The BayPath Bulletin
News | Events | Resources

October 2019
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.
Malnutrition Awareness Week™ - September 23-27, 2019
Advocating to end malnutrition
Malnutrition Awareness Week is an annual, multi-organizational campaign created by ASPEN (American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition) dedicated to improving patient care by advancing the science and practice of clinical nutrition and metabolism. Founded in 1976, ASPEN is a community of dietitians, nurses, pharmacists, physicians, scientists, students, and other health professionals from nutrition related clinical practice, research, and education.

The primary goals of Malnutrition Awareness week is to:
  • Educate healthcare professionals in identifying and treating for malnutrition earlier
  • Educate consumers/patients about discussing their nutrition status with healthcare professionals 
  • Increase awareness of nutrition’s role in patient recovery 

BayPath's Dietitian/Nutritionist Traci Robidoux, RD, LDN reached out to all BayPath staff members to urge them to ask their consumers about their nutrition and encouraged anyone doing home visits to look for signs of unplanned weight loss, loss of appetite, or diminished food intake, which are three of the most significant warning signs when it comes to malnutrition.   
Risk factors for developing malnutrition:

  • Depression
  • Dementia / Memory impairment
  • Chronic diseases
  • Dysphagia (difficulty swallowing)
  • Financial limitations
  • Lack of transportation
  • Overly restrictive diets
  • Taking multiple medications
  • Poor dentition
  • Poor functional status (unable to prepare meals)
  • Social isolation & limited social supports
During the week of September 28, the nutrition team participated in a statewide initiative from the Massachusetts Commission on Malnutrition Prevention Among Older Adults to gather more information about the malnutrition risk of community-dwelling seniors. The data collected will help support the Massachusetts Commission on Malnutrition Prevention Among Older Adults, which was signed into law by Governor Charlie Baker in 2016 .  
Fresh produce delivered to BayPath consumers
BayPath’s Elder Nutrition Program (ENP) and Meals on Wheels (MOW) program received funding from The Massachusetts Department of Agriculture , through a federal grant-funded through the Farm Bill, to provide farmers market coupons and to purchase fresh produce for us to deliver to our homebound Meals on Wheels consumers. The grant total was $14,050, with $10,625 received in the form of Farmers’ market coupons and the balance of $3,425 allocated to purchasing produce from a local farm for MOW delivery.

Many seniors are afflicted by a myriad of health challenges, including poor diets, complex health problems, food insecurity, and loneliness. The BayPath Elder Nutrition Program is dedicated to delivering nourishing meals, and providing nutrition screening, education, and counseling, so that consumers can attain and maintain an optimal nutritional status.

Check out our website to find out more about our Meals on Wheels Program.  
l to r: Tom Hansen of of Hansen Farms, Lynn Tedesco, Hudson MOW Site Manager, and Elyse Venne, also from Hansen Farms
Fresh produce ready for Meals on Wheels delivery to homebound consumers
BayPath Elder Services LGBTQ+ Initiative is expanding its efforts
Pathways Café: a new monthly luncheon for LGBTQ+ older adults and allies
The Pathways Café will be held on the third Tuesday of each month, beginning on October 15. The meals will be served in the Epicurean Room , a restaurant run by the students and faculty at Assabet Valley Regional Technical High School (251 Fitchburg Street, Marlborough, MA 01752). Diners should enter directly at the Epicurean Room and not the main entrance to the school. Doors open at 11:45 a.m. and lunch will begin serving at 12 p.m.

The menu for October 15’s inaugural Café will include rolls and butter, fresh tossed salad, herb roasted chicken, pasta primavera, steamed mixed vegetables, roasted potatoes, assorted desserts, coffee, tea, water and soft drinks. Meals are free and open to all.

Our LGBTQ+ Initiative is an effort by our agency and community partners to provide outreach to LGBTQ+ older adults, families and caregivers to establish BayPath as an informed and inclusive place to find support, information and resources for health and well-being. Begun in 2017 and funded in part by grants from MetroWest Health Foundation, the Initiative is currently in its third year and led by Program Coordinator Julie Nowak and Community Programs Manager Douglas Flynn .

For more information about the Pathways Café or any of our other LGBTQ+ events, please call our confidential phone line at 508-573-7288, email or check our Pathways of BayPath Elder Services Facebook page.
Several national health observances occurred in September
National Preparedness Month , promoted by FEMA, is recognized each September to encourage family and community disaster and emergency planning now and throughout the year. The 2019 theme is #PreparedNotScared . Many older adults, in particular, have not taken vital steps to staying safe and healthy in power outages, severe weather, or evacuation. 

