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Senior Center: December 2016 News

Info. Submitted by Suzanne Wintsch.

Senior Center

Haddam Senior Center

923 Saybrook Road, Haddam, CT

860 345 2480

Hours of Operation: The Center will be open Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Lunch is $2.50 or whatever amount you can afford, and served every weekday at noon. This month, we are adding additional evening hours and one weekend event.

From the Director: Dear Family, I feel so fortunate to be able to evoke Christmas spirit, awe and wonder with families this season! Many of you have asked how my runs at the Essex Steam Train are going, and it’s simply magical. This month, my hope is to share my love for music and the arts with you through our special event days! Some of our events include: wreath making, ornament design, performers, Santa (I know him!), caroling, Nativity skits, dancers, and more! We are also hosting a Bake Sale at the Center to benefit our Enrichment Program development. The cookie jar gifts and crafts at the sale are perfect holiday gifts! There are many ways to help out and to become involved. Thank you to everyone who has pitched in, donated supplies, funds and items to benefit overall programming at the Center! I’m overwhelmed with gratitude and appreciation. Wishing you all a wonderful holiday season. Live with joyous vitality, Suzanne

December Highlights In effort to implement our Enrichment Programming at the Center, we will be hosting our first Bake & Craft Sale December 16, 2016 from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. All proceeds will benefit the Enrichment Program supplies and operating budget at the Center. Our Needle Craft group has donated beautiful holiday gifts for this special occasion! How can you help? We will be assembling cookie jar gifts for sale on Monday, December 12 at 10:00 a.m., creating an assembly line to quickly put these beautiful gifts together. Donating baked goods & crafts to sell:  You can bring in any crafts and baked goods on Thursday, December 15 (from 9:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. or Friday morning from (9:00 a.m.-10:00 a.m.) Take a Shift:  Suzanne needs volunteers to take one hour shifts on December 16, from 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. All sign ups are on the bulletin board in the Senior Center. Thank you!

Trees of Hope Field Trip December 8, 2016 – Departure from the Senior Center at 10:00 a.m. Trees of Hope is a holiday spectacular that features over 120 donated and beautifully decorated trees, table settings, baskets and dream presents throughout the hallways of the Maritime Center in New Haven, CT. All items are raffled off at the end of the event week. Raffle tickets are sold for $1 each at the event. It runs from December 3-11, 2016 from 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. at the Maritime Center in New Haven. Admission is free. All proceeds benefit families of the Ronald McDonald House of CT. Sign up on the bulletin board in the Center to reserve your seat. Spots are limited. Diane will be driving this wonderful excursion! Thank you Diane!

December Enrichment Opportunities

Our Enrichment Program Initiative A fun fact about our new Director is that she specializes in holistic therapies that benefit the mind, body and spirit. Suzanne is targeting the development of a Senior Enrichment Program that will help us all live with joyous vitality. Her study, research and practice have also been on these aspects of living that specifically target the gracefully aging population. In the next few months, Suzanne will be introducing some new programs that involve music, art, and movement therapies.

Tai Chi Tai Chi is often referred to as “The Gift of Balance.” An important three-year study by the National Institute of Health found that people aged 70 to 90, who learned and practiced this ancient art, reduced injury from falling by 47.5%. The slow, graceful, circular motions help to improve balance, loosen joints, tone muscles, and relieve stress, while creating an overall sense of well-being. This month will introduce additional chair-modified classes, December 7 & 21, 2016 from 11-11:45 a.m. at the Haddam Senior Center. Robert Michael Tranquil Mountain Internal Arts 860-301-6433

Season of Giving

Hat & Mitten Tree The Center will be collecting new hats, gloves and mittens to benefit our identified local families in need for the months of December and January. The hats and mittens will be hung on our holiday tree and then donated at the end of each month to Haddam Public Health. Let’s keep our community warm this winter!

Helping Hands Ministry Looking ahead to winter, I’m reminded of those who need some help with snow removal for a variety of reasons. Please plan ahead! If you would like some help, please follow these steps: 1. Contact Suzanne @ 860-345-2480 2. Call the Helping Hands Ministry at Valley Bible Church 860-345-8932

Working with our Youth

Bridging Communication with our Youth We enjoyed our second visit with the HKHS 10-21 group! This group of high school students and teachers will join us one Monday per month to host an activity for us at the Senior Center. Our next visit and holiday activity with them is on December 19, 2016 at 11:00 a.m. and all are welcome. Thank you to Holly Nicoletti and Sue Craffey for making this happen! December 19 at 11:00 a.m. – Ornament Making Craft (Perfect for holiday gifting!)

Pen Pals with Mrs. Formica’s Class at HES Suzanne delivered our first letters to an overjoyed Mrs. Formica’s class at Haddam Elementary School before Thanksgiving! We have several seniors assigned to specific students, but I’m still looking for additional writers. Please see Suzanne if you are interested. We will correspond with this group through June and then host a gathering to socialize and meet this group! Our next Pen Pal Workshop will be held on December 28 at 11:00 a.m., where a brief outline and supplies are provided.

