hgazette.com, Haverhill, MA

December 19, 2013

Baby Boomers and Beyond Haverhill Council on Aging

The Haverhill Gazette

---- — The annual COA Christmas Giving Trees are located in the lobby of the Citizens Center and at the HTM Credit Union in the basement level of City Hall. Please help a senior in need and take a tag! Gifts should be brought to the Citizens Center wrapped and marked for distribution to local nursing homes by December 20.

Best of Times and the Haverhill Council on Aging are offering a New Year’s Eve Day Party at the Danversport Yacht Club on Tuesday, December 31. Trip includes transportation, luncheon, show, orchestra, party favors and champagne toast. Cost is $79 per person. Contact Kathy or Rita for additional information at 978-374-2390.

Haverhill Council on Aging is starting a new exercise program titled “3B Senior Fitness: Balance, Bones, and Brain.” This class will begin on Friday, January 17, from 11:00 a.m until noon. The first class is being offered free of charge. Classes will be held at the Citizens Center, 10 Welcome St. This is a comprehensive program of fitness appropriate for seniors: balance training to prevent falls, strength training to increase bone density & age appropriate trivia to challenge the brain. By incorporating trivia questions along with the workout, you will enjoy the workout, laugh, & not only challenge your body but your brain too. And the workout flies by with great music! Join Brian for this fun, energetic class! Register/Details: 978-374-2390 Ext 11 or 16.

Do you have an interest in travelling to the Peabody Essex Museum to see “Impressionists on Water” exhibit? This trip will take place in late January. Please contact Kathy or Rita at the Council on Aging at 978-374-2390 if you would like information on this trip. Date and time to be advised.

The CoOL Program at Northern Essex Community College offers very interesting and challenging education opportunities for life-long learners who are 50 and older. This program provides a wide variety of interesting topics to be explored each semester, and students and facilitators are welcome to join in the fun. For additional information contact Charlene Boucher at 978-659-1225.

Volunteers are needed at the Citizens Center on Mondays and Thursdays from noon until approximately 3. For details contact Kathy or Rita at 978-37-2390.

Everyone loves Monday’s Super Bingo! Bingo is played at the Citizens Center, 10 Welcome St., every Monday and Thursday at 1:00, and Super Bingo is played on Mondays only. There are many new friends to meet at bingo, and we welcome all players who are 60 and older or disabled.

Make entrance to your home convenient for fire and ambulance service with no damage to the house! Haverhill residents can have a lock box attached to the outside of the house or apartment. For additional information contact Fire Department Deputy LaLiberty at 978-373-8460 or Joel Berg 978-374-2390 x 38.

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. For more information please contact Susan Cripps at 978-946-1374 to learn how you can join this valuable program.

The NEET (Northern Essex Elder Transport, Inc.) program is in need of volunteer drivers to help seniors get to important medical appointments. Reimbursement is made at $.43 per mile. Please contact Kathy Fairchild at 978-388-7474.

The Haverhill Garden Club is looking for new members!!! Membership includes 10 presentations by horticultural experts. Contact Carol Sobel at 978-377-0106 for additional information.

The Blankets for Kids group is meeting every Tuesdays from 9:30 until 11.No sewing or knitting skills required, and blankets will go to the Department of Child Services in Haverhill. This is a great opportunity for seniors and others to volunteer for a valuable cause. Contact Kathy or Rita at 978-374-2390 for details.

The Council on Aging wood-carving class will resume in the spring of 2014. Students are taught by master carver Fred Arakelian. Mr. Arakelian is an excellent woodcarver and 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: $5 per class for an 8 week session. Registration is required for new students.

LOCAL HEROES Inc. is a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization working to support our local servicemen and servicewomen & their families. 100 percent of all donations received go directly to these local heroes. Over the last eight plus years, Local Hero’s Inc. has sent out over 15,000 packages to our military across the globe. Local Hero’s Inc. needs your help to successfully reach our goal! The acts of charity from the community are extremely important to the success of our troops. It’s the little things from home that can have a large positive impact on the success of our soldiers. The Haverhill Council on Aging and Veteran’s Services would like to help Haverhill seniors & others to make these donations by collecting items here & delivering the donations to Wilmington, MA COA. Call Kathy / Rita at 978-374-2390 ext. 11 or ext 16 for information on what items are requested or to volunteer to help with this project.

Chair massages are available at the Citizens Center on the first Tuesday of every month. Licensed massage therapist Susan Ploueffe offers senior pricing at $5 per session. This service is provided on a walk-in basis.

