09 / 14 / 2015
  - 09:49:04 AM
Bellingham Council on Aging News and Happenings
Read Your Medicare Mail!
It’s that time of year again!  If you have a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan or a Medicare Advantage Plan (HMO or PPO), you should receive a notice from your plan by the end of this month.  That notice outlines changes to be made to your plan for 2016: it is important to review, understand and save this information!
During Medicare Open Enrollment, from October 15th to December 7th, you will be able to change your plan for next year.  If you would like help understanding your upcoming changes and options, a trained SHINE counselor is available to offer FREE and CONFIDENTIAL counseling on all Medicare and related health insurance programs.  Learn more about how SHINE can help you: call your local senior center now!
A Medicare open enrollment update meeting is coming soon to a senior center near you! In Bellingham you are invited to join us on Tuesday, October 20 at 10:00 a.m. At this meeting we will be discussing your options for MEDICARE IN 2016.  We will be reviewing changes to MEDICARE Health Plans, we will also talk about MEDICARE Part D coverage and how it works.  Finally we will be speaking about programs that may be available to assist you with some, or all of your MEDICARE costs.  Please call your local Senior Center to get the location of a meeting near your home.  If you need information or assistance with any aspect of your health insurance, SHINE offers appointments year round at the Bellingham Senior Center on Tuesdays with Judy and Lee Katz.  Call 508-966-0398 and ask for a SHINE appointment, or call and reserve a space for this important meeting.  If you have any questions call SHINE at 1-800-AGE-INFO/1-800-243-4636 option 3 or call our direct line at 508-422-9931 IN Milford.
Bellingham Council on Aging News
The next COA meeting is on Tuesday, October 13, at 1:00 pm. Please come and learn more about the services and programs available for you here. Refreshments are served and an attendance prize is awarded.
Again this year the COA is sponsoring a free fall fitness class for all Bellingham residents 60+ in September. Or, come and try something new for the fall or check out the programs that continue without any fee like Open Art Studio, Men’s Group, Motion to Music, Billiards, Walking Club, Triad, Skills Exchange, Chair Volleyball, Financial Mentoring, Guitar Lessons, Chorus, Quilting, Knitting, Bridge, Mahjong, Canasta, Legal Consultations, BP Clinic, Digital Camera, and Billiards.
Sign up at the Center for our fall free breakfast to be held Saturday, September 19, from 9-11:00 am. The menu includes Juice, Coffee, Tea, Eggs, Pancakes, Ham, Sausage, and mini-muffins. This event is due to a generous donation by Evelyn & Bill Cummings and COA volunteers. Call 508-966-0398 for reservations.
If you are interested in earning a break on your property taxes, we have opportunities for you to provide service helping one of the Town’s Departments and earning a benefit worth up to $1,000 off your property tax bill. Just stop by the Senior Center and speak with Director, Laura DeMattia to find out about eligibility and guidelines. We currently have positions at the Youth Center, Schools, Town Common, and several departments are looking for camera operators to broadcast meetings. Training is provided.
Seniors who had fuel assistance last winter will receive a re-cert form in the mail very soon. If you have any questions about filling it out, call the senior center and make an appointment and we will help you with it. If you have never applied before, you can call and put your name on a list to be called for an appointment when Fuel Assistance Intake begins this fall. If your name is on the list, and we learn when the start date will be, we will call you to make an intake appointment.
To celebrate Senior Center month a Lunch and Learn is planned for Thursday, September 10, at 12:00.  Our catered luncheon is sponsored by Atria, Draper Place and will be followed by a discussion about hunger among seniors and the options available. We will have a guest speaker and a question and answer period. The meal is free. Sign up is mandatory and limited to the first 50 people. Reserve your place now.
Blood Pressure Clinic – Monday, September 14th, from 8 to 11am at 40 Blackstone Street with Nurse Sarah.
Mark Your Calendar - November 7th
The Bellingham Craft Fair is Coming!
This is a great opportunity to get acquainted with our beautiful Center and enjoy the day!
The Vendors are all signed up
Polka Paul is ready to play
The Kitchen is ready to go with a new improved menu!
We are still in need of NEW or NEARLY NEW items for the Gift Room.  These can be dropped off at the Senior Center at 40 Blackstone Street any time we are open and will be gratefully received.                                                     Craft Fair Committee
Captain Jack’s Lobster Bake & Mohegan Sun Casino Day Trip – Depart on Thursday, September 17. The cost is $73pp (Due with sign up) including the driver’s tip. Depart at 7:45 a.m. and Return around 6 p.m.  Enjoy a $15 food voucher or Mohegan morning buffet, $10 free bet, luxury coach transportation, and delicious lobster bake at Captain Jack’s Restaurant.  Flyers are available at the Center. Call 508-657-2714 with your questions.
