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Senior Center Releases July '20 News & Calendar

Bellingham Senior Center

Message from the Director: Change Will Come to Senior Center

Director Josie Dutil weighed in recently with the latest on what you can expect at the Bellingham Senior Center.

Change — We all know how much we like change. This world has changed so much over the past three months that walking around without a mask on actually feels unnatural when I’m in public. That being said, please prepare yourself for many changes when our Center opens to the public sometime in the future.

Some of the things that you can expect include (but aren’t limited to): no more shared puzzles, fewer available seats in all areas of the building, masks required whenever social distancing can’t be followed, and lots of personal responsibility related to proper hand-washing and -sanitizing. Some furniture will be moved into storage to allow for more social distancing.

The reality is, we still don’t know what exactly a re-entry into Senior Center activities is going to look like. Initially we will be allowed to have one-on-one appointments take place in our building and then maybe some small group lectures and/or educational programs in large spaces. We remain unsure of things like knitting, poker games, exercise classes, mahjong, cribbage, etc., but continue to keep an eye on guidance coming from the state that will inform about when to reintroduce which activities in a safe manner.

In the meantime, we have made some improvements to our facility. Our Supportive Day Program room has a beautiful new floor, replacing the stained carpet. We have purchased an outdoor grill so that we might be able to have “congregate meals” in an outdoor setting. Perhaps drive-in dinners will be a thing this summer! We are also working on getting the floors squeaky clean with the help of the school department.

We apologize for what must seem like a slow trickle of information but hope that you understand that our number-one priority is ensuring the safety of our seniors as we plan for the future.


EMAILS: The Senior Center is compiling a master list of email addresses and would like to include yours. This list will be used to notify seniors of up-coming programs (like Zoom). Your address will be safe, and it will not be sold to a third party. You can call the Senior Center and leave your name and email address. (508) 966-0398

BESG: The Bellingham Elder Service Group will hold weekly “Drive By Cookout” fundraisers on Thursdays, beginning July 9. You can call the Senior Center prior to each date and order either a hot dog or hamburger (includes chips and a drink) for $5. Food pick-up will take place from 4:00 to 6:00 PM, in the Senior Center parking lot.

HAZARDOUS WASTE DAY is set for Saturday, July 11. Bring your waste to the Senior Center from 9 AM to 1 PM. This event is free for Bellingham residents. Identification is required.

SHERIFF’S UPDATE: The Bellingham Senior Center will bring you Norfolk County Sheriff Jerry McDermott via Zoom on Tuesday, July 14, at 12 PM. McDermott will keep area residents up to date on what’s happening in Norfolk County, and the resources available to assist them during the pandemic. Please email Terri at [email protected] to join.

COA: The COA Board Meeting will be held via Zoom on Tuesday, July 14 at 11 AM.

LEGAL: Assuming the Senior Center is open by then, local attorney Dan Doyle will be available once again for free legal advice, in person, on Wednesday, July 15, 2–4 PM (by appt. only).

SEVEN STEPS TO MANAGING YOUR MEMORY:  On Thursday, July 16, at 1:00 PM  Dr. Andrew Budson will share key ideas from his book and answer your questions. As you age, you may find yourself worrying about your memory. Where did I put those car keys? What time was my appointment? What was her name again? With more than 41 million Americans over the age of 65 in the U.S., the question becomes how much (or, perhaps, what type   of) memory loss is to be expected as one gets older, and what should trigger a visit to the doctor. Please RSVP to [email protected].

HIDDEN DANGERS: What you don’t know about food additives can harm you. Kathy Lavallee, who owns The Honey Shop in Woonsocket, plans to talk about hidden dangers (how to spot them and how to avoid them) in a Zoom program scheduled for Wednesday, July 22, at 2 PM.

HEARING HEALTH: On Thursday, July 24, at 10 AM, At-Home Hearing Healthcare owner/operator Michael Schmit, BC-HIS, returns to the Senior Center for in-person appointments. He has over 30 years of experience in solving hearing-related issues. As a former Regional Sales Director, he is nationally recognized as an expert in the latest technology, featuring the largest global manufacturers. Since 2008, he has helped over 2,000 individuals to hear better.

BOOK CLUB: On Tuesday, July 28, at 6:00 PM, members of the group will gather to discuss The Imperfects by Amy Meyerson.

WALKING CLUB: Back in operation (socially distanced), the Bellingham seniors walking club meets every Friday, at 8 AM, at the Town Common.

CHAIR EXERCISE: Offered by our friends at the Franklin YMCA on Tuesday and Thursday mornings, this gentle exercise class is suitable for almost everyone. No experience necessary!

Don’t Forget to be Counted!

The deadline for responding to the 2020 Census has been extended through October 31, but we urge you to respond as soon as possible. The information gathered has an important impact on our community funding. To take the Census, just visit:

Supportive Adult Day Care Program

This program at the Bellingham Senior Center is designed to promote and enhance physical, social and cognitive skills. It is suitable for those who are memory impaired, those homebound and isolated, and those with physical limitations. It also offers caregivers the respite they need while giving them reassurance that their loved ones are in good hands.

The Supportive Adult Day Program is currently under review to determine how all the services it provides can be offered safely in support of clients and caregivers.

Our Memory Café is a social event for family members and individuals experiencing cognitive changes from Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia. Dancing and other entertainment is included. Until the Senior Center reopens, the Supportive Adult Day Care Program is suspended and Memory Café will be available via Zoom on Saturday, July 25, at 10 AM. Sponsored by Benchmark at Forge Hill, Franklin.

For more information please contact the Supportive Adult Day Care Program Coordinator, Terri Graham, by calling (508) 657-2711 or email [email protected] Terri is also in charge of Memory Café, and would be happy to answer your questions and arrange for you to Zoom!


There is a new Medicare online enrollment process. The individual must be 65 or older and have or had coverage under a group health plan (GHP) within the last eight months through his or her own or spouse’s current employment status. 

As of May 26, 2020, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Social Security Administration have made available this new online process for enrolling in Medicare Part B. The Social Security Administration will now be taking Medicare Part B enrollment applications online for working-aged individuals who qualify for this Special Enrollment Period (SEP). 

For more information, please contact the Bellingham Senior Center and schedule a phone appointment with SHINE representative Jean Roy at 508-966-0398.

CORRECTION: In the June issue, the COA newsletter mistakenly identified Gerald Loftin as affiliated with the Moody Group. Loftin is a Certified Financial Planner® (CFP) professional and member of the Financial Planning Association, serving clients at Proficient Wealth Counselors, LLC, in Norwood and the surrounding communities.

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