Town of Mansfield, MA, Council On Aging, 255 Hope Street, Mansfield 02048 Phone: (508) 261-7368 Fax: (508) 339-4886

News for February 2018

MUSIC PROGRAM

SAND BUCKET PROGRAM

A SPECIAL SAFETY NOTE FROM CHIEF BOLDRIGHINI

SING ALONG PROGRAM

HELP PLEASE!

PUNXSUTAWNEY PHIL WHAT WILL HE PREDICT!!!???

SNAP TO IT


MUSIC PROGRAM
The COA Handchime Choir, under the direction of Mary Hourigan is currently looking for members. Practices take place each Thursday at 8:30 AM at the Mansfield Council on Aging. A hand chime group of eight can produce music with a minimum of practice time. The goal of this choir is to successfully play melodies and experience the joys of making real music and gain a positive experience. In order to playhandchimes, it helps to have some musical background, but it isn't absolutely necessary.What is more important is a desire to try something new. We hope you will join us. If you are interested in joining this group please drop into a practice to experience the sounds. If you have questions regarding the program please contact Josephine at the COA at 508-261-7368 or email her at jmadrazo@mansfieldma.com. return to menu

SAND BUCKET PROGRAM
Boy Scout Troop 51 is once again supplying senior and disabled household with buckets of sand for winter outside slip and fall prevention. To order a bucket to of sand, please call Louise at the COA at 508-261-7368. Louise will need your name, address, telephone number and location you would like them to leave the bucket of sand. If you have an empty bucket from previous years, please leave the empty bucket for them to take back to reuse. return to menu

A SPECIAL SAFETY NOTE FROM CHIEF BOLDRIGHINI: PREPARE FOR THE COLD AND SNOW

Dear Mansfield Residents:

New England Winters are unpredictable as is the case with our recent record setting cold weather. It is important that people take measures to prepare for both the cold and the snow before they hit.The following are some basic tips:

• People should make sure the heat is turned up a bit higher on the coldest days to ensure that plumbing in areas away from the central heat does not freeze.
• Leaving water dripping in faucets and doors to laundry and bathrooms open should also help with this.
• Rolling up towels and blankets at the bottom of the exterior doors will help with drafts.
• Closing curtains minimize drafts.
• Having snow cleared from the roof at the overhangs will help prevent ice dams.
• If alternate heating is used please make sure the system is in good working order prior to using.
• Space heaters should only be used in a room while you are in it and should have 3 feet of clearance around the heater.
• Make sure snow is not blocking outdoor vents leading to your heating system. They should be kept clear.
• If the need for a generator arises, the generator must be run outside of the house and garage.
• As always Carbon Monoxide detectors should be present on every level in your home.
• Hypothermia which can happen in situations that you may not be expecting ,even inside your own home. Please dress for the weather.

For additional safety information please visit the Red Cross http://www.redcross.org/get-help/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies/types-of-emergencies/winter-storm#After. For their Winter Storm Safety Checklist. return to menu

SING ALONG PROGRAM
The Sing Along Program looking for a pianist to accompany their group. Anyone interested in this position please contact Debi or Josephine at
508-261-7368 at the COA. return to menu

HELP PLEASE!
The Council on Aging is looking for volunteers to help with the monthly newsletter production. The volunteer positon includes folding, tabbing, and labeling the newsletters. If you would like to assist in the monthly activity, please call Josephine or Debi at 508-261-7368 return to menu

PUNXSUTAWNEY PHIL WHAT WILL HE PREDICT!!!???
The Legend of a special weather woodchuck named Punxsutawney Phil, which began in 1886, when the editor of western Pennsylvania’s Punxsutawney Spirit newspaper, one Clymer Freas, published a report that local groundhogs had not seen their shadows that day, they experienced an early spring. That commenced Ground Hog Day. It’s also believed that Phil’s story is based on a on European beliefs that hedgehogs can provide indicators about the future and hedgehogs resemble woodchucks.

• Groundhog Day is celebrated on February 2 in the United States and Canada.
• According to Groundhog Day organizers, the rodents' forecasts are accurate 75% to 90% of the time. However some believe the rodent has only 35% accuracy.
• According to legend, if the groundhog comes out ofhis burrow on February 2nd and does not see his shadow then, Spring will come early.
• If the groundhog sees a shadow, then it goes back into its burrow and Winter will last 6 more weeks.
• The largest Groundhog Day Celebration is held in Punxsutawney Pennsylvania.
• People have been gathering in Punxsutawney Pennsylvania to celebrate Groundhogs Day since the late 1800s.
• The famous groundhog who predicts the weather in Punxsutawney Pennsylvania is Punxsutawney Phil.

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SNAP TO IT
Mansfield Council On Aging and Social Services, in partnership with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Transitional Assistance, has had a positive impact on Mansfield residents. Just a reminder that the COA and Social Services office staff at Town Hall are able to directly submit electronic applications and renewals for benefits to DTA for a quicker and easier process. The following are a summary of how SNAP benefits can assist seniors:
 During these difficult economic times, even a modest monthly SNAP benefit can help to offset some of your household expenses. You shouldn’t assume that you are not eligible. Please call and speak with one of the SNAP outreach staff.
 Using SNAP benefits is completely confidential. SNAP recipients use a card which works just like a debit card.
 The application for seniors is shorter (only two pages). COA staff will walk you through the process.
 If you spend more than $35 per month on medical expenses including medications and doctor's visits, you may qualify for a $155 standard deduction. (or even higher based on your medical expenses). This deduction could result in a higher monthly SNAP benefit.

https://www.mass.gov/dta-seniors For additional information, or to apply or recertify for SNAP benefits, please call Lynette or Rose at the COA at 508-261-7368 for those who are age 60 or older. Residents under age 60 should contact Pam West, town Social Worker, at 508-851-6410. return to menu