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Home Care in Brookline, 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 Brookline, 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 Brookline, 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 Brookline, MA. Always Best Care is here to help.

How does In-home Senior Care in Brookline, 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 Brookline, MA

Types of In-home Care in Brookline, MA

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

 Elderly Care Brookline, 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 Brookline, 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 Brookline, 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 Brookline, 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 Brookline, 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 Brookline, 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 Brookline, 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 Brookline, 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 Brookline, 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 Brookline, 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 Brookline, 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 Brookline,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 Brookline, MA

Bluebike Price Increases Take Effect Soon

BROOKLINE, MA — The Bluebikes bike sharing service is about to get a bit more expensive for area users as a planned annual price increase for 2023 approaches on Jan. 28.The annual membership cost will jump from $119 to $129 when paid upfront. An option for monthly payments on year-long memberships will also see costs increase from $12 per month to $13.Single month memberships will increase from $26.75 per month to $29.Single ride and adventure pass costs will climb to $4 per half-hour.The cost for corporate ...

BROOKLINE, MA — The Bluebikes bike sharing service is about to get a bit more expensive for area users as a planned annual price increase for 2023 approaches on Jan. 28.

The annual membership cost will jump from $119 to $129 when paid upfront. An option for monthly payments on year-long memberships will also see costs increase from $12 per month to $13.

Single month memberships will increase from $26.75 per month to $29.

Single ride and adventure pass costs will climb to $4 per half-hour.

The cost for corporate memberships will also increase later this month, while income eligible pricing for qualified individuals will remain unchanged.

Bluebikes said in a statement that its 2023 round of annual price changes “take into account inflation and related rising costs” associated with the Bluebikes program.

“In terms of customer experience, these annual price increases will help Bluebikes meet growing ridership demand by expanding the operations team,” the organization said.

Price changes will also help support income eligible pricing for low-income individuals utilizing Bluebikes, according to the organization’s price announcement.

The Bluebikes system spans locations in Arlington, Boston, Brookline, Cambridge, Chelsea, Everett, Malden, Medford, Newton, Revere, Salem, Somerville and Watertown. It operates over 400 stations with upward of 4,000 bikes.

While the Bluebike system remains operational year-round, some stations are relocated or removed for the winter-riding season each year.

The system began scaling down for the winter in 2022/2023 in October, most recently deactivating all stations in Newton.

Newton city Director of Community Communications Ellen Ishkanian told Patch on Tuesday that ridership tends to be “very, very low” during the winter.

“[I]t is better for the equipment and more cost-effective to close,” Ishkanian said.

Newton stations will reopen at some point between the end of March and early April, depending on weather, Ishkanian said.

Outside of the winter months, Bluebikes expanded in locations throughout the Greater Boston area in 2022, adding stations and pushing into entirely new areas, including Malden and Medford.

The network shattered ridership records last year, surpassing the previous high-water mark with close to 3.4 million rides documented through the end of October.

Representing just one month of 2022, the 30-day Orange Line shutdown between mid-August and mid-September saw massive increases in Bluebike usage as the city of Boston offered free bike passes during the transit disruption. Bluebikes reported ten single day records in ridership between the shutdown's beginning and end.

Bluebikes is jointly owned by the cities of Boston, Cambridge, Everett, Salem and Somerville and the town of Brookline.

See more on upcoming rate changes here.

Spring break trips for families who actually want to enjoy themselves

After COVID left families cooped up at home for what felt like a thousand eternities, many are itching to get back to traveling “normally” again. But, as every parent knows, traveling with kids, which is an art form in and of itself, takes heaps of planning, saving and compromise. So if you haven’t started your spring break travel planning, time’s a-ticking.“Families are definitely ready to get back out in the world and travel, and I am seeing an uptick in travelers looking for family-friendly destination...

After COVID left families cooped up at home for what felt like a thousand eternities, many are itching to get back to traveling “normally” again. But, as every parent knows, traveling with kids, which is an art form in and of itself, takes heaps of planning, saving and compromise. So if you haven’t started your spring break travel planning, time’s a-ticking.