The Mohawk Trail Foliage Tour Day Trip – Depart on Thursday, October 15. The cost is $69pp including the driver’s tip. Depart at 8:30 a.m. and Return around 5:30 p.m.  Enjoy a lovely ride to the village of Shelburne where the famous Bridge of Flowers is located. Next you are off for a traditional New England luncheon at Chandler’s, were a full course luncheon, featuring a garden salad, choice of either baked scrod or baked chicken entrée and a scrumptious dessert will be served. You will travel south through the Pioneer Valley where you’ll visit Atkins Farms, a unique shopping experience, where old time service is an everyday treat and return back home at 5:30 p.m.   Flyers are available at the Center. Call 508-657-2714 with your questions.
Monthly Birthday Party
This month’s luncheon is set for Thursday, Sept. 24, at noon. A pot roast buffet for $7pp by Chef du Jour is planned. This event always includes birthday cake and ice cream, and everyone with a September birthday will receive a gift.
As a special treat guests will be entertained during the party as we stroll through Fact and Fashions of a bygone era, Downton Abbey style, with live models, live music and fun for everyone. This offering is presented by the Bellingham Arts Program under the direction of Linda Trudeau, and in conjunction with the Bellingham Senior Center and COA, Massachusetts Cultural Council, and Town of Bellingham.
Reservations must be accompanied by your payment, and there is no refund if you cancel after Sept. 22. All residents 90+ are invited free with a reservation during their birthday month. This month’s birthday cake is donated by the Franklin Health & Rehabilitation Center.
A Matter of Balance . . . Do you have concerns about falling?
Have you turned down a chance to go out with family or friends because you were concerned about falling?
Have you cut down on a favorite activity because you might fall? A MATTER OF BALANCE is an
award-winning evidence based program designed to manage falls and increase activity levels. You will learn how to make changes to reduce fall risks at home and how to increase strength and balance.
Fear of falling can be just as dangerous as falling itself. People who develop this fear often limit their activities, which can result in severe physical weakness, making the risk of falling even greater. Many older adults also experience increased isolation and depression when they limit their interactions with family and friends. A MATTER OF BALANCE can help to improve your quality of life and remain independent.
Come on Tuesday October 6 at 1:00 pm to hear more about A Matter of Balance and decide to sign up for these eight classes being held at the senior center from October 13 through December 1st, from 1:00 to 3:00 pm. Call 508-657-2706 to sign up now. The class is limited to twelve and is free. (Rides available for residents) Sponsored by TriValley Elder Services, Inc.
Companion Caregiver Open House
Sponsored by the Bellingham and Franklin Senior Centers you are invited to stop by the Bellingham Senior Center on Tuesday, September 22nd any time from 2 to 3:30 pm to learn a little more about our Companion Caregiver Program.  Our three Companions as well as the program Supervisor will be present for you to meet and chat with! We provide in home respite care for caregivers who are caring for someone over 60 years of age with Dementia or a major medical illness.  Our companions are fully trained in elder and dementia care as well as CPR and first aid.  
We hope to make your life a little easier by allowing you some time out of the home or just away from the requirements of caregiving.  The time we spend with your loved one also allows them some social time or time spent doing an activity suited to their interests or capabilities.   Our costs range from $8 to $12 per hour and we can typically offer up to four hours per week of care.   Please join us or if you are unable to and want to get some more information please call Elaine Owens at 508-520-4945.   
Senior Immunization Clinic
Seniors, come for your Flu shot without an appointment and with no copay on Tuesday, September 29, 2015 at the Bellingham Senior Center, 40 Blackstone Street from 10 am–12:00 pm. Bring your insurance information (including Medicare).  Anyone who wants a Shingles, Whooping Cough, or Pneumonia vaccination at this clinic is asked to call the pharmacy at 508-966-1691 by Tuesday 9/22.
Bellydance by Tara
Interested in finding out more about a new fun fitness activity? Join us on Tuesday, September 22 for a belly dancing demonstration at 9:45 a.m.  Tara is an excellent dancer and instructor.  She will be bringing some of her senior students so that those of you who are adventurous and willing to try a new form of exercise can watch and see what type of exercise you would be getting into. Prescription Brown Bag Event
Bring all of your current medications in a “brown bag” on Tuesday, September 15, 2015 to the Bellingham Senior Center at 40 Blackstone Street from10 am–11:30 a.m. and learn about their common uses, side-effects, and interactions with other medications. This includes: Prescription medicines, Over-the-counter medicines, Herbal medicines, Vitamins and supplements. 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. To register for this event call: 508-966-0398.This event is made possible by support from Walgreens Pharmacy.
