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Bellingham COA Announces April News & Events

Mar 30, 2017 06:00AM ● By Pamela Johnson

Bellingham Senior Center

Chronic Pain Management Program
The Bellingham Senior Center will host a free six-week program on Chronic Pain Self-Management, a participant education program developed by Stanford University. The class is for adults living with and/or caring for someone with chronic pain. The sessions are geared to help manage and educate participants and are led by professionals who themselves live with chronic pain. Subjects covered in the sessions include techniques to deal with problems such as fatigue, frustration, pain and isolation; appropriate use of medications; how to communicate effectively with family, friends and medical professionals; nutrition tips and advice; decision making; how to evaluate new treatments.
The program meets on Mondays—May 15, 22 & June 5, 12, 19 and 26—from 1 to 3:30 p.m. at the Bellingham Senior Center, 40 Blackstone St. Learn about disease-related problem-solving: practical ways to deal with pain, fatigue, and stress; better nutrition and exercise choices; how to improve your patient/physician relationship; medications management; skills to manage symptoms of back and neck pain; fibromyalgia, whiplash injuries, headaches; osteoarthritis, arthritis, chronic pain syndrome and diabetic neuropathy, or with other long-term conditions.
This program is made possible through a grant provided by The MetroWest Health Foundation, and with funding from the Older Americans Act as granted by BayPath Elder Services, Inc. (To make a donation please mail check to The Healthy Living Department at BayPath Elder Services, 33 Boston Post Rd West, Marlborough, MA 01752.)
Each participant will receive a companion book, Living a Healthy Life with Chronic Pain, with Moving Easy CD. Classes and parking are free. Advance registration is required. For more information or to register please contact Director Carolyn Roycroft at 508-657-2705.

Coming Up

  • Save the Date: On Saturday, May 20, at 5 p.m., the Corriveau family will sponsor the Veterans Tribute Dinner. There will be a concert from 5:30 to 6:30 pm, and a dinner will follow. Please sign up at the front desk.
  • Tuesday, April 11, 11 a.m.: Fire Safety Presentation—Join Firefighter Brad Kwatcher from the Bellingham Fire Department for a fire-safety presentation on smoke & CO detectors. The presentation will be held at the Bellingham Senior Center. Please sign up at the front desk or call 508-657-2705.  Please be advised lock boxes have been ordered for those who signed up to receive one. Kwatcher will contact you with a date for pick-up when they arrive.
  • Tuesday, April 4, 11 a.m.–12 p.m.: Book talk at the Bellingham Senior Center. Several library staff members will be at the Center to talk about the book Plastic Purge: How to Use Less Plastic, Eat Better, Keep Toxins out of Your Body, and Help Save the Sea Turtles! by Michael San Clements. Books are available at the library for check out.
  • Thursday, April 27, 12 p.m.: Monthly Birthday Party—Meatloaf lunch is planned; cost is $9/pp. Catered luncheon to celebrate all birthdays in April. Reservations must be accompanied by your payment; no refund if you cancel after 4 pm on April 25. All residents 90+ are invited free. This month’s cake has been donated by Franklin Health & Rehabilitation Center. Hosted by: Council on Aging, sponsored by the Bellingham Elder Service Group.
  • Men’s Group: Stop in any Wednesday morning, at 10 a.m., for coffee, light discussion, storytelling and occasionally a joke or two. This group meets for an hour in the Center’s dining room without any agenda unless a guest speaker stops by. New members are always welcome.
  • Monday, April 10, 10 a.m.–12 p.m.: Blood Pressure Clinic at the Senior Center, 40 Blackstone St., Bellingham. No appointment needed.
  • Monday, April 3, 2–4 p.m.: Genealogy Group—Join Activity Leader, Toni Picariello. Why not start a new hobby, and research your family history at your own pace? No fee.
  • April 19, 2–4 p.m.: Legal Consultations available with Attorney Daniel T. Doyle, by appointment only. Call 508-966-0398.
  • April 1 and 15, 11:15 a.m.: Bellingham Backyard Birders with Frank & Leslie—Mark your calendars: the backyard birders are back. Let’s prepare for the spring migration.
  • Thursday, April 6, 1–3 p.m.: Learn to Make a Fleece Tie Blanket— Join Eva for this free two-hour workshop on how to make a beautiful tie blanket. Materials needed to purchase:  (2) 2-yard pieces of fleece (or 1 large fleece kit). If you own a rotary cutter & cutting board please bring them with you; if not, Eva has some for participants to borrow. Project involves no sewing. Space is limited to 8 participants. Please sign up at the front desk or call 508-966-0398.
  • Wednesdays, 1 p.m.: Anyone Can Paint—Darrell Crow is a self-taught professional artist, art instructor and author. Class fee is $25 per painting; painting generally takes two sessions to complete. All painting supplies are provided. Please sign up in advance at the front desk or call 508-966-0398.
  • Friday, April 14, 11 a.m.–1 p.m.: RMV Near Me—The Bellingham Council on Aging (COA) in partnership with the Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) is offering an additional location, 40 Blackstone Street, at which older citizens can receive assistance processing routine Registry transactions online. Residents can stop by or call ahead and meet with Assistant Director Lisa Mottola, who was trained by RMV staff, and is now able to assist residents with conducting online transactions as well as helping to locate important RMV forms, documents, and resources online.
  • Thursday, April 13 & 27 at 11:15 a.m.: Bereavement Support—Our group will provide you an opportunity to join with others who have experienced a similar loss. Our Bereavement Group Leader is resident Kay Page. If you think you might be interested in coming to the Bereavement Support Group, please call our Center at 508-966-0398 and we will take your name and number. This group is funded by a state grant administered by Massachusetts Association for Councils on Aging and Senior Center Directors.
Are You Interested in Earning a Break on Your Property Tax Bill?
Find out more about how the Bellingham Property Tax Work-Off Program operates. Pick up your application at the Senior Center for the new program year, which started on Dec. 1, 2016, and ends Nov 30, 2017. Earn up to $1,000 off your property taxes while helping the town; 128 seniors participated in the program last year. For more information on the Senior and Veteran Tax Work-Off Program or to pick up an application, call the Senior Center (Intake Site) at 508-966-0398.

