Senior Solutions: Enjoy the activities offered at your local senior center

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The Thompson Center in Woodstock is offering important classes on dementia and Alzheimer's.

On Wednesday, Jan. 22, from 2 to 3 p.m., there will be a presentation on "Understanding Alzheimer's and Dementia." Alzheimer's disease is not a normal part of aging. Come to this program and learn about the impact of Alzheimer's, the difference between Alzheimer's and dementia, the stages and risk factors, FDA approved treatments of symptoms, current research, and Alzheimer's Association resources.

On Wednesday, Feb. 5, from 2 to 3 p.m., the presentation will be "Dementia Conversations." Learn tips and strategies for having difficult but important conversations about changes in memory, thinking, or behavior that may be related to dementia. This is a useful program for anyone who is concerned for a loved one who is experiencing these symptoms.

The Thompson and The Scotland House are co-hosting these informational sessions presented by Jessica Kalb. Pre-registration is requested. Walk-ins are welcome. To register, call 802-457-3277. For more information on the topic visit www.alz.org/vermont.

There is also information on Medicare available at two sessions at the Brooks Memorial Library in Brattleboro. These will be held on January 24 and March 20. The times are from 10:30 a.m. to noon on both dates. To sign up for these free classes please call the Senior Solutions HelpLine at 802-885-2669.

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Removing clutter and tripping hazards from your home reduces the chance of falling. Calling our HelpLine at 802-885-2669 and requesting the free Home Meds screening will help eliminate potential harmful side effects of conflicting medications. Let us find additional benefits that can increase your comfort and health through our NCOA Benefits Enrollment Center. These are all free services that Senior Solutions as the Southeastern Vermont Council on Aging can provide to anyone over age 60, or who has a disability.

Senior Solutions and the Senior Centers all promote healthy living through the many programs and benefits available through various grants and government funding and Center fundraising efforts. Whether you call our HelpLine or visit your local Senior Center, your wellness is our goal. Staying active through Tai Chi, yoga, and other low impact exercises helps to maintain mobility. Eating nutritious meals at congregate meal sites (and with the help of 3SquaresVT) maintains your strength. Developing and maintaining new and old hobbies keeps you interested and interesting. Social interaction by volunteering as a visitor and having a good friend to talk with helps maintain your wellness. Please take advantage of the many classes and opportunities to socialize at Senior Centers.

It's not too late to learn something new! Take a walk in a new direction. Sign up for a lecture or a class. Join a singing group or choir. Read to children at your local elementary school. Plan an addition to your garden. Have two neighbors or friends in for lunch. Sketch or paint. Join Game Night at your library or start one with friends. Get the activity schedule from your local Senior Center. Whatever your interests are you can still enjoy them on whatever mobility level you are at.

In summary: your local Senior Center is a great place to start the new year off right. The Bugbee in White River Junction, The Thompson in Woodstock, The Black River in Ludlow, The Springfield and the Brattleboro Centers are all full of fun activities. The Upper Valley Aquatic Center in White River Junction and the Edgar May in Springfield offer free water aerobics classes. So, now is a good time to set a goal and start preparing to keep active. Then, as the weather warms up you will be ready to go out and enjoy!

Joann Erenhouse, Esq., is the community relations director for Senior Solutions, the federally-designated Area Agency on Aging serving Southeastern Vermont since 1973. Senior Solutions provides information and assistance and administers a variety of programs for older adults and people with disabilities. Call 802-885-2669 or visit www.SeniorSolutionsVT.org.


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