JUNE 2021 NEWSLETTER | THE BAYPATH BULLETIN
JUNE IS PRIDE MONTH!
The 2021 Boston Pride theme is The Rainbow After the Storm”, which reflects on the past year being one of major pain, sorrow, and upheaval in our community and the world as a whole. It represents an opportunity to come together again and support each other in healing from the events of the past year, and in committing to continuing to work as a community toward acceptance, justice, and understanding. [Source: Boston Pride]
Do you know why June was selected as PRIDE month?
CLICK HERE to find out!
A SPOTLIGHT ON THE VITAL PROGRAMS AT BAYPATH
In each edition of the BayPath Bulletin, we showcase a different BayPath program and how it helps serve our consumers and local communities. This month we are shining a light on our LGBTQ+ Initiative program led by Julie Nowak.
BayPath is PROUD every day!
As part of our mission, BayPath strives to provide the very best information, resources and supports to LGBTQ+ older adults and their allies living in MetroWest. BayPath hosts several events every month where you can find a safe space to be your unique self. This month, we are offering the following:
WELCOMING & WORKING WITH LGBT ELDERS
Cultural Competency via Zoom
Monday, June 14 at 11 a.m. (90 min.)
FREE - All Welcome!
THE DUNE SHACK! A virtual Art Space
Thursdays at 11 a.m.
June 10, 17 and 24
Relax & create or just join the chat!
BYOLunch TO OUR VIRTUAL CAFE!
June 15 at Noon
Have a fancy lunch or ice cream out of the bucket! It’s all good. 
CASUAL CHAT ABOUT THIS 'N' THAT!
Tuesdays at 11 a.m.  
June 22 and 29
Stop by and say hi! LGBTQ+ & SOFFAs
HOW DID LGBTQ+ ELDERS FARE THROUGH THE PANDEMIC?
Q & A with Julie Nowak, BayPath's LGBTQ+ Initiative Coordinator

Q: How did the pandemic change the way you conduct outreach for the LGBTQ+ Initiative program?
Julie: What struck me as extraordinary during this past year was how the Rainbow community immediately came together and shared a rallying cry, "This is not our first pandemic. We helped one another survive the AIDS Crisis. Now is our time to put that experience to good use and band together to build a support network!" Many activists within the community supported those who were isolated or those who needed to talk to someone who understood them. 

As for outreach, we took our Pathways programs to Zoom and discovered we could reach across miles and even team up with other rainbow outreach groups! Attendees and allies enjoyed the freedom to be at home as their authentic selves while sharing social time with their peers. We even continued to host the Pathways Café, which before the pandemic was held at the Epicurean Room Restaurant at Assabet Valley Regional Technical High School. After March 2020, we moved it to Zoom with the caveat of BYOL - bring Your own lunch! Even without a buffet, folks loved having this relaxed space for intergenerational conversation, sharing memories and discussing innovations and recent victories for the LGBTQ+ community.

Q: What other experiences or behavioral changes did you notice during the state of emergency?
Julie: So many people who did not feel free to be themselves in public had an opportunity to flourish and gain strength in their individuality while staying safe at home. Resolved to return to society with fresh authenticity, they are now faced with taking this new version of themselves into public for the first time since pandemic restrictions have lifted. They’ve enjoyed genuinely expressing themselves across a whole year, and becoming comfortable with their identity, and now they’re considering how they’ll share that with the world. While this may cause some anxiety at first, there are a lot of people waiting to meet them with joy and camaraderie!

Q: Anything else you would like to share with our readers?
Julie: Yes! No matter what, you are not alone, you are ENOUGH, and your identity IS valid! Remember, there’s no timeline for coming out; wherever you are on your journey, that’s where you are supposed to be right now. If you’ve spent the pandemic sheltering in place with people who don’t understand what you’re going through, please reach out to our LGBTQ+ confidential phone line, drop into one of our virtual events, ask questions, or ask about a good book that can help explain LGBTQ+ issues and concerns. I am always happy to help, and our Pathways groups are friendly spaces where YOU are truly welcome!
For more information on our LGBTQ+ Initiative or any of our events, call Program Coordinator Julie Nowak on BayPath's confidential LGBTQ+ phone line at 508-573-7288 or email Julie at jnowak@baypath.org
ALZHEIMER'S AND BRAIN AWARNESS MONTH
Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month is dedicated to generating increased conversations, donations, and public awareness about the disease. The goal is to raise funding for prevention, early detection, continued research, and enhanced care. Over 50 million people worldwide and 6 million American's are living with Alzheimer's.
Did you know?
Dementia is not a specific disease. It's an overall term that describes a group of symptoms. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia.
CLICK HERE for causes and risk factors for Alzheimer's disease.
Join the Alzheimer's Association in going purple and raising awareness this June. There are many ways to take action in the fight against Alzheimer’s, from fundraising to simply putting a purple Alzheimer's badge on your Facebook profile photo. See all the ways you can help raise awareness. Click Here >>
MANAGING YOUR BUDGET IN A POST-PANDEMIC WORLD
Even before the coronavirus pandemic hit the United States, 1 in 3 older adults had financial worries. The pandemic isolated seniors more than ever before. Those who did have help managing their finances suddenly found themselves forced to "go it alone" and, in some instances, were not up to the task. 

