commonwealth.
  • Programs - Assess program and practices in all state agencies as they affect grandparents raising grandchildren.
  • Advise - Advise executive and legislative bodies of the potential effect of proposed legislation on grandparents raising grandchildren.
  • Investigate - Investigate the merits of a state agency dedicated to grandparents’ issues and determine how the agency would be set up.
  • Identify - Identify issues that are faced by relatives, other than parents, raising kin.

By DebraMcDonagh / June 22, 2020

Donating a surplus of masks to seniors in need!

Grace O’Donnell, Director of Elder Services at the Council on Aging/Callahan Center, Framingham, reached out to our Nutrition Director, Denise Menzdorf, about providing reusable cloth masks to the seniors who receive home delivered meals from BayPath. 

This collaboration netted over 150 masks for our vulnerable seniors!

Each mask was thoughtfully enclosed in a plastic Ziploc bag with a flyer from the Department of Public Health, advising people to wash them before and after each use and the proper way to wear them/remove them to avoid exposure. They came in both men's and lady's sizes.

The masks for BayPath were provided by Marybeth Crocci and a group of individuals who make up MBs Mask Buddies. The group is working together to make cloth face masks during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is formed by those skilled at sewing and others who help in additional ways. The group is dedicated  to doing what they can to help those in need and build a sense of community at a time when it is so sorely needed. BayPath and our consumers greatly appreciate your support Mask Buddies! Thank you!

To date, the City of Framingham has received many donations of handmade cloth masks, and has distributed a few hundred to our seniors. Thank you, Framingham!

By DebraMcDonagh / June 2, 2020

BayPath is pleased to announce a free workshop


Tele-conference* Wednesdays, 2:30-3:30 PM


Zoom with us** Tuesdays, 11:30-2:00 PM

Now accepting registration for programs starting in August and September

Start dates to be determined based on participants. 

Download flyer


Are you living with a physical or mental health condition such as diabetes, heart disease, asthma, COPD, cancer, arthritis, depression, anxiety, chronic pain, or other ongoing health condition?

Learn how to manage your health and improve your well-being.  This FREE six-week workshop helps you devise a personalized approach to managing chronic illness symptoms on a daily basis. Topics include:

  • Exercise and nutrition
  • Managing pain & fatigue
  • Dealing with difficult emotions and depression
  • Making informed decisions regarding medications and treatment decisions

You will learn skills to help you have increased energy and physical activity, decreased pain, fatigue, depression and fewer social limitations.

These programs follow the guidelines of The Healthy Living Center of Excellence and are the result of years of research and development at Stanford University and top medical organizations that have proven positive results for participants. 

For more information and to sign-up today: 

Please call Renee D’Argento, Healthy Living Program Coordinator at 978-807-3875.  
The program encompasses 6 weekly sessions and consistent attendance is required. 

These tele-programs are a group call of no more than 4-6 people. Anyone from any town can join within the towns we service. Click here for a map

By DebraMcDonagh / June 1, 2020


Am I a family caregiver?

  • If you care for a loved one who is an older adult, or has
  • a disability or illness, you are a family caregiver.
  • The care could include helping with finances, grocery shopping, transporting, cleaning, or cooking.
  • You could be caring for a spouse, parent, grandparent, adult child, grandchild, friend, or neighbor.

Do I need family caregiver support?

  • Caregiving can be rewarding and fulfilling, but can also take an emotional, physical, and financial toll.
    • For example, providing care can lead to fatigue, stress, worry, missed work, and time spent away from family, friends, or hobbies.

What is the Massachusetts Family Caregiver Support Program?

  • The Family Caregiver Support Program provides free support services to eligible caregivers.
  • The program is administered by the Massachusetts Executive Office of Elder Affairs and provided by your local Aging Services Access Point (ASAP). ASAPs are regional non-profits dedicated to aging services.

Who is eligible for the Family Caregiver Support Program?

  • You are eligible if you are an adult who is…
  • caring for an older adult (60 years of age or older) caring for an individual living with dementia (e.g. Alzheimer’s disease)
  • age 55 or older caring for a child under age 18
  • age 55 or older caring for someone with a disability

How can the Family Caregiver Support Program help me?

