09 / 14 / 2015
  - 09:50:57 AM
Bellingham Council on Aging News and Happenings II
Council on Aging - Phone: 508-966-0398 Fax: 508-966-5843
Email:ldemattia@bellinghamma.org For Details, Contact: Laura DeMattia, Director
Computer Tutor
Want to learn something new?  Are you a beginner looking for a patient teacher that encourages you to work at your own pace? Give the Bellingham Senior Center a call at 508-966-0398 and your instructor, Patricia Llewellyn will contact you to arrange your schedule and answer your questions. Five classes cost only $15
Have you heard about Benefits Check-up? 
This computer program is designed to identify all local, state and federal programs for which you are eligible for help. This new software version is customized for Massachusetts residents at least 60 years old.  It takes about 30 minutes, and you may be amazed at the results.  This exciting tool is made available at senior centers in Massachusetts by the Massachusetts Association of Councils on Aging and Senior Center Directors through a Massachusetts state grant.  If you’d like to discover benefits you are eligible for and receive the help you need, call your Senior Center and make an appointment.  It’s completed on line by our staff on our computer, is confidential, and there is no cost to you.
Financial Mentoring Program
Call us and sign up today to reserve your space to get honest and unbiased answers to many of your financial related questions including but not limited to social security, retirement income sources and retirement plan distributions, investments, annuities, life insurance, long-term care, Medicare, Medicaid, risk management, asset protection, and estate planning. All consultations are complimentary and any information discussed will be held in the strictest confidence. Appointments are available at no cost to meet privately with Gerald Loftin, an experienced Certified Financial Planner™ on Thursday September 17, October 15, and November 19, from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at the Bellingham Senior Center.
Wednesday Fun
Make a day of it every Wednesday at the Bellingham Senior Center and see why seniors have been coming to these activities for the last nine years. Start off with a social gathering from 10:00 to 10:30 am. Enjoy coffee, tea and pastries then follow it up by joining the chorus practice from 10:30 to 11:00 a.m. (new members are always welcome). Get a bit of light exercise for those lungs and improve your memory while you enjoy this group offering. Then get a little body exercise by joining the “Motion to Music” group from 11:30 ‘til noon. There is no fee for these and you come as you are and when you can. It’s a good way to cool off on those hot summer days since it is always air conditioned. If you’d like to sing with us at town events and programs including occasional visits to area nursing homes, we do that too! Giving back to the community and sharing is really what we are about and, of course, singing just for the fun of it. No music reading is necessary. We make it really easy to participate.
The exercise class has great music from the 50’s, 60’s and beyond. These tunes will have you movin’ and groovin’ in no time…rule #1 is “enjoy yourself!” and rule #2 is “don’t forget rule #1”. Wear rubber-soled shoes and comfortable clothing. Bring a friend or make new ones. All this rolled into an hour or two every week under the direction of Linda Trudeau and the auspices of the Bellingham Cultural Council in conjunction with the Bellingham Senior Center.
If you feel like it, you can then stick around for lunch and bingo and Art with Darrell Crow for a nominal fee. A full day’s worth of activities just waiting for you to come and enjoy them. Come and check them out on any Wednesday. For additional information, please call the senior center or simply drop by the center while the activities are going on. If you need transportation, don’t forget we have a great van service. See you soon!
Walking Club
Call 508-966-0398 and our Walking Club Leader, Lisa Mottola will answer your questions. You just need a pair of sneakers. Everyone gets a free pedometer. We walk at the Town Common, on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 8:30 am – No fee.
Guitar Lessons by Lance Tribe
Lessons are available without cost for seniors of all abilities.  Did you always want to learn to play but don’t own a guitar; our teacher has one you can use.  Learn at your own pace; call 508-966-0398 to make an appointment for a private lesson.
Free Legal Consultations
Attorney Daniel T. Doyle is available one Wednesday afternoon, each month to meet with you and answer your questions by appointment. Please call 508-966-0398.
The “Are you OK?” program provides safety and security for elderly people living alone. Each morning, 365 days a year, an officer from the Norfolk County Sheriff’s Office places a phone call to check on the well-being of people who have signed up for the program. If they fail to answer or indicate they need emergency aid, the officer summons help immediately. Sheriff Bellotti introduced the free-of-charge program into Norfolk County in 2001. Since then, officers have registered over 70 saves by calling for help for seniors who suffered falls or a variety of other medical problems. Fallon Ambulance Service became a partner with Sheriff Bellotti in administering the program in 2009. People interested in learning more about “Are You OK?” or signing up for the program should call the Norfolk County Sheriff’s Office toll-free at 1-866-900-7865 (RUOK).
Need a Ride?
Keep your independence. GATRA/Bellingham provides Dial-A-Ride curb-to-curb service for Bellingham residents 60 years of age or older as well as younger disabled residents.  Our local transportation extends up to 10 miles. Arrangements can be made by simply calling 508-657-2709 with 24 hour’s notice. Get to your doctor and dentist, go shopping, the bank, visit friends, go to a beauty salon or barber as well as take care of errands and go to the senior center. No fee is charged; donations are gratefully accepted.
