hgazette.com, Haverhill, MA

March 20, 2014

With spring on the way, it's time to exercise your green thumb


The Haverhill Gazette

---- — Spring is just around the corner, and local gardeners are polishing up their green thumbs.

They are also looking for people to help them with planting projects.

The Haverhill Garden Club is looking for new members. Membership includes 10 presentations by horticultural experts and a variety of projects during the planting season.

TO PARTICIPATE

What: Garden Club looks for members

When: Now, as the club prepares for spring projects

How: Contact Carol Sobel at 978-377-0106

Here are other local events and activities for senior citizens:

Meditation group to meet: The Council on Aging will host a meditation group with the Rev. John LaLumiere beginning April 4 at 10:30 a.m. at the Citizens Center, 10 Welcome St.

The meetings include gentle yoga and quigong exercises, breathing exercise, Buddhist philosophy and Pure Land style meditation. Rev. LaLumiere is a Pure Land Buddhist and is a lifelong resident of Haverhill. Admission is free.

Learning to talk with the docs: Dr. Tollman of Wingate Haverhill will make a presentation at the Citizens Center, 10 Welcome St., titled “How to Speak with your Physician.”

The event will be April 2 at 10 a.m.

‘Bones and Brain’ exercise: The exercise class “Bones and Brain” will begin on March 21 at 11 a.m.

The first class is being offered free. Classes will be held at the Citizens Center, 10 Welcome St. This is a comprehensive program of fitness appropriate for senior citizens. The program focuses on balance training to prevent falls, strength training to increase bone density, and age-appropriate trivia to challenge the brain. By incorporating trivia questions along with the workout not only challenge your body, but your brain, too.

To register or for more information, call 978-374-2390, ext. 11 or 16.

Red Sox trip planned: The Council on Aging is offering a new Red Sox trip.

Join Fox Tours to travel to see the Red Sox play the New York Yankees at the new Yankee Stadium on April 10. The trip includes the Statue of Liberty cruise and visit to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. Travelers will also tour the memorable 9/11 Monument. Cost for this trip is $319 per person double occupancy and $409 for single occupancy and includes one night at the Luxury Homewood Suite Hotel, one dinner, and one breakfast. Contact the Council on Aging for more information.

Museum of Fine Arts trip coming up: The Council on Aging is planning a trip on April 28 to the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston for its annual “Art in Bloom” exhibit.

Tickets are $55, including a private guided tour. Contact the Council on Aging for more information.

Journalist talks about his work, travels: Local journalist Tom Vartabedian will offer a series of three workshops at the Citizens Center beginning on March 26 at 1 p.m.

His first presentation will detail his 50 years of journalism at The Haverhill Gazette. He will share some of his favorite stories and photographs from the past, including images of city life and the people who made it so great.

He will continue the series at the Citizens Center on April 16, when he will discuss the history of Armenia, and his visit on May 21 when he will talk about his travels to some of our national parks.

It’s a SNAP: The Greater Boston Food Bank has established a SNAP Outreach Program.

Every Monday and Thursday from 10:30 to 12:30 at the Citizens Center, 10 Welcome St., Brittany Mangini, a SNAP application assistance counselor, will be available to help elders with the application process and following up with the Department of Transitional Assistance.

There have been many changes to the eligibility for this benefit, so even if you have applied before or don’t think you’re eligible, stop by to talk to Mangini to make sure you get the benefits you deserve.

For additional information, contact Mangini at 617-431-8341 or bmangini@gbfb.org or stop by the Citizens Center to see her.

Bowling for men and women: The Council on Aging bowling group offers senior citizens a way to get some exercise and have some fun.

The group meets on Mondays, with men bowling at 9:30 a.m. and women at 11 a.m. at the renovated All Saints Bowling Center, 26 Broadway.

The cost is three strings for $4.50, including shoe rental and coffee.

More information is available by calling 978-374-0083.

Trips offered: The Council on Aging is planning two trips.

On April 15, travelers will go to Mohegan Sun to see legendary actress and singer Debbie Reynolds. The cost is $79, including a gaming package. On April 26, travelers will go to Newport to the Doris Duke Mansion, with lunch at the Atlantic Beach Club and a tour of the Thomas Tew Distillery. The cost is $92. More information is available from the Council on Aging.

Florida-to-Boston cruise offered: The Council on Aging is offering a 15-day Caribbean Escape Reposition Cruise from Clearwater Beach, Florida, to Boston.

The cruise will be from April 25 to May 9 on the Norweigan Cruise Line Dawn.

Continuing education offered: The COOL Program at Northern Essex Community College offers educational opportunities for life-long learners who are 50 and older.

This program provides a wide variety of topics to be explored each semester. For additional information, contact Charlene Boucher at 978-659-1225.

Volunteers sought: Volunteers are needed at the Citizens Center on Mondays and Thursdays from noon to 3 p.m.

