Council on Aging

Welcome! Bienvenidos!


Prior to 2013, seniors in Holyoke gathered in the basement of the War Memorial Building, the old site of the Council on Aging. Our new Senior Center is bright, colorful, welcoming and has quickly filled with seniors, their families, and caregivers, taking part in a multitude of activities. Visit our center if you need a lunch spot or an exercise haven, to take advantage of our social services or transportation, or simply as an excuse to get out of the house for the day. We pride ourselves on being open and friendly, diverse and accommodating.

Print out a Registration Form in English or Spanish, or pick one up at the Front Desk. If it’s your first time visiting us, feel free to ask at the Front Desk if there is someone available to give a tour, or take a look around yourself.


Livable Communities Survey
The cities of Chicopee and Holyoke, and the town of South Hadley, have partnered with the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission to create a regional action plan for more age-friendly and dementia-friendly communities.  The plan will address quality of life issues such as walkability of outdoor spaces, transportation needs, information access, and social isolation, particularly in relation to older adults.
The Livable Communities Survey, funded by Tufts Health Plan Foundation’s Momentum Grant program, is the first step in getting input from residents.  Each community will also hold public forums to gather additional feedback and ideas.  The results of the study will inform the action plan and help create a more user-friendly and equitable environment for all. The online survey is available in English and Spanish.  A link to both surveys can be found on the City of Holyoke website.


Senior Tax Work Off Program
It's that time of the year! Applications for the program are available beginning Friday, March 1, 2019 and must be submitted no later than Tuesday, April 30, 2019. Check out the tab on the left for more information, or click here.


Please Be Sure to Check In
The more folks that use their COA swipe cards to check in each day, the better data we receive to provide further relevant programming. It helps us to know how many folks are attending which programs, and in general how many patrons there are to the senior center on any given day. Please be sure to sign in to any activities you may be taking part in, or simply as a “Drop-In” if you’re just here to hang out.


AARP Tax Prep Assistance - [*Appointments are currently FULL*]
Each year, AARP Tax Prep Volunteers join us to help provide their free service for seniors. Beginning Monday, January 7, appointments will be available Tuesday and Friday mornings, from February 1 through April 12. To book an appointment, please see the front desk, or call 322-5625. The volunteer that schedules your appointment will give you information on what documents to bring with you to expedite the process.  Appointments fill up fast, so best not to delay!

Eileen Maginnis - Assistant Director

(413) 322-5625

Carla Neiswanger - Volunteer Coordinator

(413) 322 5625

Magdaly Martinez - Senior Social Worker

(413) 322 5625

Annmarie Allen - Social Worker

(413) 322 5625

Tricia Zoly - Health Promotion Coordinator

(413) 322 5625

Ann Marie Jackowski - Cook

(413) 322 5625

Ann Kosior - Kitchen Helper
Cyndi Demers - Kitchen Helper
Rob Deza - Dispatcher

(413) 322 5625

Maureen Charest - Driver
Jennifer Rivera - Driver

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The Council on Aging designs, promotes and implements services for Holyoke’s elderly, persons sixty years and older.  The Council members are appointed for one-year terms by the Mayor. All terms expire August 28, 2018.




Susan Aiken

Len Brouillette

Kyong Cruz

Brian Fitzgerald

Priscilla Garcia

Cappie Glica

Barbara Grady

Wayne Klinge

Peggy Lemire

Dian McCollum

Nicole Perrier

Julita Rojas


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.


Lunch is offered daily, Monday through Friday, and is served between 11:30am and 12pm. You must schedule lunch at least a day in advance. The price for lunch eaten here is $2.25, taken to-go is $3.00.

El almuerzo está disponible de Lunes a Viernes, y será servido entre las 11:30 – 12:00. Para reservar almuerzo llame por lo menos un día con anticipación. El precio para un almuerzo aqui es $2.25, y para llevar es $3.00.

March Lunch Menu/Menu de Almuerzo de Marzo


Currently we have two full-time vehicles on the road between 8:15am and 3:30pm Monday through Friday. Take a look at the Transportation Guidelines to see if you qualify before calling to schedule an appointment.


