Looking Ahead

Holiday luncheon -- with entertainment!

... Looking Ahead for December, 2006

by Jack Beckley, executive director, Melrose Council on Aging

Looking Ahead -- December, 2006
Melrose Council on Aging
    
Eileen M. Olsen, Chairperson
Jim Driscoll, Vice-Chairperson
Kay McCarte, Secretary
Rosemary Behrle
George Nelson Torrey
Rick Mockler
Ted Bond


COA Holiday Celebration

You are invited to the Council on Aging’s Holiday Celebration Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2006 at 12:00 noon at the Milano Center. The lunch menu includes rosemary herbed roast beef, onion gravy, mashed potatoes, peas & pearl onions and dessert.

The American Guild of Variety Artists have arranged the entertainment featuring Ginny Loring singing and dancing, a magic act by Walter Childs, and Master of Ceremonies Dorothy Stratton with Peter Marino on the piano.

Lunch tickets are required ($1.50 suggested donation). Limit - two tickets per person available at the Milano Center. Entertainment is courtesy of the Melrose Friends of the Aging and the American Guild of Variety Artists.

Immunization Clinic
Wed., Dec. 6, 7-8 PM
Knights of Columbus Hall


The Melrose Health department will hold its last Immunization Clinic of the season administering Flu, Pneumonia & Tetanus vaccinations to anyone age 18 and over. Vaccinations are $10 or free with a Medicare Part B Card, Blue Care 65, Medicare PPO Blue, First Seniority, and Tufts Medicare Preferred (formerly Secure Horizons).

It’s not too late. Don’t let the flu bug get you!
For further information, call the Melrose Health Dept at 781-979-4130.

Afghan Raffle

Raffle tickets to benefit the Milano Senior Center are now on sale for a beautiful handmade afghan generously donated by Angie Leavy. Just think how nice it will feel on a cold winter night or how great it would be to give to a loved one as a special gift. Tickets are $1 each or 6 for $5. The raffle will be held at our holiday Celebration on Dec. 19. You do not have to be present to win.

Christmas Day Dinner
Monday, December 25, at 1:00 P.M.


This festive holiday meal, sponsored by Temple Beth Shalom of Melrose in cooperation with the First Baptist Church, is becoming a tradition. Temple members invite you to a very special Christmas Day Dinner in the spirit of caring, sharing, and community.

To reserve places for you and your loved ones, call the Council on Aging at 781-662-6886. Let us know how many people will be attending, if you will be bringing any children, and whether you need a ride. The doors open at 12:00 PM; dinner is served at 1:00 PM.

Such a noble project requires the cooperation of many friends. Let us know if you can help out on Christmas Day, wish to make a donation, or can give someone a ride.

Wishing you a Merry Christmas!

Health Plan Options for Seniors

On Tues., Dec. 5 at 10:00 a.m., Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Ma. will present  Health Plan Options for Seniors.” Topics covered will include Medicare, Medicare Part D, and how Medigap and Medicare Advantage plans work with Medicare. A question and answer period follows the presentation. All are welcome regardless of your insurance coverage.

Storm Cancellation Policy

When storms force the cancellation of Melrose Public Schools:
The Milano Senior Center will be closed. No congregate meals will be served at the Milano Senior Center. To find out if Home Delivered Meals will be delivered, call MVES at 781-324-7705 after 7:30 a.m. Cancellations are also listed on Channels 5 & 7 and on WRKO 680 AM radio.

The Minibus will not run the entire day.

The COA office will be open unless City Hall closes.

Senior Dining Program

Delicious noon-time meals are served each week day at 12 noon in the Milano Center. The lunch program is run in cooperation with Mystic Valley Elder Services. Entrees are listed in Looking Ahead’s calendar and the complete weekly menus in the Melrose Free Press.

To reserve a meal call 781-662-6886 from 10:00-11:45 AM at least a day before you plan to attend. A $1.50 donation is requested for each meal. Rides are available by calling 781-665-4304 ($1 suggested donation).

Looking Ahead

The COA monthly newsletter, Looking Ahead, is distributed in bulk around the City. If you prefer to receive it by mail, please send a $4 check payable to the Melrose COA, 235 West Foster Street, Melrose, MA 02176. Those who are homebound and unable to afford the $4 can receive the newsletter without charge.

Medicare Part D Open Enrollment
Period Ends Dec 31, 2006


If you are happy with your Medicare Part D plan for prescription medications, you do not need to do anything during the open enrollment period. However, if you do not have a plan or want to change your plan, you must do it during this enrollment period (Nov. 15-Dec. 31. 2006).
For additional information, you may call Medicare at 1-800-633-4227 (24 hours a day), visit the web site at www.medicare.gov or speak with our SHINE counselor, Lillian Martin, as described below.

