:Editor’s note: The Haverhill Council on Aging provides this regular column to the Gazette.
:Trip to Boston library: The Council on Aging is planning a mid-winter trip to visit and tour the Boston Public Library on Feb. 21, at 10 a.m. This historic treasure houses 8.9 million books and a wealth of rare books and manuscripts, maps, musical scores and prints. Of significant importance is the Sargent Gallery, which includes spectacular murals painted by John Singer Sargent. Please contact Kathy Bresnahan at 978-374-2390, ext.11, if you are interested in visiting this landmark. Cost is $35 per person for transportation and tour.
:Trip to Museum of Fine Arts: The Council on Aging will visit The Museum of Fine Arts Art in Bloom exhibit on April 29, at 10 a.m. This is a chance to see some of the museum’s famous art and the creativity of floral artists as they interpret artwork through the use of beautiful flowers and vegetation. Cost of this trip is $45 per person for transportation and admission to the museum. Cost for museum members is $20 for transportation.
:Valentine’s dance, party: The Council on Aging will host a Valentine’s Day luncheon and dance on Feb. 14 at 12:30 p.m. at the Citizens Center, 10 Welcome St. Music will be provided by A Goodtime DJ’s George Whitehouse. Lunch will be prepared by the Chicken Connection. Tickets are $6 per person.
:Support for diabetics: 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, RD, CDE, of Home Health VNA leads the group. This group provides important information to assist senior citizens living witlh diabetes. No reservations are required to attend.
:Line dance class: The Council on Aging is offering a line dancing class on Mondays at 11 a.m. Cost of the class is $5 per person. Instructor Susan Tribble is a seasoned professional and works in many area senior citizen centers. Students will learn new dances. Call 978-374-2390 for additional details or to register for this class.
:Tai chi class to relieve stress: After the stressful holidays it is time to commit to a calmer way of life and tai chi is a way to help achieve that goal. 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 each Thursday at 9 a.m. and the cost is $5 per one-hour session. Call 978-374-2390 for details.
:Trips planned: The Council on Aging has some new trips lined up for the spring. A Toast to Dean Martin and Marilyn Monroe will take place on April 16 at Venus de Milo in Swansea for $75 per person. The Don Who? Show will happen on April 26 at Wrights Farm Restaurant in Harrisville, R.I., for $49 per person. A tour of Little Italy in Providence, R.I., will take place on May 15 for $72 per person. Contact the Council on Aging for additional information.
:Phone checks on elders: The Greater Haverhill Breakfast Exchange Club is sponsoring a free program titled “Phone Pals” for housebound Haverhill elders. Participants will be contacted by phone on a daily or weekly schedule by trained volunteers. This program offers health care reminders, referrals to appropriate service providers, education information and emergency safety checks. Phone Pals is free and offered as a public service by the Greater Haverhill Breakfast Exchange Club. Funding is provided by the Griffin-White Foundation. Contact Elizabeth Vallerand, program coordinator, at 978-398-5228 or email@example.com for additional information.
:Bingo workers needed: Volunteers to work at bingo are needed at the Citizens Center Mondays and Thursdays from noon to 2:30 p.m. Please call 978-374-2390 if you are interested.
:Programs to beautify city: Haverhill’s Brightside is reorganizing and seeks the public’s help. Many programs are in progress including Bloomfest, Adopt-A-Park, community gardens and cleanups. Interested people are encouraged to become involved help to beautify the city. More information is available from Elaine Barker at 978-372-3861.
:Help with Medicare changes: 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: The Dominoes Mexican Train game is played at the Citizens Center on Thursdays at 10:30 a.m. If you are interested, call the Council on Aging at 978-374-2390. An instructor will teach novice players.
:Help with a healthy diet: The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program is a federal program that provides financial help to senior citizens and others who cannot cover the costs of a healthy diet. Applications are available at the Council on Aging office.
:Second Zumba class forms: Due to popular demand, the Council on Aging will have 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 complement the Thursday Zumba Gold class, which is held at 9:30 a.m. Cost is $5 per class.
:Support for Alzheimer’s families: 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.
:Tax savings for elders: Several tax saving opportunities are available to help senior citizens with property taxes. Veterans, blind persons, elderly and hardship deferrals can be obtained by applying at the assessors office in City Hall.
:Volunteers sought to help with 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. If you are interested, please call 978-374-2390, ext. 16.
:Help with health insurance: If you have any issues or questions regarding your health insurance, be sure to contact a Council on Aging’s SHINE counselor. Appointments can be made by calling 978-374-2390, ext. 19.
:Rides to medical appointments: The Merrimack Valley Transportation program offers 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.
:Train ride discounts: 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 to help with lunches, rides: The Council on Aging is seeking volunteers to assist with its Brown Bag program 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 to help, contact Kathy Fairchild at NEET (Northern Essex Elder Transportation) at 978-388-7474. Several additional volunteer opportunities are also available.
:Bowling group: The Council on Aging’s bowling group which meets on Mondays at 11 a.m. at the All Saints Bowling Center, 26 Broadway.
:Bingo welcomes players: Bingo is played at the Citizens Center, 10 Welcome St., every Monday and Thursday at 1 p.m. Super Bingo is played on Mondays only. All players 60 and older or disabled are welcome.
:Scrabble games: A Scrabble group meets at 9:30 a.m. on Wednesdays. Players meet in the library in the basement level of the Citizens Center.
:Art classes: The Council on Aging is offering art classes with Cara Smoley. Classes will be 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 from Cooper Union in New York City and a BFA from the University of Colorado. She is a seasoned art instructor and welcomes all level of students to her mixed-media classes.
:Yoga classes: Yoga is offered twice a week at the Citizens Center. Tuesdays at 6:30 p.m., Flyn Costello leads a one-hour class for people of all ages. On Tuesdays at 1 p.m., Mary Van Abs offers a 90-minute gentle senior yoga class. Cost is $5 for a one-hour class and $7.50 for a 90-minute class.
:Trips planned: The Council on Aging offers these trips:
:Feb. 4 to 22: Australia and New Zealand, price to be announced
:April 16: Toast to Dino and Marilyn at Venus de Milo, $75
April 26: Joanne Travel, Don Who at Wright Farm, $49
May 10 to 17: Cruise to Bermuda, Grand American Tours, starting at $924
May 15: Tour of Little Italy, Providence, R.I., Joanne Travel, $72
May 19 and 20: The Beacon, Joanne Travel, $169 per person, double occupancy
June 12: The Drifters, Danversport Yacht Club, $79
June 23: Isle of Shoals and Portsmouth Harbor Cruise, $89
July 16: Lake Winnepesaukee and Castle in the Clouds, $90
Sept. 5: The Corvettes Doo Wop Revue, Venus De Milo, $59
Oct. 16: Italian Festival, Luciano’s, $79
Dec. 2: Time Machine’s The Magic of Christmas Show, Joanne Travel, Lomardo’s, $64
Details on all trips and activities are available by calling 978-374-2390 and speaking to Kathy Bresnahan (ext. 11) or Rita LaBella (ext. 16) or firstname.lastname@example.org.