WILLMAR – The caregiver support group will meet at 2 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 15, at Bethesda Grand. Respite can be provided in our Daybreak program. For more information or to arrange respite, call Bunne Frost-Johnston at 320-220-2512.

Compassionate Friends

WILLMAR – The West Central Minnesota chapter of The Compassionate Friends will meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 20, at Lakeland Health Center in Willmar. The Compassionate Friends is a self-help group offering friendship and understanding to families who have experienced the death of a child at any age. More information is available at

NAMI Western Minnesota

WILLMAR – The NAMI Western Minnesota mental health support groups for families and peer-to-peer support will meet from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 15, at the Family Practice Medical Center in Willmar. Use the east door, downstairs to the Lakeland Auditorium. Family groups are led by trained facilitators who also have a family member with mental illness. The group helps families develop better coping skills and strength through sharing. It is sponsored by the National Alliance on Mental Illness. For more information call 320-444-1707 or 320-235-3084.

Aging Wisely

WILLMAR – “Aging Wisely: Finding New Confidence and Purpose” will be held at 1:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 15, at the Willmar Community Center. Bring your health care directive with you to review and update or take the opportunity to write one at this meeting. A speaker will lead the group through the process. The program is part of a series to help support the educational, social and nutritional needs of older adults. For more information, call Carrie at 320-231-2598.

YMCA Healthy Aging

WILLMAR – The YMCA Healthy Aging program has several events planned at the Kandiyohi Area YMCA in Willmar. All are open to the public. For questions, call Beth Johnston 320-222-9622.

Happy Together Club: Aug. 13, 10 a.m., for persons 55 and over. Abbey Weiler will speak on “The Kingdom of Thailand from the vantage of a Peace Corps volunteer.” She just returned after 30 months in southeast Asia.

Book discussion: Aug. 13, 11 a.m., “Abercrombie Trail” by Candace Simar.

Dykstra gardens: Aug. 20, bus leaves at 10:45 a.m. and will return by 2:30 p.m., $3 for bus. Tour the Garden of Eden and enjoy a lunch, freewill donation for lunch and tour to support wheelchair missions in Guatemala and Native Americans.

Veterans town hall meeting

MONTEVIDEO – A veterans town hall meeting focused on improving Veterans Affairs health care services and programs will be at 5 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 22, at the Montevideo VA Clinic. It will allow veterans to hear from and have concerns addressed by St. Cloud VA officials. Veterans can attend in person, watch on Facebook Live @StCloudVAHCS or participate by phone. Area veterans enrolled for VA health care will receive an automated phone call at 5 p.m. inviting them to join the town hall. Callers desiring to ask a question via telephone will be placed in queue. If some questions can’t be addressed during the event, VA staff will contact callers with questions following the event. Veterans who do not desire to participate can simply hang up the phone.

Ombudsman volunteers

The Office of Ombudsman for Long-Term Care, a program of the Minnesota Board on Aging, seeks volunteers in west central Minnesota who will work to enhance services for people receiving long-term care services and supports.

These volunteers promote quality of life through regular site visits, work to resolve complaints, provide education about resident rights and advocate for changes.

Volunteer candidates must be at least 21 years of age, will need to complete a conflict of interest form, background screen and reference check to be accepted into the program. Volunteers also will need reliable transportation (mileage is reimbursed). Orientation and training is provided.

To learn more or to apply, contact Dana Manteufel at or 651-431-3178.

Medicare questions

WILLMAR – There are important decisions that need to be made when you become eligible for Medicare. Making the wrong decision can lead to not having any or enough health care coverage and financial penalties. Participants will learn the basics of Medicare and their coverage options in Minnesota in this one day class. The next class will be from 3 to 5 p.m. Aug. 15 at the Willmar Community Center. No fee. Call Senior LinkAge Line at 1-800-333-2433 to register.

Insurance counseling

WILLMAR – Trained staff and volunteers with Senior LinkAge Line are available to help answer questions and provide assistance with Medicare, supplemental insurance, long-term care insurance, prescription drugs, forms and more. Counseling is free and confidential. Walk-ins are welcome. Upcoming dates are 9 to 11 a.m. Aug. 13 and Aug. 27 at the consumer health library at Rice Memorial Hospital, Willmar.

Senior LinkAge Line

Older adults can contact the Senior LinkAge Line at 1-800-333-2433 between 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays to receive help with questions involving Medicare and health insurance, help finding services to stay in your home or help if you can’t afford your medication. Be sure to have a complete list of prescription drugs and dosages when you call.

The Senior LinkAge Line is a free service of the Minnesota Board on Aging. The Senior LinkAge Line is the State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) and Senior Medicare Patrol for Minnesota. Specialists provide one-to-one assistance with all Medicare and health insurance issues. Live chat with a specialist also can be accessed online at

Immunization clinic

WILLMAR – Kandiyohi County Public Health will hold a walk-in immunization clinic from 2 to 5 p.m. Monday, Aug. 19 and Aug. 26, Suite 1080 at the Kandiyohi County Health and Human Services Building, 2200 23rd St. N.E., Willmar. No appointment is needed. All childhood vaccinations are available. An administration fee is charged for vaccinations given to children who qualify for the Minnesota Vaccines for Children program. A tetanus booster for adults that is recommended every 10 years is also available along with other adult vaccinations. Medical Assistance, BluePlus, UCare and MinnesotaCare are accepted as payment – your card must be presented at the clinic. However, no one will be denied their immunizations due to inability to pay. If financing is a problem, call 320-231-7860. It is not necessary to delay shots for children who are normally healthy but currently have a minor illness such as a cold, low-grade fever, diarrhea or teething discomfort. Even if a child is currently on antibiotics and recovering from an illness, it is safe to proceed with immunizations. Parents are asked to bring immunization records to the clinic for accurate recordkeeping.


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. Sixteen-year-olds may if they have a signed Red Cross parental/guardian consent form. 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 unless otherwise noted. 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. 13, Willmar: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Willmar Public Library

Aug. 13, Clarkfield: 1 to 7 p.m., Clarkfield Lutheran Church

Aug. 14, Willmar: Noon to 6 p.m., VFW Post

Aug. 14, Kandiyohi: Noon to 6 p.m., Civic Center

Aug. 14, Hector: 1 to 7 p.m., First Lutheran Church

Aug. 21, Dawson: 1 to 7 p.m., Grace Lutheran Church

Aug. 22, Benson: 1 to 7 p.m., First Evangelical Free Church

Aug. 26, Willmar: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Willmar Elks Lodge

Aug. 26, Grove City: 1 to 7 p.m., Trinity Lutheran Church

Aug. 26, Paynesville: Noon to 6 p.m., American Legion

Aug. 27, Willmar: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Kandiyohi County Health and Human Services

Aug. 27, Holloway: 1 to 6 p.m., Old Office Building

Aug. 28, Kerkhoven: 1 to 7 p.m., Civic Center