Valley Breeze

The North Providence Breeze 02-17-2021

The Valley Breeze Newspapers serving the Northern Rhode Island towns of Cumberland, Lincoln, Woonsocket, Smithfield, North Smithfield, Pawtucket, North Providence, Scituate, Foster, and Glocester

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4 SENIOR LIVING GUIDE FEBRUARY 18-24, 2021 | THE VALLEY BREEZE CUMBERLAND – It has been almost a year since the Cumberland Senior Center closed its doors due to the COVID-19 pandemic. What was once a place where individuals 55 years and up could congregate, go on trips, attend exer- cise classes, socialize, eat lunch, and play bingo is now all online, but staffers there are preparing to open their doors once it is deemed safe to do so. With vaccines now being adminis- tered to the town's oldest residents, Senior Center Director Michael Crawley and Chief of Emergency Medical Services John Pliakas say they are hopeful they will start to see more activities reopening for seniors and a return to a new normal in the late spring. That was a similar assessment to the one offered by other senior center directors in the area of late, though they suggest that operations are still a long way off from the way they were previously run before the pandemic. When they are given the go-ahead to reopen from the town and the state, said Crawley, they will be ready. The staff at the center have been working on their reopening plan. Crawley said they will most likely start with fewer classes with restrictions, such as small groups with social distancing and masks, as they slowly get back into the swing of things and ensure the safety of the attendees and staff. "If we have to limit classes, we are ready to go," he said. Whether they have to hold more classes to allow for more people to attend, or spread out where activi- ties are being held, Crawley said they are going to provide a safe and inclusive environment where seniors can gather and socialize. Crawley and other staff members have been working together to help keep Cumberland seniors active without putting anyone in danger. They are offering a free online vir- tual community center, with daily online fitness classes, educational dis- cussions, healthy eating workshops, and social groups to connect with other active seniors. Crawley said he has been con- cerned about the toll that the pan- demic has had on people who are living alone, and how social isolation and depression is affecting them. He said he feels that once the majority of the 75-plus population is vaccinated, staff will have a better idea as to when they can reopen. The town has been taking advan- tage of the downtime at the cen- ter, located at the Cumberland Monastery off Diamond Hill Road, with a series of major interior improvements, including a new com- mercial-grade kitchen. Grant-funded exterior upgrades are also planned. The Cumberland Senior Center offers lunch delivery to seniors Monday through Friday for $3 per day. To register for lunch, call 401- 334-2555, ext. 103. To explore virtual community center events through Age-Friendly Events, an initiative of Rhode Island College, visit agefriendlyri.org/ events . Classes are offered daily on both Zoom and Facebook. BREEZE PHOTO BY MELANIE THIBEAULT When senior citizens do return to their center in Cumberland, it will look a lot different, with major interior renovations, as shown here in progress by Director MIKE CRAWLEY last summer, now complete. Senior center director cautiously optimistic By ABIGAIL NILSSON Valley Breeze Contributing Writer Medicaid is a state administered program that is funded to a great extent by the Social Security trust fund. It provides for payment of medical services and long term nursing home care for those who qualify. Because of the ever increasing cost of long term nursing home George M. Prescott ATTORNEY AT LAW 300 Front Street, Lincoln, Rhode Island, 02865-0089 (401) 726-5577 Courtesy of: Review Your Trust Annually To Protect Your Assets The Rhode Island Supreme Court licenses all lawyers in the general practice of law. The Court does not license or certify any lawyer as an expert or specialist in any field of practice. care, both the federal and state governments periodically amend the Medicaid statutes and regulations in order to further limit eligibility for the program. Therefore, if you have had a living Trust prepared to shelter your assets from nursing home expenses and enhance your chances of qualifying for Medicaid long term care benefits after a five year look back period, you should have that Trust reviewed annually and revised if necessary to be sure it conforms to the current Medicaid statutes and regulations. It is part of my regular practice to prepare living Trusts to both avoid probate of a client's estate and protect their assets from nursing home costs during their lifetime. I also review and update those Trusts, and similar Trusts prepared by other attorneys upon request. If you are concerned about possible long term care expenses and would like to discuss your concerns with me, please call my office for an appointment. There is no fee for the initial consultation. – George M. Prescott

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