Recent News

Elder Services receives $223,000 grant from Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation
March 21, 2019

Elder Services of the Merrimack Valley, through its Healthy Living Center of Excellence, received a $223,000 grant from the Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation. The grant will support Savvy Caregiver and Matter of Balance trainings and workshops throughout Mass., Maine, and New Hampshire. The grant is renewable for a second year.

The project will include trainings, workshop implementation, technical assistance and collaboration with health care partners.

“This grant from Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation will enable us to bring two of our strongest, evidence-based programs to support older adults in the region – in both fall prevention and management and caregiver support,” said Jennifer Raymond, Chief Strategy Officer, Director of the Healthy Living Center of Excellence. “In the first year of this grant, we expect to train 40 Master Trainers, who in turn will train community-based coaches to implement workshops for close to 750 program participants.”

A Matter of Balance program is a community based, small group program that helps older adults reduce their fear of falling and increase activity levels. Coaches work in pairs to lead small group community classes which consist of eight two-hour sessions. The Savvy Caregiver program is designed to train family caregivers in the basic knowledge and skills needed to handle the challenges of caring for a family member with Alzheimer’s disease or related dementia. This program consists of a 12-hour training course delivered in two-hour sessions over a six-week period.

“As a direct result of the support of the Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation, Savvy Caregiver and Matter of Balance trainings will expand into New Hampshire, Maine and on the Cape, where family caregivers and older adults will now have improved access to free resources in their community,” said Joan Hatem Roy, Chief Executive Officer of Elder Services of the Merrimack Valley.

Delivery partners include area agencies on aging, senior centers, YMCAs, faith-based organizations, housing sites and other community partners.

“By providing these educational programs, we hope to promote independence among older adults and empower caregivers to get the emotional support they need as they care for their loved ones,” said William Graham, Senior Vice President of Medicare Business for Harvard Pilgrim Health Care. “Harvard Pilgrim is proud to partner with Elder Services of Merrimack Valley to bring these opportunities to older adults throughout the region.”

To find a Savvy Caregiver or Matter of Balance program near you, visit the Healthy Living Center of Excellence’s Workshop Schedule at:

About the Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation

Created in 1980, The Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation supports Harvard Pilgrim’s mission to improve the quality and value of health care for the people and communities we serve. The Foundation provides the tools, training and leadership to help build healthy communities throughout Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire. In 2018, the Harvard Pilgrim Foundation awarded more than $1.25 million in grants to 855 nonprofit organizations in the region.  Since its inception in 1980, the Foundation has awarded $150 million in funds and resources throughout the four states.  For more information, please visit

Recent News

Mobile Market featured on WCVB-Channel 5

AgeSpan employees and volunteers, including Food Initiatives Program Manager Ruth Ortiz, were interviewed about our Mobile Food Market as part of WCVB-Channel 5 Boston's Day of Giving, which aired September 22, to benefit The Greater Boston Food Bank.  Our free market...

Award-winning robotic pets program helps dementia patients

By Jill Harmacinski LAWRENCE — Many people love animals and crave the comfort, companionship and loyalty of their own pet. An award-winning local program helps individuals with dementia achieve that without having to feed, pick up after...

AgeSpan to launch its first Mobile Food Market in Lawrence

The market is a collaboration with The Greater Boston Food Bank and Boys & Girls Club of Lawrence This summer, people of all ages will be able to choose from a wide variety of produce and other foods at the new AgeSpan Mobile Market in Lawrence. AgeSpan partnered...

AgeSpan wins national award for its robotic comfort pets program

AgeSpan was one of 43 agencies honored for innovative programs and initiatives that help older adults at the 2022 USAging Innovations and Achievement Awards. The national awards highlight success programs and were presented at the USAging 47th Annual Conference and...

Resize text-+=