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October News & Programs for Seniors Announced

Sep 29, 2016 06:00AM ● By Pamela Johnson

Bellingham Senior Center

COA Director Laura DeMattia has announced the following news and upcoming programs at the Bellingham Senior Center.

Genealogy—Monday Genealogy Workshops are scheduled on October 3 and November 7, 2–4 pm, with Toni Picariello. Find out more about your family history at your own pace. Toni will bring some “Google” tricks she learned at a genealogy seminar she attended to make your searches easier. If you have a laptop, please bring it; the class is only 2 hours with limited time to do research for each person.  For this meeting, please pick one relative we can try to research; try to get as much information you can on that person—birth date, death date, where they lived, etc.  Also, if you have done any research, we can discuss what and how you did. If you are thinking of installing any genealogy software on your computer, check out Come to one or all workshops; there is no fee if you are 60 years of age or older.

Mobile Shredding—Protect your identity with Mobile shredding sponsored by DA Morrissey. Bellingham seniors are invited to come to the Senior Center and safely dispose of sensitive and personal documents to further protect themselves from identity theft and fraud. Nearly 25% of all complaints to the Federal Trade Commission are related to identity theft. Of those complaints, more than half are from persons aged 50 and older. In 2009, the dollar amount stolen was $21 billion, equating to 1 incident of identity fraud every few seconds. Protect yourself and your identity. On October 6, 9am—12pm, speak to DA Michael Morrissey’s staff and shred tax, financial, legal and other personal documents free of charge; they will bring a shredding truck for this purpose. This event, organized to heighten awareness about identity theft and fraud, is sponsored by Norfolk District Attorney Michael Morrissey. Light refreshments will be served.

Backyard Birders with Frank & Leslie—Because of the overwhelming success of this new program, two more meetings have been scheduled this month, on Thursday, Oct. 6 and 13, at 11:15am. We will be discussing both migratory and common birds in our yards as well as shrubs and plants that attract birds, birds spotted locally, bird houses, and how to attract and enjoy more bird visits. Call 508-966-0398 and let us know you will be joining us or if you need a ride here or home after the program.

Health Plan Options for Seniors—Learn more about your choices for a health plan for 2017 on Thursday, Oct. 6, at 1 pm. Health Plan Options for seniors is a presentation and discussion led by a Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts representative and geared towards individuals on Medicare who may have questions about their health plan or other available plan types. The presentation will focus on the differences between Medigap and Medicare Advantage plans, and explain when enrollees can switch plans. If you need a ride give us a call in advance at 508-657-2709.

Wreath Workshop—Brian Perrico of Brian’s Country Greenery will conduct a seasonal craft workshop at the Bellingham Senior Center on Tuesday, October 11, at 6 pm. Brian provides the guidance and supplies. You pay $15 and leave with a completed fall wreath for your home and a new skill. Limited to ten people, so stop by and see the sample wreath Brian left for us to display and get your name on the list as soon as possible by calling 508-966-0398.

Prescription Brown Bag Event—Thursday, Oct. 13, 40 Blackstone Street, 12–2 pm. Bring all of your current medications (including prescription medicines, over-the-counter items, herbal medicines, vitamins and supplements) in a brown bag and learn about their common uses, side-effects, and interactions with other medications. A pharmacist will go over them with you to Review what you are taking, make sure you are taking them right, and see if you can take fewer medicines. This event is made possible by support from Walgreens Pharmacy. Call 508-966-0398 to register.
Greater Milford Community Chorus Performance—Thursday, Oct. 13, 7–8 pm. The whole family is invited to the Bellingham Senior Center to enjoy this performance. The Chorus is a non-profit organization sponsored by the Milford Community Use Program. The GMCC welcomes adult singers from Milford and all surrounding communities. The group presents a wide variety of choral selections on concert weekends the first weekend of December and the last in April each year. Concerts are held at Milford High School. The GMCC outreach group is called “Melody & Harmony.” The group consists of singers from the GMCC who enjoy the opportunity to share their love of music with GMCC supporters. Sponsored in part by the Milford, Mendon, Hopedale, Bellingham and Uxbridge Cultural Councils, which are funded by the MA Cultural Council. (Note: This is the last evening concert of the season. Donations will continue to be accepted for the Loaves and Fishes Bellingham Food Pantry.)

America Votes!—Local favorite and Presidential Historian Gary Hylander returns this month with the final installments in the free 3-part series on America’s presidential elections:
 Give ’em Hell, Harry!—Friday, Oct. 14, 1:30 pm.  With this presidential election year, let’s revisit one of the most exciting elections in American history.  The 1948 “whistle-stop” election was the first presidential election after the war and the first since Roosevelt’s death.  The election of 1948 still commands the imagination of the nation.  A feisty Truman ran and won a fabled upset victory over Governor Thomas Dewey. On the morning after the election, a grinning Truman held over his head for all to see the headline of the Chicago Tribune: “Dewey Defeats Truman.”
JFK v. RMN: The 1960 Race—Friday, Oct. 28, 1:30 pm. The election of 1960 was a cliffhanger that witnessed a record voter turnout.  Both Kennedy and Nixon campaigned energetically across the country. Kennedy called for a New Frontier while Nixon spoke of his Vice-Presidential experience and the need to maintain the policies and continuity of the Eisenhower years. For the first time, television played a critical role in shaping a presidential election. Call us now to hold your place. This program series is funded by a state grant administered by MCC and the Bellingham Cultural Council.

Election Day Lunch—On Tuesday, Nov. 8, at 11:30 am, please join us for a catered free lunch at the Bellingham Senior Center, followed by rides to the polls for voting. Limited to 90 people; sign-up is mandatory. Reserve youR place by calling 508-966-0398 no later than October 31. Sponsored by the Bellingham Board of Selectmen and Town Clerk’s Office.