Need Help Paying Heating Costs?
Help is available. If you are struggling to heat your home, give the Center a call.  We are the Town’s intake site for the South Middlesex Opportunity Council Fuel Assistance Program for all ages.  You may be eligible for fuel, electricity discounts, and weatherization programs. Intake for the program runs until the end of April 2017. There is also Supplemental Fuel Assistance through the Town. Applications are now available in Bellingham at the Senior Center at 40 Blackstone Street, Town Clerk’s Office, 10 Mechanic Street, and the Community Development Office, 2 Mechanic Street. For additional information call the Bellingham Community Development Office at 508-657-2890.

Welcome Tour
Are you new to town, just retired, now 60 or older? We offer an official welcome tour for residents interested in finding out the basics about the Center and what is offered. We also have a gift for you. This month’s tour is Friday, April 7, at 1 pm. To make arrangements call Lisa Mottola at 657-2708.

EMHOP-Mental Health Outreach Program
If you know someone struggling with anxiety or depression or you have other similar concerns, we now have a program that provides outreach, assessment and evaluation services for residents, age 60 and over. Our Mental Health Coordinator, Gail Bourassa, will work with us to assist seniors and provide services or make referrals to an agency for continued treatment. The goal of the project is to help older adults get back to being able to participate in the community or social activities they choose. In Bellingham for more information or to make a referral, please call 508-657-2710 or 508-657-2708.

S.H.I.N.E. Program
In Bellingham on Tuesdays,  Judy and Leland Katz provide free, unbiased, confidential counseling on all aspects of health insurance to anyone on Medicare, 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. For other SHINE related matters, call 1-800-AGE-INFO (1-800-243-4636), then press or say “3.” Once you get the SHINE answering machine, leave your name and number, and a volunteer will call you back, as soon as possible.
    The Central MA Region of SHINE recently launched its website,, which has valuable general information and links to other agencies that can assist you with your insurance needs.

Prescription Advantage
A recent survey shows that many low- to moderate-income Medicare beneficiaries are not utilizing Prescription Advantage to supplement their drug plan coverage for help when and if they reach the Prescription Drug Plan Coverage gap (or “donut hole”). Call Prescription Advantage at 800-243-4636 (option 2) for more information, or visit to apply.

Read on for additional information that didn't make it into the April print edition:

C.H.O.R.E . . . Handyman Service
This program 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, grab-bars in the bath area. For a flyer or to request service, call 508-966-0398.
Sponsored by the Bellingham Council on Aging with formula grant funding from the State Office of Elder Affairs.

Sharps (needle) Disposal Options
For the convenience and safety of the community we offer two options:
You may use the large collection container stationed inside near the front door of the senior center at 40 Blackstone Street 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. We have 1 qt. sharps containers. Pick one up now for a $1 donation.   
    A statewide ban on the disposal of needles, syringes and lancets “sharps” in household trash has been in effect since 2012. 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.

Get a Subscription to the Spirit of Bellingham Newsletter
For an E-Mail Subscription: go to and click on Subscribe to News. Enter your email address; check off the Council on Aging News, scroll down and click on Send My Request. You will receive the newsletter monthly, usually a week prior to the printed copy that is mailed out.
For a Mail Subscription: If you live in Bellingham and would like to receive a monthly issue of the Spirit of Bellingham Newsletter delivered to your mailbox, please give us a call at 508-657-2708.

A special thank you to the Bellingham Senior Center Knitters and Quilters for their generous donations made to Oakland Grove, Dana Farber Milford, and St. Blais Church. The volunteers have donated in excess of 100 baby hats, 300 hand knit/crocheted Giving tree items and the beautiful quilts continue to provide warmth and comfort.  

The COA policy is to suspend Dial-A-Ride transportation services and Senior Center activities during legal holidays and on the days the Bellingham Public Schools are closed because of snow or other bad weather.

Congratulations to Joan Mallard on her retirement! 

  • Chair Volleyball, Mondays at 9:15 am with Peg Brooks-free
  • Chair Exercise, Mondays and Fridays at 10:30 am with Beth Coelho $3 per class
  • Line Dance Classes with Instructor, Suezy O‚ÄôCoin (401-766-9495): Beginners ‚ÄìMon. at 1 pm - Free; Advanced -Mondays at 2 pm -Free;
  • Yoga, Tuesdays at 10:30 am - $3 per class with Sue Winters ‚Äì Bring a mat or use ours.
  • Tai Chi with Jean Donnelly, Tuesdays - at 5:45 pm $13 per class with a 10-class series commitment or $15 per class for drop-ins; Fridays-Tai Chi 1 pm - $5 for 60+ students $10 for non-seniors
  • Motion to Music, Wednesdays -11:30 am with Instructor, Linda Trudeau - free
  • Yogalates, Thursdays -10:00 am with Y Instructor, Kay Thomas $5 per class
  • Zumba/Core, Fridays ‚Äì 9:30 am with Kay Thomas, $3 per class.




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