The BayPath Bulletin
News | Events | Resources

February 2020
We empower individuals across the lifespan to live with 
dignity and independence in the community setting of their choice 
by providing quality resources and services.
LGBTQ+ Initiative presents to MetroWest Health Foundation
Supporting our LGBTQ+ older adults and promoting intergenerational collaboration among the rainbow community

The success of BayPath’s LGBTQ+ Initiative has garnered the attention of the MetroWest Health Foundation, whose grants have helped fund the program since its inception in 2017. The Foundation invited BayPath Executive Director Christine Alessandro and Community Programs Manager Douglas Flynn to make a presentation to the Foundation’s Board of Directors on Jan. 27 detailing the lessons learned and ongoing plans for the program. 

Alessandro and Flynn spoke for approximately a half-hour, informing the Board of the history of the project, the need for such an initiative, and the program’s successful outreach efforts. These include creating an annual Pride Across Generations gala at Framingham State University, developing a 71-page LGBTQ+ resource guide, delivering cultural competency training to both BayPath staff and community organizations, and launching an LGBTQ+ older adult monthly meal site.
#OurHearts - February is American Heart Month
Produced by the National Institute of Health - National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI)

Each February, NHLBI and The Heart Truth® celebrate American Heart Month by motivating Americans to adopt healthy lifestyles to prevent heart disease. Their research shows that people are more successful at meeting personal health goals when we join forces with others. That is what prompted the #OurHearts movement , a national initiative to encourage people to be heart healthy together.

The Heart Foundation provided several facts about heart disease collected from the American Heart Association and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention :
Coronary Heart Disease (also known as atherosclerosis) is the most common type of heart disease and accounts for 1 in 7 deaths in the United States.
In the United States, someone has a heart attack every 40 seconds. Every 60 seconds, more than one person in the United States dies from a heart disease-related event.
The estimated annual incidence of heart attack in the United States is 720,000 new attacks and 335,000 recurrent attacks. The average age at the first heart attack is 65.6 years for men and 72.0 years for females.
37.7% of US adults are obese, one of the risk factors for heart disease.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, heart disease is second only to cancer. 
Nearly 1 of every 3 (about 33.3%) of American adults have high levels of LDL cholesterol (the “bad” kind).
The majority of 'Out of Hospital Sudden Cardiac Arrests (OHCA)" occur:
In public setting - 39.5%
At home - 27.5%
In a nursing home - 18.2%
Heart disease costs the United States about $200 billion each year. This total includes the cost of health care services, medications and lost productivity.
From 2005 to 2015, the annual death rate attributable to coronary heart disease declined 34.4% but the burden and risk factors remain alarmingly high.
The Coronavirus
Information on the Outbreak of the Coronavirus, now named 2019-nCoV

What is Coronavirus?
According to Department of Public Health , the Coronaviruses are a large group of viruses; some cause illness in people, and some occur in animals, including camels, civet cats ( mammal native to tropical Asia and Africa ,) and bats. Rarely, animal coronaviruses can evolve and infect people and then may spread between people. Human coronaviruses cause routine seasonal respiratory virus infections. Other coronaviruses, like SARS and MERS, can cause serious illnesses.

Focus on the facts
This outbreak is evolving at a pace that requires up-to-the-minute information. It is important to stay on top of the facts regarding this health crisis and not rely on hearsay. With that said, we are providing several links to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website, which the CDC is updating regularly so that the information posted remains valid.
A Q&A with a BayPath Volunteer
Over  300  BayPath volunteers serve older citizens in 14 MetroWest communities 

Since a large part of BayPath's success is due in part to the selfless work of our wonderful volunteers, we will be sharing insight into what it means to be a volunteer with BayPath and how such acts of support can have a huge impact on the lives of our consumers.
A Q&A with a Volunteer from our Healthy Living Program

Pegg Mancuso-Rowe has been involved in the Healthy Living Program for over 11 years and has been a dedicated volunteer with BayPath’s Healthy Living Program for approximately eight years, co-leading as many as 10 or more workshops per year, recently co-presenting with our Healthy Living Coordinator, Renee D’Argento .

These programs follow the guidelines of the Healthy Living Center of Excellence. They are the result of years of research and development at Stanford University and top medical organizations that have proven positive results for participants. Programs are generally offered at no cost to the participants and are continually offered by BayPath throughout the MetroWest area. 

Pegg is not only a Leader of the courses, but also a Master Trainer certified in nine evidence-based programs including: Chronic Disease Self-Management, Diabetes Self-Management, Chronic Pain Self-Management, Matter of Balance, Savvy Caregiver, Healthy Eating, Cancer Thriving, and Surviving, Workplace Chronic Disease Self-Management, and Powerful Tools for Caregivers. It is apparent to anyone who works with Pegg that she enjoys what she is doing and derives great satisfaction from helping others. BayPath is fortunate to have such a committed volunteer! 

