49 Blackburn Center, Gloucester MA | 100 Cummings Ctr, Ste 106H, Beverly, MA

Councils on Aging Update

Updated August 6, 2020

The information here is valid as of August 6, 2020, but is subject to change. Please confirm service availability with your COA.

Some COAs and Senior Centers are opening on a limited basis and by appointment only. Others remain closed and project staying closed through the summer. This document will be updated with opening information as it becomes available. While their buildings are closed, COAs do have staff available to assist residents and are providing a variety of services to the public

Many of the COAs have shifted programming online and/or to local cable channels. Individuals who aren’t online may be able to call in for some of the COA activities or groups. Call the COAs directly to find out what is available.

Stimulus debit cards

Some individuals who did not have their stimulus payments direct deposited are receiving them in the form of debit cards. These cards arrive with no return address and look like they might be fraudulent. In order to activate the cards individuals must give their full social security number via automated phone system. Some have been throwing it out as they think it is a scam, while others are struggling to get to the bank to get money out. They can only take out a certain amount at a time and must use the card at specific ATMs. There are also fees associated with certain types of transactions. COA directors have heard that people should hold on to their cards even after the use them as any additional stimulus payments may go on to that card.

Beverly Council on Aging, 978-921-6017



  • Programming has moved online and to local cable television station
  • Transportation program has been suspended by order of the mayor
  • Grab and Go lunches available at this site
  • Staff, including outreach and social work, are available via phone during regular business hours: 978-921-6017
  • Online weekly email newsletter to everyone for whom they have email addresses
  • At this point it looks like the Senior Center won’t be opening before Labor Day.
  • COA staff are conducting outside home visits to check in on older adult residents, provide them a gift bag, and take a “front porch picture”. They are also taking oral histories via Zoom. Anyone who has a consumer who might be interested in participating in this program are encouraged to call the COA and refer the consumer.
  • Community Garden producing well and holding a farm stand twice a week in front of the Senior Center. Each day there is a farm stand a notice goes out on facebook indicating what is available that day.

Essex Council on Aging and Senior Center, 978-768-7932



  • Free shopping service available for Essex older adults and immune compromised individuals who don’t have someone to pick up supplies for them. This is a zero contact system, all products are wiped down with disinfectant before they are left with people. Residents are asked to provide a list that will be given to a volunteer shopper. Volunteers are from Gordon-Conwell Seminary and local churches and have been trained in safe delivery protocol. Pay at delivery by check, cash or by Paypal or Venmo. Call the COA For further details.
  • 12 people participating in a pen pal program
  • Virtual programming continuing and expanding, participation has been good.
  • Grab and Go Meals on Mondays only, have been very popular, demand is high

Gloucester Council on Aging, Rose Baker Senior Center, 978-281-9765


  • Grab and Go lunches available at this site
  • No grocery delivery available through the COA
  • Continuing to do outreach and available by phone
  • Delivery of garbage bags available – residents are no longer able to buy them at the Senior Center as the building is closed.
  • Mask donations have come in and are being distributed to residents, available for pick-ups and delivery. Call the Senior Center
  • Lucy Sheehan, former Gloucester COA Director, has retired
  • Elise Sinagra, the new Director of Elder Services, can be reached at esinagra@gloucester-ma.gov.

Hamilton Council on Aging, 978-468-5595



  • Daily calls are going out to seniors on the RUOK program. If someone would like to receive a daily phone call to check on them, call the senior center at 978-468-5595
  • Senior Center has no re-opening determined as of now. Staff is in the building and working. SHINE appointments are happening via phone calls so if you have a question, call 978-468-5595 to make an appointment.
  • CATA is the new provider of senior transportation for the Town of Hamilton. Service is Monday through Friday for medical and non-medical appointments to Hamilton, Wenham, Beverly, Manchester, Gloucester, Rockport, Essex, Ipswich, Rowley, Salem, Peabody and Danvers. Call 978-238-7916 to make a reservation at least 2 days ahead of your appointment.
  • Volunteer are available for yard work and helping seniors do their food shopping.
  • The COA has some blue bags available for any senior who has need of them for weekly garbage disposal.
  • Hamilton COA in conjunction with Senior Care is distributing meat boxes to seniors. Second round of meat boxes due to be distributed by 7/17.

