Council on Aging

We believe that we offer a great gathering place to meet friends, and make new friends. Here you will create new opportunities and make new connections!

 As a community focal point for aging services, the Council on Aging provides a variety of programs and services to enhance and support the lives of older adults. We offer a wide range of health, education, wellness, social services, transportation, nutrition, recreation, volunteer and social opportunities for participants to enhance dignity, support independence and encourage community involvement. We are also a resource to the community providing information on aging and assisting family and friends who are entrusted with the care of older adults.

 We are located at 291 Pine St. in a newly completed, 20,000 sq. ft. state of the art building designed to meet the needs of older adults. We emphasized 'Going Green' as our new facility has geothermal heating and cooling, along with many built in energy efficiencies.

 Come visit us today!


Navae Fenwick Rodriguez - Activities Director

(413) 322 5625

Carla Neiswanger - Volunteer Coordinator

(413) 322 5625

Dorothy Blain-Hamel - Social Worker

(413) 322 5625

Magdaly Martinez - Social Worker

(413) 322 5625

Kathleen Blanchard - Health Promotion Coordinator

(413) 322 5625

Margaret Lemire - LPN

(413) 322 5625

Diane Farquhar - Secretary/Bookkeeper

(413) 322 5625

Ann Marie Jackowski - Cook

(413) 322 5625

Ann Kosior - Kitchen Helper
David Sostre-Baez - Kitchen Helper
Pat Cameron - Dispatcher

(413) 322 5625

Maureen Charest - Driver
Rob Deza - Driver

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The Council on Aging designs, promotes and implements services for Holyoke’s elderly, persons sixty years and older.  The fourteen Council members are appointed for one year terms by the Mayor.

Norma Bagnall - term expires Aug. 28, 2014

Kyong Cruz - term expires Aug 28, 2014

Brian Fitzgerald - term expires Aug. 28, 2014

Richard Gates - term expires Aug. 28, 2014

Dawn Hosford - term expires Aug. 28, 2014

William Kerwin - term expires Aug. 28, 2014

Barbara Levin - term expires Aug. 28, 2014

James Manning - term expires Aug. 28, 2014

Shirley Morrison - term expires Aug. 28, 2014

Phyllis Parlengas - term expires Aug. 28, 2014

Karlene Shea - term expires Aug. 28, 2014

Sandra Swan - term expires Aug. 28, 2014

The Council on Aging offers daily programs and activities that are designed to meet the social, nutritional, and health needs of Holyoke’s senior citizens, including:


We offer everything from art classes to Zumba.  Ongoing activities are listed below.  View our April update and calendar for special events, holiday closings, class cancellations, and announcements.



8:30 & 10:15  -  Arthritis Exercise

12:30-4  -  Band Rehearsals

1:30  -  Writers’ Group



8:30 & 9:45  -  Osteo Exercise

9:30  -  Painting

10:00  -  Dominoes

12:15  -  At the Movies

12:30  -  Senior Chorus

12:30  -  Instructional Mah Jongg

1:00  -  Zumba



8:30 & 10:15  -  Arthritis Exercise

9:00-11  -  Needles & Hooks Club

10:00  -  QiGong

11:30-1:00  -  Blood Pressure Clinic

12:00  -  Painting

12:30  -  Chair Massage

1:00  -  Golden Senior Club



8:30 & 9:45  -  Osteo Exercise

9:30  -  Painting

10:00  -  Tai Chi for Healthy Aging

11:00  -  Tai Chi

12:30  -  Pitch

12:30  -  Chair Massage

1:00  -  Reunion Social

1:00  -  Line Dancing



9-11:30  -  Ceramics Club

10:00  -  Chair Yoga

12:00  -  Model Train Group

12:30  -  Scrabble Club

1:15  -  Bingo


 COA April 2014 calendar

Please be sure to check out our ongoing classes as well!  The complete April update contains additional information about new offerings and special events.


COA April 2014 menu




Ever wondered about opera?  Interested in learning more about international affairs?  Always wanted to know more about forensic investigations?


The Spring 2014 session of Life Long Learning runs from April 17 through June 10.  For a single registration fee of $25, attend as many classes as you want.  All courses limited to 20 participants.  Registration begins April 1. 

CSI: Holyoke
Thursdays, 9:30 – 11:00 a.m.
May 22 & 29
Presented by Capt. Denise Duguay

Class will explore the history of criminal investigations and the role of forensics in solving crimes. Class will learn about collecting physical evidence and will solve a crime using forensic evidence.


Appreciating Opera
Tuesdays, 9:30 – 11:30 a.m.
May 6, 13, 20, 27 & June 10
Presented by the Rev. Richard Riendeau

Satisfy your suspicions that there may be something wonderful about opera, and find out why so many people (including the Pope) are crazy about it. There will be five, two hour classes about the plots and music of this spectacular world. Come and enjoy!


International Affairs
Thursdays, 9:30 – 11:00 a.m.
April 17, 24 & May 1,8
Presented by John Champagne

April 17 – “Some government programs do work” – Overview of USAID’s role in humanitarian assistance/disaster relief.

April 24 – “Preventing the dominos from falling” – Personal perspective on U.S. military and development role in Thailand during the Cold War (1969-79).

May 1 – “Observations of a foreign aid implementor” – Panama (1980-84), West Bank/Gaza (1991-93), former Soviet Union (1994-95)

May 8 – “Creating a civilian capacity to address political instability abroad” – Lessons learned from the U.S. experience in Iraq and Afghanistan.


Film Series:  Amistad, Schindler’s List, Little Big Man, Hotel Rwanda, Come See the Paradise
Thursdays, 12:15 p.m.
April 17, 24 & May 1, 8, 15
Presented by Jane Gronau

This film series focuses on the lives of individuals (some fictional and some actual) as they negotiate the racial/ethnic dynamics and strife of identifiable historical periods. Each of the five lauded Hollywood movies offers the audience an opportunity to view and discuss narratives based on, or framed around, real events that took place in the United States and abroad. As we journey with the characters through critical historical occurrences, we come to understand the multifaceted impact of race and ethnicity on human lives. A facilitated conversation will follow the screenings.


HG&E’s Robert Barrett Fishway
Wednesday, April 23, at 9:30 a.m. or
Wednesday, May 28, at 2:00 p.m.
Presented by Liz Austin

The opportunity to view fish in their spawning migration is extremely rare, yet the Robert Barrett Fishway in Holyoke offers this to the public. Each spring hundreds of thousands of fish return from the Atlantic Ocean to reproduce in the Connecticut River and Holyoke Gas & Electric provides viewing facilities where the public can see the various fish species and watch them as they are lifted over the dam so they can continue their journeys upstream. At this lively and informative presentation, come learn about the history, the fish and the fish elevators.


Exploring the Connecticut River Valley
Tuesday, April 29, at 9:30 a.m.
Presented by Win Lavallee

Are you curious and concerned about our beautiful Connecticut River Valley? Join us as we explore its natural and social history: dinosaurs, continental drift, glaciations, Native American and European settlements, cultural conflicts and wars. Historical use and misuse of the land and the river compels us to be aware of the need for enlightened stewardship of this environment if we wish to leave it a lovely landscape for our children and grandchildren.

Department Head

Kathy Bowler

Kathy Bowler

Executive Director

Office Address

291 Pine Street
Holyoke, MA 01040 Map

Contact Info

Main Office

(413) 322 5625

(413) 534 2210 (fax)

Office Hours

Monday - Friday
8:00 am - 4:30 pm

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Posted on December 26, 2012 by