October 21 - 28, 1998

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Senior Scene

by Ethel M. Austin

This is the time of year that those of us in the third age need to get our flu shots. Your senior center and/or senior housing will be having the program on premises and if you have not signed up for it, or missed the date at one of the foregoing, St. Francis Hospital at 714-4412 at the Senior Health and Wellness Center 95 Woodland St, will be giving them on November 3. Please call them so they will have enough shots on hand, although no appointments are necessary. Ample free parking in the rear.

This year is supposed to be a tough flu season, so please don't fail to get your shot. The only reason you might hesitate is if you are allergic to eggs, as the serum is egg-based. There is no truth in the myth that one can get flu from the shot, but not getting it and getting pneumonia or other lung complications which can follow flu are serious at our ages. Please make your reservation today and take your red, white and blue Medicare Card with you as Medicare will pay for it. If you have never had a pneumonia shot get that, too. You only need one in a lifetime.

The Claude Pepper Older Americans Independence Center, at the UConn Health Center Keller Auditorium, is having an important fall program on Healthy Eating for Healthy Aging, open to third age older persons and their caregivers or anyone with an interest in aging and nutrition. Those with heart or diabetes problems will find help with dietary plans and transportation will be provided by Dial-A-Ride if you will call Enid Zayas at 670-2193 to reserve a space at the presentation. Although I did not get this notice in time to put it in the column earlier, you need to call today, as the event is this coming Saturday, October 24, 8:30 to 12 noon.

How do you know you may be eligible for Energy Assistance? If you are 60 years of age, or are Medicare Disabled with a monthly total household income of no more than $1,341 and pay for your own heat (oil, gas or electric) you should apply. I checked with CRT yesterday and they have not yet settled all dates and details but they will let me know as soon as they know. If you are married and one of you is over 60 you can have a total income of $1,808. No mention has been made of what liquid assets you may hold onto. Last year it was $5,500. but that is not settled yet. I will be available at 543-8405 Xl68, if you need more information. I will, however, not be doing Energy Assistance until after Jan.l, due to other commitments.

You may also be eligible for Energy Assistance if you are seriously behind on one or more utility bills. Please see your utility company first to get on their program and see what they need from you. Then apply for assistance.

The Connecticut Historical Society is making a special effort to open all their resources to the public. Of special interest to third age people (many of whom have taken up quilting as a hobby) is a program planned for Tuesday, November 24 at 5:30 pm when Lynn Bassett, Curator of Textiles and Fine Arts at Old Sturbridge Village, will explore the materials, construction techniques, and folklore surrounding the practice of quilt making as well as the changes in manufacture caused by the Industrial Revolution. Senior fee is $5, adults $6, students $3 and free for CHS Members. For more information or to sign up, please call 236-5621.

Opening on October 30 at the TheaterWorks on Pearl St. will be Full Gallop, the one-person show of Tovah Feldshuh. It is a comedy portrait of Diana Vreeland, a star in the center of American style for five decades as editor of Harpers Bazaar and Vogue Magazines and a leader of Cafe Society. If you pay $85 for five shows you can arrange your own night to go as each play comes forward. A really neat idea.
Call 527-7838 for information and tickets which are only $20 or $25 (plus $5 for deluxe seats). The show will end December 6.

Be sure to be at the Gengras Center of St. Francis Hospital when the Greater Heartford Senior Citizens Coordinating Council holds its first showcase and exposition "Time to Make a Difference" from 9 am to 2 pm on Saturday, Nov. 7.

A mere $5 will provide lunch, door prizes. Three great speakers, workshops, and 40 informational booths to learn about volunteer opportunities in the Greater Hartford area.
The purpose of all this is to uncover retirees, older people who have never worked but find themselves in good health and wanting an interesting outlet for their talents, and those who have been downsized but don't want to go through the same thing again in a job, but still want to put talents and abilities to good use. We are looking for all kinds of volunteers and will eventually be training people for leadership roles in the areas of non-profits or even businesses who have special needs for special events or projects. Please call 724-6443 X350 for more information and to sign up. Reservations needed for the lunch. I'll see you there!

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