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COA Announces May News & Events

Apr 27, 2017 08:00AM ● By Pamela Johnson

Bellingham Senior Center

Chronic Pain Self-Management
Learn to take control of your health with this free workshop. Participants will receive the book “Living a Healthy Life with Chronic Pain.” To be considered a full participant, attendees will be required to attend 4 out of the 6 weekly sessions. If you don’t want to attend alone you can bring a friend with you, the program is open to anyone 18 and older with a chronic pain. BayPath Elder Services, Inc. will raffle a $25 gift card at the end of the workshop.

Each weekly session lasts 2-1/2 hours. During the six weeks you will 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 and management; and  skills to manage symptoms of back and neck pain, fibromyalgia, whiplash injuries, headaches, osteoarthritis, arthritis, chronic pain syndrome, diabetic neuropathy or other long-term conditions.

The workshop will take place on the following Mondays: May 15 and 22 and June 5, 12, 19 and 26, 1—3:30 pm, at the Bellingham Senior Center, 40 Blackstone St. For more information or to register, contact COA Director Carolyn Roycroft at 508-966-0398.

This program is made possible through a grant from the MetroWest Health Foundation and funding from the Older Americans Act as granted by BayPath Elder Services, Inc. To make a donation,  mail a check to the Healthy Living Department at BayPath Elder Services, 33 Boston Post Rd. West, Marlborough, MA 01752.

Organic Gardening for Everyone with Naturalist and Landscaper John Root—Tuesday, May 9, at 3 pm, at the Senior Center. Learn natural and effective techniques for the cultivation of a variety of vegetables, fruits, herbs and flowers.Free admission; perennials for edible landscaping and attracting birds, butterflies, bees, and other beneficials will be offered for sale.

Learn to Make a Fleece Tie Blanket— Join Eva on Thursday, May 11, 1—3 pm, and learn how to make a beautiful Tie Blanket. Class is free, but you must purchase 2–3 yard pieces of fleece (or 1 large fleece kit). If you own a rotary cutter and cutting board please bring them with you; if not, Eva has some that she’ll loan. Project involves no sewing. Space is limited to 8 participants. Please sign up at the front desk or call 508-966-0398.

Bereavement Support—Thursday, May 11 and 25, at 11:15 am. This is an opportunity to join with others who have experienced a similar loss. Our Bereavement Group Leader is resident Kay Page. Anyone interested should call the Senior Center at 508-966-0398; we will take your name and number. Group funded by a state grant administered by Massachusetts Association for Councils on Aging and Senior Center Directors.

RMV Near Me—Friday, May 12, 11–1 pm. The COA, in partnership with the Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) offers an additional location, 40 Blackstone Street, at which older citizens can receive assistance in processing routine RMV transactions online. Residents can stop by or call ahead and meet with Lisa Mottola, Assistant Director, 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.

Birthday Party—Thursday, May 25, at noon. A meatloaf lunch for $9/pp is planned. This is a catered luncheon to celebrate all birthdays during the month of May. Reservations must be accompanied by your payment; no refund if you cancel after 4 pm on May 23. All residents 90+ are invited free. Hosted by the COA and sponsored by the Bellingham Elder Service Group; this month’s cake has been donated by Franklin Health & Rehabilitation Center.

Men’s Group—Stop in any Wednesday morning at 10 am for coffee, light discussion, storytelling and occasionally a joke or two. The 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.
Genealogy Group—Join Activity Leader Toni Picariello on Monday, May 8, 2—4 pm. Start a new hobby; research your family history at your own pace. No fee.

Legal Consultations—meet with Attorney Daniel T. Doyle, by appointment, on Wednesday, May 17, from 2-4 pm. Call 508-966-0398 to schedule.

Bellingham Backyard Birders with Frank & Leslie—The backyard birders are back. Prepare for the spring migration. Meet on the first and third Thursdays in May, at 11:15 am.