  • Family Caregiver Specialists can, at no cost to you, facilitate...
  • Access
  • Refer you to services and resources in your community Counseling and training
  • Advise you one-on-one
  • Help you plan for care wherever your loved one lives Organize caregiver support groups
  • Run workshops and training Provide educational materials Respite care
  • Relieve you temporarily from your caregiving responsibilities so you can get the rest and respite you need

How do I connect with the Family Caregiver Support Program?

If you live in MetroWest in one of the town on this Map, contact BayPath's Caregiver Specialist, Donna Murray at 508-573-7239 and leave a voicemail ,or email at:

If you live in a town outside of those listed above, you can call MassOptions at 844-422-6277 from 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM, Mon – Fri Someone will connect you with a Family Caregiver Specialist at your local Aging Services Access Point!

Visit for more on:





To download this information in a 2 page flyer from click here


By DebraMcDonagh / May 20, 2020

DAILY CARING has provided answers to the 33 Top Caregiver Questions they have received in regard to Coronavirus Senior Care.

Should older adults have non-essential visitors during this time?

What precautions should I take when I'm visiting an older adult's home?

When I bring purchases into the home, like food or household supplies, do I need to sanitize them before putting them away or using them?

When I receive packages, do they need to be sanitized?

What's the proper technique for washing my hands to reduce the spread of infection?

How do I disinfect my older adult's home to prevent the spread of viruses?

I care for two separate people, in two separate locations. How can I safely provide care and not transmit viruses between them or from myself?

My older adult is in a nursing home or assisted living community that has been locked down - no visitors are allowed. How can I keep in touch with them and make sure they're not scared or lonely?

Are grocery stores dedicating certain hours in which high-risk individuals (like seniors) can shop without crowds?

Is the COVID-19 virus airborne? Can I get infected by using the elevator in my building?

If I have a fever and don't know if I have COVID-19, is it ok to take Advil (ibuprofen) to bring down the fever?

What should I do if I start to feel ill?

Is financial help available for people who have been impacted by the coronavirus crisis? (See #18 for additional tips and info)

What are some senior-friendly indoor activity ideas?

Should seniors go to existing medical appointments?

How do I talk about coronavirus lifestyle changes and shelter-in-place orders with someone who has Alzheimer's or dementia?

What can you do when seniors won't take social distancing or stay-at-home orders seriously?

I can't work right now because the company is shut down, I've been laid off, or because I need to stay home to reduce my older adult's exposure to the virus. What kind of financial help can I get?

I heard that Americans are going to get money from the government. What does that mean for me? How much money will I get?

What does Medicare cover for coronavirus?

What about me? Are coronavirus tests and treatments going to be covered by my health insurance?

I lost my job-based health insurance coverage and I'm worried about getting medical care if I get sick. Where can I get low-cost coverage now?

Should I wear a face mask when I go out? What about at home?

Should I make my own hand sanitizer? Can I use DIY hand sanitizer recipes that I find online?

Should grandparents be visiting with grandchildren right now?

I'm on Social Security and don't have to file taxes. Do I need to file a tax return or extra paperwork to get my coronavirus stimulus payment from the government?

What are my options if I can't pay my credit card bills due to coronavirus?

What's the best material to use when making a cloth face mask?

What should I do if my older adult gets sick? How do I know if they have COVID-19?

I'm a senior and I'm not able to go out to buy groceries due to coronavirus. How can I get help with shopping?

I'm taking care of someone with dementia. Before coronavirus, I was preparing to move them to a memory care community, but the care community has stopped move-ins and the person is getting more aggressive. How can I get help? What can I do?

My older adult has an in-home caregiver who goes to their home every day. What kind of precautions should they be taking?

If restrictions or stay-at-home orders are being lifted in my area, does that mean that the pandemic is under control and we don't need to take precautions against coronavirus exposure anymore?

If you have a question that has not already answered, you can email them at

If you require immediate response or caregiving support, please contact BayPath Caregiver Specialist, Donna Murray at

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BayPath Elder Services, Inc

The BayPath Family Caregiver Support Program and has been made possible by funding from the Older Americans Act as granted by Executive Office of Elder Affairs. Participants may make a voluntary donation toward the cost of this federally funded service. Click here for more information. was originally made possible, in part, by generous grants from the MetroWest Health Foundation. Additional funding support was graciously donated by Avidia Bank from 2018 – 2021.

Thank you, MetroWest Health Foundation and Avidia Bank, for enabling BayPath Elder Services to provide support and resources to family caregivers.