The Haverhill Gazette
---- — The Haverhill Council on Aging contributes this regular column to the Gazette.
:Learn medicinal value of herbs: Herbalist Suzanne Wicks will present a program titled “Culinary Herbs with a Medicinal Twist,” on June 5 at 10 a.m. Learn the history of four herbs, how to grow and use them, and whether they have medicinal properties. Participants will plant a herb patio garden and receive recipes for using these four herbs. A door prize will be provided. There is a $10 fee for the cost of plants and materials. Call 978-374-2390 to sign up for this workshop and pay a $2 refundable registration fee.
Solving computer nuisances: Miklos Jako will offer a presentation titled “Solving Computer Aggravations” June 18 at 10 a.m. at the Citizens Center, 10 Welcome St. The presentation covers 20 of the most common aggravations many people experience when using a computer. Call 978-374-2390 to make your reservation.
New trips offered: The Council on Aging is offering several new travel opportunities. On July 13, we will take a bus ‘n rail excursion to Portland aboard the Downeaster train for $89 per person. On Aug. 3, we will host a Boston Harbor Cruise to Provincetown for $94 per person. Contact Kathy Bresnahan or Rita LaBella for details at 978-374-2390. We are also offering an overnight trip to Tanglewood and the Berkshires Aug. 6 and 7. The trip includes deluxe motor coach transportation, a one-night stay at the Comfort Inn in Pittsfield, full course luncheon, a BSO concert and admissions to Chesterwood, Naumkeag and the Norman Rockwell Museum. Cost is $299 per person, double occupancy.
Popular film songs performed: The Council on Aging will host a trip to the Boston Pops at Symphony Hall on June 7. Laureate Conductor John Williams will conduct a program titled “Film Night,” which includes much of his cinematic music. Scores from “Star Wars,’’ “Jaws,’’ “Indiana Jones,’’ “Harry Potter’’ and other films will be included in the program. The trip includes a stop at the Prudential Center for shopping or a meal on your own prior to the 8 p.m. show. Tickets are $89 per person and include motor coach transportation and a first-balcony Pops ticket. Call 978-374-2390 to reserve your ticket.
Baseball trip to Camden Yards: The Council on Aging is offering a Boston Red Sox trip, which includes a stop at the Gettysburg National Park for the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg. The trip departs on July 26 and returns on July 28. It includes three Red Sox Games at Camden Yards, and two nights in the Crown Plaza in Timonium, Maryland, with full American breakfasts. Cost of the trip is $449 per person, double occupancy.
Weekly golf clinic: The golf clinic at Garrison Golf Course, 660 Hilldale Ave., has begun. The clinic is held on Wednesdays at 10 a.m. There is also a ladies golf clinic on Mondays at 9 a.m. Contact Ted Murphy at Garrison Golf Course at 978-374-9380 with questions.
Volunteers make blankets: The Blankets for Kids group meets every Tuesday from 9:30 to 11 a.m. No sewing or knitting skills are required, and blankets will go to the Department of Child Services in Haverhill. Call 978-374-2390 for details.
Wood carving class: The Council on Aging is offering a wood carving class on Fridays at 10 a.m. Students will be taught by master carver Fred Arakelian, who has won many wood carving 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 participants for free. The cost is $5 per class for an eight-week session. Registration is required for new students.
Other trips offered: The Council on Aging has added several new trips to the summer and fall season. A summer sail on the Schooner Thomas E. Lannon and visit to Gloucester and Rockport is scheduled for July 31. Cost of the trip is $93. The council is also offering a trip to the Ogunquit Playhouse for a performance of “West Side Story’’ on Sept. 15. This trip includes time in Perkins Cove for shopping and lunch on your own. Cost of the trip is $93. A fall foliage trip to White River Junction and Queechee George, Vermont, is also being offered. The trip includes a full-course luncheon at the Quechee Inn at Marshland Farms and a train tour on White River Flyer. Cost of the trip is $89 per person.
Lobster feast: A lobster feast on Cabbage Island in Boothbay Harbor, Maine, is planned for Aug. 15.
Helping military and their families: Local Heroes Inc. is a non-profit organization working to support our local servicemen and servicewomen and their families. All donations received go directly to them. Over the last eight years, Local Heroes Inc. has sent more than 15,000 packages to our military across the globe. Local Heroes Inc. needs your help to successfully reach its goal. Acts of charity from the community are extremely important to the success of our troops. The little things from home can have a large positive impact on the success of our soldiers. The Haverhill Council on Aging and Veterans Services would like to help Haverhill senior citizens and others to make these donations by collecting items and delivering them to Wilmington. Call 978-374-2390, ext. 11 or 16, for information on what items are requested or to volunteer to help with the project.