SHINE Program

Get help filling out your Prescription Advantage application (deadline Nov. 15). SHINE counselor Lillian Martin is at the Milano Senior Center to help on Wednesdays from 11 AM – 2 PM. SHINE (Serving Health Information Needs of Elders) is an Executive Office of Elder Affairs program. Call 781-662-6886 to schedule an appointment or just stop in.

Ride in COA Van­

The Council provides transportation within Melrose for residents age 60 plus. The van runs Mon.- Thurs. from 8:30 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. and on Fridays from 8:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

To reserve a ride, call the COA office (781-665-4304) mornings. In the afternoon, you may check on a ride or make a last minute cancellation by calling the Milano Center at 781-662-6886. $1 suggested donation.

Home for the Holidays
Friday, Dec 1-3


Home for the Holidays begins on Friday night, Dec 1 with a Candle light Strool down Main Street followed by lighting of the trees with Mayor Dolan. Sat. from 10 am to 3 pm four trolleys will transport revelers throughout Melrose's five commercial districts. The Melrose Free Press will once again do a special booklet  listing the weekend's events.

Bridge Club – Meets Wednesday mornings. New members are always welcome. Recent winners were: Jean Pulsifer 1st, Bill Ciampa 2nd, & Arthur Hughes 3rd; Alicia Roman 1st, Elizabeth Mandrachia 2nd,& Alan Faller 3rd; Fran Vennochi 1st, Bill Haley 2nd, and Ed Butler 3rd.

Duplicate Bridge – Meets the first Wednesday of the month. November winners were Bill Ciampa & Lou Froio N & S, and Frances Wadland & Roxie Ananian E & W.

Movies -- Movies -- Movies

A Prairie Home Companion From director Robert Altman comes this quirky fictional comedy based on the real-life radio program of the same name. It has an all star cast including Woody Harrelson, Kevin Kline, & Meryl Streep. It will be shown at the Milano Senior Center on Tues., Dec. 12, at 1:30 PM.

CLUB MEETINGS

AARP Chapter 1124 Dec. 8, 1:30 PM –– Holiday Get-Together Everyone is invited to this holiday celebration but reservations are necessary and must be made by December 4 by calling Dottie Pearl at 781-665-7012. A delicious light luncheon will be served followed by the music of Frank Smith, singing Irish and Italian melodies and more. The cost is $8.

Melrose Veterans’ Club
Meets Fridays at 9:00 a.m., GAR Room, Memorial Hall. All are welcome!

Womans’ Club of Melrose Dec. 20, 12:00, Most Blessed Sacrament Church. Program:  Celebrating Christmas” by the Melrose Senior Chorus under the direction of Starr Demitre.

TRIP INFORMATION

Minibus to Square One Mall Call 781-665-4304 to reserve seats on the bus. There is now a two person minimum for the van to make the trip.

Dec. 4 -- Leaves Cefalo Memorial Complex at 10 a.m.- returns at 1 p.m.

Dec. 11 - Leaves Julian Steele & McCarthy Houses at 10 a.m.- returns at 1 p.m. Graphic Trans 10

Dec. 28 - Leaves City Hall at 10 a.m. - returns at 1 p.m.

200 Club –- Call Rosemary Behrle at 781-665-3258 to register for trips. Checks payable to: The 200 Club.

Dec. 4 Bright Nights at Forest Park, Holyoke, MA. An exciting day including lunch at the  Delaney House,  Nightlife at Noon” music and comedy show and Bright Nights in Springfield.

Pickup: Cochrane House 10:30 a.m./Levi Gould 10:45 a.m. $78    

Dec. 31 New Year’s Eve At Noon, Lake Pearl, Wrentham Choice of Yankee Pot Roast or Baked Boston Scrod for a complete Lunch and then Dancing, Fine Show, & a Happy New Year’s Count Down. Pickup: Cochrane House 10:00 a.m./Levi Gould 10:15 a.m. $68

Jan. 17 Foxwoods Casino, CT Casino Time: 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. (Approx.) Return 6:30 – 7 p.m. Includes $10:00 Food Coupons/$15 Keno. Pickup: Cochrane House 7:15 a.m./Levi Gould 7:30 a.m. $21

Feb. 13  Chez Josef, Agawam, MA. Patsy Cline’s Valentine Show Love songs as performed by internationally acclaimed female vocalist, Donna Lee. Lunch Buffet includes appetizers, soup, roast pork and filet of sole, vegetables, and strawberry parfait dessert. Pickup: Cochrane House 7:15 a.m./Levi Gould 7:30 a.m. $74

MELROSE FRIENDS OF THE AGING

The Melrose Friends of the Aging gratefully acknowledges generous contributions from Delma Harrington and Shaws Supermarket. Generous donations were also received from an anonymous donor in memory of Ruth Jefts and Jim Driscoll in memory of Marie Mooreland.

Heart Healthy Eating

Learn how to protect your heart by eating in a healthy manner. Presenting will be Candace Quigley, Registered Dietician from Mystic Valley Elder Services. Come and learn about foods that benefit your heart and receive heart healthy recipes and handouts to take home. The presentation will take place at the Milano Senior Center on Friday Dec. 1, from 12:30-1:00 PM.