Ipswich Council on Aging and Senior Center, 978-356-6650



  • Senior Center programming has moved to the cable channel, 50+ job seekers group has moved to Zoom and will accept new members.
  • Coordinating a greeting card program, started by a community member. Cards are dropped off at the Senior Center, they hold onto the cards for a few days to make sure they are safe to deliver and then deliver them to an isolated resident.
  • Volunteer shoppers are available for groceries and prescription pick-up
  • Van service is available Monday through Friday for grocery shopping and prescription pick-up
  • The Open Door Ipswich Food Pantry is open Wednesday and Thursday with delivery available to Ipswich residents
  • Senior Center has started doing programming both inside and out. There is a 30 foot tent outside, events happening outside include: knitting group, painting group, and some exercise group. Inside they are holding bingo, seated yoga. Still doing classes and events on Zoom and cable as well. People are encouraged to make appointments to visit the Senior Center between 9:00 -11:00 AM and 1:00 – 3:00 PM. Limited numbers of people are allowed in the building and in the tent at any given time. Drop-ins are accepted as long as numbers allow.

Manchester Council on Aging, 978-526-7500


  • Distributing homemade cloth masks to any older adult resident in need.
  • Still providing transportation to food shopping and the pharmacy if needed. They give anyone who enters the van a cloth facemask and everyone on the van is required to wear a mask at all times.
  • They will pick up curbside orders and drop them off at elders’ home, they are encouraging people to do curbside rather than ride the van. This includes grocery orders to Crosby’s and pharmacy at Allen’s, both in Manchester.
  • Johnny’s Produce is a vendor that usually supplies restaurants and market with produce, they are now shifting to deliver boxes of produce to the community. People can sign up for produce deliver and will get a box of mixed fruits and vegetables (similar to a CSA). Pay via Venmo. Johnny’s donated 17 boxes of produce to the COA this week, they divided it up and delivered about 50 fresh produce bags to residents.

Rockport Council on Aging, 978-546-2573


  • Distributing face masks to older Rockport residents as available.
  • Continuing to do outreach and available by telephone
  • Rockport COA’s Friends group purchased Walgreens gift cards to give out to elders in need. COA has alread given cards to every person living in senior housing and others who are low income living in private homes. If any SeniorCare care managers know of anyone who might be in need call Diane at the Senior Center and she can get them a card.
  • Received a donation of numerous gift bags that are being distributed to residents

Topsfield Council on Aging, 978-887-1523


  • All Topsfield Town Hall Departments, including Topsfield COA, are open for essential, in-person appointments during regular Town Hall hours (Mon. 8 AM – 7 PM; Tues.-Thurs. 8 AM-4:30 PM) BY RESERVATION ONLY
  • Volunteer shoppers are available for food shopping and to run errands
  • Most programming has transitioned online and new programs are being added
  • In collaboration with the health department, the COA is distributing masks
  • Topsfield residents needing food, personal care products, and other grocery items should contact Top Cupboard Food Pantry at (978) 807-8775
  • Matching up people for a Friendly Callers program
  • Topsfield COA has implemented a Computer Loan Program to reduce social isolation and encourage engagement through virtual programs
  • Friends of the Topsfield COA are sending out birthday greetings with Council on Aging contact information to all Topsfield residents 70 years and above

Wenham Council on Aging, 978-468-5529  



  • Van is running three days a week for shopping/pharmacy, giving cloth masks to all who enter the van. Will take people to Acord food pantry if needed or will pick up food from the pantry and deliver it to an elder’s home
  • Free shopping service available for Hamilton-Wenham older adults and immune compromised individuals who don’t have someone to pick up supplies for them. This is a zero contact system, all products are wiped down with disinfectant before they are left with people. Residents are asked to provide a list that will be given to a volunteer shopper. Volunteers are from Gordon-Conwell Seminary and local churches and have been trained in safe delivery protocol. Pay at delivery by check, cash or by Paypal or Venmo. Call the COA For further details.