Social Services
Contact us to schedule an appointment with one of our social workers for help with anything ranging from fuel assistance and SNAP applications to housing and hoarding.
We take part in the Food Bank of Western Mass’ Brown Bag program in which those who qualify receive a free bag of food once a month. Our distribution day is the 4th Tuesday of every month from 2:15 – 3:15pm. Stop by for an application or download an application here.


Health screenings
isit the Senior Center on Wednesdays from 11:30 – 1pm to have your blood pressure taken.
Every Wednesday we offer chair massage at $15 for 15 minutes with Tony Shannon. Be sure to schedule in advance.
Every third Friday of the month we have appointments available to see a foot care nurse.


Medical Equipment Lending
We have a rotating supply of items that are available for borrow and that we accept as donation. It is best to call ahead to check availability. Items we accept/lend: canes, wheelchairs, transport chairs, walkers, bed rails, shower chairs, transfer benches, unopened packages of adult diapers and others. We do NOT accept/lend commodes (unless they are brand new, never used), crutches, hospital beds, urinals, etc.


Tax assistance
During the months of February, March and early April, we offer appointments to have your taxes done with AARP volunteers. Be sure to call as soon as possible as appointments go quickly. *As of January 7, 2019 we began scheduling appointments. Currently all slots are filled, but you may add your name to the wait list.*

Upcoming Events & Announcements
REMINDER: On March 1, applications for the Senior Tax Work Off program become available. If you are over 60 and a homeowner, consider applying to trade volunteer hours for an abatement on your property taxes. Applications are available at the Front Desk and are due April 30, 2019.

Money Management Program
Wednesday, April 17 from 1 – 2:00pm
A representative from WestMass ElderCare will offer information about their free, in-home service that assists low income elders with paying bills, writing checks, budgeting and balancing a checkbook. Find out if you or someone you know qualify for the Bill Payer Program or the Representative Payee Program.
Bill Payer Program
Designed for folks who can make financial decisions and sign checks, but are at risk because they have difficulty budgeting, balancing a checkbook or paying bills on time.
Representative Payee Program
For those who are  unable to make decisions regarding Money Management, designating them a person who assumes legal authority to write and sign checks, and perform any bill payer services for them.


Nutrition & Wellness
Wednesday, April 24 from 12:30 – 2pm
Join folks from the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts for an afternoon of discussion on a variety of topics related to wellness, such as:

  • Simple concepts about diabetes.
  • Healthy, delicious meal and snack ideas
  • Reading nutrition labels.
  • Shopping and cooking meals for one or two.
  • Reducing sugar and sodium.
  • Eating more fruits, vegetables and whole grains.

Farm Share
Applications available at the Front Desk
Every year we partner with CISA to provide a farm share program for low-income seniors. If a variety of fresh organic vegetables from local farm Crimson & Clover sounds good to you, you should consider applying! The program lasts for 10 weeks (usually beginning in July) and if you are chosen it is just a one time $10 fee.  Applications are available at the Front Desk and should be submitted by June 1, 2019.


Cuidadores Unidos – Caregiver’s Support Group for Spanish Speakers
The first Wednesday of every month at 5pm; April meeting changed to April 10
Guided by compassion, equality and empathy, this support group has created a safe and respectful space for the Spanish speaking community of caregivers in the area to openly express themselves. Caring for others can be a taxing experience, and Cuidadores Unidos offers an opportunity to be supported emotionally by other caregivers in similar positions. Feel free to stop by on the first Wednesday of every month, except the month of April, for which the meeting will be held on April 10 instead.


Livable Communities Survey
The cities of Chicopee and Holyoke, and the town of South Hadley, have partnered with the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission to create a regional action plan for more age-friendly and dementia-friendly communities.  The plan will address quality of life issues such as walkability of outdoor spaces, transportation needs, information access, and social isolation, particularly in relation to older adults.
The Livable Communities Survey, funded by Tufts Health Plan Foundation’s Momentum Grant program, is the first step in getting input from residents.  Each community will also hold public forums to gather additional feedback and ideas.  The results of the study will inform the action plan and help create a more user-friendly and equitable environment for all. The online survey is available in English and Spanish.  A link to both surveys can be found on the City of Holyoke website.

