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Bellingham COA Announces December News & Events

Dec 01, 2014 06:00AM ● By Pamela Johnson

Helping out in the kitchen during the annual craft fair at the Bellingham senior center are (L-R) Gordon Curtis, Patty Levesque, Kay Page and Pierrette Corriveau. Always a popular event, the craft fair also doubles as a fundraiser for the COA.

Bellingham-GATRA Senior & Handicapped Transportation
If you are at least 60 years of age or a younger disabled resident, we provide rides in town and the surrounding area up to 10 miles. Our vans can even accommodate wheelchairs or riders that use canes or walkers. If you are requesting a ride for the first time, you will be screened for eligibility. While no fare is charged, suggested donations are gratefully accepted and used for transportation-related needs over and above the town’s budget. This is not a taxi service, but a shared ride that provides curb-to-curb service with advance notice of at least one day for local requests. Call the Center and one of our staff will take your reservation and confirm your information and ride arrangements. We can take you shopping, to the barber, doctor, and bank or for other errands, and even bring you to the Senior Center. Flyers with complete information are available by calling 508-966-0398.

Lions Clubs to Sponsor Senior Luncheon
The Bellingham and Franklin Lions Clubs will sponsor a senior luncheon on Saturday, Dec. 6, 2014. This free holiday turkey lunch is for all senior citizens of Bellingham and Franklin. The senior luncheon will be held at the Bellingham Senior Center, 40 Blackstone Street in Bellingham. There will be two sittings, one at 11 am, and another at 1 pm. Since space is limited, all senior citizens should call or sign up at the Bellingham or Franklin senior centers to reserve their place and/or ride.

Elder Service Group News
Everyone is cordially invited to the next BESG meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 2, at 1 pm.  Prizes will be awarded, and an ice cream and cake dessert for all guests will be served after the meeting. The cost is $1 for members, $3 for others. Members are reminded to check their mailboxes for the 2015 Elder Service dues letter. Membership in the Elder Service Group runs January—December. The next meeting is scheduled for January 6, 2015, at 1 pm. Please consider joining the group.BESG thanks Oakland Grove Health Center for its generosity.

Bellingham Council on Aging News

The next COA meeting will be held on Tuesday, Jan. 13, 2015, at 1 pm. Come and learn more about the services and programs available for you here. Refreshments are served and an attendance prize is awarded.

Please note that the COA policy is to suspend Dial-A-Ride transportation services and senior center meals and activities during legal holidays and on the days the Bellingham Public Schools are closed because of snow or other bad weather.

If you are struggling to heat your home, give the center a call.  We are the town’s intake site for the SMOC Fuel Assistance Program for all ages.

Christmas Holiday Dinner Dance—Join us at the Medway VFW on Dec. 15, at 11:30 am, for a sit-down roast beef dinner starting at noon. Meal  includes soup, salad, rolls & butter, potato, gravy, vegetable, and ice cream, $17/pp. All area residents are welcome to sign up at 40 Blackstone St, Bellingham or call 508-966-0398. No refund if cancelled after Dec. 12.  The VFW is at 123 Holliston St, Medway. Music is provided by DJ Dave Valerio with couples dancing and line-dancing with Mary Lennon, prize drawings, and a cash bar.

S.H.I.N.E.—If you need information or assistance with any aspect of your health insurance, SHINE offers appointments at the Bellingham Senior Center on Tuesdays with Judy and Lee Katz.  Call 508-966-0398 and ask for a SHINE appointment.  You can also reach a SHINE volunteer by phone at 1-800-AGE-INFO (1-800-243-4636 ext 3).

Christmas Giving Tree—Last Call! Stop by the Center and you will see this year’s giving tree is filling up. We are still accepting mittens, hats, scarves, socks and other handmade items. Donations may be dropped off at the Center at any time up to Dec. 10, and will be packed up and sent out for distribution to the needy before the holidays. Thanks in advance for your help.
Yoga Tuesdays—Want to increase your flexibility, balance and strength? Learn breathing techniques that will create a feeling of well-being and relaxation. Spend sixty minutes, starting at 10:30 am, with instructor Susan Winters for only $3 per class. This form of yoga is gentle and provides energy and fitness. Dress comfortably, and bring your mat or use one of ours.  This class is for all ages and capabilities. If you prefer to do yoga seated in a chair, come to the 9:30 am Chair Yoga class (same low price per class).

