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Home Care in Arlington, MA

They say that your golden years are the best years of your life. For most older Americans, that's how it should be - a time to relax, reflect, and live life in a familiar place. After all, senior citizens in the U.S. have worked tirelessly to build a better economy, serve their communities, and raise families.

However, as seniors grow older, sometimes they cannot live independently without someone by their side to provide care. Unfortunately, some older Americans aren't able to rely on their adult children for help. The reality in today's world is that family members do not have the skills or time to dedicate to caring for their parents. That's where Always Best Care Senior Services comes in.

Our in-home care services are for people who prefer to stay at home as they grow older but need ongoing care that family or friends cannot provide. More and more older adults prefer to live in the comforts or their home rather than in an assisted living community. Home care in Arlington, MA is a safe, effective way to give your loved ones the care they need when they need it the most.

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Home Care Arlington, MA

The Always Best Care Difference

Since 1996, Always Best Care has provided non-medical in-home care for seniors to help them maintain a healthy lifestyle as they age. We are proud to have helped tens of thousands of seniors to maintain a higher level of dignity and respect. We focus on providing seniors with the highest level of home care available so that they may live happily and independently.

Unlike some senior care companies, we genuinely want to be included in our clients' lives. We believe that personalized care is always the better option over a "one size fits all" approach. To make sure our senior clients receive the best care possible, we pair them with compassionate caregivers who understand their unique needs.

The Always Best Care difference lies in life's little moments - where compassionate care and trustworthy experience come together to help seniors live a fruitful, healthy life. Whether you are an aging adult that can't quite keep up with life's daily tasks or the child of a senior who needs regular in-home care services in Arlington, MA. Always Best Care is here to help.

How does In-home Senior Care in Arlington, MA work?

Home is where the heart is. While that saying can sound a tad cliche, it's especially true for many seniors living in America. When given a choice, older adults most often prefer to grow older at home. An AARP study found that three out of four adults over the age of 50 want to stay in their homes and communities as they age. When you begin to think about why, it makes sense. Home offers a sense of security, comfort, and familiarity.

The truth is, as we age, we begin to rely on others for help. When a family is too busy or lives too far away to fulfill this role, in-home senior care is often the best solution. Home care services allow seniors to enjoy personal independence while also receiving trustworthy assistance from a trained caregiver.

At Always Best Care, we offer a comprehensive range of home care services to help seniors stay healthy while they get the help they need to remain independent. As your senior loved one ages, giving them the gift of senior care is one of the best ways to show your love, even if you live far away.

 In-Home Care Arlington, MA

Types of In-home Care in Arlington, MA

To give our senior clients the best care possible, we offer a full spectrum of in-home care services:

 Elderly Care Arlington, MA

Personal Care Services

If your senior loved one has specific care needs, our personal care services are a great choice to consider. Personal care includes the standard caregiving duties associated with companion care and includes help with tasks such as dressing and grooming. Personal care can also help individuals with chronic conditions like diabetes or Parkinson's or Alzheimer's.

Common personal care services include assistance with:

  • Eating
  • Mobility Issues
  • Incontinence
  • Bathing
  • Dressing
  • Grooming
 Senior Care Arlington, MA

Home Helper Services

Sometimes, seniors need helpful reminders to maintain a high quality of life at home. If you or your senior has trouble with everyday tasks like cooking, our home helper services will be very beneficial.

Common home helper care services include assistance with:

  • Medication Reminders
  • Meal Preparation
  • Pet Care
  • Prescription Refills
  • Morning Wake-Up
  • Walking
  • Reading

Respite Care Arlington, MA

Companionship Services

Using this kind of care is a fantastic way to make life easier for you or your senior loved one. At Always Best Care, our talented caregivers often fill the role of a companion for seniors. That way, older adults can enjoy their favorite activities and hobbies while also receiving the care they need daily or weekly.

Common companionship services include:

  • Grocery Shopping
  • Transportation to Appointments
  • Nutritional Assistance
  • Conversation
  • Planning Outings
  • Completing Errands
  • Transportation to Community Events and Social Outings
 Caregivers Arlington, MA

Respite Care Services

According to AARP, more than 53 million adults living in the U.S. provide care to someone over 50 years old. Unfortunately, these caregivers experience stress, exhaustion, and even depression. Our respite care services help family caregivers address urgent obligations, spend time with their children, and enjoy other activities. Perhaps more importantly, respite care gives family members time to recharge and regroup. Taking personal time to de-stress helps reduce the risks of caregiver burnout.

When it comes to non-medical home care, our goal is to become a valuable part of your senior's daily routine. That way, we may help give them the highest quality of life possible. We know that staying at home is important for your loved one, and we are here to help make sure that is possible. If you have been on the fence about non-medical home care, there has never been a better time than now to give your senior the care, assistance, and companionship they deserve.