For more information and tips on how to be prepared during an emergency, see our Caregiving Chronicles blog post, Emergency Planning for Older Adults. Also, you can sign up to receive emergency preparedness tips from FEMA: text PREPARE to 43362 .
Falls Prevention Awareness Day (FPAD) , promoted by the National Council on Aging (NOCA), took place on September 23, to raise awareness about how to prevent fall-related injuries among older adults.

As per The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , one out of five falls causes a serious injury such as broken bones or a head injury. Each year, over three million older people are treated in emergency departments for fall injuries, with over 800,000 patients admitted due to a fall-related injury. See our blog post for more information on fall prevention .
World Suicide Prevention Day , promoted by the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP), took place on September 10. The goal of the IASP is to raise awareness of this plight by focusing on the fact that every life lost represents someone's partner, child, parent, friend, or colleague. Our nation's seniors are at risk . The  U.S. Census Bureau has reported: "of the more than 47,000 suicides that took place in 2017, those 65 and up accounted for more than 8,500 of them. Men who are 65 and older face the highest risk of suicide, while adults 85 and older, regardless of gender, are the second most likely age group to die from suicide." 

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline - Call 1-800-273-8255
A spotlight on the vital services and 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
What is the ECC Program?
Elder Community Care is a network of agencies working together to serve elders in their own homes. We provide comprehensive assessment and counseling services to elders and their families in MetroWest. Partners include Advocates, Inc., United Way of Tri-County, and BayPath Elder Services. 

Who can benefit from the ECC program?
ECC is a community outreach program serving older adults who lack access to mental health care. ECC supports individuals who may not have mental health coverage, suffer from the isolation due to the stigma of the disease, or who lack transportation to get to an appointment.  

What services does ECC offer?
BayPath Elder Services serves as the entry point into a coordinated network of agencies and services for homebound older adult consumers, offering in-home depression screening or a mobile assessment. Consumers then have access to counseling, Advocates’ 24-hour crisis team, psychopharmacology, TeleCheck (a telephone check-in service for isolated older adults living at home), and referrals to community resources. 

How is ECC funded?
ECC is made possible by a grant from The Massachusetts Department of Public Health, payments, and contributions from individuals who believe that elders have a right to receive counseling services specifically designed to meet their needs.
Meet BayPath's Elder Community Care Coordinator
Edmilse Diaz joined BayPath with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Saint Michael's College, with minors in Anthropology and Gender Studies. While at Saint Michael's, she participated in a service trip to Kolkota, India, volunteering at Daya Din, one of Mother Theresa's home, giving physical therapy to orphans with severe disabilities. She has worked as an ABA Teacher at the Crossroads School, as a Development Specialist at Brighton Day Habilitation, and at the Howard Center, Division of Adult Health Behavioral Services, in Burlington, VT, working at a residential treatment program for adults with severe mental illness.

As BayPath's ECC Triage Coordinator, Edmilse will determine the most appropriate response and care options for older adults with mental health and addiction needs within BayPath's 14-town service area. Additionally, Edmilse will train staff and community partners on depression and other mental health conditions, provide internal consultations with BayPath staff on cases involving mental health issues and support outreach with LGBTQ+ Initiative with efforts to reduce depression, isolation, and suicide among LGBT older adults.
Workshops offered by our Healthy Living program
BayPath provides a number of evidence-based Healthy Living Programs to help individuals with the prevention and self-management of chronic diseases and other health conditions. Below are several workshops recently completed or currently in works. 

A Matter of Balance, administered by the Healthy Living Center of Excellence, is an eight-week management program for older adults, emphasizes practical strategies to reduce the fear of falling and increase activity levels. The course is actively taking place, September 25 through November 13 at the Hopkinton Senior Center. This course is currently full.

Chronic Disease Self-Management is a six-session workshop that empowers participants to once again get pleasure from life by learning how to manage their health. The course teaches lifestyle changes and shows participants how to devise a personalized daily approach to managing their chronic illness symptoms. Two classes are being offered: At the Foxborough Senior Center, September 30 through November 18 and at The Coolidge at Sudbury from October 10 through November 21.  

Recently completed: 
The Savvy Caregiver Program is a no cost, six-session training series for family and friends who are active caregivers of a loved one with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia. The workshop started on August 22 and was held at the Hudson Senior Center with 11 attendees successfully completing the program.

Chronic Disease Self-Management workshop was held specifically for Residents of the Highland Glen Apartments Westwood on July 31 through September 4, with eight attendees completing the program.  

BayPath’s Healthy Living Coordinator Renee D'Argento is certified to teach the following: Chronic Disease Self-Management, Savvy Caregiver, Matter of Balance classes, and Diabetes Self-Management. She is actively pursuing a Master Trainer certification.  To Register for our Healthy Living Programs, call Renee at 508-573-7251.
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 |