This is the time of year when we typically retreat into our homes. Due to colder temperatures, bad weather and darker days we spend less time outdoors. Consequently we have less opportunity than during the summer for casual or impromptu socializing. Why does this matter? More and more research is pointing to human interaction as a key factor in healthy aging. Recent studies have confirmed that the immune system, mental health and emotional well-being, cognitive decline, heart health and stress are all
affected by involvement with other people. The Senior Center is a resource in this regard. The Senior Center offers opportunities for involvement with others according to one’s own comfort level. There are programs that require signing up and a commitment of participation as well as drop in classes and activities. The lobby area of the Senior Center offers the opportunity for unstructured involvement. Visitors to the sunny, inviting Senior Center lobby read, enjoy a cup of coffee, make a puzzle or talk with others.
The Bistro @ 119 serves lunch Monday through Thursday and dinner on Tuesday nights. People can choose to eat with a group or on their own. The Health Clinic nurse is available at the Senior Center to take your blood pressure and talk over any health concerns in a confidential setting. I am also available to meet with people regarding concerns and resource needs, also confidential. Attendees to the Senior Center are welcome to suggest an activity or an area of programming of interest to them. Volunteering at the Senior Center or as a Friendly Visitor, visiting an older, homebound person, is another option for staying engaged with other people. In many instances utilizing the Senior Center involves some planning. By planning ahead many attendees even use the van service to come to the Senior Center.
Planning for this type of activity may not come naturally to everyone but the rewards and health benefits are great. Research into this area of study has even found that there are considerable rewards from just being around other people. Do something good for yourself; plan a visit to the Senior Center this winter. Jocelyn Ehrhardt, MSW
SHINE Appointments: SHINE (Serving Health Information Needs of Elders) appointments are available with our Counselor, Pauline O’Bray, by appointment during November, December and January 2014. Please call the Senior Center at 508-393-5035 to make your appointment.
*** IMPORTANT REMINDER ***
The Medicare Open Enrollment ends on December 7th! Don’t Wait Until It’s Too Late! Make a SHINE Appointment Now! Every year, Medicare Part D and Medicare
Advantage (HMO, PPO) plans change their premiums, co-pays, deductibles and formularies (list of drugs covered). It’s important to review your options EVERY year
to make sure you have the plan that works best for you.
Assistance is available from the SHINE program. Call the center and ask for a SHINE appointment. Trained SHINE volunteers offer free, confidential counseling on all aspects of health insurance to anyone on Medicare. For Medicare related matters (other than an appointment), call 1-800-AGE-INFO (1-800-243-4636), then press or say 3. Once you get the SHINE answering machine, leave your name and number. A volunteer will return your call within 2 days. For assistance 24 hours/day, 7 days/week, call 1-800-MEDICARE and speak to a Medicare customer service representative.