Health news and notes


Lead Safe & Healthy Homes offers lead certification course

Lead Safe & Healthy Homes is offering federal lead paint safety courses for contractors, landlords, and others interested in using lead-safe renovation techniques.

The federal Renovation, Repair and Painting Certification offered in 2012 is nearing expiration. Renovators that do not take the refresher course before their current certification expires will be required to retake the eight-hour initial course.

The EPA RRP Refresher Course is scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 31, from 8 a.m. to noon at the Brattleboro VFW. The cost is $125 per person. Anyone receiving compensation for significant renovation work in housing or child-occupied facilities built before 1978 should be certified. This course will focus on state and federal regulations governing lead, the health effects of lead in children and adults, lead-safe work practices, and liability issues. Most contractors and landlords will need to take state and federal courses to be in compliance with the law.

Registration is required. Contact Denice Brown 802-463- 9927, ext. 107, or email


The nurse is in

A Wellness nurse from Home Healthcare, Hospice & Community Services will be available Nov. 8 at the Chesterfield Town Hall from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. for blood pressure checks and general health questions. A nurse will also be available at the Millstream Community Center in Hinsdale on Nov. 15 from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.


Grace Cottage hosts Healthy Aging Conference

Grace Cottage's Healthy Aging Conference is a great place for answers and inspiration on how to age gracefully.

Presented by Grace Cottage Family Health & Hospital staff and other professionals, this conference will help you take charge of your health, your vitality, your security, and perhaps even your longevity.

The conference will be held Nov. 7 and 8, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., at the historic Grafton Inn. Participants can sign up for one day or for both.

Topics will include tips for wellness and mental health, positive thinking, healthy breathing, aging and exercise, the importance of community connections, nutrition, avoiding medication interactions, financial strategies, end of life issues, Alzheimer's and dementia, downsizing the home, the benefits of creativity, and spirituality and aging.

The conference fee is $90 per day per person. The fee includes presentations, a continental breakfast and a lunch each day, and an optional chair massage or Zero Balancing session.

For more information or to register, contact Andrea Seaton, 802-365-9109.

The Grafton Inn offers conference participants a discounted room rate of $119/night, breakfast included. To book a stay, call 802-843-2248.


Valley Cares Celebrates 10 years of providing senior housing and services

On a November day 10 years ago, Valley Cares opened the doors to its senior housing in Townshend. That, in itself, was a remarkable achievement for a nonprofit that began as a grass-roots community effort and now, 10 years later, the organization is proud to mark a decade of serving its mission providing high quality, affordable, housing and compassionate care allowing seniors to age in place with respect and dignity.

"We think of Valley Cares as a true grassroots success story," said Susanne Shapiro, Valley Cares' Executive Director.

Fifteen years ago, a small local nursing home closed, and there was community-wide concern about the lack of eldercare in the West River Valley. Grace Cottage Hospital spearheaded a community-wide study to figure out how best to address this. It took a dedicated team of individuals doing the research, proving the need, speaking with political representatives and tirelessly fundraising to create this nonprofit organization and housing.

"Valley Cares' founding Executive Director, Bob Crego, and founding Board President, John Nopper, deserve the most credit for enormous undertaking," said Shapiro, "but there were many, many community members involved."

Since 2007, West River Valley Senior Housing has been "home" to 219 residents in the assisted living, supportive housing and independent living apartments. Valley Cares' kitchen has provided over 60,000 meals for the local Meals-on-Wheels program. The organization has loaned out durable medical equipment to any community member in need, free of charge. Even the newest program, Support And Services at Home, has benefited 100 older adults living in their own homes in surrounding communities.

"We're still a young organization, but we have spread a lot of good in 10 years," said Shapiro.

To celebrate Valley Cares will host an Anniversary Celebration and Open House on Oct. 29, from 2 to 4 p.m., at West River Valley Assisted Living. There will be refreshments served, live music by The Moon Dogs, tours and gift. Parking is available at Grace Cottage with shuttles to/from Valley Cares. All are invited. For more information, contact Susanne Shapiro at 802-365-7190.

Grace Cottage Offers Tai Chi

The Grace Cottage Community Wellness Center is offering a free Tai Chi class, "Level 1 Tai Chi for Balance," on Tuesdays 1:30 to 2:30 p.m., beginning Nov. 14.

This class, based on the teachings of Dr. Paul Lam, provides instruction in the "Sun" style of Tai Chi. This style lends itself to those with balance issues, as it is very upright. The teaching method involves lots of repetition, with every new move broken down into small steps. Come have fun, improve your balance, strength and peace of mind, as we move together in a new way.

The instructor is Alicia Moyer, Certified Fall Prevention Tai Chi instructor, and SASH Coordinator. Register at 802-365-4115, ext. 108, by Nov. 9.

Classes are held in the spacious and serene Community Wellness Room in the Grace Cottage Heins Building, 133 Grafton Rd.

An ongoing Level 2 Tai Chi for Balance class is also offered for free, for anyone who has completed Level 1. It is held on Tuesdays, 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. in the Grace Cottage Wellness Center.

Email for more information.


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