hgazette.com, Haverhill, MA

December 5, 2013

Annual Holiday/Christmas party coming up


The Haverhill Gazette

---- — It’s time to get ready for one of Haverhill’s biggest events of the year for senior citizens.

Tickets are available at the Citizens Center for the annual Council on Aging Holiday/Christmas party to be held at DiBurro’s function hall.

The event will be Dec.18 at 11:30 a.m.

For tickets, call the Council on Aging at 978-374-2390. Tables of 10 may be reserved.

IF YOU GO

What: Council on Aging Holiday/Christmas party

When: Dec.18, 11:30 a.m.

Where: DiBurro’s function hall

Tickets: Available by calling 978-374-2390

Here are events and activities for Haverhill senior citizens:

New Year’s Eve party: Best of Times and the Haverhill Council on Aging are offering a New Year’s Eve Day Party at the Danversport Yacht Club on Dec. 31.

The trip includes transportation, luncheon, show, orchestra, party favors and champagne toast. Cost is $79 per person. For more information, call 978-374-2390.

Free admission to holiday event: Methuen’s 20th annual Festival of Trees is now to Dec. 7 at 13 Branch St., Methuen.

The event will have senior citizens and Red Hatter days on Nov. 23 and 24 from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Admission is free for senior citizens and members of the Red Hatters social organization.

Help paying heating bills: A representative from Community Action will be at the Citizens Center, 10 Welcome St., on Dec. 10 at 10:30 a.m. to discuss heating assistance.

If you would like to learn more about this program, please plan to attend. Contact the Council on Aging for more information at 978-374-2390.

Museum trip: Do you have an interest in travelling to the Peabody Essex Museum to see the “Impressionists on Water” exhibit?

This trip will happen in late January. Please contact the Council on Aging at 978-374-2390 if you would like information on this trip. The date and time will be announced.

Being aware of Medicare changes: Please remember to check out any changes to your Medicare Part D Program.

Remember to consider affordability as well as coverage. Forms are available at the Council on Aging to assist you in determining which is the best Part D plan for you.

Wood carving class resumes in the spring: The Council on Aging wood carving class will resume in the spring of 2014.

Students are taught by master carver Fred Arakelian. He has won many awards over the past 22 years. Registration is required. A carving kit of supplies will be provided at a one-time-per-project charge of $18. Carving knives will be loaned to you for free. Course cost is $5 per class for an eight-week session. Registration is required for new students.

Bowling for exercise and fun: Looking for a way to stretch out your legs, get a little exercise and have some fun?

Look no further than the newly renovated All Saints Bowling Center at 26 Broadway. The Council on Aging’s weekly bowling group meet at the center on Mondays at 11 a.m.

Although the center is often used by students from St. Joseph School of All Saints Parish, there is plenty of room for senior citizens to join in on the fun.

Save money on train trips: If you are 65 or older, you are eligible for a discount on the cost of taking the rain to Boston.

You can save half the cost. To learn more about the MBTA Senior/TAP program, contact Kathy Bresnahan at the Council on Aging at 978-374-2390.

Important Medicare information on the way: Don’t ignore your Medicare mail.

If you have a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan or a Medicare Advantage Plan (HMO, PPO), you should be receiving information from your plan by the end of September. It is important to understand and save this information because it explains the changes in your plan for 2014.

During the annual Medicare open enrollment period (now through Dec. 7), you will have a chance to change your plan for next year. SHINE counselors can help you understand your plan changes, as well as other options you may have. For an appointment, contact the Council on Aging at 978-374-2390, ext. 19.

Eating better: The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program is a federal program that provides financial assistance to seniors and others who cannot cover the costs of a healthy diet.

The Council on Aging office has applications and can provide information and help to seniors.

Tai chi classes: The Council on Aging offers tai chi each Thursday at 9 a.m. and the cost is $5 per one-hour session.

Tai chi helps reduce stress and anxiety, and also helps increase flexibility and balance. It is a self-paced system of gentle physical exercise 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.

More information is available by calling 978-374-2390.

Continuing your education: The COOL Program at Northern Essex Community College offers interesting and challenging education 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.

Looking for volunteers: People are needed at the Citizens Center on Mondays and Thursdays from noon to about 3 p.m.

For details, call 978-374-2390.

Yoga classes: Yoga classes are offered to local senior citizens and other residents twice a week at the Citizens Center.

Flyn Costello leads a one-hour class for people of all ages Tuesdays at 6:30 p.m. Mary Van Abs offers a 90-minute gentle senior yoga class Tuesdays at 1 p.m. The cost is $5 for a one-hour class and $7.50 for a 90-minute class.

Looking for Medicare volunteers: The SHINE (Serving the Health Information Needs of Elders) Program is looking for Haverhill residents to help Medicare beneficiaries in your community to navigate the Medicare system.

