hgazette.com, Haverhill, MA

November 29, 2012

Council on Aging activities

The Haverhill Gazette

---- — Giving tree

The Council on Aging Giving Tree will be up on Dec. 1. People are encouraged to stop by the Citizens Center lobby at 10 Welcome St. and pick up a gift tag. All gifts will be brought to local nursing homes and distributed to senior citizens in need.

Free lunch

The Council on Aging will host a free pizza lunch on Dec. 3 at 11:15 a.m. at the Citizens Center, 10 Welcome St.

Please contact Kathy Bresnahan or Rita LaBella at 978-374-2390, ext. 11 to make a reservation.

Helping hurricane victims

The Council on Aging is pleased to assist Sharon Tucker with her relief effort on behalf of the youngest victims of Hurricane Sandy. A fire erupted in Breezy Point, N.Y., during the hurricane, and some families lost everything.

Tucker, a former state senator, is soliciting holiday donations which will be forwarded by truck to New York in time for the holidays.

Toys, books and cuddle blankets are needed for children up to 12 years old, and may be left with Kathy Bresnahan or Rita LaBella at the Citizens Center, 10 Welcome St., second floor. Donations will be accepted through Dec. 1 to allow time for shipping. Additional information is available from Tucker at tuck4ely@hotmail.com.

Holiday lunch

The Council on Aging and The Oxford will have a holiday lunch Dec. 6 at 11:15 a.m. at the Citizens Center, 10 Welcome St.

Tickets are $1 and must be purchased in advance.

Holiday party tickets available

Tickets are on sale for the Council on Aging’s annual Christmas/holiday party. The party will be Dec. 12, at DiBurro’s function hall in Ward Hill. Doors will open at 11 a.m. and the party will start at 11:30 a.m. Tables of 10 can be reserved. The cost is $10 for Haverhill residents and $15 for non-residents. Tickets can be purchased from Kathy Bresnahan or Rita LaBella at the Citizens Center, 10 Welcome St.

Line dancing class

The Council on Aging will offer a line dancing class on Mondays at 11 a.m. beginning Nov. 26. 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.

Photo ID cards available

Secondary photo identification cards for senior citizens will be available at the Citizens Center, 10 Welcome St., Dec. 13 from 10 a.m. to noon. Seniors must bring at least one of the following primary photo identifications: MA license, US passport, or Registry of Motor Vehicles Identification card. This event is sponsored by the COA, TRIAD, and Essex County Sheriff’s Department.

Phone calls help elders

The Greater Haverhill Breakfast Exchange Club is pleased to announce it is sponsoring a new free program titled “Phone Pals” for housebound Haverhill senior citizens. Participating seniors will be contacted by telephone 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 myphonepal@yahoo.com for additional information.

Overnight trip

Enjoy some holiday spirit at the White Mountain Hotel in North Conway, N.H. The Council on Aging plans an encore overnight trip to this luxury hotel Dec. 9 and 10. The trip includes one night accommodation, three meals, two holiday shows, and deluxe motor coach transportation. Cost is $225 per person, double occupancy.

Bingo volunteers needed

Volunteers to work at bingo are need at the Citizens Center Mondays and Thursdays from noon to 2:30 p.m. Anyone interested is asked to contact Kathy or Rita at 978-374-2390.

Gardening and pruning

Active retirees are needed 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 the club is looking for volunteers. Anyone interested is asked to contact Kathy Bresnahan at the Council on Aging.

Park plantings and cleanups

Haverhill’s Brightside group is reorganizing and needs help. Many programs are in progress including Bloomfest, Adopt-A-Park, community gardens, and cleanups. Interested people are encouraged to become involved to beautify the city. More information is available from Elaine Barker at 978-372-3861.

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’ played

Dominoes “Mexican Train” is played at the Citizens Center on Thursdays at 10:30 a.m. More information is available by calling the Council on Aging at 978-374-2390. An instructor will teach novice players.

Scrabble games

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

The Council on Aging 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. 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 who welcomes all levels of students into her mixed-media classes.

Getting a good diet

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 and will provide information and assistance to senior citizens.

Zumba exercise 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.

Support 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. Contact Barbara Stricsek at 978-374-0707 for additional information.

Ways to save on taxes

Several tax-saving opportunities are available to senior citizens. Veterans, blind persons, the elderly, and hardship deferrals are obtained by application to the Assessors Office at City Hall.

Newsletter distributed

Each month the Council on Aging distributes more than 2,000 copies of its newsletter, “The Voice,” throughout the city. The council is looking for volunteers to collate newsletters and deliver them to specific locations.

Anyone interested in helping is asked to call Rita LaBella at 978-374-2390, ext. 16.

Variety of activities offered

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 more.

The City of Haverhill website lists details.

Trips planned

The Council on Aging plans these trips:

Dec. 1 to 3: Patriots at Miami football game, starts at $999 per person, double occupancy

Dec. 5: Indian Head, Legendary Christmas, $65

Dec. 9 and 10: White Mountain Hotel and Resort, $215 per person, double occupancy

Dec. 31: New Years Eve Day, Castleton, $54, no transportation

Feb. 4 to 22: Australia and New Zealand, price TBA

April 26: Joanne Travel, Don Who at Wright Farm, $49

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.