Aging Services for Our Community
Meals on Wheels
For many Americans, Meals on Wheels is literally the difference between remaining in their own homes and needing to relocate to a nursing facility. The nutritious meal, friendly visit and safety check help them cope with three of the biggest threats of aging: hunger, isolation and loss of independence. Research proves that when seniors have the right support, they gain greater quality of life, need fewer hospital stays and live longer. Meals on Wheels serves individuals who are unable to prepare their own food because of physical limitations. A home visit is required to determine eligibility, and if found eligible, arrangements are made to have meals delivered to the individual’s home. At Berks Encore, we aim to serve everyone in need of home-delivered meals in Douglassville, Wernersville,Mifflin, Reading, Fleetwood, and Strausstown PA. The Meals on Wheels program provides not just a nutritious meal, but also a check in by a volunteer. Meals are packed in each of our six centers to help save time, money, and other valuable resources. Our centers also provide congregate meals to seniors who are not homebound, yet unable to prepare their own meals. Everyone age 60+ is invited to enjoy a hot nutritious meal while in a social environment at one of our community centers.
Meals on Wheels Eligibility Guidelines
There are conditions of need and requirements for service to be eligible to participate in the Meals on Wheels program. Consumers applying for the Meals on Wheels program must be 60+ and must be homebound by illness, handicap and/or functional disability meeting the following guidelines:
▸ Physically, emotionally, or mentally unable to prepare their own meals and/or
▸ Have no family or friends or aids available or willing on an ongoing or temporary basis, to assist with meal preparation and/or grocery shopping and/or
▸ Physically, emotionally, mentally unable to attend or has no access to a Senior Center close to home, and/or
▸ Have no cooking facilities in their home and/or
▸ Lack of resources (money) for meals and/or
▸ Currently not active with a Community Health Choice Waiver program, or Senior Life When individual circumstances do not indicate the possibility of change in status and the person must continue to receive Meals on Wheels, an annual evaluation determines and documents his/her continuing need.
▸ There is no cost for the meals, donation of $2.50/meal is suggested. ▸ MOW is not based on income however eligibility is based on need. ▸ Meals are delivered Monday-Friday, no weekends, no major holidays ▸ The care coordinator will call for an appointment to visit and determine eligibility and to obtain and update personal information. ▸ Once a consumer is determined eligible for Meals on Wheels, the consumer is started on the program within a few days depending upon route availability.
Submit a Meals on Wheels Referral
To refer someone to the Meals on Wheels program, complete the referral form below and submit online. For additional questions or information, email email@example.com.
Medicare Counseling Services
Confused about retirement benefits? Knowing how to access and make the most of your retirement benefits is important. Berks Encore has trained PA Medi counselors and volunteers that can help you learn the basics of Medicare, how to enroll, how you can supplement your Medicare benefits, what Medicare coverage will cost and what financial assistance is available.
Medicare Open Enrollment – October 15 – December 7, 2023. Contact us today to make an appointment to review your Medicare benefits for the upcoming year. Call 610-374-3195 ext. 209. Appointments are available in-person, via zoom or by phone.
What is Medicare?
Medicare is health insurance for people age 65 or older. You are eligible to sign up for Medicare three months before you turn 65. To qualify a person needs to be 65 years of age or disabled to 25 months. There is no age limit for persons with end stage renal disease or ALS.
Confused About the A,B, C’s and D’s of Medicare?
Join us for a zoom presentation. We will cover how to enroll in Medicare, how to supplement your Medicare benefits, what coverage will cost and what financial assistance may be available.
SEMINAR DATES: 4th Thursday of the month at 6 p.m.
REGISTER BY CALLING: (610) 374-3195 ext. 208
New to Medicare?
Berks Encore provides ongoing support for those who are new to Medicare. We offer in-person meetings, phone counseling or zoom presentations. Please contact us for more information (610) 374-3195 ext. 208.
Services Available from Berks Encore
Be confident about aging! We can help you with the following insurance – related services:
→ Medicare Advantage Plans and current Medicare Costs
→ Health insurance counseling
→ Long-Term Care Insurance
→ Low Income Subsidy for Medicare Part D
→ Low Income Subsidy for Medicare Part D and Medicare Part D Savings Program
→ Medical Assistance
→ PACEplus (Prescription Assistance)
→ Supplemental Insurance/Medigap Plans
→ Produce Vouchers
→ Pennsylvania Food Stamps: Click here to download an application form
→ Rent and Property Tax Rebates
→ LIHEAP (Fuel Assistance)
→ Free Notary Service
We are here to Help You!