“Families are definitely ready to get back out in the world and travel, and I am seeing an uptick in travelers looking for family-friendly destinations this spring break,” says Keri Baugh, founder of Bon Voyage With Kids. “Interests are ranging from road trips to all-inclusives to national parks — but everyone is looking to do it affordably.”

Looking for spring break 2023 ideas that won’t put you in debt? Here, experts share parents’ top must-haves for traveling this year, trip suggestions and tips for saving.

Spring break with kids: what’s important to parents

Unlike the travel-planning days when “on-site spa” or “room with a view” may have topped your must-have list, spring break with kids calls for a different set of requisites. The top three, according to family travel expert Colleen Carswell are:

“The price of food, admissions, accommodations, gas and flights all have been on a steep incline for many, many months, and it feels like there’s no end in sight,” Carswell says. “It’s expensive enough for just one person to travel, but multiplying that by three, five or more can quickly send the budget skyrocketing.”

Because of this, Carswell notes, “affordability is a top priority for many families” right now — and Baugh is seeing the same.

“While families are definitely ready to travel again, traveling on a budget and saving money is definitely one of the recurring themes,” she says.

“Parents, myself included, are tired of spending all of this time and energy planning elaborate vacations just to return home feeling like they need a vacation from their vacation,” Carswell says, referencing the saying that “parents don’t really go on vacation; they just take care of their kids in a different city.”

“That said, now more than ever the entire family is in dire need of a true vacation, not just the kids,” she continues. “However, these big, extravagant, themed vacations aren’t hitting the same as they did pre-pandemic. Parents seem to be looking for things that are more simple than overstimulating.”

Obviously, no one goes on a vacation with the intention of not having fun. However, according to Carswell, the family definition of “fun” has evolved in the past few years.

“Families desperately want to get back to having fun traveling experiences, but that looks different now than before,” she says. “I’m seeing a more intentional focus on exploring new places and connecting fully as a family while enjoying unique, enriching experiences instead of overly themed-out extravagance.”

In other words: think more along the lines of hitting cool hiking trails together as opposed to waiting in line for an hour for a turn on the nation’s best waterslide.

Family spring break ideas that hit the mark (with money-saving tips)

Looking to tick some (or all) of the above boxes? Here, Carswell and Baugh offer suggestions and advice for spring break family vacations.

According to Baugh, the iconic family road trip is back. In addition to there being an inherent sense of adventure with road tripping, there’s also an undeniable element of convenience (you get in the car and go).

“We love to road trip because it’s an inexpensive way to hit more than one location,” says Michelle Stumbers, a mom of two from Cranford, New Jersey. “We listen to scary story podcasts and get fun snacks. It also is so much easier than dealing with the airport, and we ultimately get a better sense of areas by driving around.”

For families looking to up the adventure factor with their road trip, Carswell hosts a free “Choose Our Adventure” workshop on her site. “Ultimately, the idea is that parents let friends and family vote in real time on each next destination,” she explains. “This allows the adventure to unfold naturally and encourages an appreciation of the journey rather than a singular focus on the destination.”

Baugh adds that road trips are a great way to cut costs on a trip, even if a destination is the end game. “Though gas is expensive, it will be less than the cost of the flight — especially if the destination is within a five- to six-hour drive,” she says. “And these days, with airline delays and cancellations, you may get to your destination faster if it is that close.”

Tips to save:

Whether families are camping or staying nearby, Baugh has also seen an uptick in interest in national parks for family vacations. In the U.S., there are 63 national parks to choose from, spanning 31 states and two U.S. territories. To find ones closest to you, check out the National Park Foundation search tool.

Tips to save:

While Carswell notes that many are branching out from typical family trips in favor of more simplicity and adventure, Baugh is still seeing an interest in Disney parks with clients.

“Disney remains a very popular destination, as 2023 is a year with a lot of new and exciting things happening across the Disney parks,” she says. “It is also the 100th anniversary of the Disney Company so this is generating a lot of excitement among Disney fans.”

Tips to save:

While pricier than a camping trip or budget motel, Baugh has also noticed families gravitating towards all-inclusive hotels, due to their sheer convenience (they went to one recently and it was “at capacity.”). “What makes all-inclusives popular is that they make vacations mindless and simple,” she says. “Once you pay for the vacation, you aren’t worrying about where you will dine or what to do — it’s all included.” (Though there can be a few additional fees for “incidentals or add-ons, like certain excursions.”)

