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Northampton Neighbors launched its Speaker Series in October 2018 with a talk by Steve Herrell, local ice cream legend, about his experiences as an ice cream visionary and entrepreneur. That talk was followed by many other well attended presentations, including those on sex and sleep, balloons and birds, memory and filing systems, Sojourner Truth and Duke Ellington, to name but a few. (See list of all previous and planned talks below).

All speaker events were – and still are – free and open to anyone who would like to attend.

Pre-COVID, we scheduled talks monthly between September and May; they were held at -- and co-sponsored -- by the Northampton Senior Center. Currently, we offer talks via ZOOM every other week and through the summer months.

We see these more frequent zoom talks as a way to entertain and educate ourselves and help members cope with the isolation and monotony of quarantine at a time when we have been unable to provide our usual services to our members. In upcoming talks, we are drawing on the incredible range of life experiences and expertise of our members. We are guided by a commitment to including topics of particular interest to older people and those intended for a broader audience.

We have already begun – and hope to continue – recording all talks during COVID-19 so they will be available for later viewing by those who could not attend the live event. Those videos are available in the links below.

So, we hope you’ll join us for future events in the Speaker Series. We have a great series planned through December 2020 and intend to continue offering lively, informative and entertaining talks remotely until we can return to in-person talks.

We would like to hear your suggestions for speakers. Send your suggestions to


Northampton Neighbors Speakers Series Presents



By Kathy Service

and Linda Desmond
Friday, December 4, 2020
3:00-4:00 PM via Zoom 


“Empathy heals. Just love us as we are. We’re still here in emotion and spirit, if only you can find us.”
Christine Bryden (2005)

In our circle of friends, most of us have had family members, friends, or neighbors who have had or have been living with some form of dementia. Presently, 14.4% of individuals over 65 in Northampton have dementia or Alzheimer’s (state 13.6%).

Kathy Service and Linda Desmond, both internationally recognized professionals in dementia care and aging issues, will share thoughts, theories and practices on how people living with dementia can live at home longer through person-centered compassionate care. Kathy will also discuss how we can improve our brain health and address the risk factors of dementia. Laura Hummel, Project Manager of the Pioneer Valley Memory Care Initiative (PVMCI) and Rebecca Star, Geriatrician at Cooley Dickinson Hospital, will join the discussion. They will update us on the development of Cooley Dickinson Pioneer Valley Memory Care Initiative, which, through the support of many community partners, is creating a model of caring and support for people living in the community with dementia and their carers. This exciting new direction of care will create an in-home atmosphere of well-being with an emphasis placed on emotions, feelings, and memory through creative interventions.

Kathy Service, RN, MS, FNP-BC, CDDN has been an RN since 1973 and since 1979, a nurse practitioner. Her MS is in gerontological nursing and she received a PhD studentship at the University of Northumbria, Newcastle-upon-Tyne in 2003. Her tenures included the Northampton Council of Aging and the board of Highland Valley Elder Services Board. Kathy has served on many national boards and has certificates in advanced clinical dementia support and as a Dementia Care Specialist Advanced Practice Provider. She is currently providing gerontological assessments with the Department of Social Services and is on the Board of Northampton Neighbors.

Linda Desmond has a Masters in Social Work accompanied by a Graduate Certification of Gerontology. She has held leadership positions in her hometown of Northampton including Director of the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program, City Councilor and the Director of the Northampton Senior Center. For ten years, she exercised her community development skills in Ireland, where she helped start National Programs that brought her additional international recognition. Linda is on the Board of Tree House and a previous Board member of NN.


Join Zoom Meeting by clicking this link:


Or join with this information: Meeting ID: 993 6788 2715 Passcode: 591001

Call in with a phone and listen without video at +1 929 436 2866 US (New York)  

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NN offers Otter.AI live transcription of the event so you can read along with the spoken word.



The presentation will be recorded and made available on

Please click on the buttons below for recordings of our NN Speaker Series  
since May 2020 or visit our NN YouTube Channel.

Past Northampton Speakers Series: 

Live at the Northampton Senior Center: 2018-February, 2020   

Steve Herrell-Ice Cream and Me

Brad Crenshaw-Aging and Memory

Nina Kleinberg-The Making of Casablanca: Film School in 90 Minutes

Greg Saulmon & Mark Karpel-Up in the Air: Adventures in Urban Bird-Watching and Cluster Ballooning

Rebecca Spencer-Sleep on It! Why We Sleep and How to Get More of It

John Sinton-A Walk and A Talk: Mill River and its role in the formation of Northampton

Mirabai Bush-Walking Each Other Home; Conversations on Loving and Dying

Jane Fleishman-I’ll Have What They’re Having: Sexuality and Aging

Wendy Sinton & Diane E. Liebert-Sojourner Truth in 19th Century Florence

Lu Stone-Over or Under? What Would Downtown Northampton Look Like Today if the City had Lost its Five-Year Battle with the Railroads in the 1890's

Jonah Keane-5 Years of Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary: A Natural Gem is Our Own Back Yard

Tom Reney-Why Duke Ellington Matters

Cheri Cross-Getting it Together

                                                  Zoom  talks since  May, 2020

Joan Marqusee-Q&A with the CDHC CEO

Ellen Meeropol-Her Sister's Tattoo

Gerald Epstein-The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Judy Cockerton-Intergenerational Living/The Treehouse Community

Dr. Mary Young-Aging on Your Own

Dr. Rebecca Starr, Geriatrician-What I do and Why I do it

Paul Shoul-Photos from Here and There

Katharine Baker-My Journey: How One Woman Survived Stalin’s Gulag” 
by Olga Sliozberg
Translated by Katharine Baker

Judy Dixon-Facing Challenges: Racquet in Hand

Mark Karpel-
Like Nothing Else on Earth:Backyard Visionaries and Handmade Worlds

Joe Gannon-Red and Blue: Why Voting for Trump Is Not Always Hating Equality

Tracy Kidder-What I Try to Do as a Writer: Strength in What Remains

Northampton Neighbors seeks to provide information and resources that help all our neighbors age well, in place, and with dignity. NN does not endorse nor recommend any commercial products, processes, or services.


The primary purpose of the Speaker Series is to educate, inform, and entertain. The views, information, or opinions expressed are those of the presenter and not necessarily those of Northampton Neighbors.