Sign in for activities
Sign in for everything you do at the COA. If you attend a class, but you come early to have a cup of coffee and socialize, and pick up food, you need to sign in for all three things. Sign in by using their key tag and the computer touch screen at the reception desk. If you don’t already have a key tag, stop by the COA and fill out the necessary form to pick one up.
Sign up in person for events costing $5 or more. OK to sign up by phone for events less than $5. Stow seniors have priority. Out-of-towners will be put on a waiting list and called if space allows. Make checks payable to SFCOA. Note: The COA will now meet at Pompo Community Center; park in the row closest to Route 117. If you cancel, your money will not be returned unless the COA can fill your seat. If the COA does not have a minimum of five paid attendees, the event will be cancelled.
If you want to go shopping (within the transportation service area), you can call the COA by noon the day before you want to go. The COA will work to accommodate, but keep in mind that medical appointments take priority.
Sign up by deadline
The COA needs to plan ahead for refreshments, room setup, handouts and transportation if needed. The activity rooms are in high demand; there needs to be a minimum of five participants or the COA may have to cancel the event and need to call you.
Veterans Coffee: 10 a.m. Sept. 17. Free. Sign up by Sept. 13. Meet other veterans in a welcoming casual atmosphere. Light refreshments served. This event is open to Stow veterans of all ages.
Castle Hill On The Crane Estate, Ipswich: 8:30 a.m. Sept. 18. $18 for admission, guided tour, van, plus cost of lunch (cash) at Woodman’s of Essex. Sign up by Sept. 13. The American Country Place Era with its farm and estate buildings, designed grounds, gardens, outdoor sculpture and diverse natural areas. Lunch at Woodman’s of Essex, a famous seafood restaurant who claim they invented the fried clam.
Are You Buried In Treasures? Peer Support Group Ongoing Class -- Now Open To New Members: 12:30-2:30 p.m. Sept. 18. Free. Sign up by Sept. 16. Limit 15 participants. Has clutter become an issue in your life? Just too much stuff? Now’s your chance to join our decluttering/organizing group which has room for new members. The group discusses and studies tactics for getting and staying organized. Different books are read aloud on the topic, allowing each of person to find the “right method” that will work. Participants encourage one another when they aren’t doing so well at it. Much humor is involved in helping each other improve their habits. Discussions are confidential.
Reiki Clinic: 1-2:30 p.m. Sept. 19. Free. Sign up by Sept. 16. Marie Patrice Masse has donated her time to share her knowledge and healing energy with Stow seniors. Private appointments are available after the group at 2:15 p.m. Reiki is an ancient art of touch therapy that provides a means to recharge, realign and rebalance the body’s natural healing systems. It is recognized as an important tool to maximize patient care and minimize recovery time. The biologic intelligence that uses the body’s resources to heal is amplified by Reiki, which helps provide the emotional and physical energy. It is also an aid in hospice work and caring for the dying. The COA offers a Reiki clinic on the third Thursday of every month.
New Class Starting!! Brains And Balance: 11 a.m.-noon Mondays, Sept. 23-Nov. 25. $24 for the session for Stow seniors. $40 out-of-towners. Sign up by Sept. 18. Limit 12 participants. Discover how much fun balance training can be while you exercise your brain with specially designed “Train the Brain” drills. These drills are designed to improve your memory, reasoning, conceptualization, language and problem-solving skills. It helps you stay mentally sharp and improves your balance to prevent falls. Falls are the leading cause of hospitalization and long-term care. Falling and losing mental capacity are not inevitable parts of aging. Sign up for the eight-week session for best results (each class builds on one another). No class on the holidays, Oct. 14 and Nov. 11.
Veterans Benefit Specialist: noon-4 p.m. Sept. 24. Schedule a private 30-minute session with Carol Callaghan, metrowest manager, Northeast Veterans Outreach Center, to learn about benefits you may be entitled to. Call 978-897-1880 for an appointment.
Genealogy Club Meeting: 1-3 p.m. Sept. 24. Free. Sign up by Sept. 19. Meets the fourth Tuesday of each month. Learn about your family background. All levels welcome. Bring your questions. This month’s discussion will be on supporting genealogy space at the Randall Library.
Stow Cemetery Meet With Robb “GH” Gledhill: 10 a.m.-noon Sept. 25. Free. Book an appointment. Sign up by Sept. 24. Avoid making hasty decisions about plot purchase, burial options, monument choices, perpetual care. Your questions answered.
J & M Diner, Framingham: 10:30 a.m. Sept. 25. $4 for van, plus cost of meal (cash). Sign up by Sept. 20. Limit 14 participants. Breakfast only, a wide variety, huge portions. Featured on Chronicle and the Phantom Gourmet.