Learning Center Adds Nintendo Wii
For those of you who frequent our Learning Center, whether it be to pay bills online, connect with friends via email or just to check out the impressive model train setup, you may have noticed a few changes. In January, with help from Lighthouse students, we were able to transform the room into more of a multifunctional space with a new layout, providing space for a variety of activities. Also, thanks to a generous donation, we have a brand new Nintendo Wii that has been set up for the enjoyment of all. The Wii often uses real life movements to control players in games like tennis, bowling, and golf, and is a great way to stay active with or without friends, while still having fun.
Greg Gauthier Featured on Blue Wall
February/March Exhibit
This month the Blue Wall features watercolor paintings from Greg Gauthier, a lifelong resident of South Hadley. After retiring from his IT career in 2017, Greg decided to find a new hobby:

“In August of 2016 I stumbled upon watercolor demos on YouTube. After watching hundreds I thought, very mistakenly as it turns out, that I could probably paint – it looked pretty easy, after all. Well! I soon found myself in a nightmarish world of muddy colors, horrible backwashes, and “paintings” of a sort…I realized, in very short order, that I would need instruction — and lots of it!”

Greg ended up in Anne Mueller’s painting class at the Holyoke Creative Arts Center. He credits her for her patience in helping him get to where he is today. His works on the wall range from portraits, to landscapes to still life. Greg’s works can be viewed through the end of March.


Rainbow Supper Club
First Wednesday of every month from 5pm – 7pm
Dinner served at 5:30pm
All LGBT seniors age 60 years and older are invited, along with their younger partners, friends and allies for dinner at the Holyoke Senior Center. Suggested is a confidential, voluntary donation of $2.25 for those individuals age 60 years or older, with a $6.00 fee for guests under the age of 60 years. We hope to see you there! Reservations are required.To make a reservation, please call WestMass ElderCare’s Nutrition Department at 413-538-9020, or email

Other Notes

Next Brown Bag Distributions
Brown Bag is distributed on the 4th Tuesday of every month between 2:15 and 3:15pm.
Tuesday, April 23, 2019
Tuesday, May 28, 2019
Tuesday, June 25, 2019
Movies: Tuesdays, 12:15 p.m.

*There will be no movie while AARP Tax Prep Assistance is happening*


Next Upcoming Holiday Closings

Patriot’s Day – Monday, April 15, 2019
Good Friday – Friday, April 19, 2019 – Most likely closing at noon
Memorial Day – Monday, May 27, 2019

Dispose of Unwanted Medications
You can bring any prescription, non-prescription, vitamins, veterinary meds, etc. to the Medreturn Boxes at Police Departments in Holyoke, as well as Agawam, Chicopee, East Longmeadow, Hampden, Longmeadow, Ludlow, Monson, Palmer, Southwick, West Springfield, Westfield and Wilbraham, or at the Hampden County House of Correction in Ludlow and Chicopee.
These boxes do not accept needles or syringes, however there is a drop box at the Senior Center for this purpose.
Winter Weather Notifications
Updates on ABC40, Fox6, WWLP-22 and WHYN
We’ve had questions about how one might know that we are closed due to weather conditions. While the Senior Center is definitely closed each time Holyoke’s City Hall closes, it is not necessarily closed every time the schools close. It’s a good indication, but to be certain you should watch local TV and radio stations for updates. When we close, all meals, rides and programs are cancelled for the day, but we will do our best to reschedule.

We offer everything from art classes to Zumba.  Ongoing activities are listed below, but check out our Activity List for descriptions.  View the full newsletter for special events, holiday closings, class cancellations, and announcements by clicking one of the following links:

April 2019 Newsletter  (En Español)

March 2019 Newsletter  (En Español)


Some of our classes require Activity Tickets which can be purchased at the Front Desk as a book of 10 tickets for $27.50. Any activity that uses tickets is marked with a star (*) and your first class attended is free.