Anyone Can Paint—Wednesdays, 1 pm. Darrell Crow is a self-taught, professional artist, author  and art instructor. Class fee is $25 per painting, which includes all supplies; painting generally takes two sessions for completion. Please sign up in advance at the front desk, 508-966-0398.

Tax Workoff Program—You may obtain an application at the Senior Center for the new Tax Workoff Program year, which started on Dec. 1, 2016, and ends Nov 30, 2017. Earn up to $1,000 off your property tax bill while helping the town. Last year 128 seniors participated in this great town-funded program. 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.

Canasta—Play at the Bellingham Senior Center on Fridays at 12 pm. The group would love to have new members. Drop by and sit with us, or join us for a refresher. Old friends and new faces are always welcome.

C.H.O.R.E. Handyman Service—Have minor repairs done to your home by an honest, reliable, experienced handyman at a modest rate, or even no cost to you, depending upon your gross income; you pay for materials. Priority is given to low-income households and repairs that address safety and health concerns. We take care of routine household repairs and the installation of new items such as carbon monoxide and/or smoke detectors, or grab-bars in the bath area. For a flyer or to request service, call 508-966-0398. Sponsored by the Bellingham COA with formula grant funding from the State Office of Elder Affairs.

Bellingham-GATRA Transportation—If you’re at least 60 years old or a younger disabled resident, we provide rides in town and up to 10 miles in the surrounding area. Vans can accommodate wheelchairs, canes or walkers. If you are requesting a ride for the first time, you will be screened for eligibility. No fare is charged; however, suggested donations are gratefully accepted and used for transportation-related needs over and above the town’s budget. This is 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 bring you to the Senior Center. Complete information is available by calling 508-657-2709.

EMHOP-Mental Health Outreach Program—If you know someone struggling with anxiety or depression or you have other similar concerns, this program provides outreach, assessment and evaluation services for residents, age 60+. Mental Health Coordinator Gail Bourassa works 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. For more information or to make a referral, please call 508-657-2710 or 508-657-2708.

Supportive Day Program—The Friendship Club runs Mon—Fri, 9 am—3 pm. Members can spend one to five days per week. Healthful snacks and lunch are included each day. This is a fee-for-service program; cost is $35/day. Enjoyment, conversation and gentle exercise are part of every day. Prospective clients may visit the program on a trial basis for one day at no charge. If you’re caring for someone who is frail, often on their own, has dementia or low vision, give us a call. Transportation is available at no additional cost for residents. Call 508-657-2705 with your questions.

S.H.I.N.E. Program—The Central MA SHINE program is now sponsoring a monthly cable TV program called “SHINE’s Medicare and More.” (Call ABMI at 508-966-3234 to see if they have it or are planning to pick it up.) It’s designed to educate and update Medicare beneficiaries and their families about programs that can assist you with your health insurance needs. The Central MA region recently launched its website,; it has valuable general information and links to other agencies that can assist you with your insurance needs.

In Bellingham, Judy and Leland Katz provide free, unbiased, confidential counseling on all aspects of health insurance to anyone on Medicare, on 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.

Prescription Advantgage Information—A recent survey completed on behalf of the Prescription Advantage Program shows that Medicare beneficiaries are not utilizing this valuable program to supplement their prescription drug plan coverage. According to this survey there are 69,390 potential Prescription Advantage members in the Worcester County Area. Of these members, only 5,652 beneficiaries are currently enrolled in Prescription Advantage, leaving more than 63,700 potential members who are not enrolled in this very valuable program.

Prescription Advantage is the only program available to beneficiaries with low to moderate income that will help them when and if they reach the prescription drug plan coverage gap. Members in Prescription Advantage can save thousands of dollars on their drug costs by enrolling in this program. It is important to stress this information at this time as events in Congress may in the near future eliminate all assistance provided to the Medicare Part D program by the Affordable Care Act. Be sure to ask your local SHINE Counselor about this important and valuable program.

Call Prescription Advantage at 800-243-4636 (option 2) for more information or to apply. You can also apply on line at





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