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COA Announces December News, Programs & Events

Nov 30, 2015 06:00AM ● By Pamela Johnson
Following is a summary of news, activities and events at the Bellingham senior center on Blackstone Street.

• The Elder Service Group will hold a soup & sandwich lunch on Tuesday, Dec. 1, at 12 pm. The cost is $5/members, $8/non-members. Prizes will be awarded after the 1 pm meeting. Members are reminded that annual membership dues ($5/person) are now due. The next meeting is scheduled for Jan. 5, 2016, at 1 pm, after the monthly luncheon.

• TRIAD Meeting—On Thursday, Dec. 3, at 11 am, learn more about how to prevent scams, fraud and abuse. Sign up by 8:30 am on Dec 3, and a light lunch will be provided at no cost. Also, pick up your free File of Life. Please join us.

• Lions Club-Sponsored Senior Luncheon—This annual event, hosted by the Franklin & Bellingham Lions Clubs, will be held on Saturday, Dec. 5. A free turkey luncheon is available for all senior citizens of Bellingham and Franklin at one of two sittings, 11 am and 1 pm, at the Senior Center, 40 Blackstone Street, Bellingham. Space is limited; call or sign up at the Bellingham Senior Center, 508-966-0398. (Bellingham seniors who would like a ride are asked to call 508-657-2709.)

• Blood Pressure Clinic with Nurse Sarah—Monday, Dec. 7, 8–11 am, at the senior center. Free, walk-in clinic sponsored by the Board of Health.

• Massage Therapy available with Dennis Nowak on Mon., Dec. 7, by appointment. A 20-minute session is $10 for those age 60 and older. Advance registration and health information forms required. Call the senior center, 508-966-0398.                           

• Genealogy Workshops with Toni Picariello on Monday, Dec. 7 and 21, 2–4 pm. Free.

• Senior Flu Shot Clinic—Tuesday, Dec. 8, at the Senior Center, 10 am–12 pm, by Walgreens for Bellingham seniors. Bring your Medicare and any other insurance cards. No appointments needed.

• Bellingham Council on Aging meeting—Tuesday, Dec. 8, at 1 pm. Learn more about services and programs available for you here. Refreshments are served and an attendance prize is awarded.

• Annual Christmas Party—Thursday, Dec.10, at 11:30 am, at 40 Blackstone Street (limited to 125 people). Catering by Chef du Jour; musical entertainment by Ray Nault. Event is co-sponsored by the COA and Elder Service Group. Tickets are $10/pp for group members; $15pp for all others. For additional information, call 508-966-0398. Please note that this year there will be no gift exchange.
NOTE: December 10 is also last call for the annual Christmas Giving Tree. Mittens, hats, scarves, socks and other handmade items will be accepted at the Center until Dec. 10, when items will be packed up and sent out for distribution to those in need before the holidays. Thank you!

• Aqua Turf Club Holiday Show—Bus will depart for Connecticut at 8:30 AM on Tuesday, Dec. 15, for a special day including a delicious family style luncheon, musical entertainment, and singing with carolers; return at 5:30 pm. Cost is $77/pp including driver’s gratuity. Call Rita at 508-657-2714 or pick up a flyer (with rules & deadlines) at the Senior Center.

• Legal Consultations—Attorney Daniel T. Doyle is available on Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2–4 pm, by appointment. Please call 508-966-0398.

Senior Safety Programs:
• Thursday, Dec. 17, 10:30 am—Explore the Hazard House which looks a lot like a doll house that has safety hazards in it that may help us identify hazards in our homes and come up with ways we can eliminate danger and remain safe and sound.

• Tuesday, Dec. 22, 10:30 am—Cooking Safety.Learn and share a variety of cooking safety tips. Get a refresher with the use of a cooking prop from the Dept. of Fire Services which comes furnished with different cooking accessories.

• Home Safety Inspection—Firefighter volunteers will come to your home and perform a complimentary safety inspection. The firefighters use a check-list of safety hazards and recommend any improvements to make your home safer.

• Lock Boxes—the fire department still has for seniors a supply of grant-funded lock boxes (a small secure combination box installed on the outside of your home in which to store keys so they’re available to first responders in an emergency).
Call the Bellingham Senior Center, 508-966-0398, or BFD Pvt. Brad Kwatcher, 508-966-1112, for information on all of these programs.

• Financial Mentoring Program with Gerald Loftin, CFP® —Thursday, Dec. 17, 10 am–12 pm (by appt.), at the Bellingham Senior Center. Reserve your space to get honest and unbiased answers to many of your finance-related questions. Free.

• Holiday Craft Program—Please join the Blackstone-Millville Moms and their little ones to complete a snowman craft, sing carols and snack on some sweets at the Senior Center on Tuesday, Dec. 29, at 10:30 am. Sign up by Friday, Dec. 11, at 508-966-0398.

• 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).

• C.H.O.R.E. Handyman Service—Minor repairs can be made 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. For a flyer or to request service, call 508-657-2708. Sponsored by the Bellingham Council on Aging with funding from the Massachusetts Executive Office of Elder Affairs.

• Volunteer Ombudsmen Sought—As a volunteer Ombudsman, you can make a difference by being a voice for elders living in nursing homes. In just an hour or two a week you can provide information and advocacy for residents of nursing homes and rest homes. Training is provided. Please call Tri-Valley (TVES) to register for upcoming training at 1-800-286-6640.

• Bellingham-GATRA 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. A flyer with complete information is available by calling 508-657-2709.

• Aiding the Homeless—There is a small box at the Senior Center to collect donated items (travel sizes are especially helpful) for the local homeless shelter. As we approach the holiday season, we are requesting good sturdy outerwear for the mothers in these families. The children will receive toys from the various agencies, but not so much for moms. Since many left  home with no other thought than to escape the pain and injuries resulting from domestic violence, they would appreciate receiving a donated winter jacket that is clean and in good condition. We will be collecting them (any size) through the first week in December. Contact Betty Willey or Kay Page at 508-657-2714 for information and to make donation arrangements.
Senior Zumba—Tuesdays, 3–4 pm.  Dance moves set to music and adjustable for all abilities, with Instructor Suezy; $2 per class—pay as you go. (Or try the new Beginners Line-dancing on Mondays at 1 pm for the same cost.)

Daytime Pitch—Tuesdays, 2–4 pm. Free. If you haven’t played in a long time or you want to give it a try as a beginner, call Gordon, 508-657-2714, for more information.

Motion to Music—BCC Arts Director Linda Trudeau has been teaching this class, on Wednesdays at 11:30 am, for over seven years. “Being active makes one feel better and think better and faster; in most cases, it helps you sleep better and live longer, all while making new friends and having a good time,” says Trudeau. Everyone works at their own level. Wear comfortable clothing and rubber-soled shoes. This free class is sponsored by the Bellingham Cultural Council, in conjunction with the MA Cultural Council, the Bellingham Senior Center and the town of Bellingham.

Yogilates—Thursdays, 10–11 am. It is a combination of Yoga and Pilates. These exercises increase flexibility, muscle toning, and strengthening of your core. They are also great for reducing stress. Our instructor is Kay Thomas, provided by the Franklin YMCA, and the cost is $5 per class.

Tai Chi—Fridays, 1 pm, with Instructor Jean Donnelly. Practicing Tai Chi regularly has many positive health benefits, and studies indicate that those who practice Tai Chi regularly are less likely to fall than those who do not. Cost is $5 for seniors 60+; $10 for non-seniors.
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