We helped 1,455 seniors save almost $294,650 in 2022
We helped 1,154 seniors with rent and property tax rebates
We distributed produce checks to 360 seniors in 2022
We can help you too! Contact us today!
Grocery Shopping Program
Berks Encore and Redner’s Warehouse Markets are proud to offer our Grocery Shopping Program. If you are over the age of 50, and have difficulty getting to a grocery store or doing your own shopping, Berks Encore will try to find a volunteer who will do your shopping and deliver the groceries to your home on a regular basis.
ELIGIBILITY GUIDELINES FOR GROCERY SHOPPING PROGRAM
(Conditions of need and requirements for service)
Berks County residents 60+ must meet the following guidelines for the Grocery Shopping Program. Adults under the age of 60 that request this service due to handicap and/or functional disability must also meet the following guidelines:
• Complete a Grocery Shopping Registered Client Application. Submit Application plus $5.00* Application Fee to: Grocery Shopping Coordinator Berks Encore 40 N. 9th Street, Reading, PA 19601. *NOTE: $5.00 application fee credited toward the $5.00 handling fee for the first shopping order.
• Must be able to pay for groceries at the time the groceries are delivered • Client must not have other regular options to acquire groceries.
We make every effort to accommodate the needs of all clients. We ask that all clients abide by the following set of responsibilities so we can serve everyone.
• Please let us know if this service is needed on a temporary basis or an ongoing basis.
• Take advantage of a volunteer’s assistance on a consistent basis, to the best of your ability. If an order is not placed at least once each month, we will not be able to dedicate a volunteer for your shopping needs and cannot guarantee there will be someone available to take care of your order when requested.
• If a grocery order is not placed within three (3) months of receipt of application – you will be removed from the program and forfeit the $5.00 application fee. A new application plus $5.00 application fee is required to register for the program once removed from the program.
• Be specific when placing your grocery order, and let the volunteer know when it is okay to substitute.
• Provide full payment for the grocery purchase plus a $5.00 handling fee by writing a check payable to Berks Encore. The volunteer will give you a receipt for the grocery purchase.
• Limit your grocery order to 25 items or less each week.
The grocery shoppers are volunteers for Berks Encore. Please do not take advantage of their time and service by asking them to run additional errands for you. Volunteers are not authorized to shop for alcohol or comply with any request that could potentially put you, our client, at risk.
How to Register
Please fill and submit the online form below to register for the program. Once we are able to assign a volunteer in your area, they will contact you to discuss your shopping needs and their availability to deliver your groceries. Pay Invoice/Vendor Portal – Berks EncoreBerks Encore
How to place a grocery order:
★ Contact our office at (610) 374-3195 ext. 219 to place an order on Monday or Thursday between 9 am and 2 pm to receive delivery that week.
★ Your volunteer shopper will call you to schedule a delivery time.
★ The volunteer will purchase the groceries at a local Redner’s Warehouse Markets location, using a Berks Encore charge card.
★ When your groceries are delivered, you pay for them with a check made out to Berks Encore, along with a $5 handling fee.
★ You can place an order weekly, or less frequently.
★ Each order will be limited to 25 items.
The Grocery Shopping program accepts SNAP (Food Stamp) payments. Please call 610.374.3195, ext. 219 for instructions and paperwork to sign up for the program.
Why Join our Grocery Shopping Program?
“ My neighbors have been wonderful helping me, but I don’t want to ask for their help too often. This program has changed my life because now I am eating food again that I couldn’t get before and it is wonderful. Also, my volunteer is very helpful, congenial and is very interested in what I’m doing. She’s very nice and I think she enjoys helping. I thank God that there are people like her. We really need more people like her. ”
— Jeanne, grocery shopping program recipient
“ I personally enjoy bringing what little bit of time I can to share a smile and a few moments of conversation with the seniors I have the pleasure of serving, and I believe I can spare an hour or so a week to provide a friendly visit. I think the act of visiting is the most important part. I believe they really appreciate the services and knowing that someone cares about them. I truly love to give, and I always leave my visits with such a good feeling that I have left behind a moment of joy for that person, no matter how small or brief, the feelings of care and compassion linger. ”
— Kellie, grocery shopping program volunteer
If you have questions or concerns about this program, we’d be happy to help. Click here to get in touch!
