:Editor’s note: The Haverhill Council on Aging provides this regular column to The Gazette.
Trip to festival of lights: The Council on Aging is offering a trip to the LaSalette Christmas light tour in Attleboro on Dec. 12. The trip includes lunch at Benjamin’s Restaurant and motor coach transportation. This 59th annual Festival of Lights will have more than 300,000 lights illuminating 10 acres.
Line dancing class: The Council on Aging is offering a new line dancing class on Mondays at 11 a.m. Cost is $5 per person. Instructor Susan Tribble is a seasoned professional and works in many area senior centers. Students will learn new dances. Call 978-374-2390 for additional details or to register.
Holiday trip to Christmas show: The council is offering a holiday trip to Indian Head Resort’s “Legendary Christmas” program, departing on Dec. 5. The cost is $65 per person. Details are available by calling 978-374-2390.
Knitting and craft fair: A senior knitting and craft fair will happen Nov. 28 from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. This fair will provide an opportunity for knitters and crafters to sell their items and for holiday shoppers to buy hand-made items. Call 978-374-2390 if you are a senior citizen who would like to sell items.
Bingo helpers sought: 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.
Holiday trip to White Mountain Hotel: Enjoy some holiday spirit at the White Mountain Hotel in North Conway, N.H. The Council on Aging plans an overnight trip to this luxury hotel Dec. 9 and 10. The trip includes one night accommodation, three meals, two holiday shows and motor coach transportation. Cost is $225 per person, double occupancy.
Helping senior citizens by phone: A new community-based program titled “Phone Pals” provides a way to reduce isolation, victimization and health concerns. Volunteers are asked to telephone “at risk” senior citizens to provide reassurance and social support services. Contact Carol Corso at 603-425-3199 if you are interested in volunteering.
Gardening volunteers sought: Active retirees may want to help out with gardening and pruning. The city’s Garden Club has been planting and maintaining the gardens at City Hall and the Citizens Center. Much labor is required to maintain the beds, and volunteers are needed. Anyone interested is asked to contact Kathy Bresnahan at the Council on Aging.
Beautification programs: Haverhill’s Brightside is reorganizing and needs 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 to help beautify the city. More information is available from Elaine Barker at 978-372-3861.
Medicare information by phone: 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. Interested people are asked to call 978-374-2390. An instructor will teach novice players.
Scrabble played Wednesdays: 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.
Art classes for all levels: The Council on Aging is offering on-going 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-by-12 Bristol drawing pad, 2B pencil and 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 all levels of students into her mixed-media classes.
Zumba training: Due to popular demand, the 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 instructor Stephanie Smith and will complement the Thursday Zumba Gold class held at 9:30 a.m. Cost is $5 per class.
Alzheimer’s support group: 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.
Volunteers sought for newsletters: Each month, the Council on Aging distributes more than 2,000 copies of its newsletter, “The Voice,” throughout the city. The council is seeking volunteers to collate newsletters and deliver them. Anyone who is interested is asked to call 978-374-2390, ext. 16.
Health insurance advice: 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, ext. 19.
Saving on train rides: 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.
Brown Bag helpers needed: The Council on Aging is seeking volunteers to assist with the Brown Bag program held the first Tuesday of every month. Volunteers are needed 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 at area hospitals and doctors offices. If you can give a few hours each month, contact Kathy Fairchild at NEET (Northern Essex Elder Transportation) at 978-388-7474. Several additional volunteer opportunities are also available.
Yoga classes: Yoga is offered 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. Cost is $5 for a one-hour class and $7.50 for a 90-minute class.
Bingo and Super Bingo: 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. Anyone 60 and older or disabled is welcome to play.
Financial help for 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.
Help with transportation: The Merrimack Valley Transportation offers the EZ Trans program for people 60 and older and disabled people. 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.
Bowling on Mondays: The Council on Aging’s bowling group meets on Mondays at 11 a.m. at All Saints Bowling Center, 26 Broadway. New bowlers are welcome.
Piano lessons: Piano instructor Helen Hamilton, is offering private beginner lessons at the Citizens Center on Mondays. Cost is $12.
Council’s newsletter available: 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 firstname.lastname@example.org to receive your copy via email.