For Jodi Schoenfeld, a mom of three from Brookline, Massachusetts, that was exactly the allure. “This year we decided to do an all-inclusive,” she says. “It’s pricier than our usual trips, but after going away last year and constantly having to work out the logistics of leaving the site for food, entertainment, etc., we decided to save up so we can stay put and enjoy the trip a little more.”

Here are two all-inclusives Baugh recommends:

Beaches. Beaches has three locations — two in Jamaica and one in Turks and Caicos,” Baugh explains, noting that it’s extremely family friendly. “From pools to a water park to plenty of restaurants, Beaches also has a day care called Camp Sesame (they partner with Sesame Street) for kids under 5 and camps for kids 6 up to teens.”

“Even things like scuba diving are included,” she continues. “Kids can also make cookies with Cookie Monster, hunt for seashells with Big Bird or have a birthday party with Elmo. There are also plenty of kid-friendly menus, family-friendly shows and entertainment.”

Dude ranches. “These are another one of our favorite family all-inclusive experiences,” explains Baugh. “There are several in Montana, Wyoming and Colorado that are very popular with families. We visited one near Yellowstone, where you can be completely unplugged, as there are no TVs and the Wi-Fi and cell service is limited. We enjoyed horseback riding, fly fishing, simple family time, as well as meals with other guests. My kids have called it ‘one of the best vacations they have ever had.’”

Tips to save:

Other money-saving travel tips

Regardless of where you’re thinking of heading, consider these three money-saving tips from Baugh:

The bottom line

Making travel plans for a family is no small feat, but when you plan ahead, you reap big mental and financial rewards, notes Carswell. “Watching the expenses rack up while vacationing can add to parents’ mental overwhelm at best, and at worst, it can suck all the joy out of the entire vacation experience,” she says. “Thinking about both price and the type of experience families are looking for” beforehand can help make things run more smoothly.

“Our beach house rental last year was affordable,” Schoenfeld adds. “But we didn’t take into account all the shuffling around and packing up we’d have to do each day with three kids. This year, I think we planned better, taking both money and our overall experience into account.”

Ballot Question 5 – Fire Station Renovations/Replacement

This post was contributed by a community member. The views expressed here are the author's own.Engaged Citizen Corner - League of Women Voters of Brookline“The baby is 55 years old!”According to Fire Chief John Sullivan, the average age of Brookline’s fire stations is 93.5 years, and the baby – Babcock Street fire station – is 55.Like us humans, the wear and tear, the need to modernize and to meet current standards, and the ability to adapt to change are all urgent and pres...

This post was contributed by a community member. The views expressed here are the author's own.

Engaged Citizen Corner - League of Women Voters of Brookline

“The baby is 55 years old!”

According to Fire Chief John Sullivan, the average age of Brookline’s fire stations is 93.5 years, and the baby – Babcock Street fire station – is 55.

Like us humans, the wear and tear, the need to modernize and to meet current standards, and the ability to adapt to change are all urgent and pressing issues for Brookline’s five fire stations. The need is even more pressing since the Commonwealth of MA adopted stringent federal OSHA standards in February 2019, which will require upgrades in all stations’ electrical, plumbing and HVAC.

Chief Sullivan was joined by Select Board Chair Heather Hamilton and Deputy Town Administrator for Policy and Fiscal Affairs Melissa Goff at the October 21st virtual Friday Conversation co-sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Brookline and the Brookline Rotary Club. They explained the circumstances and conditions that have led to Ballot Question #5 – Fire Station Decontamination, Renovations and Replacement – which is listed below the four statewide ballot questions on Brookline voters’ November 8th election ballot.

Question 5 reads as follows, unfortunately with no explanation: Shall the Town of Brookline be allowed to exempt from the provisions of proposition two and one-half, so-called, the amounts required to pay for the bonds issued in order to renovate, remediate, and modernize all the Town fire stations, including site work and reconstruction of Station 5, located at 49 Babcock Street?

