Health Calendar published March 24, 2021

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

Stock art for healthcare news using the Caduceus symbol with a short staff entwined by two serpents

New to Medicare

WILLMAR — Senior LinkAge Line will have a virtual class from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. March 26 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 site. Please contact Senior Linkage Line at or 1-800-333-2433 to sign up for the class, as space is limited.

Senior LinkAge Line

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.

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 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 .

M edicare Advantage open enrollment: If you have a Medicare Advantage Plan, you have until March 31, 2021, to make changes to your plan. People who have their Medicare benefits through a Medicare Advantage Plan can make a one-time plan change from Jan. 1 through March 31.

This enrollment period gives people with a Medicare Advantage Plan a second chance to decide if their Medicare Advantage plan is right for them.


  • Enrollees can switch to another Medicare Advantage Plan (with or without drug coverage) or return to original Medicare.
  • Enrollees cannot switch from original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage Plan, cannot join a stand-alone Medicare Part D prescription drug plan nor can they switch from one stand-alone Medicare Part D prescription drug plan to another.

Aging Wisely

WILLMAR — Aging Wisely: Finding New Confidence and Purpose will meet at 1:30 p.m. Thursday, April 1, 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 group will watch and discuss the 2007 movie “The Bucket List” starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman, two men who flee a cancer ward in an attempt to live a full life before they die. Social distancing, wearing masks, etc. required. For more information and to make a reservation, call Carrie at 320-231-2598 by 4 p.m. March 31.

Conversation line

WILLMAR — Carris Health has established a conversational phone line that will be open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays. The number is 866-777-0250 . This pandemic is difficult in a multitude of ways and many people in our communities are unable to visit with friends and family. If you are feeling isolated and want to connect with somebody, volunteers are available to have a friendly chat.

Senior chat line

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 will be 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 lik e.

Home-delivered meals

Willmar Meals on Wheels: CCT bus drivers are delivering Meals on Wheels on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. On these three days the meal is hot but a frozen meal can be included 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, under Business Solutions.

Willmar Senior Dining: The meals will be available for curbside pickup at the Community Center between 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. weekdays. Frozen meals are available. 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 under Community Center.


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 . 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 that still had appointments available as of deadline are:

March 25, Willmar: Noon to 6 p.m., American Legion

March 25, Renville: 1 to 7 p.m., St. John’s Lutheran Church

March 30, Willmar: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Willmar Public Library

March 31, Cosmos: 1 to 7 p.m., City Center

April 2, Olivia: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Max’s Grill

April 2, Glenwood: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Central Square American Legion

April 6, Willmar: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Community Center


April 6, Clarkfield: 1 to 7 p.m., Clarkfield Lutheran Church

April 6, Appleton: Noon to 6 p.m., St. John’s Catholic Church

April 7, Clara City: 12:30 to 6:30 p.m., Community Center

April 7, Dawson: 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Dawson-Boyd High School

April 8, Willmar: Noon to 6 p.m., First Reformed Church

April 8, Hancock: Noon to 6 p.m., The Bridge

April 9, Kandiyohi: Noon to 6 p.m., Civic Center

April 9, Kerkhoven: 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., KMS High School

Donna Middleton started working at the West Central Tribune in 1975 and has been the news assistant since 1992. She compiles the arts, health, farm and community page calendars, as well as rewrites and works on the special sections.
She can be contacted at or phone 320-214-4341.
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