For details, call 978-374-2390.

Popular exercise class offered: Zumba Gold has become one of the Council on Aging’s most popular classes.

Instructor Stephanie Smith has her class dancing up a storm. Classes are held every Thursday at 9:30 a.m. and the cost is $5 per week. This is offered as a drop-in class, so come to the Citizens Center and join the fun.

Scrabble games played: Senior citizens have a chance to play Scrabble in an organized group setting.

The group meets Wednesdays at 9:30 a.m. in the Citizens Center. New players are welcome.

Bingo games played: Bingo is played at the Citizens Center, 10 Welcome St., every Monday and Thursday at 1 p.m., and Super Bingo is played on Mondays only.

Players 60 and older or those who are disabled are welcome to play.

Drivers sought: The NEET (Northern Essex Elder Transport, Inc.) program is seeking volunteer drivers to help senior citizens get to medical appointments.

Reimbursement is 43 cents per mile. Anyone interested is asked to contact Kathy Fairchild at 978-388-7474.

Making blankets for needy children: The Blankets for Kids group meets Tuesdays from 9:30 to 11 a.m.

No sewing or knitting skills are required. Blankets go to the Department of Child Services in Haverhill. This is an opportunity for senior citizens and others to volunteer for a valuable cause. Call 978-374-2390 for details.

Helping military members: Local Heroes Inc. is a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization working to support local servicemen and servicewomen and their families.

All donations received go to these people. Over the last eight years, Local Heroes Inc. has sent more than 15,000 packages to military personnel across the globe. Local Heroes Inc. Acts of charity from the community are extremely important to the success of troops.

The Haverhill Council on Aging and Veterans Services would like to help Haverhill senior citizens and others make these donations by collecting items in Haverhill and delivering donations to the Wilmington Council on Aging. Call 978-374-2390, ext. 11 or ext. 16, for information on what items are requested or to volunteer to help with this project.

Massages offered: Chair Massages are available at the Citizens Center on the first Tuesday of every month.

Licensed massage therapist Susan Ploueffe offers senior citizen pricing at $5 per session. This service is provided on a walk-in basis.

Help for diabetics and their families: The Diabetes Support Group meets at the Citizens Center on the third Wednesday of each month from 10 to 11 a.m. in Room 45 on the second floor.

Karen DiPietro of Home Health VNA leads the group. This group provides important information to help senior citizens living with diabetes. No reservations are required to attend.

Reducing stress, developing balance in life: Tai Chi helps reduce stress and anxiety, and also helps increase flexibility and balance.

It is a self-paced system of gentle physical exercises and stretching. Each posture flows into the next without pause, ensuring that your body is in constant motion. It is low impact and suitable for older adults. The Council on Aging offers tai chi on Thursdays at 9 a.m. The cost is $5 per one-hour session. Call 978-374-2390 for details.

Help sought for bingo games: Volunteers to work at bingo are need at the Citizens Center Mondays and Thursdays from noon to 2:30 p.m.

Anyone interested is asked to call 978-374-2390.

Making key changes with a phone call: Senior citizens can call 800-772-1213 to replace Medicare cards or make changes to addresses or phone numbers.

Changes to direct deposit, proof of benefit amounts, Social Security card applications, field office locations, information messages, social security statements and other information can be obtained by calling this number.

Mexican Train game played: The Dominos Mexican Train game is played at the Citizens Center on Thursdays at 10:30 a.m.

If you are interested, contact Kathy or Rita at the Council on Aging 978-374-2390. An instructor teaches novice players.

Art classes offered: The Council on Aging is offering art classes with Cara Smoley.

Classes are held every Thursday from 12:15 to 1:45 p.m. Students should bring a 9-by-12 Bristol drawing pad, a 2B pencil and a kneaded eraser.

Smoley received a certificate in art at Cooper Union in New York City, and received her BFA from the University of Colorado. She is a seasoned art instructor and welcomes both experienced and inexperienced students into her mixed-media classes.

Healthy diet help provided: The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program is a federal program that provides financial assistance to senior citizens and others who cannot afford the cost of a healthy diet.

The Council on Aging office has applications for the program.

Help for families of Alzheimer’s victims: Penacook Place is hosting an Alzheimer’s Family Support Group on the last Wednesday of the month from 6 to 7 p.m.

The group will meet in the Conference Room at Penacook Place, 150 Water St. Contact Barbara Stricsek at 978-374-0707 for additional information.

Help available from Council on Aging: Details about all trips and activities are available by contacting Kathy Bresnahan (ext. 11) or Rita LaBella (ext. 16) at 978-374-2390 or at kbresnahan@cityofhaverhill.com.

Newsletter has complete listings: The Council on Aging’s newsletter, The Voice, has a complete listing of activities and trips.

The Voice is available for viewing at www.ci.haverhill.ma.us or you can send your email address to rlabella@cityofhaverhill.com to receive your copy via email.