A Reason to Hope
We are again participating in a statewide charity campaign sponsored by the Massachusetts Association of Councils on Aging and Senior Center Directors to find a cure to end Alzheimer’s.  We have registered our walking team; so if you would like to walk in this year’s October 4th event at Quinsigamond Community College in Worcester, we would love to have you join us. Just give Lisa a call at 508-657-2708.   We will also be displaying Forget-Me-Nots here at the Center (starting September 1st) for each donation, and for those who come to our Concert in September a donation may be made instead of paying an admission fee.  Checks can be made payable to: The Alzheimer’s Association. All funds raised benefit the care, support and research efforts of the Alzheimer’s Association.
Senior Center Month Concert
On Thursday, September 17 at 7:00 p.m. we will have a concert by TRIO OF SONG. Three versatile singers, Felicia, Paul and David will provide an evening of elegant entertainment. They will feature The Great American Songbook; and selections from the best of Broadway, the music of Frank, Dean, Sammy and many more favorites.  Admission is a donation, either to our Campaign to end Alzheimer’s disease or an item for the food pantry.  No advance sign up is required.  Light refreshments are available.
Downton Era Fashions
Join us as we stroll through Fact and Fashions of a bygone era, Downton Abbey style, with live models, live music and fun for everyone on Tuesday, September 29, 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. at 40 Blackstone Street. All welcome. Please sign up at the front desk or call 508-966-0398; cost $2 pp. This event is presented by the Bellingham Arts Program under the direction of Linda Trudeau, and in conjunction with the Bellingham Senior Center and COA, Massachusetts Cultural Council, and Town of Bellingham. Tea and other refreshments will be served.
Prescription Advantage
On Tuesday, September 15, at 5:30 pm, Kathy Devine of Prescription Advantage will discuss this great Massachusetts program that provides drug coverage without a monthly premium to seniors who reach the “donut hole”.  We must have 10 people sign up in advance.  Deadline is Sept. 11.
Elder Service Group Happenings
Everyone is cordially invited to our next party on Tuesday, October 6, 2015 at noon. Join us for a delicious Turkey Luncheon (limited to the first 90 reservations) with all the trimmings catered by Mickey G’s. Members pay $5 and all other guests pay $8 each. Prizes will be awarded and a complimentary dessert for all guests will be served
Remember that our Board of Directors is elected by you (seniors who are dues-paying members in good standing) each May.  If you are a senior living in this area we welcome you to join us.  As a member you are entitled to pay a greatly reduced cost for our events. Also, as one of our members you may enjoy a half-priced annual BJ’s membership.                                           Bill Eltzroth, President
From the Veterans’ Desk
Agent Orange Action Benefits Air Force Vets:  Disability benefits are now available to Air Force veterans and reservists who served on Fairchild C-123 planes that dispensed the poisonous herbicide Agent Orange in Vietnam and have symptoms pertaining to 14 conditions related to Agent Orange exposure, the Veterans Administration announced on June 18. In 2011 pilots had been denied claims because their service on the aircraft occurred after the war ended, the Associated Press reported. But the pilots contended that the planes were still contaminated from previous routine spraying of the herbicide. Some 2000 Veterans may be eligible for benefits. Individuals with specific benefit questions related to herbicide exposure on C-123s may call VA's hotline at 800-749-8387.                                                                                                                                                                                                           
VIETNAM 1965 Sept. 7-10 The 7th Marine Reg. supported by South Vietnamese troops, conducts Operation Piranha against the 1st Viet Cong Reg. south of Chi Lai. Two Marines are killed; the VC lost 178. Sept. 14 Sergeant Alistair Don and Bombardier Robert White become the first New Zealanders killed in the war when the VC destroy their vehicle with a command-detonated mine. Sept. 20 the main body of the 1st Cav., the first full Army Div. to arrive in Vietnam, completes its deployment, which began with an advance party on Aug 11. Oct. 17 five Navy planes flying of the carrier USS Independence destroy a surface-to-air missile site 37 miles north of Hanoi. Oct 19-25 two North Vietnamese Army regiments besiege the Special Forces camp at Plei Me in the Central Highlands. The siege is lifted by a South Vietnamese relief force and U.S. airstrikes.  October 31, the first two Navy Patrol Craft Fast, or "Swift Boats" arrive in Vietnam. The 50 ft. long aluminum-hulled boats, crewed by an officer and four or five sailors, has a top speed of 32 knots. To reach Veterans Agent Bob Greenhalgh call 774-292-2437.

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