You can become a SHINE counselor and help Medicare beneficiaries understand their Medicare benefits and options. Learn how to simply explain Medicare, compare the costs and benefits of Medicare options. You will volunteer at the Haverhill Senior Center while providing an urgently needed and appreciated service to Haverhill residents.

Drivers needed: The NEET (Northern Essex Elder Transport Inc.) program is in need of volunteer drivers to help senior citizens get to medical appointments.

Reimbursement is made at 43 cents per mile. Please contact Kathy Fairchild at 978-388-7474.

Green thumbs wanted: The Haverhill Garden Club is looking for new members.

Membership includes 10 presentations by horticultural experts. Contact Carol Sobel at 978-377-0106 for more information.

Blanket group: The Blankets for Kids group meets every Tuesday from 9:30 to 11 p.m.

No sewing or knitting skills are required, and blankets will go to the Department of Child Services in Haverhill. This is an opportunity for senior citizens and others to volunteer for a valuable cause. Contact Kathy or Rita at 978-374-2390 for details.

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

All donations received go directly to these heroes. Over the last eight years, Local Heroes Inc. has sent more than 15,000 packages to military worldwide. The Council on Aging and Veterans Services would like to help Haverhill senior citizens and others make these donations by collecting items and delivering the donations to the Wilmington Council on Aging. Call 978-374-2390, ext. 11 or 16, for information on what items are requested or to volunteer to help.

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.

For seniors with diabetes: 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.

Bingo volunteers: People are needed to work at bingo at the Citizens Center Mondays and Thursdays from noon until 2:30.

Please call 978-374-2390 if you are interested.

Save this number: 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.

Fun and games: Dominoes “Mexican Train” is played at the Citizens Center on Thursdays at 10:30 a.m.

If you are interested, call the Council on Aging 978-374-2390. An instructor teaches novice players. Also, a Scrabble group has formed and meets at 9:30 a.m. on Wednesdays. Players meet in the library in the basement level of the Citizens Center.

Healthy eating: The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program is a federal program that provides financial assistance to senior citizens and others who cannot cover the costs of a healthy diet.

The Council on Aging office has applications.

Zumba Gold returns: Due to popular demand, the Haverhill Council on Aging announces a second weekly Zumba Gold class on Tuesdays at 10:30 a.m.

This class will be a Zumba Gold Toning class incorporating light weights into the workout. The class will be taught by certified Zumba Gold instruction Stephanie Smith and will compliment the Thursday Zumba Gold class, which is held at 9:30 a.m. Cost is $5 per class.

Alzheimer’s support: 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.

Brown Bag volunteers needed: The Council on Aging is looking for volunteers to help with its Brown Bag program held on the first Tuesday of every month.

Volunteers are needed from 8:45 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. There is also a need for drivers to provide transportation to doctor and hospital appointments through the NEET program. Many senior citizens are no longer able to drive and have difficulty getting to appointments to area hospitals and doctors.

If you can give a few hours a month, contact Kathy Fairchild at NEET (Northern Essex Elder Transportation) at 978-388-7474. Several additional volunteer opportunities are also available.

Tax help: There are several tax-saving opportunities to assist senior citizens with property taxes available.

Veterans, blind persons, elderly, and hardship deferrals are obtained by application to the Assessors Office at City Hall.

Help needed delivering newsletter: Each month, the Council on Aging distributes more than 2,000 copies of its newsletter, “The Voice,” throughout the city.

The council needs volunteers to collate newsletters and deliver them to specific locations. If you would be interested in helping, please call 978-374-2390, ext. 16.

Transportation services: The Merrimack Valley Transportation offers a program called EZ Trans for people who are at least 60 years old and people who are disabled.

EZ Tran is a “shared ride” service intended to accommodate those who cannot use the MVRTA fixed route bus system. Communities serviced by EZ Trans include Andover, Amesbury, Haverhill, Lawrence, Merrimac, Methuen, Newburyport and North Andover. Rides are also available to Lahey Clinic in Peabody and several Boston hospitals.

Special services require a 21-day application period. Contact the Merrimack Valley Regional Transit Authority at 978-469-6878 for details.

People who are at least 65 years old are eligible for a 50 percent discount on the commuter train to Boston. If you would like to learn more about the MBTA Senior/TAP program, please contact Kathy Bresnahan at the Council on Aging.

Volunteers needed to help seniors: The Council on Aging is seeking volunteers to assist with its Brown Bag program, held on the first Tuesday of every month.

Volunteers are needed for about three hours from 8:45 to 11:30 a.m. There is also a need for drivers to provide transportation to doctor and hospital appointments through the NEET program.

Many senior citizens are no longer able to drive and have difficulty getting to appointments to area hospitals and doctors. If you can give a few hours a month to assist, contact Kathy Fairchild at NEET (Northern Essex Elder Transportation) 978-388-7474. Several additional volunteer opportunities are also available.

Newsletter: Be sure to pick up a copy of the newsletter, The Voice, for a complete listing of the Council on Aging’s 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 a copy via email.