Benefits of Home Care in Arlington, MA

Always Best Care in-home services are for older adults who prefer to stay at home but need ongoing care that friends and family cannot provide. In-home care is a safe, effective way for seniors to age gracefully in a familiar place and live independent, non-institutionalized lives. The benefits of non-medical home care are numerous. Here are just a few reasons to consider senior care services from Always Best Care:

Home Care Arlington, MA
  • Age in Place
    According to AARP, 9 out of 10 seniors prefer to age in place within the comfort of their own home. With in-home care, seniors have a way to stay at home, receive the care they need, and maintain a sense of independence, improving overall wellness.
  • Peace of Mind
    If you or a member of your family have assumed the role of caregiver for your senior loved one, you know how stressful the job can be. Between caregiver burnout and constant worry, being a family caregiver is hard. In-home care relieves your burden and gives you peace of mind knowing that your senior family member is in expert hands.
  • Socialization
    Unlike many senior care facilities where the staff and residents rotate frequently, seniors can foster new friendships and build bonds with their caregiver. Seniors who socialize on a regular basis are often happier, which fosters positivity and leads to increased wellbeing.
  • Personalized Care Plan
    No two seniors need the same kind of in-home care assistance. That is why each of our care plans are tailored to meet our client's individual needs. We offer plans that cover everything from light housekeeping to more involved duties like transportation to doctor's appointments. Our Care Coordinators will work closely with you to develop a personalized plan to ensure your senior's needs are exceeded.

Always Best Care offers a full array of care options for clients at all levels of health. With our trusted elderly care services, your loved one will receive the level of care necessary for them to enjoy the highest possible quality of life.

Aging in Place: The Preferred Choice for Most Seniors

While it's true that some seniors have complicated medical needs that prevent them from staying at home, aging in place is often the best arrangement for seniors and their families. With a trusted caregiver, seniors have the opportunity to live with a sense of dignity and do so as they see fit.

In-home care makes it possible for millions of seniors to age in place every year. Rather than moving to a unfamiliar assisted living community, seniors have the chance to stay at home where they feel the happiest and most comfortable.

 In-Home Care Arlington, MA

Here are just a few of the reasons why older men and women prefer to age at home:

Comfort

How much does a senior's home truly mean to them?

A study published by the American Society on Aging found that more than half of seniors say their home's emotional value means more than how much their home is worth in monetary value. It stands to reason, that a senior's home is where they want to grow old. With the help of elderly care in Arlington, MA, seniors don't have to age in a sterilized care facility. Instead, they can age gracefully in the place they want to be most: their home. In contrast, seniors who move to a long-term care facility must adapt to new environments, new people, and new systems that the facility implements. At this stage in life, this kind of drastic change can be more harmful than helpful.

Healthy Living

Institutional care facilities like nursing homes often put large groups of people together to live in one location. On any given day, dozens of staff members and caregivers run in and out of these facilities. Being around so many new people in a relatively small living environment can be dangerous for a seniors' health and wellbeing. When you consider that thousands of seniors passed away in nursing homes during the COVID-19 pandemic, opting for in-home care is often a safer, healthier choice for seniors. Aging in place has been shown to improve seniors' quality of life, which helps boost physical health and also helps insulate them from viral and bacterial risks found in elderly living facilities.

Independence

For many seniors, the ability to live independently with assistance from a caregiver is a priceless option. With in-home care, seniors experience a higher level of independence and freedom - much more so than in other settings like an assisted living community. When a senior has the chance to age in place, they get to live life on their own terms, inside the house that they helped make into a home. More independence means more control over their personal lives, too, which leads to increased levels of fulfillment, happiness, and personal gratification. Over time, these positive feelings can manifest into a healthier, longer life.

Cost and Convenience

More independence, a healthier life, and increased comfort are only a few benefits of aging in place. You have to take into consideration the role of cost and convenience. Simply put, it's usually easier to help seniors age in place than it is to move them into an institutional care facility. In-home care services from Always Best Care, for instance, can be less expensive than long-term solutions, which can cost upwards of six figures per year. To make matters worse, many residential care facilities are reluctant to accept long-term care insurance and other types of payment assistance.

 Elderly Care Arlington, MA

With Always Best Care's home care services, seniors and their families have a greater level of control over their care plans. In-home care in Arlington, MA gives seniors the chance to form a bond with a trusted caregiver and also receive unmatched care that is catered to their needs. In long-term care facilities, seniors and their loved ones have much less control over their care plan and have less of a say in who provides their care.

