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What’s New at the Senior Center: Navigate Medicare Open Enrollment

A look at some of the new and upcoming events hosted by the Needham Council on Aging.

Submitted by Sherry Jackson, Needham COA Associate Director

Medicare plans change every year, and the Needham Council on Aging can help residents navigate those changes before the open enrollment period, which runs Oct. 15 to Dec. 7.

On Thursday, Oct. 11, Dorene Nemeth, regional director of the Metrowest SHINE Program, will give an informational lecture on Medicare open enrollment. The event will be held at 5:30 p.m. at the Needham Free Public Library.

It’s time to compare Medicare plans to make sure you have the right health and prescription drug coverage for you. During the open enrollment period, you can look for a different Medicare plan, which might have better coverage, higher quality and lower cost than your current plan. If you change plans, the new coverage will begin Jan. 1, 2013. If you wish to stay in your current plan in 2013, you do not have to do anything.  

Sign-up is required; call 781-455-7555.

Trip News

The Friends of the Needham Elderly’s next trip is coming up on Monday, Oct. 15 and will include a two-hour scenic trip by train around Lake Winnipesaukee while enjoying a full turkey dinner with all the fixin's. The day will start with a visit to the Christmas Tree Shop and end with a stop at Apple Hill Farms—a perfect fall adventure.

The motor coach will depart at 8:15 a.m. from Linden and Chambers and at 8:30 a.m. from the Stephen Palmer Senior Center, returning between 6:15 and 6:45 p.m. Cost is $76 including tips.

This tour does require a minimum of 40 passengers to operate—so tell your friends and book early. Reserve a space by calling 781-455-7555 ext. 209. Full payment is due upon reservation along with your luncheon choice and pick-up location.

Please make checks payable to “F.O.N.E” and mail to: Needham Senior Center, 83 Pickering St., Needham, MA 02492, Attn: Trips. (No refunds if cancellation is received within 10 days prior to departure, unless a replacement can be found.)

This Week and Coming Up

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

Walking Club—Walks are designed to offer variety and provide an opportunity to walk with other walking clubs. Walkers will also explore trails outside the local area, with transportation available. Upcoming walks: Friday, Oct. 5, Jamaica Plain Pond; Friday, Oct. 12, Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway, Boston; Friday, Oct. 26, Arnold Arboretum, Jamaica Plain. 

Movies—Come watch a movie at the Senior Center. This program is free, but registration is required; call 781-455-7555. Upcoming movies: “Singing in the Rain” (1952) on Friday, Oct. 5 and “The Affair of the Diamond Necklace” (2001) on Friday, Oct. 12.

Mah Jong Class—Interested in learning Mah Mong? It is a strategic game, and once you have learned the rules, the ability to excel is limitless. The class is taught by an experienced teacher. This four-week class will be held on Tuesdays, beginning Oct. 9, from 9-11:30 a.m. Cost is $20.

Hollywood Quiz Show—Friday, Oct. 19, 1:30 p.m. Join host Tad Travis as he replicates before your eyes an authentic, “as seen on TV” Hollywood Quiz Show that will engage, entertain and bring back fun memories that you haven’t thought about in years. Audience members can sit back and enjoy the show or be part of the show and actually feel like you are in a Hollywood game show. Award ribbons will be presented to each contestant. This program is free, but registration is required.

Learn Something New

Spanish Class for Beginners—Tuesdays beginning Oct. 2, 9:30 a.m. This five-week class is for individuals with little or no previous experience with the Spanish language.  Both instructional and conversational, this class will give you tools to learn Spanish and will be great fun for all. Lumareli Marcaccio, director of operations with ComForcare Senior Services of Norwood, is the instructor. This program is free, but registration is required; call 781-455-7555.

Art History: “American Art” Part 3 (1950-90)—Wednesday, Oct. 3, 10:30 a.m., at Avery Crossings. In the second half of the 20th century, America breaks free of its European bonds to defy convention and then dominate the entire art world. There was an explosion of creativity on this side of the ocean. American Art grows up and demonstrates its own unique personality—innovative, and sometimes controversial. But whether you swear by it, or at it, it is always fun.  Join us for a look at how art in America evolved in the modern era, from Pop Art to Grandma Moses, how it took the seat of power with all its new directions, energy and nerve. You can’t “like” it all, but you may go home with more than you thought. Where in the world do you think it is going next? This program is free, with no registration required.

Ballroom Dancing Class: “Waltz”—Tuesdays beginning Oct. 9, 2 p.m., at the YMCA on Chestnut Street. Instructor Betty Hood will lead this four-week class. Cost is $16. Please wear shoes that allow movement on a wood floor – not rubber soles. Call 781-455-7555 to sign up.

Special Film Event 

Come watch “Big Little Town: The Story of Needham,” a documentary created in celebration of the town’s tercentennial, on Monday, Oct. 15. Producers Kathryn Dietz and Marc Mandel will lead a film discussion following the movie.

The documentary tells the story of Needham, whose people arrived just 10 years after the Pilgrims, and who established their community more than a half century before there was even a United States. It is the story of how, over three centuries, the town transformed from a sleepy farming community to a thriving mill center, to an industrial showcase, to a highly desirable suburb of Boston. 

Narrated by former Needham resident and broadcaster Natalie Jacobson, the documentary is a professional quality film of 64 minutes. Producers Kathryn Dietz and Marc Mandel spent 16 months making this film and shot more than 100 hours of footage.

Meeting Regularly

The Council Players—Thursdays, 1-2:30 p.m. Like acting or thought about being in a play but you don’t want a huge commitment? Then the Council Players may be just what you are looking for. Starting in the fall, a play reading group will begin that will meet once a week and present a performance toward the end November. All you have to do is show up and read lines—no memorization or complicated staging. Just fun! Judie Strauss has volunteered to facilitate this group. As soon as we have enough members to join, the group will begin in September or October. If you think you might be interested, contact Sherry Jackson at sjackson@needhamma.gov or 781-455-7555 ext. 205.

Hoarding Support Group—Mondays, 2-4 p.m. Lorraine G., a hoarder herself, has formed this support group for people with hoarding behaviors. She participated in a new approach to this problem with the Boston University Cognitive Behavior therapy treatment program. She states, “This is a problem that can be worked on. Most people have been accumulating items for 20 to 30-plus years and expectations need to be realistic.” The support group will be utilizing the book, “Buried in Treasures” by David F. Tolin, Randy O. Frost and Gail Steketee and a workbook titled “Treatments That Work.” There is no fee for this program. To sign up, call Sherry Jackson at 781-455-7555.

Table Tennis—Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, from 9-11:30 a.m. Table tennis is more than good fun! Playing a game or two is great exercise and an enjoyable, social, active indoor sport. All are welcome at any playing level—old pros, intermediates and especially beginners. You may just become a champ! No fee or sign-up required.

Computer Lessons—The Council on Aging offers computer lessons on Thursday afternoons from noon to 3 p.m., by appointment. Those who would like to learn about computers in a one-on-one session with an instructor are invited to these classes. There is no fee for this class. To make a 45-minute appointment, call the COA at 781-455-7555.

Singers Needed for New Group—Tuesdays, 12:45-1:45 p.m. at the Senior Center. If you can read music or can carry a tune, please join us on Tuesday afternoons with Fred Shaw, who will lead us in song as we sing to our hearts’ content. Fred will provide the lyrics to songs old and new. Fred says 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 781-455-7555.

Creative Writing Group—Second and fourth Tuesday of the  month, 10:30-11:30 a.m. Write your memoirs or try your hand at creative writing. 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 who has generously volunteered his time and talents. Free; no sign-up required. 

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