Trip to N.H. resort: The Council on Aging is offering an overnight trip to the Beacon Resort in Lincoln, N.H., on May 19 and 20. The trip includes the Beacon’s lobster bake dinner and lobster offered at every meal. Entertainment will be a live performance by Mark Stelton and Company with a Tribute to Broadway Show Tunes and Standards. Price is $169 per person, double occupancy.
Two trips planned: The Council on Aging is offering two new trips. Charlie Thomas and The Drifters will perform at the Danversport Yacht Club on June 12. Tickets are $79 per person and include transportation, luncheon and show. The second trip is the Isle of Shoals and Portsmouth Harbor Cruise on June 23. Cost is $89 and includes transportation, luncheon, harbor cruise and local touring.
:Chair massages with special pricing: Chair Massages are available at the Citizens Center on the first Tuesday of every month. Licensed massage therapist Susan Ploueffe offers senior citizen pricing at $5 per session. This service is provided on a walk-in basis.
Support for diabetics: A 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 with diabetes. No reservations are required to attend.
Line dancing classes: The Council on Aging offers 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.
Classes to reduce stress: Tai chi is a good way to help people find a calmer lifestyle. It helps reduce stress and anxiety, and also increases 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 Thursdays at 9 a.m. The cost is $5 per one-hour session. Call 978-374-2390 for details.
Support by phone: The Greater Haverhill Breakfast Exchange Club is sponsoring a new free program titled “Phone Pals” for housebound Haverhill senior citizens. Participating elders 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 firstname.lastname@example.org for additional information.
:Bingo volunteers sought: Volunteers to work at bingo games are need at the Citizens Center Mondays and Thursdays from noon to 2:30 p.m. Interested people are asked to call 978-374-2390.
Making the city bright: Haverhill’s Brightside is seeking the public’s help to support programs such as 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.
Receiving help 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 that number.
‘Mexican Train’ game: Dominoes “Mexican Train” is played at the Citizens Center on Thursdays at 10:30 a.m. If you are interested in learning how to play, contact the Council on Aging 978-374-2390. An instructor will teach novice players.
Weekly Scrabble games: A Scrabble group has formed and meets Wednesdays at 9:30 a.m. Players meet in the library in the basement level of the Citizens Center on Welcome Street.
Art classes: The Council on Aging is offering on-going art classes with Cara Smoley. Classes are 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 at Cooper Union in New York City and her BFA from the University of Colorado. She is a seasoned art instructor and welcomes all level of students into her mixed-media classes.
Help toward good nutrition: 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 are available at the Council on Aging office.
Zumba classes: Due to popular demand, the Council on Aging announces a second weekly Zumba Gold class on Tuesdays at 10:30 a.m. This is a Zumba Gold Toning class and incorporates light weights into the workout. This class is taught by certified Zumba Gold instruction Stephanie Smith and will complement the Thursday Zumba Gold class 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 more information.
:Help needed with 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 to specific locations. Anyone interested in helping is asked to call 978-374-2390, ext. 16.
Rides to medical appointments: Merrimack Valley Transportation 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.
Savings 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.
Help needed preparing lunches: The Council on Aging is seeking volunteers to assist with its Brown Bag program held 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 hospital and doctor appointments. If you can give a few hours a month to help, contact Kathy Fairchild at NEET (Northern Essex Elder Transportation) 978-388-7474. Several additional volunteer opportunities are also available.
Weekly bowling group: A bowling group meets on Mondays at 11 a.m. at the All Saints Bowling Center, 26 Broadway.
Drop-in Zumba class: Zumba Gold instructor Stephanie Smith holds classes every Thursday at 9:30 a.m. and the cost is $5 per week. This is offered as a drop-in class. Toning Zumba is offered every Tuesday at 10:30 a.m.
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.
:Health insurance questions answered: Anyone with issues or questions regarding health insurance can contact one of the Council on Aging’s SHINE counselors by calling 978-374-2390, ext. 19.
Bingo and Super Bingo: Bingo is played at the Citizens Center, 10 Welcome St., every Monday and Thursday at 1 p.m., and Super Bingo is played on Mondays only. All players who are 60 and older or disabled are welcome.
Trips all year long: The Council on Aging plans these trips:
June 7: Boston Pops “Film Night,” $89
June 12: The Drifters, Danversport Yacht Club, $79
June 23: Isle of Shoals and Portsmouth Harbor Cruise, $89
July 11: Tour of Little Italy, Providence, R.I., Joanne Travel, $72
:July 16: Lake Winnepesaukee and Castle in the Clouds, $90
July 31: Summer Sail, Gloucester and Rockport, $95
Aug. 15: Cabbage Island, $99
Sept. 5: The Corvettes Doo Wop Revue, Venus De Milo, $59
Sept. 15: Ogunquit Play House “West Side Story,’’ $93
Oct. 12: Fall Foliage Train Ride and White River Junction/Quechee Gorge, $89
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 contacting Kathy Bresnahan (ext. 11) or Rita LaBella (ext. 16) at 978-374-2390 or email@example.com.