WILLMAR — Aging Wisely: Finding New Confidence and Purpose will meet at 1:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 19, at the Willmar Community Center. The program is part of a series to help support the educational, social and nutritional needs of older adults. The topic for discussion is harvesting garden vegetables for winter. Bring recipes and ideas to share. For more information and to make a reservation, call Carrie at 320-231-2598 by 4 p.m. Aug. 18.
The Minnesota River Area Agency on Aging provides advocacy, information, resources and assistance so that older adults can maintain the lifestyle of their choice. To learn more about this and other presentations and trainings the agency has to offer, visit mnraaa.org/calendar.
Live chat with a specialist also can be accessed online at www.MinnesotaHelp.info.
Senior LinkAge Line and Disability Hub MN virtual presentations: Aug. 19, 10 to 11:30 a.m. Find out how the Senior LinkAge Line and the Disability Hub MN support older adults, people with disabilities and their families with decision-making and more. You will also learn how to use online tools like the Hub website, DB101, HB101, and MinnesotaHelp.info. Register at bit.ly/3krEuFq.
New to Medicare: Aug. 27, 2:30 to 4:30 p.m., online; for people who will be new to Medicare and would like to learn about Medicare Parts A, B, C and D. Topics will include a comprehensive introduction to Medicare including what Medicare covers, supplemental insurance and Part D prescription coverage. During the class you will learn the Medicare enrollment details, how to get the most from your benefits and how to research your Medicare plan options using the Medicare.gov site. Sign up at /bit.ly/3uPL1v5 or call 1-800-333-2433, space is limited.
Respite volunteers: Lutheran Social Service is looking for volunteers to help meet an increasing need to provide support and respite to family caregivers. The volunteers meet at the homes of older adults and out in the community, offering caregivers a few hours each week to run errands, catch up with friends and recharge. It is an opportunity for caring individuals to share their skills, meet new people and make a direct difference in people’s lives. Volunteers earn a monthly living allowance ranging from $150 to $250 and can earn an education grant annually, which they can use for tuition and student loans. Volunteers older than 55 can also put these grants toward a child or grandchild’s education fund. To learn more or to get started, please contact program director Tara Giese at 866-787-9802, at [email protected] or visit lssmn.org/caregiver/volunteernow.
Foster grandparents volunteers: Lutheran Social Service is looking for volunteers to offer one-to-one mentoring in the classroom and other settings to children and youth who may be experiencing academic or social challenges. They can help children and youth improve self-esteem, social and emotional development and literacy and math skills. Volunteers need to be age 55 or older and able to commit to at least 10 hours a week. The goal is to resume in-person volunteering for the upcoming school year. However, there is still the opportunity to volunteer remotely with partner sites that offer remote learning. Volunteers receive an hourly stipend and more than 15 hours of training is provided. There are a limited number of iPads to loan volunteers who don’t have access to technology for remote volunteering. Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota conducts background checks to ensure safety. The statewide organization serves all Minnesotans and welcomes volunteers from various cultures, backgrounds, traditions and stages in life to inquire. If you are interested in becoming a foster grandparent, call 888-205-3770 or visit lssmn.org/fgvolunteer.
SAIL: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10:15 to 11:15 a.m., Willmar Community Center, free, all skill levels. The Staying Active & Independent for Life program relies upon weight training and balance exercises to protect against fractures caused by osteoporosis by increasing muscular strength, balance and bone density.
Senior LinkAge Line: A free service of the Minnesota Board on Aging, the Senior LinkAge Line is the State Health Insurance Assistance Program and Senior Medicare Patrol for Minnesota. Older adults can contact the Senior LinkAge Line at 1-800-333-2433 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. weekdays to receive help with questions involving Medicare and health insurance, help finding services to stay in one’s home or help to afford medication. Be sure to have a complete list of prescription drugs and dosages.