If you vote “yes,” you are voting for a Proposition 2-1/2 Debt Exclusion to cover the cost of town-purchased bonds to cover the project cost. Once those bonds are paid off there is no more property tax burden on Brookline residents.

Here’s the explanation.

The Problem:

Brookline’s fire stations are old. They have served the town well, but the health impacts of toxins, the living conditions within the fire stations, and the inequitable accommodations for female firefighters are long overdue matters to be addressed.

The rate of cancers and other health risks increases over time as firefighters are exposed to different chemicals, toxins and carcinogens. Many of these contaminants are within the fire stations themselves, where diesel fire engines are stored and where kitchen facilities and food, as well as living accommodations are close by. Unfortunately, as we move into the 21st century, cancer has outpaced heart and lung damage as the #1 killer of firefighters, especially causing deaths post retirement.

Women have been Brookline firefighters for 30 years, but accommodations and restroom facilities have never been equitable compared to men’s. Part of the problem is space, exacerbated at times by proximity to toxins. One female firefighter explained that she has been sick for two years and has decided not to have children as a result of her exposure to toxins, partly due to where her accommodations are located.

The Plan: Chief Sullivan explained that the department’s strategic objectives include decontamination of existing structures and contents to the extent possible; instituting “environmental zoning” through HVAC controls to limit spread of contaminants and toxins in personnel living spaces; upgrading wiring; and creating private, gender neutral bathrooms with each pod having a changing area, toilet, shower and sink.

The anticipated order of renovations/replacement with a total timeline of 5-7 years:

Expectation to meet the environmental goals of Town Meeting and the Town:

The Chief discussed how the renovations and replacement of Station #5 will help meet the mandates of the Town Meeting and the Town to become fossil fuel free, and to get as close as possible to net zero emissions. Station #5 will meet the highest standards of a green building that can be reached by fire stations.

He recomends that any electric vehicle (EV) initiative should be part of a comprehensive town-wide EV Fleet Plan, which could leverage state and federal funding to best serve the constituency.

The Cost: Heather Hamilton, Brookline Select Board Chair, stated that the SB has approved the $65 million price tag for the renovations and a new Babcock Street station. After much experience with debt exclusions, she is confident the final figure meets the costs, the impact of inflation, possible supply chain issues, and enabling “net zero readiness” of all fire stations.

Ms. Hamilton agreed with one of the attendees that ongoing maintenance and upkeep of fire stations – indeed all municipal facilities – is a priority and necessary. But, sufficient public funds for this task are always an issue. Chief Sullivan emphasized he would prioritize consistent maintenance of all the renovated stations and the new Station #5.

Your Personal Calculator: Melissa Goff, Deputy Town Administrator, explained next steps. First, the ballot question for the debt exclusion must be approved by Brookline voters on Nov. 8th. Second, appropriation of the money must be authorized by the November Town Meeting. If it is authorized, then, when the Fire Station improvement plans are complete, borrowing for the capital improvements can begin and the 25-year debt exclusion will start. The borrowing will not be all at once.

The Town has launched a tool on the Town website for residents to enter their address and calculate their cost - try it out at http://bit.ly/3feexca.

Friday Conversation recording: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c-F69pzZNwQ

The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan organization that encourages informed discourse and active participation in government and that works to influence public policy through education and advocacy.

How Massachusetts' New Waste Ban Regulations Affect Brookline

MassDEP's 2030 Solid Waste Master Plan established an objective to reduce disposal statewide by 30 percent over the next decade.BROOKLINE, MA — The Brookline Department of Public Works has shared information on how the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection's (MassDEP) new waste ban regulations will affect residents when it goes into affect on Nov. 1.MassDEP's 2030 Solid Waste Master Plan established an objective to reduce disposal statewide by 30 percent over the next decade. In an effort to reach this go...

MassDEP's 2030 Solid Waste Master Plan established an objective to reduce disposal statewide by 30 percent over the next decade.

BROOKLINE, MA — The Brookline Department of Public Works has shared information on how the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection's (MassDEP) new waste ban regulations will affect residents when it goes into affect on Nov. 1.

