hgazette.com, Haverhill, MA

September 19, 2013

Senior Citizen Corner

Community craft fair is next month


The Haverhill Gazette

---- — This is the season for fairs, and the Council on Aging plans one of its major events for next month.

The council will host a craft fair on Oct. 19 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Citizens Center, 10 Welcome St.

Local senior citizens will be selling handcrafted items.

More information is available from Kathy Bresnahan or Rita LaBella at 978-374-2390.

IF YOU GO

What: Council on Aging craft fair

When: Oct. 19 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Where: Citizens Center, 10 Welcome St.

Here are other events and activities for Haverhill senior citizens:

Halloween dance planned: Get your dancing shoes ready and save the date.

The Council on Aging is planning a Halloween Dance for Oct. 31 at 12:30 p.m. Costumes will be optional, and prizes will be awarded for the best costumes.

A Goodtime D.J. George Whitehouse will provide music, and as a special treat Whitehouse will bring his wicked fun Coney Island Photo booth. More details will be announced.

:Visit the symphony: The Boston Symphony Orchestra is offering visits to morning rehearsals, and the Council on Aging has tickets for the Oct. 17 10:30 a.m. rehearsal.

This is an opportunity to meet new conductor Andris Nelsons. The program includes works of Wagner, Mozart and Brahms. Tickets are $40 for first-balcony center seats and transportation. Call 978-374-2390 to make your reservations. Seating is limited.

:Lecture on dementia: Darcey Adams, vice president of Community Programs and Care Transitions for Lahey Health Senior Care, will present “When to Worry About Memory Loss — Normal Aging vs. Dementia.”

The presentation will be Sept. 24 at the Citizens Center, 10 Welcome St., at 10 a.m. Learn how aging changes the brain and discover strategies for managing challenging behaviors. This is a program for caregivers and all who are concerned with memory loss. Call Kathy Bresnahan or Rita LaBella at 978-374-2390 to register.

:Learn about tinnitus: Join Digital Hearing Healthcare of Bradford, Georgetown, and Newburyport at the Citizens Center, 10 Welcome St., on Sept. 25 at 10:30 a.m. to learn more about the persistent noise of tinnitus.

Tinnitus is not a disease, but a symptom of an underlying health condition such as an ear infection or injury. Learn to take control of your tinnitus and rediscover life without the constant buzzing, hissing or pulsing in your ears.

Complimentary lunch will be provided. Contact Kathy Bresnahan or Rita LaBella at 978-374-2390 at the Council on Aging to make your reservation.

:Important Medicare information on the way: Don’t ignore your Medicare mail.

If you have a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan or a Medicare Advantage Plan (HMO, PPO), you should be receiving information from your plan by the end of September. It is important to understand and save this information because it explains the changes in your plan for 2014.

During the annual Medicare open enrollment period (Oct. 15 to Dec. 7), you will have a chance to change your plan for next year. SHINE counselors can help you understand your plan changes, as well as other options you may have. For an appointment, contact the Council on Aging at 978-374-2390, ext. 19.

Seeing a show: Best of Times is offering “Liza and Judy Together Again” at Venus De Milo in Swansea on Nov. 12.

Tickets are $79 per person and include luncheon, show and motor coach transportation.

Overnight trip planned: Due to popular demand, the Council on Aging is hosting an overnight trip to the White Mountain Hotel in North Conway, N.H., Nov. 21 and 22.

This trip includes great dining, holiday entertainment, special cocktail pricing and shopping at the Christmas Dove and Calef’s Country Store in Barrington, N.H. Cost is $230 per person, double occupancy. Contact the Council on Aging for additional details.

Looking for volunteers: People are needed at the Citizens Center on Mondays and Thursdays from noon until about 3 p.m.

For details, call 978-374-2390.

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.

There are many new friends to meet at bingo, and we welcome all players who are 60 and older or disabled.

In case of emergency: Make the 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, ext. 38.

Looking for Medicare volunteers: 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.

Improve your golf game: The Council on Aging 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 Monday Mornings at 9 a.m. Contact Ted Murphy at the Garrison Golf Course at 978-374-9380 for more information.

Drivers needed: The NEET (Northern Essex Elder Transport Inc.) program is in need of volunteer drivers to help senior citizens get to medical appointments.

Reimbursement is made at 43 cents per mile. Please contact Kathy Fairchild at 978-388-7474.

Green thumbs wanted: The Haverhill Garden Club is looking for new members.

Membership includes 10 presentations by horticultural experts. Contact Carol Sobel at 978-377-0106 for more information.

Blanket group: The Blankets for Kids group meets every Tuesday from 9:30 to 11 p.m.

No sewing or knitting skills are required, and blankets will go to the Department of Child Services in Haverhill. This is an opportunity for senior citizens and others to volunteer for a valuable cause. Contact Kathy or Rita at 978-374-2390 for details.

Wood carving class offered: The Council on Aging wood carving class is in full swing Fridays at 10 a.m.

Students are taught by master carver Fred Arakelian. He 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 is $5 per class for an eight-week session. Registration is required for new students.

Helping heroes: Local Heroes Inc. is a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization working to support our local servicemen, servicewomen and their families.

All donations received go directly to these heroes. Over the last eight years, Local Heroes Inc. has sent more than 15,000 packages to military worldwide. The Council on Aging and Veterans Services would like to help Haverhill senior citizens and others make these donations by collecting items and delivering the donations to the Wilmington Council on Aging. Call 978-374-2390, ext. 11 or 16, for information on what items are requested or to volunteer to help.

Massages offered: 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.

For seniors with diabetes: 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 of Home Health VNA leads the group. This group provides important information to help senior citizens living with diabetes. No reservations are required to attend.

Reduce stress through tai chi: 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 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.

Bingo volunteers: People are needed to work at bingo at the Citizens Center Mondays and Thursdays from noon until 2:30.

Please call 978-374-2390 if you are interested.

Help beautify the city: The Haverhill’s Brightside group is reorganizing and needs help.

Many programs are in progress, including Bloomfest, Adopt-A-Park, community gardens and clean-ups. Interested people are encouraged to become involved help to beautify the city. For more information, contact Elaine Barker at 978-372-3861.

Save this number: 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.

Fun and games: Dominoes “Mexican Train” is played at the Citizens Center on Thursdays at 10:30 a.m.

If you are interested, call the Council on Aging 978-374-2390. An instructor teaches novice players. Also, 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 offered: 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 inch 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 students of all levels to her mixed-media classes.

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.

Zumba Gold returns: 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 incorporating light weights into the workout. The 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.

Alzheimer’s support: 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 help: There are several tax-saving opportunities to assist senior citizens with property taxes available.

Veterans, blind persons, elderly, and hardship deferrals are obtained by application to the Assessors Office at City Hall.

Help delivering ‘The Voice’: 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 to specific locations. If you would be interested in helping, please call 978-374-2390, ext. 16.

Transportation services: The 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.

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 needed to help seniors: 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 for about three hours 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 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.

Bowling for health: Stay in shape by joining our bowling group which meets on Mondays at 11 a.m. at the newly renovated All Saints Bowling Center at 26 Broadway.

Yoga for all: Yoga is offered twice a week at the Citizens Center.

Tuesdays at 6:30, Flyn Costello leads a one-hour yoga class for people of all ages. On Tuesday afternoons at 1, Mary Van Abs offers a 1½ hour gentle senior yoga class. Cost is $5 for a one-hour class and $7.50 for a l ½ hour class.

Newsletter: Be sure to pick up a copy of the 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 a copy via email.