CHS Offers Innovation in Elder Day Services

Cooperative for Human Services Inc. was awarded a five year demonstration grant from the MA Department of Developmental Disabilities (DDS) for the development of innovative day programing for individuals over the age of fifty-five. This is a population that often times remains at home because of complex medical conditions or significant day-to-day fluctuations in their health and vitality. One of the goals of the Elder Day Supports Program is to connect older adults with their communities and to increase their socialization opportunities. We strive to support our individuals to gain a sense of accomplishment and pride through volunteerism  and giving back, which increases self esteem and connections with others. On The Rise Inc., a women's daytime shelter located in Cambridge, MA, was the perfect fit for our first volunteer program…
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Holiday Choral Concert at ABI Home

On a very cold December Saturday, an employee of CHS got together with a group of friends and family and visited our Acquired Brain Injury home located in Tewksbury, to share holiday music and carols with the four individuals who reside there.  The resident's family members and staff also joined in on the festivities. The Acquired Brain Injury program serves people who previously lived in a nursing facility or a chronic or rehabilitation hospital and were assisted to transition into a home setting in their community with 24-hour care, professional supports and greater access to community resources. Though the holidays can be especially busy for everyone, the choral group members were more than generous with their time and happy to come and perform an assortment of holiday songs. We continually seek…
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Wrapping Up the Year with Student Volunteers

On Tuesday, December 12, students from Melrose and Malden Catholic High Schools met at the CHS office in Malden to help wrap over 100 gifts for the Individuals we serve at the Cooperative for Human Services Inc! Though this time of year can be especially busy for students, these student volunteers were more than happy to come out and lend us a hand. We are always trying to find new ways to make connections in our local community. This project was particularly successful in that it allowed us to connect with a younger demographic, one we don’t normally get a chance to work with.  We are very grateful for the student volunteers who came out to help us prepare for a fun filled holiday season!
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Celebrating with a Holiday Tradition

We are continually seeking opportunities to ensure that the individuals we serve are integrated into the communities where they live. This helps to prevent isolation and the resulting loneliness from feeling excluded. On Friday, December 1st, ten men and women from our Individual Supports program based in Malden,  attended The Nutcracker performed by the Melrose Youth Ballet. This classic ballet has become an annual holiday tradition in Melrose and has been staged at the same venue, the Memorial Hall in Melrose, since its first performance in 1995. The cast consists of hundreds of student dancers from more than 19 different surrounding communities.  After the show, our individuals reflected and talked about the many different colorful costumes that were worn by all the cast members. This holiday- inspired, community event will…
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Annual Appeal

Dear Friends, This is the time of year when we reflect upon our good work and plan ahead for the future. It has been a challenging year as we continue to navigate government budget cuts in Human Services and uncertainty from the Federal level. We anticipate he coming years will be rocky at best. And yet… we are motivated by our accomplishments and energized as we anticipate and create new possibilities. Over the past twelve months we expanded our capacity at the CHS organic farm with a greenhouse and hydroponic operation. We now grow fresh produce year-round, sending wholesome and healthy free food to the people we serve. During the summer we participated in the Malden City Community Garden and encouraged individuals to plant and harvest their own vegetables. We…
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Individual Supports Program Thanksgiving – a Bird, a Band and Bowling

The Thanksgiving holiday originated as a day of giving thanks for the blessing of the harvest from planting the preceding year. Although the traditions and practices of the holiday have changed over time, the meaning has stayed much the same. On Thursday, November 23 rd , our Individual Support Program in Malden came together to share Thanksgiving dinner in celebration of their accomplishments and experiences supported by friends and family over the past year. Sisters Ann Marie and Angela, two individuals from the program, worked together to cook the turkey, make gravy, and bake various pies including pineapple pie, apple pie, pumpkin pie, lemon pie, and mincemeat. Other dishes including ham, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, rolls, and cranberry sauce were provided by the organization. Individuals came together from various…
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Giving Back to Honor US Veterans

Here at CHS we recognize the importance of giving back and establishing long-lasting relationships with the community around us. On Friday November 3rd, we connected with The Mass Bay Veteran’s Center (MBVC) located in Somerville, MA.  The MBVC provides 22 transitional and 7 permanent housing units to former homeless veterans.  Similar to our own, the MBVC is a supportive community where veterans can recuperate, connect and build relationships with one another, and receive the support they need to live meaningful and independent lives.  When we asked if we could come by to deliver baked goods for the Veterans Day holiday, not only did they say “Yes!”, they also invited us to stay for a big celebratory breakfast that they were hosting for the veterans! The following week, four different CHS…
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National Diabetes Awareness Month

National Diabetes Awareness Month Over the past six months, the Individual Support team in Malden has been discussing ways to manage the diabetes disease process in collaboration with the clinical team, staff, doctors’ offices, support groups, and families. We have identified that when individuals are first diagnosed with diabetes they often feel isolated and overwhelmed. Knowing that stress is one of many factors that can contribute to changes in blood sugar, we encourage individuals at ISS to speak with a counselor, support group, staff member, or family. This first step of reaching out can help individuals with diabetes to find the care and support they need to cope with the disease effectively. Here are a few ways in which individuals can get a better handle on their diabetes symptoms: Eating…
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US House Special Needs Working Group Created We were pleased to learn of the announcement that five members of the U.S. House of Representatives have initiated a bipartisan effort to explore policies and regulations in need of review and change to better support special needs employment. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Rep-Washington is Chairwoman of the Bipartisan House Working Group on Employing People with Disabilities. Joining her is Gregg Harper, R-Miss and Chairman of the House Administrative Committee, James Clyburn, D-SC, Joe Crowley, D-NY and Tony Cardenas, D-CA. The work group plans to review and identify regulations, some of which date back to the 1930s, that can be barriers to individuals with disabilities who wish to enter the workforce. This includes income limitations on Social Security and Medicaid that prevent full time…
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