Affordable Care Plans

In-home care is a valuable resource that empowers seniors to age in place on their own terms. However, a big concern for many families and their loved ones is how much in-home care costs. If you're worried that in-home care is too expensive, you may be pleasantly surprised to learn that it is one of the most affordable senior care arrangements available.

Typically, hiring an Always Best Care in-home caregiver for a few hours a week is more affordable than sending your loved one to a long-term care facility. This is true even for seniors with more complex care needs.

At Always Best Care, we will work closely with you and your family to develop a Care Plan that not only meets your care needs, but your budget requirements, too. Once we discover the level of care that you or your senior need, we develop an in-home care plan that you can afford.

 Senior Care Arlington, MA

In addition to our flexible care options, families should also consider the following resources to help offset potential home care costs:

  • Veteran's Benefits: Attendance and aid benefits through military service can cover a portion of the costs associated with in-home care for veterans and their spouses.
  • Long-Term Care Insurance: Many senior care services like in-home care are included in long-term care insurance options. Research different long-term care solutions to find a plan that provides coverage for senior care.
  • Private Insurance: Home care can be included as part of a senior's private insurance plan. Read over your loved one's insurance policy carefully or speak with their insurance provider to determine if in-home care is covered.
  • Life Insurance: Depending on the life insurance plan, you may be able to apply your policy toward long-term care. You may be able to use long-term-care coverage to help pay for in-home elderly care.

During your Care Plan consultation with Always Best Care, your Care Coordinator will speak with you about in-home care costs and what options there may be to help meet your budget needs.

Compassionate Care. Trusted Caregivers

When you or your senior loved one needs assistance managing daily tasks at home, finding a qualified caregiver can be challenging. It takes a special kind of person to provide reliable care for your senior loved one. However, a caregiver's role involves more than meal preparation and medication reminders. Many seniors rely on their caregivers for companionship, too.

Our companion care services give seniors the chance to socialize in a safe environment and engage in activities at home. These important efforts boost morale and provide much-needed relief from repetitive daily routines. A one-on-one, engaging conversation can sharpen seniors' minds and give them something in which to be excited.

At Always Best Care, we only hire care providers that we would trust to care for our own loved ones. Our senior caregivers in Arlington,MA understand how important it is to listen and communicate with their seniors. A seemingly small interaction, like a short hug goodbye, can make a major difference in a senior's day. Instead of battling against feelings of isolation, seniors begin to look forward to seeing their caregiver each week.

Understanding the nuances of senior care is just one of the reasons why our care providers are so great at their job.

Unlike some senior care companies, our caregivers must undergo extensive training before they work for Always Best Care. In addition, our caregivers receive ongoing training throughout the year. This training ensures that their standard of care matches up to the high standards we've come to expect. During this training, they will brush up on their communication skills, safety awareness, and symptom spotting. That way, your loved one receives the highest level of non-medical home care from day one.

Taking the First Step with Always Best Care

The first step in getting quality in-home care starts with a personal consultation with an experienced Care Coordinator. This initial consultation is crucial for our team to learn more about you or your elderly loved one to discover the level of care required. Topics of this consultation typically include:

01

An assessment of your senior loved one

02

An in-depth discussion of the needs of your senior loved one to remain in their own home

03

Reviewing a detailed Care Plan that will meet your senior loved one's needs

Our caregivers are trained to spot changes that clients exhibit, like mental and physical decline. As your trusted senior care company, we will constantly assess and update your Care Plan to meet any new emotional, intellectual, physical, and emotional needs.

If you have never considered in-home care before, we understand that you and your family may have concerns about your Care Plan and its Care Coordinator. To help give you peace of mind, know that every team member and caregiver must undergo comprehensive training before being assigned to a Care Plan.

Latest News in Arlington, MA

Ex-Arlington Town Employee Faces Conflict Of Interest Allegations

The State Ethics Commission said Michael Byrne may have violated state law while serving as Inspectional Services Department Director.ARLINGTON, MA — A former Arlington town employee may have violated state conflict of interest law while serving as the town’s Inspectional Services Department Director, according to allegations from the State Ethics Commission this week.Michael Byrne, who owned a plumbing company during some of the time that he worked as Inspectional Services Department Director in Arlington from 19...

The State Ethics Commission said Michael Byrne may have violated state law while serving as Inspectional Services Department Director.

ARLINGTON, MA — A former Arlington town employee may have violated state conflict of interest law while serving as the town’s Inspectional Services Department Director, according to allegations from the State Ethics Commission this week.

Michael Byrne, who owned a plumbing company during some of the time that he worked as Inspectional Services Department Director in Arlington from 1997 to 2021, allowed his company to work in town without permits or inspections, the commission said. The commission said Byrne created fraudulent permits for work done without legitimate permits and inspected some of his company's work himself.