Friendly Visitor Program
Experience the Joy of making a new Friend! Through Berks Encore’s Friendly Visitors Program, we connect homebound seniors with adult volunteers who agree to call or visit for about one hour per week. Volunteers are thoroughly screen and must pass a Criminal Background Check before being matched with a senior in the area. Location, interests, hobbies, and pets are all considered before the first visit is scheduled. Interested homebound seniors looking for a friend are encouraged to contact (610) 374-3195 ext. 225
Read more about the program and the positive impact it is having in our community.
If you’d like to join our Friendly Visitor program, please fill out this contact form. Contact us with any additional questions at ApplaudingLife@BerksEncore.org or by calling (610) 374-3195 x225.
Health & Wellness
Make health & wellness a priority at any age with Berks Encore. We provide a variety of FREE programs and activities to help older adults remain engaged and active for years to come.
No matter what your age or ability, remaining physically fit is very important. Reinforcing a healthy lifestyle by staying active and involved enhances your “encore years”.
Our licensed instructors offer evidence-based programs for improved strength, flexibility and balance.
Resources to Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle
Our health and wellness programs focus on the education of older adults to promote the soundness of body and mind and a healthy way to live. We teach healthy lifestyle strategies to overcome the challenges of aging and managing chronic conditions. Our goal is for our participants to function at optimum health and wellness to lead fulfilling, active and independent lives.
Health & Wellness Classes:
Register for any of the health & wellness programs by filling in the registration form.
Call Kathy Roberts, Health & Wellness Director with questions 484-388-3196.
Managing Chronic Pain
Virtual class via weekly conference call. All in the privacy and comfort of your home! NO COMPUTER REQUIRED!
Thursdays, 2pm to 3pm, January 18 through February 29
Healthy Heart – Happy Heart
Spring Township Administration Building – 2850 Windmill Road, Sinking Spring, PA 19608
Tuesdays, 1:00pm to 3:30pm, January 23rd through February 27th
Healthy Steps in Motion
Fleetwood Center – 14432 Kutztown Rd, Fleetwood
Tuesdays, 10:00am to 11:00am, October 31 through December 19
Matter of Balance
Tower Health Rehab Hospital – 2802 Papermill Road, Wyomissing, PA. 19610
Fridays, 1:00pm to 3:00pm, January 26th through March 15th
Center at Spring Street – 301 West Spring Street, Boyertown, PA. 19512
Mondays, 9:30am to 11:30am, January 22nd through March 18th
Walk with Ease
Alvernia University Flynn Plex – 400 St. Bernardine Street, Reading
Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays: 9:30am-10:30am
January 17 through March 1
New Program coming in 2024!
Let’s Get Started – Our new sit and get fit exercise program
Low impact exercises to help you gain flexibility, strength and stamina ALL WHILE SITTING IN A CHAIR!
Spring Township Administration Building – 2850 Windmill Road, Sinking Spring, PA 19608
Mondays, 11:30am to 12:30pm, January 22nd through March 4th
Berks Encore Fleetwood Center – 14432 Kutztown Road, Fleetwood, PA. 19522
Tuesdays, 9:00am to 10:00am, January 23rd through February 27th
Our Six Senior Centers Offer In-Person & Virtual Exercise Programs Besides our regular exercise and social programs offered at each of our Berks Encore Senior Centers we are also offering some virtual programming. Contact a Center Manager to receive login information for virtual classes.
