The De-Clutterer’s Group

Are your possessions taking over your home?
Is clutter affecting you at home, work, or in your relationships?
Does your clutter create safety issues in your home?
Are you embarrassed or ashamed to have people in your home?
The De-Clutterer’s Group – a 15 week group beginning Spring 2012. The cost of the group will be assessed on a sliding fee. There are no age restrictions for group membership.
For more information please contact: Donna Blume: 978-624-2217
North Shore Elder Services, 152 Sylvan Street, Danvers, MA 01923. 978-750-4540

Animal Hoarding: Information and Resources

Greater Lynn H.O.P.E. and the Beverly Hoarding Task Force invite you to attend an informational presentation Tuesday, April 17, 2012, 10:00AM to Noon at King’s Beach Towers Community Room, 130 Eastern Ave, Lynn.
Guest Speaker: Martha Parkhurst, Officer,
Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
Networking and Presentation, and Breakfast provided by PACE at Elder Service Plan of the North Shore.
Earn 1 Social Work CEU at this presentation.
RSVP by April 12: Mona Nadeau or 781-599-0110 x 654

Survivors of Brain Injuries ABI Waiver Informational Meeting

Do you have a friend or family member with a brain injury living in a nursing home, chronic care or rehabilitation hospital who wants to move into the community?

Survivors of brain injuries, including those caused by strokes, automobile accidents, tumors and more, may be eligible for the ABI Waiver Program. Attend an informational meeting and hear from survivors and family members who have participated in the ABI Waiver.
How did the process work?
What were the benefits?
Was the transition into the community difficult?
What programs and services are provided?
How has it worked out?
Representatives from UMass, BIA-MA, and service providers will be there to explain the process and answer questions.
Dates and Locations of Informational Sessions:
Tuesday, April 10, 7 p.m., Multi Cultural Community Services, 1000 Wilbraham Rd., #4, Springfield, MA.
Wednesday, April 11, 7 p.m., BAMSI, 10 Christy’s Dr., Brockton, MA.
Saturday, April 14, 10 a.m., College of the Holy Cross, Hogan Center, Room 304, 1 College St., Worcester, MA.
Wednesday, April 18, 6:30 p.m., Advocates (Route 9), 1881 Worcester Rd., Suite 103, Framingham, MA.
Tuesday, April 24, 6:30 p.m., Vinfen, 950 Cambridge St., Cambridge, MA.
Thursday, April 26, 6 p.m., The Peabody Library, 78 Lynn St., Peabody, MA.
Don’t Miss This Opportunity! The Next Open Application for the ABI Waiver is May 1-21, 2012. Please RSVP as space is limited. E-mail or call 800-242-0030.
It’s the difference between surviving and thriving…I’m thriving here.”
Joanne Susi, Waiver Participant
Living in the community is a dream come true. I couldn’t be happier.”
Cathy Hutchinson, Waiver Participant

***RESCHEDULE ALERT****Northeast Servers Provider(s) Network Meeting (NESPN)

**Due to a lack of available sign language interpreters, this presentation will be rescheduled, but will remain as an informal opportunity for networking and resource sharing. Please watch this space for information of rescheduled meeting. Thank you. *******

March NESPN Meeting – Understanding MassHealth, Health Safety Net, and Medicare for providers: Wednesday, March 28,  from 10am to 1pm. Marie Desrosiers of Deaf, Inc. Salem/Boston offices, former benefits specialist with  MassHealth will present at the Thompson House @ NEHD, Community room, 160 Water Street, Danvers MA 01923.
NESPN is a network of providers in the northeast part of the state working  together to improve and enhance access to services and the community for D/deaf, hard of hearing, late-deafened, and deaf-blind populations).

Personal Care Attendants Rally For Higher Pay

This article was published on Monday, March 26, 2012, By Sarah Mupo
The Daily Item
Shawn McDuff, ILCNSCA Deputy Director discusses the  essential aspect of PCAs.