Beating the Holiday Blues

The holidays are a wonderful time of the year filled with treats and traditions. However for many people this is a time when memories of better times and lost loved ones are especially painful.  This, combined with the mental and physical stress of endless holiday tasks, can strain your mind and body.  Come and learn some practical ways to put the joy back in the holidays.

The presentation will be given by Vickie Gurfolino, RN, courtesy of Hallmark Health VNA, at the Milano Center on Thursday, Dec. 14, at 10:00 AM. All are welcome.

Book Club Forming

A book club is forming at the Milano Senior Center. Members will discuss books over lunch (bring your own) on the first Tuesday of the month starting February 6 at 12 noon. The reading selection will likely consist of popular and contemporary books (light reading).

If you are interested in the book club, please call the Center (781-662-6886) and leave your name and telephone number. Pat Boyer, the group’s facilitator, will call you with details about the group.

Friendly Visitor Program Needs Volunteers

The Council on Aging’s Friendly Visitor Program, supported in part by a grant from MVES, matches volunteers with senior citizens who wish to be visited for companionship, walks, or sharing of mutual interests. Currently, there are several senior citizens hoping to be matched with a volunteer. If you have as little as an hour a week, you could make a big difference in someone’s life. Consider volunteering. For more information, please call Tara Deeble at 781-665-4304.

Fuel Assistance

Tri-City Community Action Program (TRI-CAP) should be your first call for help paying for heating fuel or repairing your heating system. Income levels do apply but it would be a mistake to assume that you do not qualify. Tri-Cap’s Fuel Assistance, Weatherization, and Heartwap Programs help homeowners and tenants pay their home heating costs, conserve energy, and, in emergencies, repair, retrofit, new burners, and even replace heating systems. Eligible households also receive a 25-35% discount on their monthly utility bills and a discount on their phone bill.

For additional information, call Tri-Cap at 781-322-6284 for fuel assistance and 781-322-4190 for energy conservation. You can also visit the web site at www.tri-cap.org

Other resources include Citizen’s Energy – 1-877-JOE-4OIL and the Salvation Army’s Good Neighbor Energy Fund 1-800-262-1320.

Social Security Announces 3.3 Percent Benefit Increase for 2007

Social Security and Supplemental Security Income benefits for more than 53 million Americans will increase 3.3 percent in 2007. This compares to increases of 4.1% in 2006 and 2.7% in 2005. Starting in January 2007, the average Social Security check for all retired workers will increase by $33 from $1,011 to$1,044. The increase will be offset, in part, by the $5 monthly increase in the Medicare Part B premiums which will rise from $88.50 to $93.50.

Beware Hypothermia

The National Institute of Aging estimates that thousands of older people die of hypothermia each year in their own homes. The risk of dying from hypothermia is actually five times greater for people over age 75 than for the general population. Most elderly victims become ill at temperatures between 50 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit! Therefore, make sure your home is warm enough. If you feel cold indoors--regardless of the indoor temperature--wear more clothing!

If you rent, state regulations require temperatures of 68 F from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. and 64 F from 11:01 p.m. to 6:59 a.m. If your apartment is too cold, notify your landlord. If you are having trouble paying for fuel, call Tri-City Community Action Program at 781-322-6284 and Citizen’s Energy at 1-877 JOE 4 Oil.

Help Wanted

Fill-in Custodian to work on occasion at the Milano Senior Center 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. $10 per hour. If interested, call Jack Beckley at 781-665-4304.
Dispatcher to work afternoons (19 hours per week) dispatching the minibus and performing other office duties. Position, which would start in mid-January, requires good organizational skills and ability to perform office tasks using a computer (training will be provided). $8.25 per hour. If interested, call Jack Beckley at 781-665-4304.

Computer Training Classes

This month, two computer training classes will be offered to interested seniors (registration is required). Computer Orientation, taught by Richard Legault, will be held M-F, Dec. 4-8, at 1:30 PM. It’s intended for individuals new to computers who need to become familiar with computer equipment, such as the keyboard, mouse and monitor.

Introduction to Using Computers, taught by Bob Nelson, is for students familiar with computer basics and using the mouse. It provides a course workbook for students to follow along. It covers setting up the computer; using the internet, online banking, shopping;  surfing,” using email, computer security; and the use of available software on your computer. It will be held the week of Dec. 11th, M-F at 1:30 PM.

The instructors volunteer their services. A $15 course fee is requested to offset costs associated with running the computer room. Those preferring individualized assistance may arrange one-to-one sessions with Bob and Richard ($3 per hour).

For further details and registration information, call the Milano Center at 781-662-6886.

Newsletter notices/announcements may be sent to the Council on Aging, 235 W. Foster St., Melrose, MA 02176. They must be received by the 5th day of the month proceeding the month in which your event will be held. Questions? Call us at 781- 665-4304.


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