Byrne issued certificates of occupancy for properties where his company, Trademark Plumbing performed work, according to the commission. The commission said Byrne also issued a certificate of occupancy for a property owned by a developer who had loaned Byrne money.

Byrne did not immediately respond to a request for comment Thursday. We will update this story if we hear back.

The commission described Byrne's former role with the town of Arlington as being responsible for enforcement of state building, wiring and plumbing codes.

The Ethics Commission this week said Byrne violated the law with the following actions:

The State Ethics Commission issued an Order to Show Cause on Thursday, saying it had found “reasonable cause” to believe Byrne violated conflict of interest law.

The commission highlighted specific violations in a statement, pointing to a ban on public officials participating in matters “in which they or businesses they own have a financial interest.”

The commission said Byrne also broke state law prohibiting public officials from using official positions to gain “valuable, unwarranted privileges.”

The Ethics Commission said Byrne additionally violated a requirement that public employees “avoid acting in a manner that would cause a reasonable person to believe they would unduly favor another person or be unduly influenced by another person when performing an official act.”

Town Manager Sandy Pooler on Thursday said he was aware of the Ethics Commission's investigation and its allegations against Byrne.

"Those are serious matters and the Town will be following the investigation closely," Pooler told Patch.

"The idea that such activity was happening is news to all of us here," he said, noting that the topic had not previously been reported to him before the Ethics Commission's investigation.

The Ethics Commission this week said it will schedule a hearing regarding its allegations against Byrne within the next 90 days.

Byrne could face a civil penalty of up to $10,000 for each conflict of interest violation, according to the Ethics Commission.

State corporations records show Byrne organized Trademark Plumbing in 2010. Records show the corporation was dissolved on Dec. 30, 2022.

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3 finalists contend for public schools' deputy superintendent post

Dingman, Ford Walker, Smith named as finalists for second-highest postUPDATED Jan. 17: Three finalists for deputy superintendent of teaching and learning have been selected by a representative screening committee, Arlington Public Schools announced Friday, Jan. 13. That committee was made up of APS parents, teachers, administrators and an AHS student.They are Monakatellia "Mona" Ford Walker; Thad Dingman, longtime principal of Dallin School in Arlington; and Damon Smith.The deputy superintend...

Dingman, Ford Walker, Smith named as finalists for second-highest post

UPDATED Jan. 17: Three finalists for deputy superintendent of teaching and learning have been selected by a representative screening committee, Arlington Public Schools announced Friday, Jan. 13. That committee was made up of APS parents, teachers, administrators and an AHS student.

They are Monakatellia "Mona" Ford Walker; Thad Dingman, longtime principal of Dallin School in Arlington; and Damon Smith.

The deputy superintendent is the second-highest-ranking official in the district and therefore the person who would step up in the stead of the superintendent if ever such a need were to arise. The candidate chosen for this position will succeed Roderick MacNeal Jr., who will leave the job June 30 to become head of a private school in Chestnut Hill.

After interviewing 11 "very competitive candidates for this important role for the Arlington Public Schools," the news release said, this representative screening committee plans to share these three finalists with the community for consideration in a rigorous round of finals Jan. 24 and 25. This process will include school visits, virtual forums with stakeholders, visits to the central office and a performance task. More information about this -- and how to participate -- is to be explained next week.

The candidate profiles, as described in the news release, are as follows:

Monakatellia "Mona" Ford Walker is a graduate of the Boston Public Schools, where she also began her teaching career. Her passion

for education is fueled by her familial history in public education and her own educational experiences as a student. Her desire to ensure all children reach their infinite potential, have access to rigorous learning opportunities, and attain academic success is cemented in her work throughout the public school system.

She is completing her doctoral residency in Revere Public Schools, where she is focusing her work on special education. Prior to this, she was principal of Winship Elementary School in Boston, which was designated a 2018 and 2019 Massachusetts School of Recognition school and a 2021 National Blue Ribbon school.

Ford Walker firmly believes in equity and student-centered learning, and she is committed to ensuring that all children acquire the knowledge and develop the skills and habits necessary to prepare them to succeed in college, career and life.

She holds a bachelor of science degree in in elementary education from Temple University, a master of science in elementary education from Cambridge College and a certificate of advanced graduate studies in educational leadership from Simmons College. She is scheduled to receive a doctorate in educational leadership from Harvard University in the spring.

Thad Dingman has been an educator for the past 20 years, beginning in Colorado and now in Massachusetts. After earning his undergraduate

degree in industrial design from the Rochester Institute of Technology, he relocated to Boulder, Colo., earning his master's in elementary education from Regis University. During his time in Colorado, he served as an assistant preschool director and elementary public school teacher in the Boulder Valley School District. He moved into educational leadership after completing his degree in administrative leadership and policy work with the University of Colorado at Denver.