LYNN — More than 40 people gathered at an event in Lynn Friday to express support for personal care attendants, who are bargaining for higher wages, formal training and health insurance for all workers.
The personal care attendants, or PCAs, are part of the 1199SEIU health care workers union, and they care for the disabled or the elderly in their homes in a one-on-one setting through a program organized by MassHealth. The PCA consumers hire their own attendant, and the PCAs help the consumers with daily activities.
Gregoria Fana, 55, has been a PCA for the past four years for her mother, and is one of about 360 PCAs in Lynn that serve around 1,000 people. “It’s very important that [the consumers] can be at home and they can receive love and affection. However, we as the PCAs still need to gain a number of things that we need,” she said in Spanish to the audience at the Lynn Housing Authority through union interpreter Robinson Mosquera.
This year, the PCAs are negotiating with the Personal Care Attendant Workforce Council, a state agency, to raise their $12.48 hourly wage and add benefits. In last year’s contract negotiations, the union opted to not fight for a pay increase and instead ensure there were no cuts to the PCA program, said speaker Ana Maria Hernandez through Mosquera. Hernandez has been a PCA for the past two years for her mother in Lynn. However, Hernandez said, the union did win $1 million in training funds from the state last year.
Rebecca Gutman, vice president of Massachusetts home care for the union, said in an interview prior to the event that the money has not been spent yet because the PCA Workforce Council and the union wanted to have a “substantive needs assessment” of both PCAs and consumers before a training program was developed. PCAs currently do not need training before being hired, and Hernandez said only some consumers pay for training for their PCAs.
“We want to make sure that we are trained so we can bring the dignity to the profession that we have, so we can make sure that we can continue growing in our career, in the work that we do,” she said.
Gutman said that the union is also looking for health insurance for PCAs that are not eligible for a state-subsidized plan.
Salem resident Shawn McDuff shared during the event how essential PCAs have been in his life. For the past 25 years, since age 18, he has received the individualized care that has allowed him to stay in his home and work for the past 22 years at the Independent Living Center of the North Shore and Cape Ann.
“I can’t imagine what it would be like to live in a nursing home. That would certainly be my last choice,” he said.
In addition to PCAs and consumers, community groups, a number of legislative aides for state politicians and Ward 6 Councilor Peter Capano attended the event.
Capano, who is sponsoring a resolution in the city council in support of the union’s demands, said PCAs deserve more for what he called “one of the most important occupations that anyone could ever have.”
“There is nothing wrong with wanting to be paid a decent wage and having health care for doing this type of work. What good is it if this is a temp job?” Capano said.
Gutman said she expects the preference for at-home care will continue to rise as baby boomers age, but there may not be enough PCAs to meet the demand. The amount of consumer-directed PCAs in the state, Gutman said, has risen significantly in a short span of time. There are currently 32,000 PCAs serving 20,000 senior citizens or people with disabilities, she said, up from 22,000 PCAs for 13,000 consumers five years ago.
“We anticipate that this gap will be growing wider and wider, and want to make sure the job is taken care of.”
Sarah Mupo can be reached at

Your Assistance Is Needed For This Short Survey:

The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency is partnering with the Office on Disability, the Department of Public Health, the five homeland security regions, and the American Red Cross to develop a statewide mass care and shelter plan. The purpose of the plan is to enhance coordination for activating emergency shelters and ensuring supplies and personnel are available to operate them. Your response to these 20 survey questions related to mass care and shelter will help inform the development of the plan. The survey should take less than 10 minutes to complete. Please take a couple of minutes to complete the survey and please share this survey link with others.

Community Briefing to Support Quality Personal Care Attendant Jobs and Quality Homecare

32,000 Personal Care Attendants provide support to over 20,000 people with disabilities and seniors in their homes. In communities throughout Massachusetts, PCAs are not only helping people live with dignity and independence; PCA jobs have the potential to boost local economies.
Join 1199SEIU Personal Care Attendants, disability and senior advocates, and elected officials as we pass city council resolutions throughout the Commonwealth supporting quality home care and quality PCA jobs with fair wages, health insurance and training benefits.
Friday, March 23, 2012, 10:30 a.m., Lynn Housing Authority, 10 Church Street
Lynn, MA. To RSVP or for more information, contact Rebecca Gutman @ 617-284-1133 or

United for Homecare; Jobs, Dignity, Independence