Monthly Movie ‘Can You Ever Forgive Me’: 1 p.m. Sept. 26. Free. Sign up by Sept. 24. Running time 1 hour 47 minutes. Rated R. Drama/crime. Lee Israel is a frustrated, hard-drinking author who can barely afford to pay her rent or bills in 1990s New York. Desperate for money, Israel soon hatches a scheme to forge letters by famous writers and sell them to bookstores and collectors. When the dealers start to catch on, Lee recruits a dubious friend to help her continue her self-destructive cycle of trickery and deceit. Note: If you plan to attend both lunch and the movie or any afternoon event after meal site, sign up for each event separately, especially when using COA van transportation.
Lunch Bunch -- Chill Kitchen & Bar, Marlboro: 11 a.m. Sept. 30. $3, plus cost of lunch (cash). Sign up by Sept. 25. Limit 14 participants. Relaxed, contemporary restaurant featuring pizza, New American fare, craft cocktails and a patio.
Looking ahead: Fall Foliage Trip on Oct. 16; SFCOA Craft Fair on Nov. 2; and SFCOA Second Chance Holiday Sale on Dec. 7.
Social Bridge: all levels welcome. Wednesday, 1 p.m. Free. Drop in.
Chess: all levels welcome. Tuesdays and Thursdays, 1 p.m. Free. Drop in.
Mahjong: Instructor Susan Choyce. Friday, 1 p.m. Free. Drop in.
Poker Games: second and fourth Wednesday, 1 p.m. Free. Drop in.
Pool/Billiard: Tuesday and Thursday, 1 p.m.; and first and third Wednesday, 1 p.m. Free. Drop in.
Qi Gong: Instructor Carolyn McDonald, Monday, 8:50 a.m. Free. Gentle movements that help with balance, breathing and energy. The principles include upright, relaxing, tranquility and empty.
Senior Fitness: Instructor Terri Zaborowski, Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 10 a.m. $3. Move to the music with this safe and heart-healthy class which uses low-impact movements to energize your active lifestyle. Build muscle strength and flexibility with upper and lower body exercises using hand held weights in both standing and seated positions. Finish with a 5- to 10-minute full body stretch and relaxation segment. Please bring a set of weights and a water bottle to class.
Tai Chi: Instructor Eric Frost, Tuesdays, 1 p.m. $3. Come learn about this Meditation in Motion. Tai Chi movements are calming and peaceful. The fluid movements can improve circulation and breathing.
Zumba Gold: Instructor Terry Kessel Myers Coney, Tuesday and Thursday, 10 a.m. $2. Zumba Gold class includes warm-up, dance/exercise and a cool down, all to upbeat Latin and international music.
Stretch and Smile: No instructor, Friday, 9 a.m. Free. Join in for stretching and gentle movement, partly as chair exercises, watching a DVD.
Yoga: Instructor Terry Kessel Myers Coney, Friday, 9 a.m. $5 per class or $24 for eight weeks.
Stretch and Flex: Instructor Terri Zaborowski, Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 1:30 p.m. $3. This class is designed to help seniors maintain their strength, flexibility and independence with both standing and seated exercises using resistance bands.
Quilting Class: Mondays, 9 a.m.-noon. Free. All levels welcome.
Open Art Studio: Monday, 9:30 a.m.-noon. Free. Want to create in a supportive fun environment? Bring your medium of choice to paint, sketch, charcoal, pastel. Reserve your seat each week for either class. Space is limited.
Craft Group: Mondays, noon-3:30 p.m. Class begins at 12:30 p.m. Free. This class has reached its maximum enrollment. Interested in joining this class? The COA receptionist can add your contact information to the wait list. At this time, the COA is only able to add Stow residents to the wait list.
Longarm Quilting Training: Tuesdays, 9 a.m.-noon. If you want to take a lesson on Tuesday on the longarm machine, call Serafina Mangiafico at 978-897-7422 for an appointment. Fully trained longarm quilters can arrange time with Serafina for $4 per hour for personal work.
Baby Wraps: Wednesdays, 9 a.m.-noon. Free. Create handmade baby quilts for the neonatal unit at Emerson Hospital. All fabric and equipment will be provided.
The Bee: first and third Wednesday, 1-3:15 p.m. Free. For hand spinning, quilting, knitting and textile related work. Quilters, knitters, felters, workers in any quiet fiber craft.
Call the transportation coordinator at 978-897-1880 between 8 a.m. and noon Monday through Friday with questions. A few important policy items are highlighted below.
• The COA provides van service to Stow residents 60+ and those with disabilities.
• All van reservations must be made by calling the COA between 8 a.m. and noon at least 24 hours in advance and speaking with the transportation coordinator (do not leave a voice mail message).