Watercolor Painting Class
Beginning Monday, January 7 at 1:30pm
New year, new hobbies. Nancy Howard will teach a 1.5 hour watercolor painting class, perfect for beginners. The first class will be informational (what to expect, what supplies are needed, etc.) and free, and all following will use an activity ticket. Sign up at the Front Desk today.



8:30 & 10:00  –  Healthy Joints Exercise
9:30 – Fun & Fit: Circuit *
11:45 – 3:00  –  Band Rehearsals
12:00  –  Conversational Spanish
1:00  –  Chair Volleyball
1:30  –  Fun with Writing
1:30  –  Watercolor Painting

Rep. Aaron Vega Office HoursSecond Monday of the month unless otherwise noted, 11:30am



8:30 & 9:45  –  Osteo Exercise
9:30  –  Painting
12:15  –  At the Movies-ON HIATUS-
–  Writing Your Life Story -NEW TIME-
  –  Ballroom Dancing
12:30  –  Rummikub
–  Zumba *
  –  Instructional Mah Jongg
2:00  –  Chair Yoga *
3:00  –  Mat Yoga *

Memory CafeThird Tuesday of the month, 10:00am (on hiatus, please call if interested)
We are working in conjunction with other area Senior Centers to provide Memory Cafes often throughout the month. Other scheduled Memory Cafes are held at the South Hadley COA on the 2nd Tuesday of each month, and at the Chicopee COA on the 4th Tuesday of each month.

Whist Second Tuesday of the month, in place of Mah Jongg, 1:00pm

Brown Bag Fourth Tuesday of the month, 2:15pm



9:00  –  Needles & Hooks Club
9:30  –  Healthy Joints Exercise
10:00  –  Chair Massage – Call to make an appointment
11:30-1:00  –  Blood Pressure Clinic CURRENTLY ON HIATUS
12:00  –  Painting
12:30    Pitch
1:00  –  Golden Senior Club
4:00  –  Course in Miracles
5:30  –  Fun and Fit *

Rainbow Supper Club First Wednesday of the month, 5:00pm

Men’s Group First and Third Wednesday of the month, 9:30am

Crescent Button ClubSecond Wednesday of the month, 9:30am



8:30 & 9:45  –  Osteo Exercise
9:30  –  Painting
10:00  –  QiGong *
11:00  –  Tai Chi *
12:00  –  Model Train Group
12:30  –  Pitch
1:00  –  Reunion Social
1:00  –  Line Dancing *

Foot Care Third and fourth Fridays of the month, call to make an appointment



9-11:30  –  Ceramics Club
9:00  –  Fun and Fit *
10:00  –  Chair Yoga *
12:30 – Senior Sing!
12:30  –  Scrabble Club
1:00  –  Bingo (no cards sold after 1:00pm)



Our calendar highlights events that don’t take place every week, or that might be special this month. Please be sure to check out our ongoing classes as well. 


Nuestro horario está utilizado para mostrar los eventos especiales que no pasan cada semana o cada mes. También, hay clases semanales cada día.




Our lunches change every month and are cooked right on site. Lunch is $2.25 per person and you must be age 60 or older to sign up. We also offer meals to-go, which are $3.00 and are available for pick up after 12pm. We require folks to sign up at least a day ahead of time, for here or to-go.



El almuerzo cambia cada mes y estan cocinado aquí. El almuerzo cuesta $ 2.25 por persona, y tienes que cumplir 60 años para inscribir. También, hay almuerzos para llevar que cuestan $ 3.00. Puedes recogerlos después de la 12pm. Nuestros visitantes necesitan inscribirse para el almuerzo con anticipación de un día.




 Did you know that the trips offered by the Golden Senior Club are open for anyone? Give the contact for any trip, either Carol or Joan, a call to sign up or for more information.