We had an opportunity to speak with Pegg and gain some insight into her passion for teaching these evidenced-based, self-guided programs, as well as her experience volunteering with BayPath. 

BayPath: What made you first become interested in becoming a leader of these evidenced-based pro grams, which promote the independence of older adults by empowering them and their families to take m ore active roles in their care? 

Pegg: I'm retired now, but in my former working life, I was a psychotherapist specializing in working with people with chronic physical and mental health conditions. Helping to empower participants with chronic conditions while they take charge of managing their health to improve their quality of life has long been my passion. I believe in these programs, and eventually took extra workshops to become a Master Trainer so I could train leaders who would then offer these valuable, empowering programs in their communities. 

BayPath: What made you first decide to become a volunteer with BayPath’s Healthy Living Program? 
Pegg: I originally worked with Springwell about 11 years ago when a friend who managed the Healthy Living courses there recruited me to take the training to become a leader in Chronic Disease Self-Management. I was looking for a meaningful volunteer activity that spoke to me, and these courses did! A few years later, I learned of BayPath's interest in expanding these programs throughout the MetroWest area and I signed on. I live in MetroWest and was pleased to be able to offer these courses in my own and nearby communities. 

BayPath: What kind of time commitment does your role with BayPath take? 
Pegg: Each class lasts for six weeks, for two and a half hours each week, plus prep time and travel time, so it's a significant time commitment. Since I'm also a SHINE Counselor (Medicare counselor) and also volunteer at our local library, working courses around my schedule can be tricky, but Renee does a great job scheduling them! It's well worth the effort, though, because of the benefit provided to participants. I often ask myself, "When did I ever have time to have a job?"  

BayPath: What is the most rewarding part of what you do as a volunteer? 
Pegg: I reap the rewards each time I lead a course when participants realize they can take active steps to change small things in their lives to improve their health, and consequently, their quality of life. When participants report improvements in their health and fitness benchmarks, their enthusiasm over their life improvements is so rewarding. 

BayPath: Is there one instance that stands out above others where your training and support specifically helped a particular individual? 
Pegg: Yes. I was leading Diabetes Self-Management. There was one workshop participant who had never heard of the connection between physical activity and food choices as important ways (besides medications) to control diabetes. During the course of six weeks, she lost 12 pounds by changing her eating habits. She also had trouble, due to back pain, walking/exercising. Each week, she made a goal to walk five minutes and then added five minutes each week. By the end of the course, she was able to walk, without pain, for 30 minutes. Her enthusiasm for her accomplishment and being able to show results to her health care team was most gratifying. 

Click here for information about BayPath's Healthy Living Program
To inquire about becoming a Volunteer please visit our website
A spotlight on the vital services and programs at BayPath
I n each edition of the BayPath Bulletin, we showcase a different BayPath program and how it helps serve our consumers and local communities.

In this edition we are shining a light on our Senior Care Options program.
A Medicare-Medicaid Partnership for eligible seniors
Senior Care Options (SCO) is a comprehensive health plan that covers all of the services normally paid for through Medicare and MassHealth. This plan provides services to members through a senior care organization and its network of providers.

It combines health services with social support services by coordinating care and specialized geriatric services, along with respite care for families and caregivers. SCO offers an important advantage for eligible members over traditional fee-for-service care. There are no co-pays for enrolled members. However, no one is required to join Senior Care Options. Enrollment is voluntary. 

In addition to health care benefits, members can receive Home Care Services through BayPath Elder Services. A team of health professionals from the Senior Care Options agency and BayPath Elder Services works collaboratively with the client and their loved ones to develop a plan of individualized care for each person. Services are provided by a network of medical and other professionals (including a primary care doctor, nurses, specialists, and a geriatric social support coordinator).
If I enroll in Senior Care Options, what benefits do I get?

All health care services covered by MassHealth Standard:

  • Coordination of your health care, including a centralized record of your medical information
  • Individualized assessment
  • Primary and specialty medical care
  • Preventive care
  • Emergency care
  • X-rays and lab tests
  • Medical supplies and equipment
  • Prescription drugs
  • Mental health and substance abuse treatment
  • Rehabilitative therapy
  • Nursing facility care if needed
  • Community long-term care hospitalization
  • Transportation for services included in your health plan
  • Specialized geriatric support services
  • Adult Day Care
  • Dental care and eye care
  • Home care services
  • Family caregiver support

If you have Medicare in addition to MassHealth, you will also get all health care services covered by Medicare.
For more information, contact BayPath at 508-573-7200 and ask to speak to someone in our SCO department. 
Caregiving MetroWest - News and Updates
More About BayPath Elder Services, Inc.
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BayPath Elder Services, Inc. is a member of the MetroWest ADRC, 
a partnership with HESSCO and the MetroWest Center for Independent Living.

BayPath Elder Services, Inc.| 508-573-7200 |