Bristol Senior Center hosts helpful event

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The Bristol Senior Center at Benjamin Church Manor recently provided a day filled with music, food and valuable information not just for the senior population, but also for families with elderly loved ones.

“Our local people know the yellow house,” said Maria Ursini, the director of the senior center.

What they may not realize is how “the senior center can help.”

Over a dozen organizations, including the Bristol police and fire departments, brought information where many area senior citizens and their families could access it. Some were unaware that many of the resources offered were available to them.

Edna Kurtzman, representing the Bayside Family YMCA in Barrington, educated those who stopped by her table on the importance of remaining physically active and socially engaged through a person’s retirement years.

While services have changed to serve a more active and healthy senior population, the senior awareness event was an opportunity for organizations to inform residents of those changes.

Carol Ann DeChristofaro and Maria Ferreira of Silver Creek Manor came to the event to help dispel any myths about nursing home care.

“The resource that some people aren’t aware of is the short-term care we provide,” said Ms. Ferreira.

Nursing homes, she said, have changed to accommodate not just those who may be bed-ridden, but those who need rehabilitative care.

“We got away from an institutional look to give the facility a home-like atmosphere,” Ms. Ferreira added.

For Jimmy Campagna, a pharmacist at CVS, the awareness event gave him an opportunity to reconnect with some of his customers.

“We’re providing the same service as we did as an independent,” he said.

For years, Mr. Campagna worked for his family’s pharmacy before it was sold to the chain retailer. Mr. Campagna said he stays connected to the community through these health events.

Ms. Ursini said that another outreach event will take place on Oct. 18 in preparation for the open enrollment period for health insurance. There, representatives from the Department of Elderly Affairs and the East Bay Community Action Program will be available at the Bristol Senior Center to assist and answer any questions to make the enrollment process easier.

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Jim McGaw

A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.