Disability Hub MN: A free statewide resource network that helps solve problems, navigate the system and plan for the future. The team knows the ins and outs of community resources and government programs, and has years of experience helping people fit them together. Call 1-866-333-2466 from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday or find email and live chat options at www.disabilityhubmn.org.
Coffee Talk, a statewide phone chat line for older adults, is open from 8 a.m. to noon weekdays. Call toll-free at 877-238-2282. It is staffed by volunteers who understand the older adult population’s needs and challenges and is dedicated to easing loneliness and social isolation among older adults. Volunteers can offer words of encouragement and understanding and provide information about support and resources available in the person’s community. Calls are free. The caller’s privacy is a priority, and the only information requested will be first name. Users of the line may call as often as they would like.
Willmar Meals on Wheels: Hot Meals on Wheels are delivered on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. A frozen meal is available for the following day or the weekend. The meals are available for persons who are unable to cook for themselves due to their age, disability, illness or recent release from the hospital. Along with the regular meal, three special diet meals are available. The cost is $6.81 and includes all the side dishes (including dessert) and either milk or juice.
Order by 1 p.m. the weekday before the delivery day by calling 320-235-5310, ext. 219, or 320-894-7401. The menu is available on West Central Industries website, www.wcimn.org under Business Solutions.
Willmar Senior Dining: The meals are served at 11:30 a.m. weekdays and are also available for curbside pickup at the Community Center. The meals are open to those who are 60 years of age and older. Suggested donation of $5 a meal, call 320-262-5288 by noon the day before and leave a message. The menu is available on the city of Willmar website www.willmarmn.gov under Community Center.
WILLMAR — A virtual cancer support group will meet from 6 to 7:30 p.m. the fourth Monday of the month, Aug. 23. It is open to anyone who has been diagnosed with cancer — any stage, any age — and focuses on building connections and friendships. It is facilitated by Carris Health Cancer Center care coordinators, along with a cancer survivor and his support system. Knowing everybody has at least one thing in common to tie you together — cancer — can make it easier to open up, share, cry and laugh. Facilitators will make sure nobody is forced to share more than they wish. Free. Register at CarrisHealth.com/classes-events.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness and NAMI Minnesota offer a variety of free online peer support groups for adults and young adults living with a mental illness, their families, friends, spouses/partners, as well as parents of children and teens. Led by trained peer facilitators, the support groups help individuals and families learn coping skills and find strength through sharing their experiences. Find a complete listing of group meetings and how to join in by going to namimn.org and clicking on “Support Groups” or go straight to namimn.org/support/nami-minnesota-support-groups.
The American Red Cross conducts blood drives in the west central area. To give blood you must be at least 17 years old, weigh 110 pounds or more and be in good health. You can give blood every 56 days. Double red cells can be donated every 112 days. While all blood types are needed, type O and type B-negative donors are especially encouraged to give.
Appointments can be made at 1-800-RED-CROSS or online at www.redcrossblood.org. All donors need acceptable identification. The preferred form is a government-issued picture identification, such as a driver’s license, or a Red Cross blood donor card. Otherwise you will need to provide two other forms of identification, such as a work identification, Social Security card, personal check or credit card. Personalized mail such as a utility bill will not be accepted.
Blood drives scheduled for the Tribune area are:
Aug. 19, Litchfield: 12:30 to 6:30 p.m., Christian Church of Litchfield
Aug. 23, Grove City: 1 to 7 p.m., Trinity Lutheran Church
Aug. 25, Kerkhoven: 1 to 7 p.m., Civic Center
Aug. 26, Benson: 1 to 7 p.m., First Evangelical Free Church
Aug. 30, Willmar: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Willmar Elks Lodge
Aug. 31, Lake Lillian: 2 to 7 p.m., United Lutheran Church
Sept. 7, Morris: 12:30 to 6:30 p.m., University of Minnesota
Sept. 7, Willmar: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Willmar Public Library
Sept. 8, Morris: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., University of Minnesota
Sept. 9, New London: 1 to 7 p.m. Peace Lutheran Church