Is Your Chi In Check? Join us on Fridays, at 1 pm, to try the ancient discipline of Tai Chi. This fitness activity combines agile steps, joint-safe exercise and mental strength to improve mobility, breathing, and relaxation in ways that help you feel in greater control over your daily life. It’s a way for people of all ages to enjoy life and meet new friends, while taking control of your physical, emotional and mental health. Tai Chi may improve relaxation, concentration, memory, balance, muscle stamina, and more. Instructor is Jeanne Donnelly. Fee per class: 60 years old and up, $5; non-seniors, $10. For more information call 508-966-0398.

Senior High Jinx
On Dec. 5 at 1:30 pm, the Senior Center Players will present their first annual High Jinx Talent Show. The program is open to all senior members of the Bellingham area. It will be an old-fashioned vaudeville show with magic, dance, song, and skits. If you wish to be in the audience, tickets purchased in advance are $1.00 each; tickets purchased on the day of the show are $5.00 each. A cash drawing will be held during intermission, with 1/3 going to the winning ticket holder, 1/3 to the food pantry, and 1/3 to the Bellingham Elder Service Group. Refreshments will be served during intermission.

 Vital Sign & Blood Pressure Clinic with Nurse Sarah
Monday, Dec. 1, 2013, from 8 to 11 am.  Free. The BOH Blood Pressure Clinic will take place at the senior center, 40 Blackstone St., Bellingham. Walk-ins welcome. No appointment needed.
C.H.O.R.E. Service— Chore Service provides minor repairs to your home by an honest, reliable and experienced handyman at a modest rate, or even no cost to you, depending on your gross income. You are asked to pay for the materials needed for your repair. Priority is given to low-income households and repairs that address safety and health concerns. We take care of routine household repairs and also the installation of new items like carbon monoxide detectors, smoke detectors, window a/c units, or grab-bars in the bath area. For a flyer or to request service, call 508-966-0398. This program is sponsored by the Bellingham Council on Aging with partial grant funding from the Massachusetts Executive Office of Elder Affairs.

My Senior Center
Thanks to each and every one of you who scan your key card when visiting the Center. This new computerized system is up and running and available to use in Bellingham as well as almost two hundred other Massachusetts senior centers. If you don’t have one of these cards, please mention it to the greeter when you arrive or a staff person at the front desk. Every visitor should have a card for signing in. If you move or have a new phone number or emergency contact, let us know. This program helps us keep track of the traffic at the Center, and every swipe counts. You help to make our reports accurate, show how busy and active we are, and support our funding requests.

Thank You!!!
The Senior Center’s annual Craft Fair in November was once again a huge success, bringing hundreds of new visitors into the Center and raising over $2,000 to benefit Bellingham’s senior center.  These funds will continue to partially subsidize wellness activities and help pay for a volunteer appreciation event. The Council and staff thank Event Coordinator Joan Mallard,  as well the many donors and all those who supported our event in any way.
It was a fun-filled day, including many prize drawings, a gift table, bake sale, food concession and fabulous musical entertainment provided by Paul “Polka Paul” Belanger, DJ extraordinaire, and twenty-seven participating vendors.

Unlike similar events done for fundraising purposes, the COA sponsors the Craft Fair and charges no admission. Most vendors are local seniors or small business owners and no fee or table rental is charged. However, the majority of these vendors generously give the senior center hand-crafted items or monetary donations, contributing to the proceeds realized from the day.  Our goal is to provide an opportunity for residents, most especially those fifty and older, to discover more about what we do and offer all our seniors and their families a fun and relaxing way to start the holiday season.

Bellingham Stuff



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