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COA Announces Activities & Events Planned for March

Feb 26, 2015 09:00PM ● By Pamela Johnson

The Bellingham Senior Center is centrally located, at 40 Blackstone Street. Tel: 508-966-0398.

In conjunction with Tri Valley Services, the Bellingham COA offers six weekly workshops for the family caregivers of older adults between April 9 and May 14, 1–3 p.m.  This program will help you take care of yourself while caring for an older relative or friend. You will benefit from this class whether you are helping a parent, a friend, your spouse, or someone who lives in a nursing home.

This class will give the family caregiver tools to help reduce stress; communicate effectively with other family members, your doctor, and paid help; take care of yourself; reduce guilt, anger and depression; help you relax; make tough decisions; set goals; and problem-solve.
To register before April contact Laura Black Silver, LICSW, Caregiver Specialist, Tri-Valley Inc. at mailto:[email protected] or 1-800-286-6640, x-3079; or Laura DeMattia, Bellingham Senior Center Director, 508-966-0398 or Mailto:[email protected].

To arrange lunch any day before class starts, call 508-966-0398 by 8:45 a.m.; cost is $1 per lunch. Rides are available by calling 508-966-0398 the day before class.
Elder Service Group Happenings

Elder Service Group Chinese Buffet: Tuesday, March 3, 12 p.m.: enjoy chicken chow mein, beef lo mein, pork fried rice, chicken fingers, chicken wings, egg rolls and fortune cookies. Members pay $5; all others, $8. Sign up at the Senior Center, and drop your membership dues in the BESG mailbox.

TRIAD Meeting & “R-U-OK?”: Seniors interested in learning more about the many helpful programs sponsored by the Norfolk County Sheriff’s Office are invited to come to this month’s meeting at the Bellingham Senior Center on Thursday, March 5, at 11 a.m. Files of Life are available at the meeting.

“R-U-OK?” provides safety and security for elderly people living alone. Every morning, an officer from the Norfolk County Sheriff’s Office places a phone call to check on the well-being of people who have signed up for the program. If they fail to answer or indicate they need emergency aid, the officer summons help immediately. People interested in learning more about “R-U-OK?” or signing up for it should call the Norfolk County Sheriff’s Office toll-free at 1-866-900-7865 (RUOK).