The Gift of DNA—Interested in finding outmore about your ancestors and your family background? Do you ever think about researching and organizing this information or even creating a lasting family heirloom? On Thursday, Oct. 20, at 10:30 am, we invite you to come to a presentation by Seema Kenney of Ancestral Books, Legacy and Education. This most recent offering will be a quick and very basic introduction to the use of DNA for genealogical research. There is no fee for this program; funding is provided by COA donations. Please call 508-966-0398 to register and/or request a ride.

Sharps (needles) Disposal Options—For the convenience and safety of the community, two options are offered:

(1) You may use the large collection container stationed inside near the front door of the senior center, by placing your needles, syringes and sharps in a designated container marked with the universal biohazard warning symbol or a sturdy container that is water- and puncture-proof, such as coffee can, or smaller bleach or detergent bottle, and drop them off.

(2) You may participate in the no-cost sharps (and other medical waste) mail-back program for town residents offered by Republic Services.  Simply call 855-737-7871 to arrange for service. A kit containing all the necessary components for the safe handling collection, transportation and disposal of medical sharps is available for free.

According to state law it is illegal to dispose of sharps, as well as unopened packages of hypodermic needles and lancets, by throwing them in the trash.

Don’t Wait Until It’s Too Late!
Medicare Open Enrollment begins on Oct. 15 and ends on Dec. 7. The SHINE Program has scheduled 25 Medicare update meetings in the Central Massachusetts area. The Bellingham meetings will be held at 40 Blackstone Street on Tuesday, Oct. 25, 10 am and 6:30 pm. (Check the complete listing at for all local meetings.)

In Bellingham Judy and Leland Katz also provide free, unbiased, confidential counseling on all aspects of health insurance to anyone on Medicare most Tuesdays by appointment. Call 508-966-0398 and ask for a SHINE appointment at the Bellingham Senior Center or call the Regional SHINE Office at 508-422-9931.

Dancing through the Decades with Dance Caliente—Join us at the Bellingham Senior Center for a not-to-be-missed interactive ballroom dance performance on Tuesday, Oct. 25, at 1 pm. This program celebrates a variety of dances from the 1800s through the present. Feel the passion, experience the energy, and remember your youth as you see Eileen Herman-Haase and Raul Nieves (owners of Dance Caliente) theatrically perform ballroom dances such as the waltz, peabody, castle walk, Charleston, swing, cha-cha, Argentine Tango, polka and salsa. These entertainers artfully blend dance performances with humor, nostalgia, stories, and lots of audience participation. Call 508-966-0398 to reserve your space.

Decades offers high quality ballroom/social dance entertainment, a Broadway/Vaudeville-style show in a convenient location, a visceral means to reviving memories of the big band era, a physical and brain-fitness activity promoting happiness, health, and wellness, socialization, multicultural exposure via Latin, European, and American dance and music. It is suitable for fully active audiences to those who are wheelchair-bound. This program is made possible by funding through the MCC as administered by the Bellingham Cultural Council and the gifts of generous individual donors.

Bellingham/Franklin Companion Caregivers Respite Program
The Bellingham Senior Center offers a trained Companion to stay with your loved one so you can have some time off.  Our rates are affordable at $12 per hour and the service provides socialization and stimulation for your loved one and respite for you. Please call Camille at 508-520-4945. Also, consider the Memory Café on the 3rd Thursday of the month at the Franklin Senior Center for a fun social event for those with dementia & their caregivers.

Fall Intergenerational Workshops & More: Voice Lessons, Painting, Fitness, Chorus, Musical Theater & Tap Dancing
Linda Trudeau, Bellingham Arts Director, in conjunction with the BCC and the Bellingham Senior Center, announces new programs for the fall season to be held at the Bellingham Senior Center ,including some of the best intergenerational programs being offered.
Instructor Darrell Crow can guide you with your artistic endeavors. Call him at 508-966-2247, or come in to the center to sign up and to see what is being offered this season. You’ll be glad you did.

Congratulations to the Bellingham Concert Chorus Members for a job well done at the BCC Artfest held on August 27. Everyone looked and sounded great, especially Rita Tetrault, in a look-a-like Raggedy Ann outfit and Peg Brooks in a Raggedy Andy costume; they were a big hit with the children. Brenda Almeida recited a poem for the children as only Brenda can with her lovely lilting voice. Alyssa Surrette wowed everyone with her musical selections and Polka Paul kept all our dancers very happy.

We are off to a good start this year with new ventures and fun offerings so dust off those tap shoes and join our new tap class every Tuesday, at 2 pm. Register at the front desk or call Linda Trudeau at 1-508-883-4442 for more information.

A 45-minute session will have you tapping your toes and you’ll be fit as a fiddle to boot. Our newest dance teacher will make sure you have a good time, and, no, you don’t have to have tap shoes to start.

We are also offering musical theatre and voice lessons for all ages, and, no, you don’t have to live in Bellingham.

If you can’t join us on Tuesdays, try Wednesdays for a full day of healthful things to do. We can always use additional voices in our chorus. Singing is a great way to exercise those lungs, so join with us as we visit local nursing homes to sing and bring cheer to many  of our friends. Classes are free and run 10:30–11:30 am.

Last but far from being least is our very popular Motion to Music Program, which  features quick easy steps to popular music from days gone by that will keep you coming back for more. Every Wednesday from 11:30 to 12, a little bit of everything packed into this great-for-you class. Those that join say “Why didn’t I do this sooner?”  I love it!





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