What's New at the Senior Center: Better Balance, Better Bones Class Starts June 6

A weekly look at the Needham COA's new and upcoming events and programs.


Submitted by Sherry Jackson, Needham COA Associate Director

As we move into summer, it's a great time for people to be out and about and more active. An upcoming class at the Stephen Palmer Senior Center will help older residents work on their balance to prevent falls and enjoy their day-to-day activities without worry.

"Better Balance, Better Bones: Are You Afraid of Falling?" will be held on Wednesdays beginning June 6 at 2:45 p.m. at the Senior Center. Cost for this seven-week class is $45.

Instructor Leslie Worris will help participants improve their balance and increase their strength. Using balls, bands, weights and incorporating yoga and tai chi, this class will help improve posture, flexibility, gait, mobility, stability, breath and endurance and help seniors maintain their independence. This class will also help improve joint stability and pain.

To sign up, call the Senior Center at 781-455-7555. Payment is due at the first class.

Another exercise class that is coming up at the Senior Center is Zumba, a four-week class that will be held on Thursdays beginning June 7, at 10 a.m. at Christ Episcopal Church. Enjoy Latin-inspired music as you pump your legs, swing your hips, clap your hands—and achieve a blended balance of cardio-and muscle-toning benefits in the process.

Instructor, Louise Carbone has taught at the Newton and Waltham Senior Center, the West Newton YMCA, and Lesley. Depending on interest, this class will be offered on an ongoing basis. Cost is $16. Make cash or check payable to Friends of the Needham Elderly. Payment is due at the first class. Call 781-455-7555 to sign up.


If you walk two to four miles, a couple of days a week, then this walking club is for you. Our walks are designed to offer variety. You will have an opportunity to walk with other walking clubs. We will also explore trails outside the local area, offering transportation via our van. To sign up, call Sherry at the Needham Senior Center at 781-455-7555.

Upcoming walks include: Jamaica Plain Pond in Jamaica Plain on Friday, June 8; Castle Island in South Boston on Friday, June 15; and Walden Pond in Concord on Friday, June 22.


These programs are going on this week at the or require registration this week. To sign up, call the Senior Center at 781-455-7555.

  • Weekly Flicks—Watch “Iron Lady" (2012) on Friday, June 15 at 1 p.m. at the Senior Center. Friday Flicks are free, and there is no sign-up required. 
  • Monday’s Lunch Bunch—Try someplace new, socialize and enjoy a good meal with Monday's Lunch Bunch. The group meets at the Senior Center at 11:30 a.m. to board a van to the lunch destination. Coming up: A trip to Corrib Pub in West Roxbury on Monday, June 11 and Pizzeria Uno in Dedham on Monday, June 18. A suggested donation of $5 will be collected on the van. Participants also pay the cost of their meals.
  • State Rep. Denise Garlick Office Hours—Come talk with State Representative Denise Garlick about any questions or concerns on Monday, June 4 from 10:45-11:45 a.m. at the Senior Center. There is no need to sign up.
  • It’s Friday Entertainment Live with Miyuki Otani—Friday, June 8, 1:30 p.m. Ms. Miyuki Otani, classical pianist, will present a concert of Mozart Wolfgang Amadeus, Claude Debussy and Alexander Scriabin. Otani was born in Japan where she began playing the piano at the age of three. She earned her Master's of Music at the Boston Conservatory, winning the Concerto Competition award. She also performed as a soloist with the Boston Conservatory Orchestra at Faneuil Hall. She was featured live on Boston’s Fox Channel 25 morning news with renowned tenor Carl Tucker. Sign-up is required. There is no fee for this program.
  • Father’s Day Breakfast: A Men Only Event—Wednesday, June 13, 10 a.m. at . Come celebrate Father’s Day with a complete breakfast especially for the fellows. In good company, enjoy pancakes, sausages, scrambled eggs, biscuits and home fries. This event is free, but sign-up is required. Sign-up is required; call 781-455-7555.


