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Health Calendar published April 19, 2023

Support groups, clinics and health classes are published weekly on Wednesdays. Email submissions to news@wctrib.com by 10 a.m. at least a week in advance.

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Conference on the Brain

WILLMAR — The 2023 community conference on the brain will be from 3:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, April 20, at Willmar Senior High School. The guest speaker is Bailey Parnell, founder and CEO of SkillsCamp, a soft skills training company that helps people develop the skills they need for success. She will speak on social media’s impact on mental health. Cost is $30. For more information and to register, contact PACT for Families Collaborative online at www.pactforfamilies.org .

Grief support

MONTEVIDEO — CentraCare Hospice will be offering a six-week grief support group for individuals who have experienced the death of a loved one starting at 4:30 p.m. Monday, April 24, at the Montevideo Community Center in Southtown Plaza. The groups meet for a series of six weeks, addressing a new topic for each week. It is more effective if a person is able to attend all the sessions. It is open to all community members at no cost and it is not necessary to have utilized the CentraCare Hospice program to participate. Register at CentraCare.com/events or call 320-231-4450 .

Memory Loss

MONTEVIDEO — The Montevideo Area Memory Loss Network will host internationally recognized dementia care expert Rachael Wonderlin from 8:15 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Thursday, April 27, at the United Methodist Church in Montevideo. Wonderlin has a master’s in gerontology and owns Dementia by Day, a dementia care consulting firm and her “16 Things I’d Want If I Got Dementia” poem has circulated the globe many times over. She will touch on a variety of topics including embracing their reality, handling negative “behaviors," dealing with caregiver stress and more.

Register by April 20 for $25, including lunch. Contact Lori Petersen at apfamily@hcinet.net or 320-226-2343 . Continuing education credits available for additional fee.

Keep reading for more of this week's calendar items below the related content.

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WILLMAR — The Bethesda community caregivers support groups will next meet:

  • Olivia: April 25, 5 to 6 p.m., Park View Village Assisted Living
  • Willmar: May 4, 1:30 to 3 p.m. Bethesda
  • New London: May 9, 2:30 to 4 p.m. Bethesda North Pointe


WILLMAR — The Bethesda community dementia support groups will next meet:

  • Olivia: April 27, 10 to 11:30 a.m., Park View Village Assisted Living
  • Willmar: May 2, 10 to 11:30 a.m., Bethesda
  • New London: May 11, 2:30 to 4 p.m., Bethesda North Pointe


WILLMAR — The Bethesda community Parkinson’s support groups will next meet:

  • New London: April 20, 10 to 11:30 a.m., Bethesda North Pointe
  • Olivia: April 25, 2 to 3:30 p.m., Park View Village Assisted Living


MONTEVIDEO — A dementia care partner support and education group meets at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, April 20, at the CCM Wellness Center conference room or attendees may join virtually. Open to care partners of people living with dementia. For more information or to get the virtual link, call Gretchen Reeves at 320-321-8240 .

Epilepsy parent/caregiver

WILLMAR — A parent/caregiver virtual connect group will meet online at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, April 20. Meet other parents, grandparents and caregivers who live day-to-day caring for a child with seizures and/or epilepsy. Contact Erik Williams at ewilliams@efmn.org or 651-262-9345 .

NAMI Western Minnesota

WILLMAR — NAMI Minnesota (National Alliance on Mental Illness) offers a variety of free online mental health classes. They include classes such as Hope for Recovery, Family to Family, In Our Own Voice, Creating Caring Communities, Ending the Silence, Understanding Early Episode Psychosis for Families, a suicide prevention class called QPR — Question, Persuade and Refer, a special QPR class for Agricultural Communities, and more. The classes are designed for family members and caregivers, persons living with a mental illness, service providers, and also the general public. Find a complete listing of these classes and how to join in by going to namimn.org and clicking on “Classes” under Education and Public Awareness.

Senior services

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 MNRAAA has to offer, visit mnraaa.org/calendar.

Live chat with a specialist also can be accessed online at www.MinnesotaHelp.info .