He was a prinicipal for four years at the Berkshire Hills Regional School District in western Massachusetts. He is in his ninth year in the Arlington Public School District as principal of Dallin Elementary School.

Dingman's interests have always been in the area of continuous improvement and inclusive school communities, as an educator and as a human. In addition to his role as a building leader, he has partnered with district administration to identify and repair equity issues spanning from special education disproportionality to culturally responsive teaching and learning.

He is the husband of an APS teacher and the father of three school-age children who attend APS schools. When he is not teaching, reading, cooking, coaching or dog walking, he enjoys being outside and eating good food.

Damon Smith is serving in his 12th year as the principal of the Cambridge Rindge and Latin High School (CRLS), part of Cambridge Public

Schools. He has guided the school community through campus renovation, NEASC accreditation, transition to a 1:1 student device environment and the Covid pandemic. He worked with staff and stakeholders to develop the Level Up program, which enrolls and supports 9th grade students in honors level English and History courses. Under his supervision, CRLS has expanded interscholastic athletics, co-curricular programming, and social emotional and mental health supports for students.

Before his principalship, Smith served as dean of curriculum and program at CRLS. Before joining the Cambridge Public Schools in 2004, he was assistant school director at New Mission High School within Boston Public Schools.

Smith is a Wesleyan University graduate, and he earned a master’s degree in education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. He completed the Principal Residency Network Program at Northeastern University for his principal’s licensure and prepared for the superintendency in the inaugural cohort of the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education's Influence 100 program.

Smith comes from a family of educators; both his mother and his father were public school educators in New York City. His wife is also an educator in the Cambridge Public Schools, and they reside in Cambridge with their two sons.

Background

This is the highest-profile human-resources issue to occur within Arlington's public school district since autumn 2020, when a candidate had to be chosen to succeed longtime superintendent Kathleen Bodie, who had announced her planned retirement long before.

The field eventually was whittled down to two candidates: then-assistant-superintendent in Waltham, Elizabeth Homan, chosen in November 2020 to assume Arlington's top post effective July 2021; and Victoria Greer, former superintendent of schools in Sharon.

Greer, whose departure from Sharon had been a tumultuous one, later became superintendent of schools in Cambridge. Greer became permanent superintendent in Cambridge effective January 2022 after having spent the prior six months as interim superintendent there beginning in July 2021. In December 2021, Greer got a $750,000 settlement based on claims of having suffered discrimination in Sharon while superintendent there.

This news announcement was published Friday, Jan. 13, 2023, based on a Jan. 13 press release from Arlington Public Schools. The text was updated Jan. 17, with three paragraphs at the end to provide context on the selection process for top administrators.

Strawberry Fields REIT Adds to Landmark Portfolio; Transitions Healthcare Acquires Pennsylvania Nursing Home

Grandbridge Real Estate Capital arranged the $81 million sale of The Arlington at Naples, a 298-unit continuing care retirement community, to LCS. The campus is comprised 47 independent living homes, 128 independent living apartments, 42 assisted living units, 37 memory care units, and 44 skilled nursing units. The campus was opened in 2015 and is located on 39 acres in the Lely Resort master-planned community of Naples, Florida.The Arlington was operating under a forbearance agreement prior to the sale closing, Grandbridge stated in ...

Grandbridge Real Estate Capital arranged the $81 million sale of The Arlington at Naples, a 298-unit continuing care retirement community, to LCS. The campus is comprised 47 independent living homes, 128 independent living apartments, 42 assisted living units, 37 memory care units, and 44 skilled nursing units. The campus was opened in 2015 and is located on 39 acres in the Lely Resort master-planned community of Naples, Florida.

The Arlington was operating under a forbearance agreement prior to the sale closing, Grandbridge stated in a press release. At the time of closing, independent living occupancy was approximately 75%, while the health center – comprising assisted living, memory care, and skilled nursing facilities – was approximately 69% occupied.

“Arlington is one of the premier life plan communities in the country, and we are pleased to help facilitate a sale which provides financial stability to the community and its residents and staff. LCS was an ideal fit for The Arlington given their existing operational footprint in South Florida and ability to execute a transaction of this size and complexity,” Director Dave Kliewer said in a press release.

Transitions Healthcare acquires Pennsylvania nursing home

Maryland-based Transitions Healthcare, which operates independent living, skilled, personal, and continuing care retirement communities, acquired Kinkora Pythian Home located in Duncannon, Pennsylvania on January 1. The company renamed the home Transitions Healthcare Allens Cove.