The Diabetes Support Group meets at the Citizens Center on the third Wednesday of each month from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. in Room 45 on the second floor. Karen DiPietro, RD, CDE of Home Health VNA leads the group. This group provides important information to assist seniors living with diabetes. No reservations are required to attend this group.

It is time to commit to a calmer way of life and tai chi is the perfect way to help achieve that goal! Tai Chi helps reduce stress and anxiety, and it 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 each Thursday at 9:00 a.m. and the cost is $5 per one-hour session. Contact Kathy or Rita at 978-374-2390 for details.

Volunteers to work at bingo are need at the Citizens Center Mondays and/or Thursdays from noon until 2:30. Please contact Kathy or Rita at 978-374-2390.

Haverhill’s Brightside needs your help! Many wonderful programs are in progress including Bloomfest, Adopt-A-Park, community gardens, and clean-ups. Interested people are encouraged to become involved help to beautify our City. For additional information contact Elaine Barker at 978-372-3861.

Seniors 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.

Dominoes “Mexican Train” will be played at the Citizens Center on Thursdays at 10:30. If you are interested contact Kathy or Rita at the Council on Aging 978-374-2390. Instructor will teach novice players. This game sounds like it is lots of fun and easy to learn!

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.

The COA is offering art classes with Cara Smoley. Classes will be held every Thursday at 12:15 p.m. to 1:45 p.m. Students should bring a 9 x 12 Bristol drawing pad, 2B pencil, and kneaded eraser. Ms. 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 experienced through inexperienced students into her mixed-media classes.

Have you heard of SNAP? The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program is a federal program that provides financial assistance to seniors and others who cannot cover the costs of a healthful diet. We have applications at the Council on Aging office, and we will be happy to provide information and assistance to seniors.

Penacook Place is hosting an Alzheimer’s Family Support Group on the last Wednesday of the month from 6-7:00 p.m. The group will meet in the Conference Room at Penacook Place, 150 Water Street in Haverhill. Contact Barbara Stricsek at 978-374-0707 for additional information.

Did you know there are several tax saving opportunities to assist seniors with property taxes? Veterans, blind persons, elderly, and hardship deferrals are obtained by application to the Assessors Office at City Hall.

Each month we distribute over 2,000 copies of our newsletter, “The Voice,” throughout the City. We are always busy at the Council on Aging, and right now we are in need of volunteers to collate newsletters and deliver them to specific locations. If you would be interested in helping with this important task, please call Rita at 978-374-2390 X16.

Did you know that we have a showcase of beautiful handmade articles for sale? The next time you need a special gift for a baby consider shopping our supply of sweater sets and Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls. They are beautiful!

If you have any issues or questions regarding your health insurance, be sure to contact one of our SHINE counselors. Appointments can be made by calling Wendy at 978-374-2390 X19.

The Merrimack Valley Transportation Authority 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.

Did you know that people who are at least 65 years old are eligible for a 50% 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.

Have you thought of volunteering to help area seniors? We are in need of volunteers to assist with our Brown Bag program which is held on the first Tuesday of every month. Volunteers are needed for approximately 3 hours from 8:45 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. There is also a dramatic need for drivers to provide transportation to doctor and hospital appointments through the NEET program. Many seniors 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.

Stay in shape by joining our bowling group which meets on Mondays at 11 a.m.! Everyone loves the newly renovated All Saints Bowling Center at 26 Broadway in Haverhill, and we have an enthusiastic group. They would love to have more bowlers.

Zumba Gold has become one of our most popular classes! Instructor Stephanie Smith is a dynamic teacher, and she 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. Toning Zumba is offered every Tuesday at 10:30 a.m.

Yoga is offered twice a week at the Citizens Center. Tuesday evenings at 6:30 Flyn

Costello leads a one hour yoga class for people of all ages. On Tuesday afternoons at 1:00 Mary Van Abs offers a 1 ½ hour gentle senior yoga class. Cost is $5 for a one-hour class and $7.50 for a l ½ hour class.

The Citizens Center offers yoga, tai chi, Zumba Gold, bridge, chess club, 45 tournaments, whist, art classes, mahjong, ESL classes, citizenship classes, conversational Spanish classes, woodcarving, bingo, and so much more. Please check us out on the City of Haverhill website, and you will be amazed to learn what you are missing! We look forward to meeting you soon.

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

Be sure to pick up a copy of our newsletter, The Voice, for a complete listing of our 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. Rita LaBella and I would love to hear from you if you have any ideas, suggestions or questions regarding the Council on Aging.