Senior LinkAge Line: Your link to an expert on Medicare, prescription drug expense assistance, forms assistance, community-based resources, finding resources in your community, caregiver planning and support and more. It is a service of the Minnesota Board on Aging in partnership with Minnesota’s local area agencies on aging. It is the state’s federally designated State Health Insurance Assistance Program and Senior Medicare Patrol. Call the Senior LinkAge Line at 800-333-2433 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. weekdays or visit www.MinnesotaHelp.info to chat with a specialist during business hours. Be sure to have a complete list of prescription drugs and dosages.

Sign up for the following classes at bit.ly/3ub8byS .

  • Medicare and Consumer Fraud: April 19, 1 p.m., online. Virtual presentation on how to protect your personal information against Medicare and consumer fraud by staff from the Senior LinkAge Line.
  • New to Medicare: April 27, 8:30 to 10:30 a.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, learn Medicare enrollment details, how to get the most from benefits and how to research Medicare plan options using the Medicare.gov site. Sign up at bit.ly/3ub8byS . For more information call 1-800-333-2433, space is limited.

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.

55+ Driver courses: This class offered through the Minnesota Highway Safety & Research Center will save you up to 10 percent on your auto insurance. Completion of an eight-hour course qualifies you for the discount. To maintain the discount, you must complete a four-hour refresher every three years. The course covers defensive-driving tips, changes in laws, vehicle technology, and traffic safety. Courses are also available online at www.mnsafetycenter.org . Advance registration required, online at www.mnsafetycenter.org or call 1-888-234-1294 . Classroom training set in the West Central Tribune area includes:

  • Refresher course, 12:30 to 4:30 p.m., May 11, $24, Jefferson Learning Center, Willmar.

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: This 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.

LSS 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, two special diet meals are available. The cost is $8.75 and includes milk. Those 60 and over may contact LSS to see if they qualify for a reduced price. Order by noon the weekday before the delivery day by calling 320-737-0985. The menu is available on the website lssmn.org/meals .

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.


Lutheran Social Service: Frozen, shipped meals are available for older adults statewide through the LSS Meals to Go service. Each shipment includes 14 frozen meals and the cost is about $9 per meal, which includes the shipping cost. The cost is covered for Minnesotans who use one of five waiver programs. Meals are also available to anyone in Minnesota who could benefit from healthy meals shipped directly to their homes. Order meals on the website lssmn.org/mealstogo or call 800-488-4146.


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:

April 20, Willmar: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., United Methodist Church

April 21, Renville: 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Renville County West High School

April 25, Olivia: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., BOLD High School

April 26, Belgrade: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa High School


April 27, Willmar: Noon to 6 p.m., First Reformed Church

April 27, Litchfield: 1 to 7 p.m., Zion Lutheran Church

May 1, Grove City: 1 to 7 p.m., Trinity Lutheran Church

May 2, Lake Lillian: 2 to 7 p.m., United Lutheran Church

May 3, Dawson: Noon to 6 p.m., Dawson-Boyd High School

May 4, Willmar: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Living Hope

May 4, Benson: Noon to 6 p.m., St. Mark’s Lutheran Church

May 5, Benson: 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., St. Mark’s Lutheran Church


May 5, Starbuck: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Starbuck City Hall

May 8, Willmar: 12:30 to 5:30 p.m., Assembly of God Church

May 9, Raymond: Noon to 6 p.m., Christian Reformed Church

May 10, Litchfield: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Meeker

May 10, Kerkhoven: Noon to 6 p.m., Civic Center

May 10, Spicer: 1 to 7 p.m., American Legion

Our newsroom occasionally reports stories under a byline of "West Central Tribune staff report." Often, the "West Central Tribune staff report" byline is used when rewriting basic news briefs that originate from official sources, such as a city press release about a road closure, and which require little or no reporting. At times, this byline is used when a news story includes numerous authors or when the story is formed by aggregating previously reported news from various sources. If outside sources are used, it is noted within the story.

The West Central Tribune newsroom can be reached via email:
news@wctrib.com or phone 320-235-1150.
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