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The Harvard Council on Aging recognizes the important role that older people play in the life of a town. It is dedicated to promoting the welfare of senior citizens and helping them stay active in the community and safe in their homes as they age. The COA provides social services for Harvard residents who are at least 60 years of age and support for family members. Its programs promote fellowship and fun, and promote physical well-being and mental stimulation.
The Harvard COA serves senior citizens (age 60+) of the town (one fifth of the total population) with a broad range of services. Programming ranges from educational, social, wellness, nutrition, technology (computer lab), recreation, cultural, and more. The agency is staffed by a full time Director, who is a licensed social worker. Part time staff consists of an outreach worker, and a program coordinator. Volunteers provide significant support to all aspects of the COA. COA professional staff provide counseling services for resources and referrals, home visits and follow up, communication with family, fuel assistance, Mart van transportation, monthly newsletter, and the senior tax work-off program. The COA is a resource for meeting immediate and long-term health and safety concerns, via medical equipment loans, wellness clinics for blood pressure, podiatry, vaccinations, and nutritional counseling. Health programs with guest speakers, and exercise programs such as Tai Chi, yoga, aerobics, and a walking club are provided. The COA offers a support system and encourages community interaction through weekly lunches, card games, support groups, weekly men's club, cultural and recreational day trips and outings, intergenerational programs, and more. The COA helps seniors stay intellectually active by offering speakers and workshops on finance, Medicare, tax preparation, and other topics. It provides forums on town initiatives. Also provided is a computer center for individual use and group instruction. The COA is a resource for adult children whose parents live in or out of town, and for families of Harvard seniors. Counseling and support, referrals for assisted living, nursing home care, and in-home services are provided. The COA offers volunteer opportunties for all ages and abilities. Volunteers help in a variety of ways, including office work, helping with trips and programming,classes, workshops,and more. Some are friendly visitors, others participate in the handyman program,students help through Seniors Helping Seniors, and more.
- laura bridges
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