Virtual Class Schedule:
|Tuesday @ 10 am||Virtual Tai Chi I & Tuesday @ 11 am: – Virtual Tai Chi II||Instructor: Jan Gyomber||Low impact exercise method involving slow movements and breath to improve balance and strengthen muscles.|
|Tuesday @ 10:30 am||Virtual Zumba Toning||Instructor: Victoria Milillo||This class is tailored for active older adults who want to focus on muscle conditioning and light weight activity. The class blends the Zumba party you love at a slower pace with a redefining total body workout using light weights to shake up those muscles! A chair is used during this 45-minute class, making it perfect for anyone with balance issues.|
|Wednesday @ 10:15 am||Virtual Chair Zumba||Instructor: Victoria Milillo||Zumba Gold Chair classes are specifically designed for people with limited mobility, people with balance issues, and anyone who wants a great seated workout. Class focuses on all elements of fitness: cardiovascular, muscular conditioning, flexibility and balance!|
|Wednesday @ 11:30 am||Virtual FABS||Instructor: Lynn & Tim Kreider, LJ’s Fitness||This class focuses on Flexibility, Aerobics, Balance, & Strength using popular songs.|
|Thursday @ 10:15 am||Virtual Chair Yoga||Instructor: Jillian Warminsky||Yoga in a seated position; focuses on increasing flexibility, improving strength, reducing stress and pain|
|Friday @ 10:00 am||Virtual Zumba Toning||Instructor: Victoria Milillo||This class is tailored for active older adults who want to focus on muscle conditioning and light weight activity. The class blends the Zumba party you love at a slower pace with a redefining total body workout using light weights to shake up those muscles! A chair is used during this 45-minute class, making it perfect for anyone with balance issues.|
▸ Line Dancing
▸ Senior Fitness
▸ Sit and Get Fit
▸ Social Dance
▸ Tai Chi
▸ Table Tennis
▸ Zumba Gold®
What is Berks Encore Care+?
Berks Encore Care+ is a holistic, client-centered approach to caring for older adults. At Berks Encore Care+, our Care Managers work with you to provide answers at a time of uncertainty. Their guidance and expertise help families take action and make decisions that ensure quality care and an optimal life for those they love. As a result, this reduces worry, stress, and time off work for family caregivers. Our professionals accomplish this by:
Assessment & Monitoring
Planning & Problem-Solving
Education & Advocacy
Family Caregiver Coaching
Engaging Local Resources
What is a Care Manager?
A Care Manager is a health and human services specialist who acts as a guide and advocate for families who are caring for older relatives or disabled adults. The Care Manager is educated and experienced in any of several fields related to aging, including but not limited to counseling, gerontology, mental health, nursing, occupational therapy, physical therapy, psychology, or social work; with a specialized focus on issues related to aging and elder care.
Do I need a Care Manager?
When caregiving for an aging family member becomes overwhelming, it may be time to contact a Care Manager. You may need a Care Manager if:
▸ The person you are caring for has limited or no family support.
▸ You live at a distance from your loved one.
▸ The person you are caring for is unable to live safely in his/her current environment.
▸ Your family is either “burned out” or confused about care solutions.
▸ Your family has limited time and/or expertise in dealing with your loved ones’ chronic care needs.
▸ Your family is at odds regarding care decisions.
▸ The person you are caring for is not pleased with current care providers and requires advocacy.
▸ The person you are caring for is confused about his/her own financial and/or legal situation.
▸ Your family needs education and/or direction in dealing with behaviors associated with dementia.
▸ Your family has just become involved with helping the individual and needs direction about available services.
Fees & Associated Costs
We provide a complimentary initial phone consultation with a Care Manager. A Comprehensive Assessment and Personalized Care Plan can be developed for a fee. Follow-up engagement for the Care Plan can be arranged at hourly fees. Fees are determined by a sliding scale based on the senior’s income. Interested in Berks Encore Care+? Talk to a Care Manager Today! Call 484-577-4243 or complete the referral form below.
Learn more about Berks Encore Care+ and how a Care Manager can help you navigate the variety of aging services available to help you age with confidence. A local senior and his adult daughter who lives out of State share a testimonial about the Berks Encore Care+ program and how the Care Manager helped him remain in his home, where he wants to be. We can help you too.
Berks Encore, in partnership with Penn State Health St. Joseph Medical Center and Redner’s Markets, is pleased to announce beNourished, a medically tailored meal program developed for patients with a cardiac or diabetic diagnosis.
We are currently in the process of updating this program. More information will be added to this page soon.
Additional Available Resources
In our fast-paced society, it can be difficult for seniors and their families to overcome challenges that come with age. Fortunately, Berks Encore’s staff — along with its volunteers — works tirelessly to assist people accessing a myriad of government benefit programs and senior services. Berks Encore’s Resource Directory will assist you in accessing programs and services, as well as providing County, State and Federal points of contact. We hope that this directory will also serve as a quick telephone reference in serving your needs. Berks Encore’s Resource Directory, which will assist you in accessing programs and services, as well as providing County, State and Federal points of contact. We hope that this directory will also serve as a quick telephone reference in serving your needs.
For more information on how Berks Encore continues to assist our clients, contact us online!