Join us on Tuesdays at 7 p.m. until the end of October, and experience therapeutic Qigong. Called an “Energy Exercise” this activity is intended to enhance the energy flow of the body to improve immune function. Qigong is an excellent exercise as it is done slowly and gently to increase one’s balance and enhance joint mobility. In China, Therapeutic Qigong is widely recommended to people suffering from arthritis pain. No experience is necessary.  All exercises can be done either sitting in a chair or standing. This is the first class in the area totally devoted to therapeutic Qigong, and will end with relaxation so that you can have a better night’s sleep. The cost is $5 for seniors and $10 for those under 60. This class is conducted by instructor, Jean Donnelly.
CHORE Services (Courteous Help On Repairs Economically)
If you need help with minor repairs at home we offer a program that was designed with seniors in mind.  Requests may be placed over the phone by calling the Bellingham Senior Center and asking for either Sheila or Lisa. This service is provided to older adults (60+), and younger disabled individuals. Our handyman provides repairs for an affordable cost, using a sliding scale for a suggested donation.  Priority is given to items providing safety and accessibility. You are asked to cover the cost for the materials, if needed, as well as a small stipend that supplements the state grant that pays for our Chore worker’s time.
The repairs that the program may cover: leaky faucets, washer hoses, plugged drains, replace/repair outlets, switches, plugs, doorbells, light bulbs, light fixture, or phone jack, Install window plastic, change some furnace filters, hang pictures, replace door-handles, springs, and closers, Install carbon monoxide alarms or smoke detectors or replace batteries, Install grab bars in bath area, install or repair internal railings, install or remove a window a/c unit, and more.
Discover the care-giving resources that exist in 25 Metro-west communities (including Bellingham) – and find information about many aspects of care-giving: health conditions, financial and legal information, home health & safety, care-giving guide, govt. programs and agencies, and other caregiver support.
Free Home Safety Inspection & Lock Box Programs
The Bellingham Fire Department has received a limited number of lock boxes through a grant for senior and disabled residents. A lock box is a small secure combination box installed on the outside of your home to store keys so they’re available to first responders (Police & EMTs) in an emergency. Besides being convenient lock boxes are a good way to hide keys while doing something outside the house. 
Also free senior home safety inspections are available by appointment; sponsored by the Bellingham Fire Department. Recommendations for improvements, if any, will be identified during this visit to make your home safer. The visit lasts only about 30-40 minutes and will be very informative.  Call the Bellingham Senior Center at 508-966-0398 to sign up for either program.  Any questions please, contact the Bellingham Fire Department at 508-966-1112, Brad Kwatcher, Safe Coordinator.
Supportive Day Program
The Bellingham Senior Center’s Friendship Club runs Monday through Friday 9 am to 3 pm. at 40 Blackstone Street. Members can spend as little as one or up to five days per week with us. Healthy snacks and lunches are included each day along with activities, enjoyment, conversation, and gentle exercise. The program is a fee-for-service program costing $35 per day.
The Friendship Club provides respite for caregivers, and offers frail elders a little more supervision and opportunities to socialize, reminisce, and engage in activities that provide stimulation and regular participation with their peers.
Caregiving can be both rewarding and stressful. With proper support and assistance, your role as a care giver can seem less daunting. There is help in our community for you; information, resources. and now: The Friendship Club will allow you some time away from your daily responsibilities of caring for your loved one. Whether you are caring for a parent, spouse or neighbor, call the Council on Aging at 508-657-2711 and schedule an appointment to discuss the possibilities for your loved one.  Also, prospective clients may visit the program on a trial basis for one day at no charge. If you are 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 Bellingham residents. Call 508-657-2711 with your questions.
9-1-1 Disability Indicator
If you or someone else at home is bedridden, a wheelchair user, legally blind, deaf, hard of hearing, or has a speech or cognitive impairment, or uses equipment at home required to sustain their life, or communicates over the phone by a TTY, the 9-1-1 Disability Indicator Program will be very helpful in an emergency where you need to be transported or evacuated.
Bellingham’s Police Department in conjunction with our Commission on Disability feels this program is very beneficial to all handicapped citizens in our community who may call 9-1-1 from home.  The information is completely confidential, and only works with landlines (not cell phones).  If you have any questions, please contact the 9-1-1 Municipal Coordinator, Bridget Dion, at 508-966-1212.  Enrollment packets with forms are also available here at the Senior Center.
Christmas Giving Tree
The holidays are only three months away and we would like to encourage those who knit and crochet to make mittens, hats, scarves, socks and other things for our annual Giving Tree. Our Tree has become a Bellingham Senior Center tradition and is always the “subject of conversation” each year. If you are able, please join our knitting group on Monday mornings at 9:30 a.m. have coffee, pastry, and do a little chatting while you work. P.S. Items made at home and donated for our Giving Tree are also most welcome.

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