The Bedford Council on Aging ~ A December Message

Well, we made it. The last month of one of the most unusual years on record.

The COA closed its doors to the public this year on March 13th and promptly moved operations to phone calls, emails, home deliveries, and virtual programs. We have continued in this alternative way since then, and I am very proud of each and every one of you for connecting and keeping in touch with us. I believe we will get through this together and we are in great shape to continue our virtual programs through the winter months.

As COVID rates rise in the state we will most likely not be able to open our doors in January. We are awaiting guidance from the Governor, Town leadership, and the Board of Health on our re-opening plan.

This month I am pleased to announce the return of our Memory Café with Right at Home as our virtual sponsor. This program is for caregivers and loved ones living with memory loss. I encourage caregivers to attend if possible, even for a short while, to meet with others and connect.

An additional day of the Monday and Wednesday grab and go lunches, through Minuteman Senior Services, has been added on Fridays this month and will continue through the winter. This is a nice option for a hot meal over the winter that you don’t need to cook!

Also chair exercise has returned virtually with our wonderful instructor Madeline. Chair exercise is a great way to start being more active, return to exercise after surgery and meet other participants. All of our exercise classes continue to be offered at no cost thanks to the support of the Friends of the Bedford Council on Aging.

December is a time for looking back over the year and reflecting on how life might look different now compared to the past. Family traditions and celebrations can be enjoyable to remember and share with loved ones virtually, over the phone, by email, or by mail. It is also National Cookie Cutter month, so why not bake up a batch of your favorite treats for the season, share as gifts with family and neighbors or keep them for yourself!

It’s also National Handwashing Awareness month and with cold and flu season, as well as COVID, now is the time to take extra time to make sure you keep yourself healthy and well. Remember to keep hydrated, active, and get your flu shot.

December 14th – January 5th is the National Christmas Bird Count, observed since 1990, thanks to ornithologist Frank Chapman. What better way to enjoy the season than looking out at the great variety of New England birds at the feeder. No matter how long I’ve lived here I am still fascinated by the many vibrant colors and variations of our local winged ones. My favorite is the nuthatch who creeps headfirst down our big linden tree outside my front window to see what we have put out for him.  When the juncos arrive I know the snow is not far behind.

Around this time of year, we also remember friends, family, and loved ones who are no longer with us. Being apart from our family and loved ones this holiday season may also be especially hard. Please know we are here for you and just a phone call away. I am grateful for the wonderful community of Bedford that includes our clergy, social groups, thoughtful neighbors, and friends who are a great resource to connect to during difficult times. Our staff at the COA are also happy to spend time just chatting with you if you need us, it’s what we enjoy the most!

Wishing you, your family, and loved ones a very happy, healthy, and safe holiday season!

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