• Van pickups start at 8:30 a.m., with the last pickup to return home no later than 2:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
• The service area (originating from Stow) is: Acton, Bolton, Boxborough, Harvard, Hudson, Maynard and Sudbury. Service is also provided to medical destinations in Marlborough and Concord.
• Clients should be ready 15 minutes before the estimated pickup time and must be able to see or hear the van when it arrives.
• Van service is pickup and drop off only.
• Individual non-medical trips will be scheduled around medical appointments.
• Meal site, Food Pantry, COA Office: Free.
• Stow only: $2. Out-of-Town Rides: $3 one-way and/or round trip.
• Volunteers may be available for medical appointments outside of service area or business hours.
Free professional services
2019-20 fuel assistance
If you had SMOC Fuel Assistance last year, you should have received a recertification in the mail in August. Fill it out and send it back as soon as possible. If you need assistance completing the recertification application, make an appointment with an outreach worker. For new applicants, the program starts on Nov. 1, more info to follow in October.
Free technology assistance
Is new technology driving you crazy? The COA is here for you. Not sure how to work your new smartphone or which one to buy? What about laptops, iPads and tablets? Call 978-897-1880 to set up an appointment with a technology expert (no home visits). Appointments are available 8:30 a.m. to noon Thursdays.
Community Services Coordinator
The Community Services Coordinator is available to provide information and make referrals to various programs and agencies. Areas of assistance include financial supports, housing options, legal assistance, disability services, mental health services, children and family resources, and caregiver resources. For more information, contact Brian O’Sullivan, LICSW, at the Pompositticut Community Center. Hours: 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Thursday. Phone: 978-897-2638. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Questions about the Stow Cemetery
Robb “GH” Gledhill, Stow Cemetery superintendent, “Overseer of the Sacred Burial Grounds of Stow,” is available at the Pompositticut Community Center to help answer some of your cemetery and burial concerns. Avoid making hasty decision about plot purchase, burial option, monument choices, perpetual care and more. Appointments are available on the last Wednesday of every month from 10 a.m. to noon. Schedule your appointment by calling the COA.
Free notary public service - Brian Burke
Stow seniors only. Call the COA to schedule an appointment.
Information and Referrals on Home Care Options, Advocacy, Home Visits, Are You OK? (daily well-being checks), Fuel Assistance, SNAP (Food Stamps), Friendly Visitors, Volunteer Drivers, Support Groups and more. Call any time. The COA can visit right away. You may refer someone else who might need services. If you suspect elder abuse or neglect (no proof needed) make a confidential call immediately to the COA outreach staff at 978-897-1880.
For questions regarding veterans’ benefits, call Joe Jacobs, Stow’s Veterans Agent. Office hours are Tuesdays 9-11 a.m. at the Community Center. Contact info: cellphone 978-290-0278; email veteransoffice@Stow-MA.gov.
Share your talents with the COA
Volunteers are needed to assist in a many different areas. The COA could use help at the reception desk, food program, office computer projects, event planning (selecting places to visit, restaurants, movies, etc.) event setup/clean up, holiday decorating, electronic device tutoring, etc. Contact Gigi, the COA office manager and transportation coordinator, at 978-897-1880.
Tamara Bedard, RN from Nashoba Associated Services, is available Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., by phone at 978-772-3335, ext. 340. The nurse can make a home visit or meet someone at the COA by appointment if necessary.
Serving Health Insurance Needs of Everyone
Are you on Medicare or eligible for Medicare and have questions? If so, SHINE offers one-on-one counseling and assistance to people and their families with Medicare. The SHINE program provides unbiased, accurate, up-to-date information on health benefits, including Medicare A and B covered services, prescription drug options, and Medigap insurance plans. Schedule your private consultation with the SHINE counselor who is at the COA on select Tuesdays at 1 p.m. For immediate assistance, call Minuteman Senior Services, SHINE Department, at 781-221-7029. Leave a message; they will call back.
Circuit Room: Work on strength training on hydraulic machines to improve muscles and cardio. Open 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Free.
Durable medical equipment
The COA has a variety of gently used equipment available to Stow residents on a first-come, first-served basis. The inventory varies typically includes walkers, canes, wheelchairs, shower chairs,and commodes. To borrow equipment, simply drop by anytime between 8 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. If you are dropping off equipment, call first so that you can deliver it to right side of the building (around back of building to the last door on the left).
Stow Food Pantry
The Stow Food Pantry offers food and hygiene items to clients/families needing assistance. The pantry offers short-term and long-term assistance. The Stow Food Pantry requires no referrals and no financial information. Call 978-897-4230 and make an appointment to attend one of the three monthly pantries.