Senior Moments
Jim Cassidy


We Are not Alone

And a pleasant day to all of my fellow senior citizens—or should I say those beautiful, responsible and dependable older adults who continue to fight the aching backs, gimpy knees, arthritic hands and other aches and pains associated with the advancing years—and every day get up and out of bed to stay active and productive citizens of the Merrimack Valley and beyond.

We are not alone. In our valley area there are over 100,000 of us, adding to the economy and the good life of our families. If we are fortunate enough to be in relatively good health, we continue to act as patriarch or matriarch of our families, still guiding our children, grand children and others. —Yes, life is good if you are a healthy senior with a family, outside interest, living at home and have a decent retirement income.

But, what's out there to help our many seniors who seek assistance, medical and financial advice or just plain old companionship because they have outlived their families or because of age have become frail and vulnerable? —Do not fear, for we are there for all of you!

There are many Senior Citizen Centers available throughout the valley area for your assistance. Elder Services of the Merrimack Valley, Inc. is your starting point for assistance. Telephone 800 892-0890

I am personally quite familiar with the North Andover Senior Citizen Center where I have been a volunteer for many years in a variety of programs. I can remember going down to this center many years ago (was I ever that young?) to have a blood pressure reading.

My first impression was—gee, there’s a lot of old people here! But you know the more times I visited them and got involved in helping with some of their programs, these old people got younger before my very eyes. The energy and enthusiasm shown by hundreds of lively volunteers were and still are inspiring to me—and it will be for you too, so check it out.

I cannot emphasize enough not to stay at home alone, but call or come to one of the centers for the many programs that are available for your needs. This will continue to make your life more enjoyable and productive.

—In North Andover alone there are 4600 seniors residing in their own homes, in some type of housing units or in nursing homes, most on a fixed retirement income and all of us are in the same boat. We must stick together. The centers throughout the valley will help you ride out the storms and at the same time will improve your quality of life.

Some important programs available at all centers:

1. Meals on wheels; a hot nutritious meat delivered daily to those home bound seniors.

2. Daily lunches, nutritious hot meals served at the center

3. Friendly visitors and telephone assurance to check on and offer companionship to our most vulnerable seniors

4. Medical transportation, for those in need to doctors and hospitals

5. Heart to Heart (bereavement support) blends companionship, support and understanding.

And this is just a fraction of the programs available including lectures, hobbies, cards and of course BINGO! Check your own center's newsletters for specific programs that are available on a daily basis or have a loved one or a neighbor call us.

This being my opening salvo and not knowing just what to cover (thus my title Senior Moments) I am pleased to be able to talk to you all. In future columns we might cover some specifics—the acute problem of being a senior in this affluent society or maybe spotlight some outstanding senior citizen. We’ll just have to see, but let me know if you have any good ideas or what is bothering you. In the meantime, stay well and have a good day.

You can write to James Cassidy at or send a letter to James Cassidy, 47 Brightwood Ave, N. Andover MA 01845

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(March Edition)

Prior Columns by Jim Cassidy