A Vibrant December (and Winter) at the Senior Center
By Donna Lane
“Norwood’s Senior Center is busier than ever,” Norwood Senior Center Executive Director Kerri McCarthy said.
Every week, there are 25 to 30 activities offered, from fitness classes of various types — gentle, Tai Chi, Zumba, Flex & Firm, Pilates and Yoga — to card games, such as cribbage, Mah Jong, whist, and bridge, popular board games, like Scrabble and Bingo, handcrafting, line dancing, tap and ballroom dancing.
A number of additional activities are scheduled for December which promise to be festive! On December 2, a bus trip for “A Salem Cross Christmas,” will be offered where participants will visit Honey Bee Orchards, have a delicious four-course luncheon, visit the Yankee Candle Shop in Deerfield, ending with the “Bright Nights” light display at Forest Park.
The Center’s Annual Holiday Party will be held on December 9. Crooner Tommy Roe will serenade attendees with holiday music, followed by a luncheon.
On December 17, local historian Anthony Sammarco will return to share the history of “Christmas Traditions in Boston.” That evening The Friends of the Council on Aging will hold their monthly dance.
And closing out the year on December 31, a bus trip is scheduled for “An American Bandstand New Year’s Eve Day,” at the Danvers Yacht Club. A fitting end of year celebration for the over-60 set!!
In addition to its regular daily activities, the Senior Center’s popular hot lunches, which are served Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, will continue through the winter. If you are unable to come to the Center, your meal can be delivered to you. Weekly menus are posted on the monthly newsletter and cost $5 each. If you’d like a copy of the newsletter mailed to you each month, the cost is $7. Alternatively, you can read the newsletter online at www.norwoodma.gov/departments/council_on_aging/newsletter_calendar.php.
For all activities during the month of December and throughout the winter, if the Norwood schools are closed, the Senior Center will also be closed. Always call and check if you are unsure.
“We’ve been very fortunate to be able to run our programs at the Senior Center due to the size of the center itself,” McCarthy said.
However, she acknowledged that the scheduled speakers, entertainment, and daily programs will be subject to change based on Covid conditions.
And speaking of Covid, vaccine clinics are up and running at the Senior Center. Call if you need a booster shot.
Not only does the Senior Center have great fitness classes and fun group activities, it helps the over 60 community with accessing fuel assistance if needed, sorting through the maze of elder insurance options, and providing transportation to local grocery and retail stores.
McCarthy said she is excited about the Center’s out of town medical rides for Norwood residents who are 60 and older.
“It’s great to be able to offer that service, especially because of the lack of taxes in town,” McCarthy said. “The transport team is busier than they have ever been. Thanks to a vote at Town Meeting, since May, residents are now able to obtain transportation to medical appointments in Walpole, Westwood, Dedham, Foxboro, Newton, and Needham.”
You must call three working days in advance to schedule a ride and be capable of getting in and out of the van independently. The cost for out of town trips is $5.
The fuel assistance season has begun. If you quality for fuel assistance and would like to apply, call Outreach Coordinator Trish Monahan at 781-762-1201, extension 6804, to set up an appointment to fill out your application. To determine if you qualify, check out the November 2021 newsletter for income limits and list of documentation that must be submitted with your application (http://cms5.revize.com/revize/norwoodma/document_center/Senior/Newsletters/November%202021.pdf).
Do you have questions about your Medicare, Medicaid, or health insurance coverage? Two SHINE (Serving Health Insurance Needs of Elders) counselors at the Senior Center continue to assist people with Medicare needs. In-person appointments are available to people who are fully vaccinated. Appointments are available Tuesdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Appointments by telephone are available if you are not vaccinated. To make an appointment, call 781-762-1201, extension 5.
The Norwood Council on Aging/Senior Center is a vibrant organization serving the 60 and over elder community.
“We are here to help; we’re just a phone call away,” McCarthy said.
If you have not taken advantage of the programs or entertainment available from the Center, you are doing yourself a disservice. Stop by. Pick up a newsletter to see what’s happening and meet your neighbors. You’ll be glad you did.
The Norwood Senior Center is located at 275 Prospect St., and is open Monday to Friday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, call 781-762-1201 or email [email protected]v.