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.
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.
What’s new in Medicare: Oct. 18, 8:30 to 10:30 a.m., online. Staying on top of the latest changes in the Medicare program can be difficult. Medicare beneficiaries and their family members will learn about changes in Medicare for the coming year and how it could affect their benefits. An overview of the Medicare program, benefits and plan options for the new year will be provided. This presentation is offered in the fall of each year. Sign up at bit.ly/3ED09C8, as space is limited.
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, Oct. 25. 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.
NAMI Western Minnesota
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.
Suicide prevention class for agricultural communities: Oct. 19 or Dec. 16, 1 to 2:30 p.m., free, online; QPR (Question, Persuade, Refer) for Agricultural Communities. The program helps individuals learn the three steps anyone can take to help prevent a suicide. It is for members of rural and agricultural communities over the age of 16 who want to learn best practices in suicide prevention. To register, see “Classes” at namimn.org. For more information, call 651-645-2948.
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:
Oct. 13, Dawson: Noon to 6 p.m., Dawson-Boyd High School
Oct. 14, Madison: Noon to 6 p.m., Calvary Baptist Church
Oct. 14, Litchfield: 1 to 7 p.m., Zion Lutheran Church
Oct. 15, Glenwood: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., American Legion
Oct. 15, Willmar: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., United Methodist Church
Oct. 18-19, Redwood Falls: Noon to 6 p.m., Community Center