The Greater Holyoke YMCA is pleased to collaborate with the Holyoke Senior Center to oversee and manage our Fitness Center. The Fitness Room serves Holyoke residents 50 and older with state of the art cardiovascular and strength equipment. The Y brings its expertise and experience in providing safe, well maintained fitness facilities; along with supporting individuals to reach their health and wellness goals. The Fitness Room will be open Monday – Friday from 8:00 AM to 11:30 AM, with caring, supportive and trained YMCA staff (ask for Len!).  Current YMCA members 50 and older will have access to the Senior Center Fitness Room at no additional fee.  See below for other membership options:


Council on Aging YMCA Gym



Fitness Room Hours

Monday: 8 – 11:30am
Tuesday: 8 – 11:30am; 12 – 3:30pm
Wednesday: 8 – 11:30am
Thursday: 8 – 11:30am; 12 – 3:30pm
Friday: 8 – 11:30am

Senior Center Fitness: This membership provides access to the Fitness Center for those individuals who are not current members of the Greater Holyoke YMCA. The monthly fee is:
     $20/month – ages 60 and older
     $30/month – ages 50 to 59
Membership gives access to the Greater Holyoke YMCA for soaker swim, senior swim and aqua fitness classes at an additional fee.

Senior Center Fitness Plus: This membership provides access to both the Fitness Center and the Greater Holyoke YMCA. The monthly fees are:
    $38/month – ages 65 and older
    $48/month – ages 50 to 64
Membership includes senior and soaker swims. Aqua fitness classes have an additional fee.

Current Holyoke YMCA Members: All current Greater Holyoke YMCA members 60 and older have access to the Fitness Center at the Holyoke Senior Center.

To see our Code of Conduct and Standards of Independence, please see pages 2 and 3 of our Registration Form.

No Smoking Policy
There is no smoking on any city property. We kindly remind you that smokers should walk to the sidewalk on the edge of the property.


Fundraising Policy
The Friends of the COA are the sole approved fundraisers at the Holyoke Senior Center. Any other senior COA-related or City-related fundraising groups must seek prior permission from the COA Board of Directors.


Political Activity Policy
Candidates running for elected office

  • may attend regular lunchtimes, 11:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m., to walk among tables and introduce themselves individually to seniors in attendance
  • no stump speeches allowed
  • no brochures or other political paraphernalia may be left on tables, counters, etc.
  • no campaign contributions may be solicited

Ballot questions

  • groups representing pro and con positions may staff a table, between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m., in the Senior Center lobby two times in the eight weeks leading up to election day for the purposes of sharing information
  • no contributions may be solicited

 Petitions and candidate nomination papers

  • not allowed at the Senior Center

 Political signs

  • groups and individuals holding political signage are required to stand a minimum of 150 feet from the entrance to the Senior Center; in practical terms, this means no closer than the sidewalks surrounding the perimeter of the property
  • no political signs may be posted on the property at any time

Senior Tax Work Off Program


The Senior Tax Work Off Program was created in an effort to provide property tax relief to senior homeowners in exchange for volunteer hours. Each year, the program offers a $750 abatement per household to thirty residents, chosen by lottery, who are willing to volunteer in the offices of a variety of city departments. Residents are not eligible for the abatement two consecutive years in a row, unless fewer than thirty eligible residents apply. In this instance, a lottery of entrants who participated in the year prior is held to determine who fills the remaining slots, thus seniors are encouraged to apply every year.


In 2019, Tax Work Off participants will be required to volunteer for 62 hours between July 1 and November 30 to receive the abatement. Applications are available beginning Friday, March 1, 2019 and should be submitted by April 30, 2019. You will need to bring a photo I.D. with you for CORI check verification.


Download the application
Download the CORI form
Applications are also available on site at the Senior Center
View the ordinance outlining the program


Are you a veteran? You may also be eligible to apply for the Veteran Property Tax Work Off Program.


Department Head

Navae Fenwick Rodriguez

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 - 4:00 pm (Wednesday until 6:30 pm)

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Posted on December 26, 2012 by