The city’s Council on Aging contributes this regular column.
:Trip to New Hampshire resort: Haverhill Council on Aging is offering an overnight trip to the Beacon Resort in Lincoln, N.H., May 19 and 20. This trip includes the Beacon’s Fabulous 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.
Help for diabetes victims: 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 with diabetes. No reservations are required to attend.
Diabetes education: Home Health VNA would like to offer diabetes education in the community. A certified diabetes educator would provide education services to those diagnosed with diabetes. This program would be provided in groups, but each person would receive one individual session. All sessions are covered by Medicare. topics to be included are healthY eating, being active, blood sugar monitoring, medications, problem solving, reducing complications and healthy coping with diabetes. If you are interested in participating, please contact Mary Connolly, R.N., at the Council on Aging 978-374-2390, ext. 15.
Pain workshop: The Council on Aging is hosting a six-week Chronic Pain Workshop on Tuesdays from 1 to 3:30 p.m. The workshop began March 5. Anyone who has been diagnosed with fibromyalgia, diabetic neuropathy, Crohn’s disease or other illnesses that include ongoing pain will benefit from this workshop. Learn to control your pain, deal with frustration, eat well and start an exercise program. Call 978-552-4674 to register. The workshop is sponsored by Elder Services of the Merrimack Valley, HomeCare, Inc. and Hebrew Senior Life.
Chair massages: Chair massages are available at the Citizens Center on the first Tuesday of every month. Licensed massage therapist Susan Ploueffe offers senior cioizen pricing at $5 per session. This service is provided on a walk-in basis.
Line dancing classes: The Council on Aging offers 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 for this class.
Tai chi classes: After the stressful holidays, tai chi provides a way to a calmer way of life. Tai Chi helps reduce stress and anxiety, and 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. The cost is $5 per one-hour session. Call 978-374-2390 for details.
Spring 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. A trip to The Don Who? Show at Wrights Farm Restaurant in Harrisville, R.I., for $49 per person will be on April 26. A tour of Little Italy in Providence, R.I., will happen May 15 for $72 per person. Contact the Council on Aging for additional information.
Phone support for elders: The Greater Haverhill Breakfast Exchange Club is sponsoring a new free program titled “Phone Pals” for housebound Haverhill senior citizens. 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 Program Coordinator Elizabeth Vallerand at 978 398-5228 or firstname.lastname@example.org for additional information.
Help sought for parks, cleanups: Haverhill’s Brightside is reorganizing and is seeking 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. For additional information, contact Elaine Barker at 978-372-3861.
Phone support offered: 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.
Games played at center: 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 at 978-374-2390. An instructor will teach novice players.
Bingo volunteers sought: Volunteers to work at bingo are needed at the Citizens Center Mondays and Thursdays from noon to 2:30 p.m. Anyone interested is asked to call 978-374-2390.
Scrabble games played: 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 are held every Thursday from 12:15 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 her BFA from the University of Colorado. She is a seasoned art instructor and welcomes all levels of students into her mixed-media classes.
Help with healthy eating: The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program is a federal program providing financial help to senior citizens and others who cannot afford to pay for 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 class will be a Zumba Gold Toning class incorporating light weights. The class will be taught by certified Zumba Gold instructor 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 families of Alzheimer’s patients: 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.
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 seeking volunteers to collate newsletters and deliver them to specific locations. Anyone interested in helping is asked to call 978-374-2390, ext. 16.
:Health insurance questions answered: People with issues or questions regarding health insurance are encouraged to contact a SHINE counselor. Appointments can be made by calling 978-374-2390, ext. 19.
Commuter train discounts: People 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.
Bowling group welcomes members: A bowling group meets on Mondays at 11 a.m. at the newly renovated All Saints Bowling Center, 26 Broadway. New members are welcome.
Lunch program helpers needed: The Council on Aging is seeking volunteers to assist with its Brown Bag Program held on the first Tuesday of each 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 unable to drive and have difficulty getting to appointments at area hospitals and doctors. If you can give a few hours a month to assist, contact Kathy Fairchild at NEET (Northern Essex Elder Transportation) at 978-388-7474. Several additional volunteer opportunities are also available.
Rides to medical appointments: 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 served 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.
Yoga classes: Yoga is offered twice a week at the Citizens Center. Tuesdays at 6:30 p.m., Flyn Costello leads a one-hour yoga 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.
:Piano lessons: Piano instructor Helen Hamilton is offering private beginner lessons at the Citizens Center on Mondays. The cost is $12.
:Bingo players welcome: 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 who are 60 and older or disabled are welcome.
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 other activities. Please check the City of Haverhill website for a listing.
Trips planned all year: The Council on Aging plans the following trips:
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 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 contacting Kathy Bresnahan (ext. 11) or Rita LaBella (ext. 16) at 978-374-2390 or email@example.com.