“The community’s pursuit of excellence in care aligns with our mission, the quality of our post-acute services, and our mindset for innovation,” Transitions Healthcare CEO Matthew Maurano said in a press release. “With those objectives in mind, it made clear sense to welcome the Kinkora Pythian Home into the Transitions Healthcare family as we look to expand our footprint.”

The company doesnot anticipate making any drastic changes to the community as it stands. Transitions operates six other communities based throughout Pennsylvania and Maryland.

“It’s an opportunity to collaborate with a tremendously devoted team of caregivers,” Maurano said. “In our experience, when we combine our expertise with their dedication, we’re able to foster an environment of top-notch care.”

Strawberry Fields REIT acquires SNF in Kentucky

Strawberry Fields REIT announced on January 10 that it acquired the Landmark of Breathitt County Rehabilitation & Nursing Center, a skilled nursing facility located in Jackson, Kentucky.

The REIT is an owner and lessor of skilled nursing facilities, long-term acute care hospital facilities and assisted living facilities in the Midwestern and Southern U.S..

Formerly operating as the Nim Henson Geriatric Center, the community is a 120-bed facility that was built in 1971 and renovated in 2021, and is the only skilled nursing facility in Breathitt County. The community is situated close to the Kentucky River Medical Center, a small regional acute hospital.

According to the company, the facility was added to the Landmark master lease. A&M Healthcare Investments flags its subsidiary facilities primarily under the Landmark brand, and has been a Strawberry Fields tenant since 2017. The Landmark SNFs and LTACHs are in Kentucky, Texas, Oklahoma, Illinois, and Michigan.

“The acquisition of this property helps us expand our footprint and deliver on our goal to help provide access to quality skilled nursing services to the local residents in the markets we operate,” Moishe Gubin, CEO of Strawberry Fields, said in a press release.“We are also pleased to add this property to the existing Landmark portfolio as we have the utmost confidence in their ability to manage and improve performance.”

Blueprint executes sale of skilled nursing and long-term care facility

Blueprint executed the sale of Jackson Manor Nursing Home, a 90-bed skilled nursing and long-term care facility in southeast Missouri.

The facility was originally constructed in 1979 with all private rooms. Blueprint said that with limited local competition, Jackson Manor maintained consistent census and quality mix levels through local and regional referral sources around Cape Girardeau. It is the operator’s sole location in the state.

“Through its market-leading transaction experience in Missouri and deep knowledge of the state’s growing operators, Blueprint quickly identified a Missouri-based owner/operator as the prime acquirer with capabilities and motivation for executing on an accelerated timeline,” the company said in a press release.

Weak holiday sales adds to uncertainty for small Massachusetts businesses

Many small business owners across Massachusetts say 2023 is shaping up to be a challenging year, with disappointing sales this past holiday season, rising interest rates, and inflation at 40-year high.Despite high expectations going into the holidays, the Retailers Association of Massachusetts announced last week that November and December sales increased only 1.2%, a sharp drop from the average 4% seasonal increase seen in past years. The association's preside...

Many small business owners across Massachusetts say 2023 is shaping up to be a challenging year, with disappointing sales this past holiday season, rising interest rates, and inflation at 40-year high.

Despite high expectations going into the holidays, the Retailers Association of Massachusetts announced last week that November and December sales increased only 1.2%, a sharp drop from the average 4% seasonal increase seen in past years. The association's president Jon Hurst also said that 75% of the businesses they surveyed reported that overall sales remained flat or dropped in 2022, and that 43% saw lower profits. He said inflation, in particular, had hit consumers and small businesses hard over the past year.

“The bottom line costs for small businesses, everything from energy to health insurance to, of course, the price of their goods to be sold to their inventory … all those costs have really gone up, in most cases, double digits over the course of the last year,” Hurst said.

For many stores, sources of revenue have been particularly hard to predict, especially in the past few years. John DePietro, of Johnny D’s Fruit and Produce in Brighton, said that his customer population has been in flux since the pandemic.

“You know we’re an old school business here. It’s a small mom and pop fruit and vegetable [shop] … I opened it myself 30 years ago. All I can say is it’s never ending change,” DePietro said. Surrounded by college students, as well as an increasing number of new residents from abroad, DePietro described how it’s been difficult to keep up with the specific product demands of his changing customer base.

He also blamed an increase in people buying fast food during the pandemic for eating into some of his sales.

“I have to keep an eye on the weather to see what kind of day we’re gonna have. You just never know. Just when you think you got it figured out, forget about it,” he said.

While some businesses saw their holiday sales exceed projections, their overall 2022 sales were more erratic than in past years. Jessica Going is the manager at Henry Bear’s Park, a toy store in Arlington, and said the uneven sales makes it difficult to plan for the coming year.