  • Diabetes Self-Management: An Evidence-Based Program—Thursday, June 7 at 1 p.m. at the Senior Center. This is an informational session to give individuals the details about an upcoming six-week workshop that will begin the following week in June. This is a chance to have questions answered. Individuals will also have an opportunity to register for the class at this session. Sign-up is required. There is no fee for this program.
  • Diabetes Self-Management Workshop—Six-week workshop begins June 14 at 1 p.m. This program is grant-funded and there is no fee required. This workshop is for people with diabetes, pre-diabetes, or for people living with or caring for someone with diabetes. Participants will learn how to care for themselves and to prevent or delay the complications of diabetes. The emphasis is on healthy eating, meal planning, and physical exercise. Other topics include blood sugar monitoring and dealing with low blood sugar, foot care, how to deal with difficult emotions, stress, and depression, relaxation techniques, how to communicate better with your doctor, family and friends, keeping track of medications, and planning for the future. Participants will receive a copy of the book, "Living a Healthy Life with Chronic Conditions."


Celebrate diversity in honor of GLBT (Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender) Pride Month with a presentation, film and luncheon on Wednesday, June 20 at 11 a.m. at the Senior Center.

Clif Holbrook, Council on Aging staff member, will give an introduction to the award-winning film, “For the Bible Tells Me So." After the film, Gordon Swan will lead a discussion. A special luncheon will follow.

The film, “For the Bible Tells Me So,” is a documentary and includes interviews with a number of conservative Christian families as well as V. Gene Robinson, who became the first officially ordained Anglican bishop; political activist and spiritual leader Bishop Desmond Tutu; and Chrissy Gephardt, the openly lesbian daughter of Congressman Dick Gephardt. The film was directed by Daniel Karslake, longtime producer of the PBS news and public affairs.

Our discussion facilitator, Rev. Swan, is celebarting 52 years of ordination. He began college in Canada to train as a medical doctor. During his studies he realized he was called to be a pastor, “a physician of the soul.” He retired in May 2003 from the , which appointed him Pastor Emeritus “in deep appreciation and gratitude for 17 years as our beloved pastor.” Swan and his wife Edith live in Needham and have been married for 54 years.

This program is free, but registration is required. Call 781-455-7555 ext. 205 to sign up.


  • Singers wanted—If you can read music or can carry a tune, join this new group meeting on Tuesday afternoons from 12:45-1:45 p.m. at the Senior Center. Fred Shaw will lead the group in song and will provide the lyrics to songs old and new. Shaw said that his interest in music sprang from listening to barbershop and leaning to harmonize certain tunes. Shaw has performed for a wide variety of locations and audiences; however, he may be best known for his role as "Ring Master" of the mid-1960s television show “Bozo the Clown.” No audition required. Sign up is appreciated in order to have enough song sheets for all to participate. Call the Senior Center at 781-455-7555 to sign up.
  • Low-Vision Support Group—The Low-Vision Support Group meets at the Senior Center on the third Friday of every month. The group provides an opportunity for newly blind and visually impaired persons to come together to discuss issues relating to their vision loss. The group addresses topics about how to use specialized equipment in the home or on the job; how to maintain independence, aging and vision loss, or the effects of vision loss on family and friends. If you need a ride, call the Senior Center at 781-455-7555


  • Computer Lessons—The Council on Aging offers computer lessons on Thursday afternoons by appointment. Those who would like to learn about computers in a one-on-one session with an instructor are invited to these classes. Lessons are offered on Thursdays from noon to 3 p.m. (by appointment). There is no fee for this class. To make a 45-minute appointment, call the COA at 781-455-7555.
  • Creative Writing Group—The COA writing group meets on the second and fourth Tuesday of every month from 10:30-11:30 a.m. at the Senior Center. All are welcome, and sign-up is not required. This writing group is for all levels. The class is not about using proper grammar. It is about capturing memories or stories on paper and most of all having fun. The class is facilitated by a published writer.



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