hgazette.com, Haverhill, MA

January 11, 2012

Baby Boomers and Beyond

The city's Council on Aging will host a Valentine dance on Feb. 14 at 12:30 p.m.

George Whitehouse of A Goodtime DJ will provide music and entertainment. Lunch will be provided by the Chicken Connection restaurant. Tickets are $7 per person. Doors open at 12:15 p.m.

Mid-winter party: The Council on Aging is co-hosting a Beat the Mid-Winter Blues Party on Jan. 12 at the Northern Essex Community College Technology Center, Elliott Street. Entertainment will be provided, as will and lunch by the Chicken Connection. Tickets are $10 and doors open at noon. The council will also co-host a Valentine party at Northern Essex Community College on Feb. 12 at noon.

Tickets for each event are $10 per person.

Zumba Gold class: 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 and will incorporate light weights into the workout. This 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.

Medicare changes for elders: Although the general deadline for Medicare changes was Dec. 7, senior citizens can still make some important changes. They can leave their Medicare Advantage Plans and enroll in the original Medicare plan through Feb 14. Seniors who had the Tufts Medicare Prescription drug plan on 2011 must select a new drug plan by the end of February. Failure to make the change will mean there will be no drug coverage for 2012. Senior citizens with Prescription Advantage can change plans once during the year at any time. Additional information can be obtained from a Council on Aging SHINE counselor at 978-374-2390.

Bingo games planned: The Oxford at 689 Main St. invites players of all ages to attend bingo games on the last Wednesday of each month.

Coffee and dessert is served. Reservations are required by calling the Council on Aging.

Nutrition assistance available: 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. Applications for the program are available at the Council on Aging office.

Save on train fare: People 65 years or older are eligible for a 50-percent discount on the commuter train to Boston. More information about the MBTA Senior/TAP program is available from Kathy Bresnahan at the Council on Aging.

Volunteers sought to deliver meals: The Council on Aging is seeking volunteers to assist with its Brown Bag program, which is held on the first Tuesday of every month. Volunteers are needed for about three hours 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. Anyone who can give a few hours a month to help is asked to contact Kathy Fairchild at NEET (Northern Essex Elder Transportation) at 978-388-7474. Several additional volunteer opportunities are also available.

Piano lessons: Instructor Helen Hamilton is offering private beginner piano lessons at the Citizens Center on Mondays. The cost is $12.

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. More information is available from Barbara Stricsek at 978-374-0707.

Volunteers needed to distribute newsletters: Each month, the Council on Aging distributes more than 2,000 copies of our newsletter "The Voice" throughout the city. The council needs volunteers to collate newsletters and deliver them. Anyone interested in helping is asked to call 978-374-2390, ext. 16.

Yoga classes available: Yoga is offered twice a week at the Citizens Center. On Tuesdays at 6:30 p.m., Flyn Costello leads a one-hour yoga class for people of all ages. On Tuesdays at 1 p.m., Mary Van Abs offers a 90-minute hour gentle senior yoga class. The costs are $5 for a one-hour class and $7.50 for a 90-minute class.

Variety of classes offered: The Citizens Center offers yoga, tai chi, Zumba Gold, bridge, chess club, 45 tournaments, whist, art classes, mahjong, classes in English as a second language, citizenship classes, conversational Spanish classes, woodcarving, bingo, and other classes. More information is available on the City of Haverhill website.

Trips offered: The Council on Aging is planning these trips:

Feb. 8 to 18, Golden Oldies Cruise, starting at $1,099

March 17 to 25, Tropical Costa Rica, $2,299

Feb. 29 to March 8, Discover Panama, $3,019

May 11 to 21, Dutch and Belgian Delights, $3,739

June 7 to 13, San Francisco Getaway and Lake Tahoe, $2,499

Oct. 3 to 15, Italian Lakes and Greek Islands, $3,799

Details on all trips and activities are available by calling 978-374-2390 and speaking with Kathy Bresnahan, ext. 11, or Rita LaBella, ext. 16, or at kbresnahan@cityofhaverhill.com.

Activities listed: The Council on Aging 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 a copy via email.