55Plus: Up-Island Council on Aging – September 2020

Howes House, the location of the Up-Island Council on Aging. — Mae Deary

As an up-Island community, we are still grieving the cancellation of our monumental annual event of the Agricultural Fair here in West Tisbury. As an agency, we are mourning the cancellation of not only our annual cookout, but the September Lobster Picnic in Menemsha, after decades of tradition. But at Howes House, we are striving to meet the needs of the forever changing faces of our community. It has just taken a little more creativity, and a lot more technology!

For the month of September, we are continuing to adhere to the safest practices, and will not be having group gatherings. One-on-one appointments will continue including the re-establishment of our Elder Law monthly clinic, scheduled for Sept. 9th. For questions or to make an appointment, please call the law office of Patricia Mello at 508-477-0267. For those who applied last year for Fuel Assistance, you should be receiving your annual recertification application. Please contact Bethany or Tanya as soon as these have been received, so we can begin the process to make it the least stressful for you. We are also continuing to help seniors apply for SNAP benefits.

Martha Abott’s yoga classes, Ed Merck’s Mindful Meditation group, and Katryn Yeardon’s Strength classes continue to be available using video chat programs such as Zoom. For more information, please see our monthly calendar, available at Howes House or online on the town of West Tisbury website.

In the works, so stay posted! Times and dates not yet confirmed for the following possible programs: Linsay Lee, author and oral curator from the M.V. Museum in an interactive Zoom presentation; a Zoom presentation and potential follow-up cooking demonstration with Island Grown Initiative; Saskia Vanderhoop of Sassafras hosting an outdoor workshop on the Study of Bird Language; and an ongoing musical series of local bands and artists giving virtual performances.

But wait? What is all this “Zoom” business? If you are interested in getting assistance on what Zoom is and how to use it, please let staff know by calling us at Howes House. To best stay informed on current initiatives, dates, times, etc., please follow our Facebook page, join our email list, and download our agency monthly newsletter and calendar of events. At the very least, just call! We are still in the office on a selected basis, and making private meetings available by appointment only. COVID-19 safety protocols are fully enforced.