“2022 definitely had a slower start. But by the time December rolled around, we saw those numbers again that I think we were expecting,” Going said. “What's been hard the last couple of years for retail in general is that we can't quite predict one year to the next anymore … I think people are kind of resuming normal shopping habits from what I'm seeing, which is going really big right around the holidays, but are not necessarily planning as far in advance as maybe they have in the last couple of years.”

Still, some businesses called their past year successful. Scott Hamilton, manager of Chatham Jewelers Inc., said they were hit hard in 2020 with the impact from the COVID-19 pandemic, but that turned around in 2021 as restrictions eased and people started getting out more.

“If you're within a tank of gas of [Chatham], that's our clientele — as opposed to people being able to spend money on trips to Europe or other places abroad. They weren't doing that, so they were coming to us,” said Hamilton. He said they weren’t sure if that would last.

“But it played out that the friends we made in 2021 came back in 2022 and we exceeded year-over-year by about 6%,” he said. Hamilton attributed his success to the rebound in local travel and tourism which helped boost foot traffic.

Despite some isolated success stories, many economists are predicting weaker economic growth this year, and Jon Hurst has urged businesses and consumers to prepare for something that’s likely going to get worse before it gets better.

“I don't want to be a doom and gloom guy. I mean, [2021] was a very good holiday season. It was up double digits — 16% — so just to even meet and barely beat that is a positive thing. But you start looking at the trends of where we were earlier in the year versus the last two months in the profitability numbers and the drop in transaction numbers — it's starting to show some cautionary yellow flags, moving into 2023.”

Sam Dieringer is a student at Tufts University.

City of Pittsfield Declares Snow Emergency for Thursday Morning

With a forecast that looks to expect rain changing over for snow from tomorrow (Thursday, January 19th) into Friday (January 20th), the City of Pittsfield has declared a snow emergency that will begin Thursday morning at 7 a.m.As a result of the snow emergency declared, it is being asked of residents that they use off-street parking. This will allow for proper snow removal. However, in the event that off-street parking is not available, residents may look to the following regulations provided by ...

With a forecast that looks to expect rain changing over for snow from tomorrow (Thursday, January 19th) into Friday (January 20th), the City of Pittsfield has declared a snow emergency that will begin Thursday morning at 7 a.m.

As a result of the snow emergency declared, it is being asked of residents that they use off-street parking. This will allow for proper snow removal. However, in the event that off-street parking is not available, residents may look to the following regulations provided by multiple sources:

Non-permitted vehicle are also prohibited from using municipal parking during the hours from 12 a.m. to 7 a.m. Should any non-permitted vehicle be in violation of this, their vehicle may be towed away at the expense of the vehicle owner.

The city is also reminding residents of Pittsfield that sidewalks and ramps abutting their property must be cleared of snow within a 24-hour time period after the storm ends. Any disposing of snow onto the streets or sidewalks is in violation of a city ordinance.

As for the forecast, according to AccuWeather, they look for it to be cloudy with a high of 35, with on-and-off rain and drizzle, mainly in the afternoon. They are also saying to watch for icy spots, so please be careful, not just on the roads, but also walking on the sidewalks.

A Winter Weather Advisory is also in effect from 11 a.m. Thursday to 7 p.m. on Friday evening. Total accumulation that is expected is between 2 to 6 inches of snow while there may be two-tenths of an inch of ice accumulation. This advisory is for all of Berkshire County. It's also for Bennington, Western Windham, and Eastern Windham Counties in Vermont.

Stay safe out there, everyone!

10 MA Towns That Don't Sound Like They're in Massachusetts

There are plenty of 'Arlington's around the U.S. And famous ones at that like Arlington, TX. Despite being the team being the Dallas Cowboys, they play in the city of Arlington at AT&T Stadium. The Texas Rangers also play in that city. Another commonly known Arlington spot is in Arlington, VA where Arlington National Cemetery is located. But in Massachusetts, it's a town about six miles northwest of Boston. It's also home to Robbins Library and Old Schwamb Mill which is the oldest-continuously operating mill in the U.S.

Canton, MA

The first thing anyone thinks of when they hear Canton is the NFL Hall of Fame in Canton, OH. Surely, not Canton, MA, 15 miles southwest of Boston, where the hilarious comedian Bill Burr is from. (And don't call me Shirley)

Florida, MA

Yep, Massachusetts has its own Florida, which doesn't at all sound like it should be a town anywhere. Luckily, it is nothing like the state where lots of bad stuff happens, comes from, and still lives. This Berkshire County town is home to the highest point of the Mohawk Trail.

Georgetown, MA

Most people probably think of Georgetown University, which is in Washington, D.C. In fact, you can see the university campus from the plane right before you land at the airport in D.C. The lesser known town in MA is a Boston suburb in Essex County. The town was also named by 'Niche' as one of the best places in Massachusetts to live and raise a family.