Current Economic pulse of Adults 65 years old or older in the U.S.
  • Over 15 million older adults aged 65+ are economically insecure, with incomes below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level. [Source: Kaiser Family Foundation]
  • Older women are more likely to live in poverty than men as a result of wage discrimination and having to take time out of the workforce for caregiving. [Source: Justice in Aging]
  • Over half of Black and Hispanic seniors aged 65+ have incomes below 200% of the Federal poverty line. [Source: Kaiser Family Foundation]
  • Over 14.8 million, or 4 in 10, older adults are lifted out of poverty by obtaining Social Security benefits. [Source: Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
Experts determined that older Americans living in a single-person household are likely to experience significant declines in their financial well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic. [Source: National Council on Aging.]
Our Money Management program assists people 60 and over and persons with disabilities who have difficulty managing their day-to-day finances. We provide free assistance with bill-paying, budgeting, reading mail, advocating with service providers, and more. With the support of our Money Management volunteers, elders receive the targeted help they need for improved stability and prolonged independence. Certain income and asset guidelines may apply. All volunteers undergo background checks, and are trained and supervised by BayPath staff.

If you think you would benefit from this program, or have an interest in becoming a volunteer, call Sue Burns at BayPath, 508-573-7241.
MASS.GOV COVID-19 UPDATES
The information below is taken from a June 3, 2021 press release by the Baker-Polito Administration. Click here to read the full press release.
Mass.gov reaching out to all communities
With nearly 3.7 million residents fully vaccinated and over 4.3 million people receiving at least a first dose, the Administration is focused on increasing targeted community-based vaccine efforts to reach remaining populations. 

As of June 3, 2021, the Massachusetts COVID-19 Command Center has sent over 1.1 million targeted text and phone messages to residents in disproportionately impacted communities to remind people of the importance of getting a vaccine and share locations in their community where they can get vaccinated.

The Command Center is continuing to reach the other communities. Currently, messages will be sent to Brockton, Malden, Methuen, Revere, and Worcester.
The Commonwealth announces ramp down of mass vaccination sites
The Baker-Polito Administration announced the planned closing dates for mass vaccination sites in the Commonwealth over the next several weeks.

Currently planned closing dates at each of our mass vaccination sites, all dates are subject to change:
  • Gillette Stadium: June 14
  • Hynes Convention Center: June 22
  • Natick Mall: June 23
  • Reggie Lewis Center: June 27
  • Doubletree in Danvers: June 30
  • Eastfield Mall in Springfield: July 6
  • Former Circuit City in Dartmouth: July 13

These sites continue to be available to for walk-in appointments. For information on days and hours of operation, visit www.vaxfinder.mass.gov.
AGING WISDOM
Unsolicited book recommendation
In This Is Getting Old, author Susan Moon touches on both the ups and downs of aging: Her bones are weakening, but she still feels her inner tomboy. She finds herself both an orphan and a matriarch following the death of her mother.

She admits to sometimes regretting pieces of her past and to being afraid of loneliness. These musings, written with wit and grace, are a touching exploration and celebration of life, age, and our “senior moments”—plus a powerful reminder to be in the here and now.
MORE ABOUT US
BayPath Elder Services, Inc.
BayPath is a designated Massachusetts Area Agency on Aging and one of 26 Massachusetts Aging Services Access Points.

BayPath is dedicated to being a trusted partner, providing an array of services and programs to older adults and individuals of any age with disabilities who require support to maintain their independence.

BayPath's Information and Referral team is happy to answer your questions and direct you to the proper support. Call 508-573-7200 or visit
CareGivingMetroWest.org
Caregiving MetroWest, a BayPath program, offers resources and information to our communities' family caregivers. Review all of the offerings for family caregivers on our caregiving website: CareGivingMetroWest.org

BayPath also provides direct support for family caregivers through our Family Caregiver Support Program. Contact our Caregiving Specialist, Donna Murray, at 508-573-7239 or dmurray@baypath.org
The BayPath Family Caregiver Support Program and CaregivingMetroWest.org 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.
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BayPath Elder Services, Inc. is a member of the MetroWest Aging and Disability Resource Consortium, a partnership with HESSCO and the MetroWest Center for Independent Living.

BayPath Elder Services, Inc.| 508-573-7200 | www.baypath.org