11/30/16: Good Info for the 55+

Today, we had the pleasure of having Maura Plante from the Amherst Senior Center, located in the Bangs Community Center, come in to speak about the different services that they provide. Maura talked first about the PVTA van service. The PVTA van service is a service that will give people aged 60 and older rides to appointments, the library, the mall, and many other places. The service is available from Monday to Friday, 8 am to 4:30 pm. If you would like to use this service, you must call the senior center at 866-277-7741 to register. To schedule a ride, a you must call 1-413-781-7882. Maura recommended calling at least 72 hours in advance, and up to 7 days in advance, in order to get a ride. If requested, the driver can walk you from your door to the van, and from the van to your location. When calling for a ride, you must give the time you would like to be picked up from your house, as well as the time you need to be picked up from your location. You will be given a 20-minute window in which the driver will arrive—be ready at the start of the window, as the driver will only wait for five minutes. For individuals with disabilities, there is an ADA van service that runs 7 days a week during the times that the normal fixed-route PVTA buses run. In order to use this service, you must register at the senior center and have proof of a disability. Both services cost $2.00 each way for rides within Amherst, Hadley, and Northampton for Amherst residents and $2.50 for non-Amherst residents.

After speaking about the PVTA van service, Maura talked about the senior center’s foot care and ear irrigation services. The senior center offers appointments for people aged 55 and older on Friday mornings with Sharon Beulieu, RN for foot care and ear irrigation. Appointments are $28. The senior center also offers ear irrigation with Dr. Dan Clapp one Tuesday each month from 3 pm to 4:30 pm. Appointments are free, but a $10 donation is suggested. To make appointments for these services, call 413-259-3060.

Next, Maura spoke about the senior center’s Wednesday bread and produce program. Each Wednesday for people aged 55 and older, and for people under 55 with a documented disability, free bread and produce is distributed. Maura recommended getting to the senior center by 9 am. For this service, 2 participants per household may go through the line. Additionally, the senior center serves a hot meal for people aged 60 and older Monday through Friday. To attend this meal, you must make a reservation at least 48 hours in advance. The service is free, but a $2 donation is suggested. The senior center also delivers hot meals to people aged 60 and older who are homebound.

Finally, Maura spoke about the services that the senior center provides assisting participants with housing and benefits applications. You can make an appointment with Maura Plante or Helen MacMellon. Call 413-259-3164 to make an appointment.

This incubator meeting was incredibly informative, and we all learned a great deal about the services that the Amherst Senior Center offers. We would like to thank Maura Plante for coming in, and to thank the senior center for offering all of these wonderful services!