Lincoln, MA

Several cities and towns in the U.S. are named Lincoln. Most notably is probably the capital of Nebraska. But there is one probably not a popular in Massachusetts. The Middlesex County town was where a large portion of the famous Revolutionary War - Battle of Lexington and Concord, was fought.

Montgomery

Montgomery is another spot that is probably most thought of as the capital of another state, Alabama. In MA, it's located in Hampden County with a population of about 819 people.

Orleans

When you think of Orleans, it's likely you think of the famous party city of New Orleans in Louisiana. Or perhaps the band, Orleans, that famously had the 1976 hit, 'Still The One'. But there is a Orleans in the Bay State that resides in Cape Cod, just off the very eastern point of the state.

Peru, MA

Peru doesn't even sound like it's in the U.S. since there is the country of Peru, located on the western side of South America. The climate is definitely different in Peru, MA. Of course, it is on the eastern side of Berkshire County, and has the highest mean elevation of any city in the Bay State (over 2000 feet).

Princeton University is NOT in Princeton, MA. That would be in Princeton, New Jersey. The popular Ivy League school, which is known as one of the best in the country, is typically what comes to mind. However, in MA, the town is in Worcester County. The film that starred Jack Black and Gwyneth Paltrow, 'Shallow Hal', had several scenes filmed there.

Washington, MA

Several things not in Massachusetts come to mind when Washington comes up. Like, the state of Washington, or the U.S. capital, Washington, D.C. But this Berkshire County town in MA is, in fact, named for President George Washington. Another fun fact is that folk singer Arlo Guthrie is from there.

These 16 Bizarre Massachusetts Laws Are Completely Insane

Gallery Credit: Unsplash

We all know how fun it is to bring peanuts into a place like church so you can snack on them (really). But did you know it is punishable by up to one year in jail?

If you're at a wake, mourners can have no more than three sandwiches. It seems they don't want your appetite to get in the way of your mourning.

Like in 'Seinfeld', I always thought we had a deal with the birds. They get out of the way of our cars and we look away from the statue defecation. I guess we can't scare them either.

If it's raining, we're not sure why you would want to water your lawn simultaneously, but if you do, that's a no-no.

It is illegal to keep a mule on the 2nd floor of a building that is not within a city, but only if it doesn't have two exits. Just make sure you have two exits to be safe. And stay off the 2nd floor.

Towns in the Berkshires That Could Be In Hallmark Christmas Movies

The obvious choice to host a Hallmark Christmas. It really has everything you need. There's a good downtown setting with random people walking around so you wouldn't need to hire extras. It also has a good bakery that is always typically used in those movies. The downtown has a bike lane, which could be useful for a random side character that bikes everywhere. We'll name that guy, Scotty. There's a few downtown pubs that could used for a 'meet cute' setting. And the Park Square could be used as a backdrop for whatever weird holiday festival that is typically used in the third act of every Hallmark Christmas movie.

Another spot that would be perfect for a downtown setting just might be Lenox. Obviously, the town has so many downtown shops, restaurants, and bakeries. A romantic setting that could be used for the climatic scene could be at Tanglewood where somehow they find themselves under the mistletoe. Spoiler alert, if it's middle of the movie, they will get interrupted and not kiss. If it's the end of the movie, they end up kissing.

With Williamstown being a college town, it would be a good setting for a Hallmark Christmas movie based on the big city girl coming back home to find her hometown crush is now a college professor. It would probably be something along those lines for the plot. The downtown scene is very quaint and there is plenty of backdrop around for every typical scenario that plays out in Hallmark movies.

Honestly, if we're talking about the perfect downtown backdrop for a Hallmark Christmas movie, Great Barrington might just take the cake. And speaking of which, we could insert a place where they bake cakes, like a bakery into the plot for this one. Why is there always somewhere that has Christmas cookies and cocoa in every. Single. Hallmark. Movie? Perhaps Patisserie Lenox is the spot for that.

Another great backdrop is in Lee. In the picture, it is lightly snowing, so you get at least an idea of what it could look like with fake snow falling and/or on the ground as is typical in Hallmark Christmas movies. Lee's also known for its 'bed and breakfast' establishments which could come in handy, seeing as how the protagonist in Hallmark Christmas movies always ends up warming up to the town folk because she's such a nice guest.

Stockbridge has a reputation for being a great place to celebrate Christmas festivities. So much so, that they have them up in the picture! Perhaps the Norman Rockwell Museum would be another setting for the protagonist to meet the man of her dreams, probably through some art connection or something. You get how these Hallmark Christmas movies work!

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