Bellingham Council on Aging News

  • The next COA meeting will be held on Tuesday, March 10, at 1 p.m. Learn more about the services and programs available at the senior center.  Refreshments are served and an attendance prize is awarded. We’ll be resuming evening programs next month. Look for the full details here.
  • Savvy Social Security--Thursday, March 12, 1 p.m. in the Bellingham Senior Center dining room, John Hallosy from the Society for Financial Awareness will present a free 90-minute workshop that will explain the surprising benefits and pitfalls of Social Security. This workshop is also scheduled for the Bellingham Public Library at 6:30 p.m.
  • St. Patrick’s Day Event--Please join State Senator Ryan Fattman at the senior center on March 17, 12 p.m, to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day “the Fattman Way.” This is a great opportunity to meet and speak with your new state senator.
  • Learn About Arthritis--Join us on Thursday, March 19, 10:30 a.m., when a Blue Cross Wellness Representative will be present to talk about this common disease and what you can do to control it. Registration suggested but not required. Please join us.
  • Mohegan Sun Casino Day Trip--Depart from the Bellingham Senior Center on Thursday, March 19; the package includes a $15 free food coupon, a $15 free bet, and a chance for a free trip. Leave at 7:45 a.m.; return about 5 p.m. No refund if cancelled after Mar. 17. The cost is $22/pp including the driver’s tip.
  • Self-Defense and Safety--Coming up on March 24, at 1:30 p.m., Jean Donnelly, our Tai Chi instructor, will provide a lesson called Safety and Self Defense for women to learn techniques to keep themselves safe in the event of a personal attack. This is a repeat of a popular event held several years ago. At our last class the women ranged in age from 58 to 91; it was fabulous to see their renewed self-confidence after the program. Use this opportunity to learn some basic skills, practice routines, and take charge. All ages welcome.
  • Monthly Birthday Party--This month’s luncheon is set for Thursday, March 26, at 12 p.m. A clam cakes & chowder buffet for $7/pp is planned. This event always includes birthday cake and ice cream, and everyone with a March birthday will receive a gift. Reservations must be accompanied by your payment, and there is no refund if you cancel after March 24. All residents 90+ are invited free with a reservation during their birthday month. This month’s birthday cake has been donated by Franklin Health & Rehabilitation Center.
WWII: From Hawaii to Japan—This month begins the first of three discussions about WWII with historian Gary Hylander.
Remember Pearl Harbor--Friday, March 27, at 1:00 p.m. Two years after Hitler’s armies swept across Poland, Japan’s air attack at Pearl Harbor globalized the conflict. What followed was World War II, the most cataclysmic event of the twentieth century.             
There will be a small suggested donation—bring an item for the Food Pantry or make a cash donation for each program.  For those of you who have attended one of his lectures, you know he is fascinating to listen to and always allows time for questions. Come and learn new aspects of this historical period.
Learn to Paint with Darrell Crow--If you have ever thought about giving painting a try, now is the time. You have the opportunity to learn right here at the Bellingham Senior Center on Tuesday or Wednesday afternoons with a talented and patient instructor who will include all your supplies at a huge senior discount. Call at 508-966-0398 for more information and a class schedule or go to
We are living longer. Are we living better?--Wednesdays beginning March 25 at the Millville Senior Center, 40 Prospect St., 10 a.m.– 2:30 p.m. The Aging Mastery Program is an approach to living that celebrates the gift of longevity. The program combines goal-setting, daily practices, and peer support to help participants make meaningful changes in their lives. Central to the AMP philosophy is the belief that modest lifestyle changes can produce big results and that people can be empowered and supported to cultivate health and longevity. Focus areas will include healthy eating, financial fitness, sleep, exercise, healthy relationships, community engagement, and the importance of oral health, medication management, keeping up with technology, advance planning, and falls prevention.

We are recruiting 30 adults (ages 55+) to participate in this 12-week educational program. The weekly program and a free delicious healthy lunch are free. Still undecided?  Call Jill Anderson at the center for more information, 508-883-3523 M, Tu, Th, 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m.                                                                                                                                                 

Does Medicare cover fitness programs?

While Original Medicare does not cover gym memberships or fitness programs, some Medicare Advantage (HMO or PPO) plans and Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap) plans do.  Many offer a Fitness Benefit that can save you up to $150 per calendar year in qualified health club membership fees and exercise classes.  Some plans offer the Silver Sneakers program.  Fitness classes available at senior centers may also be eligible for reimbursement.
Contact your plan to get information about what fitness benefits it offers.  Make sure you don't miss the deadline for getting reimbursed for fitness expenses you paid in 2014!

The Central MASS SHINE Program is now sponsoring a monthly Cable TV program called SHINE's MEDICARE AND MORE we hope your local cable channel will pick it up.  This program is designed to educate and update MEDICARE beneficiaries and their families on MEDICARE and other programs that can assist you with your health insurance needs.  If you don't see it on your local cable channel give them call and ask about it.
The Central Mass Region has recently launched its website.  You can visit it on the web at Our site has valuable general information and links to other agencies that can assist you with your insurance needs.
If you need information or assistance with any aspect of your health insurance, SHINE offers appointments at the Bellingham Senior Center on Tuesdays in March 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.

Benefits Check-Up

Have you heard about Benefits Check-up? This new version is designed for Massachusetts residents at least 60 years old. It takes about 30 minutes to enter your information, and you may be amazed at the results. The program is designed to identify local, state and federal programs for which you are eligible. If you'd like to discover what programs you are eligible for call the Center and make an appointment with either Lisa or Sheila. It's done on-line, is confidential, and there is no charge.




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