Homepage-- Programs and Services -- Contact Information
From The Director
Serving elders for 30 years
The story of Elder Services is the story of 30 years of dedicated and compassionate service to Berkshire County elders, their caregivers, and our community. We provide Berkshire elders with programs and services which allow them to continue to live in their own homes with dignity and independence. As you can see from the 30 years of highlights in this issue of Berkshire Senior, the number of programs and services we provide has grown significantly over the years as we have continued to evolve and adapt to best serve Berkshire elders. The journey founder Fred Whitham and three staff began in 1974 continues today, supported by 114 staff and 556 volunteers.
As we celebrate thirty years of promoting elder independence and our proud tradition of service to Berkshire elders and their families, we also celebrate our future. There is certainly much to look forward to. During the next year we will renovate the Lee Central High School into 38 units of affordable senior housing with enriched services, and will further develop the statewide Nursing Facility Screening Initiative begun this past June. This collaborative effort between Elder Services and Berkshire County nursing homes will assist appropriate residents to transition back to the community. Although much has been accomplished, there remains much to do. In year 31, we expect to serve more than 10,000 Berkshire elders and their caregivers in a variety of ways. Our Home Care program will serve more than 1,000 elders a month allowing them to continue to live as independently as possible in their own homes by providing assistance with such essential services as bathing, dressing, grooming, toileting, laundry, house cleaning, and meal preparation. Our Lanesboro kitchen will prepare over 250,000 meals and our Meals on Wheels program will deliver more than 194,000 of these meals to homebound elders throughout Berkshire County. Together our Home Care and Meals on Wheels programs will serve more than 1,500 elders a month. Seventy percent of these elders will be age 75 or older. Individuals age 75 or older are the fastest — and perhaps only — growing segment of population in Berkshire County. The number of people age 75 or older grew by 16.5% between 1990 and 2000, while the overall countywide population declined by 3.2%. As the number of individuals age 75 and older continues to grow, so will their need for the types of community-based services that we provide... and we will be there for them.
If there has been one constant from 1974 to 2004, it has been the quality, character and commitment of our staff and volunteers. They have made Elder Services what we are today and what we will be tomorrow. As we celebrate thirty years of service and excellence, we celebrate these individuals and their invaluable contributions. On behalf of Elder Services and all of those that we serve, I would like to thank our Board of Directors, our Advisory Council, volunteers, and our staff for all that they do for Berkshire County elders and for Elder Services.
“We continue to look for further opportunities at other housing locations where we might have a greater presence to better serve elders,” Dean said.
“As we go forward, we are pleased that as a result of strong advocacy by elders and their advocates, the Prescription Advantage Plan has been funded at $110 million for this year, and that state funding for most elder line items, including those provided by Elder Services, has been maintained or slightly increased.”
“Elder Services celebrates its 30th anniversary with a strong commitment to continue to provide the highest level of service to Berkshire elders and their caregivers and to advocate for their ever-evolving needs,” he added.