Bits and Bytes: New Year’s Resolution — What to do with your stuff?; Kimball Farms earns best nursing homes status

Realizing she didn’t need most of what she owned, Kelly gave away, donated, sold, or trashed 95 percent of her belongings. She has never been healthier or happier.

The Psychology of Stuff: Why we have so much and what we can do about it

Salisbury, Conn. — A New Year’s discussion at the Scoville Library, Saturday, January 4, from 4-5 p.m.

The average American household has approximately 300,000 items. How do these items affect our lives? If you think they don’t, consider the following: Americans spend $1.2 trillion on nonessential goods every year and over the course of our lifetime, we spend 3,680 hours or the equivalent of 153 days searching for missing items. The good news is we don’t have to let our stuff control our lives. In this presentation, Dr. Kelly Kandra Hughes, discusses ways to minimize our relationship with stuff, including practical advice for de-cluttering and ways to keep our unwanted stuff out of landfills.

Dr. Kelly Kandra Hughes earned her PhD in psychology from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. She became fed up with all her stuff after moving three times in four years. With each move, many boxes remained unopened until it was time to move again. Realizing she didn’t need most of what she owned, Kelly gave away, donated, sold, or trashed 95 percent of her belongings. She has never been healthier or happier. Her writings on minimalism has been featured on websites such as No Sidebar, Tracking Happiness, UpJourney, and The University of Surrey Centre for Environment and Sustainability.

The event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact the Scoville Memorial Library at (860) 435-2838 or

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Kimball Farms Nursing Care Center earns ‘Best Nursing Home’ status

Lenox – Kimball Farms Nursing Care Center is among the 19 percent of U.S. skilled nursing facilities that have been recognized as a Best Nursing Home for 2019-20 by U.S. News & World Report.

The home earned Best Nursing Homes status by achieving a rating of “High Performing,” the highest possible rating, for Long-Term Care. U.S. News gives the designation of Best Nursing Home only to those homes that satisfy U.S. News’s assessment of the appropriate use of key services and consistent performance in quality measures.

“We are honored that Kimball Farms Nursing Care Center has been recognized in this new Long-Term Care Rating for US News this year,” said Bill Jones, President of Berkshire Healthcare. “Our caregivers strive to provide the highest quality care and we are gratified that an unbiased assessment came to the same conclusion – that we are among the best in Massachusetts.”

Now in its 10th year, the U.S. News Best Nursing Homes ratings and profiles offer comprehensive information about care, safety, health inspections, staffing and more for nearly all of the nation’s 15,000-plus nursing homes. The Best Nursing Homes ratings reflect U.S. News’ exclusive analysis of publicly available data using a methodology defined by U.S. News that evaluates factors that it has determined most greatly impact patient and resident care, safety, and outcomes.

“For the aging population in America, a nursing home should meet the specific level of care based on the needs of each patient or resident,” said Kim Castro, editor and chief content officer of U.S. News. “The U.S. News Best Nursing Home ratings hone in on measurements like emergency room visits, quality of staff and proper distribution of medical and physical therapy to help families make an informed decision,” she said. “These ratings help individuals and their families begin their search for senior care and should be used in consultation with a medical professional and in-depth on-site visits.”

This year, U.S. News introduced a new rating focused on long-term care. The Long-Term Care Rating aims to provide prospective residents who need help with daily activities, and their families, with analysis and information regarding the quality of care provided by nursing homes. The rating includes data on staffing, success in preventing emergency room visits, and pneumonia vaccination rates, among other metrics.

“The inclusion of the new Long-Term Care Rating in this year’s Best Nursing Homes guide expands the quality of data-driven decision support for patients, residents and families choosing a nursing facility.” said Zach Adams, senior health data analyst at U.S. News. “Here at U.S. News we understand that every person researching a nursing home is looking for qualities specific to their needs. We have updated our methodology to reflect multiple dimensions of care that matter when making this important decision.”
Kimball Farms Nursing Care Center is part of the award-winning Kimball Farms Life Care Continuing Care Retirement Community in Lenox, the only life care community in Western Massachusetts. The nursing home specializes in short-term rehabilitation, long-term care and skilled nursing. Kimball Farms is a member of Berkshire Healthcare, a leader among not-for-profit, post-acute care organizations in Massachusetts. Kimball Farms is managed by an affiliate of Berkshire Health Systems, the region’s leading provider of comprehensive health care services. For more information, visit