MassDEP's 2030 Solid Waste Master Plan established an objective to reduce disposal statewide by 30 percent over the next decade. In an effort to reach this goal, MassDEP has established new rules requiring that mattresses and textiles be kept out of the trash so they can be recycled or donated for reuse.

According to MassDEP, approximately 300,000 mattresses and box springs are disposed of each year in the state and about 85 percent of this mattress material can be recycled. In addition, approximately 23,000 tons of textiles are disposed of each year and about 95 percent of it can be reused or repurposed.

The state has also updated existing legislation requiring that businesses and institutions that dispose of a half-ton or more of organic material per week divert their organic waste from the trash. The previously established threshold was one ton.

The Town of Brookline is reminding residents that mattresses and textiles cannot be recycled through household recycling bins. They must be scheduled for pickup or given to organizations that specialize in reselling them second-hand or repurposing them for other uses.

Clean mattresses and box springs must be recycled or donated for reuse.

All clean clothing, footwear, bedding, towels, curtains, fabric, or similar products must be recycled or donated for reuse.

The term “organics” includes all food and vegetative materials. Liquids, yard waste, biodegradable products, and compostable paper are not included in the ban.

MassDEP offers several resources through RecyclingWorks, a recycling assistance program, to help businesses and institutions better understand how likely it is that their operation will be subject to the commercial organics ban. A Food Waste Estimation Guide developed by RecyclingWorks is available here.

Businesses and institutions can comply with this ban by donating servable food to shelters and food pantries, reducing food waste generation through more efficient food service operations, and/or working with a hauler to send food waste to a composting facility, anaerobic digester, or for animal feed.

While the town does not recommend any specific compost haulers for commercial organics, the following companies are currently permitted to operate in Brookline:

RecyclingWorks also offers free technical assistance and guidance to businesses and institutions. To request this service, contact RecyclingWorks at [email protected] or 888-254-5525. Additional information can be found at recyclingworksma.com.

Additional information on the upcoming waste bans can be found here.

Brookline Launches Curbside Composting Incentive Program

The program is designed to encourage residential composting in Brookline.BROOKLINE, MA — The Town of Brookline’s Department of Public Works is launching a curbside composting incentive program, in partnership with Black Earth Compost.The curbside composting incentive program, which is active now, is designed to encourage residential composting in Brookline. The incentive program is being funded through a Massachusetts Department of Enviro...

The program is designed to encourage residential composting in Brookline.

BROOKLINE, MA — The Town of Brookline’s Department of Public Works is launching a curbside composting incentive program, in partnership with Black Earth Compost.

The curbside composting incentive program, which is active now, is designed to encourage residential composting in Brookline. The incentive program is being funded through a Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) grant.

While supplies last, new Brookline residential subscribers of Black Earth Compost will receive a free compost starter kit, courtesy of the Department of Public Works. The kits include a Black Earth Compost curbside bin and compostable bin liner bags.

When food waste material is sent to the landfill, it does not properly decompose, according to Brookline DPW officials. As a result, methane gas, a greenhouse gas that is 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide, is released into the air.

Food waste that could be composted makes up approximately 30 percent of Massachusetts’ waste stream. Composting speeds up the natural process of decomposition and reverses global warming through deep carbon storage, which creates a final product that adds nutrients, moisture, and carbon to the soil.

“Composting is one of the most effective strategies to reduce greenhouse gasemissions and divert our waste from landfills and incinerators,” Zero Waste Program Manager Katie Weatherseed said in a statement. “We hope that by offering these free starter kits, we can lower the entry barrier to composting and support residents who may be considering signing up for Black Earth Compost but haven’t yet taken the plunge.”

Black Earth Compost accepts a variety of materials, including meat, bones, dairy, pizza boxes, and napkins. A full list of compostable materials can be found here.

The Brookline DPW recently completed its first Zero Waste Framework, which will help guide the implementation of waste-reduction programs and policies, including increased residential composting.

“This incentive program is an important step in increasing the adoption of residential curb-side composting and helping us achieve our town-wide sustainability and climate action goals Alexandra Vecchio, Director of Parks & Open Space, said in a statement

To subscribe to Black Earth Compost, visit www.blackearthcompost.com. To learn more about composting in Brookline, click here.

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