Volunteers Needed Haddam Elementary School Principal, Bryan Kerachsky is asking for our community of Seniors to become “Mystery Readers” in the next 2017 year! Mystery Readers sign up to read either a story brought in from home or one found in the classrooms at HES. The beauty of this outreach project is that you only sign up for a time you are available and you get a joyous opportunity to inspire our youth! To scheduled your HES visit, you can reach Bryan at 345-4551 or by email:

Center Meal Treat Incentive! Congratulations to Leo Serois for winning the $10 gift certificate to Dunkin Donuts!!!!!! The more often you eat with us, the better your chances at our end of the month drawing for a local gift certificate. Each time you eat a meal, we will add your name to the drawing. We hope to feature a new local vender or restaurant each month! Technology Support! Our resident tech master, Jonathan Wintsch will help you navigate and assess your computer dilemmas two Tuesday evenings in December. Please call 860 345 2480 to schedule your appointment. Jonathan is proficient with mac and pc trouble-shooting and can help you connect with your loved ones via email or Skype. He is currently the Technology Manager at Vista Life Innovations and has been working in technology nearly 20 years. He will be available December 6 and 20, 2016 to assist you!

Computer Lab & Printing The Senior Center has added a small computer lab area for your convenience. This designated will be great for sending email or looking for information on the Internet. In an effort to reduce waste and determine our true printing needs we will be asking people to log their printer and copy jobs. Thank you to Silver Threads for donating paper!

The Center Wish List

  1. A mailbox inside the Center for outgoing Pen Pal mail
  2. Zumba and yoga instructors 3
  3. Local musicians
  4. Speakers
  5. Volunteers for event planning (Fundraiser dinner this spring, special events)
  6. Indoor and outdoor holiday decor
  7. Outreach volunteers for making meals for residents who are ill or had surgery
  8. Grateful ornamnets to add to our “Gratitude Corner” trees for December

December Groups and Class Scheduling

Tai Chi When: Wednesdays @ 6:30 p.m. & Thursdays @ 1:30 p.m. (Chair Modified – December 7 & 21 from 11-11:45 a.m.) Where: Haddam Senior Center. Have questions about modifications or class differences? Call us!

BINGO! It’s back and quite possibly crazier than ever! Holiday Bingo will be held at the Center on December 9 & 30 @ 1:00 p.m. It is $2.00 for three cards! Come join for the fun as Suzanne is slowly getting her bingo footing!

Silver Threads Recorder Group When: Every Wednesday @ 10:00 a.m. Where: Haddam Senior Center. See Alma Zyko for details to join in on the fun! Performing Holiday music on December 14, 2016.

Ukeladies When: Every Monday @ 9:30 a.m. in December Where: Haddam Senior Center See Mary Ellen Larson to join this talented and fun group! Holiday Permormance of December 12th @ 12 p.m.

Needle Craft When: Dec 5 & 19, 2016 @ 9:30 a.m. Where: Haddam Senior Center See Beth Hartke for details

Committee on Aging When: December 12, 2016 @10:00 a.m. Where: Town Hall Annex.  See Marge DeBold for details

Club 60 When: December 5 & 19, 2016 Where: Dec 5– Holiday Party @ St. Peter’s (11:00 a.m.) Dec 19th – HKMS Jazz Band Performs (1:00 p.m.) See Beth Hartke for details or questions.

Holiday Wreath Making – December 2, 2016 @ 10:30 a.m. Let’s decorate holiday wreaths together to adorn our front doors! $15 includes a 12-inch wreath from Town & Country Nursery, ribbon, and other decorations. See Suzanne to reserve your wreath. Oh what fun!

Zumba-esque Dance with Gabriella Goldstein– Dec 7, 2016 @ 12:30 p.m. Come join us for a dance exercise class for this half hour intro! Gabriella Goldstein, a fellow senior will start us out with light stretching, using a chair for balance. Then we will work up gradually incorporating movement through dance, asymmetric and isotonic exercise. It’s fun! Please come meet others in your community!

Fall Prevention with Daisy Hernandez – December 9, 2016 @ 11:30 a.m. Daisy Hernandez is the new Health Educator at the CT River Area Health District in Old Saybrook. CRAHD provides essential local public health services to the towns of Old Saybrook, Clinton, Deep River, and Haddam. Daisy is going to start visiting the Haddam Senior Center monthly, to present and discuss various senior-related health topics. Some of the health education topics will include: flu prevention, fall prevention, shingles, healthy eating, and healthy aging, just to name a few. Her goal is to make sure that seniors have the information that they need in order to achieve and maintain healthy lifestyles. If you have any health topic that you would like to learn more about, Daisy would love to hear them. You can contact Daisy at or call her at 860-661-3300.

Jeopardy with Sharad Saxena – December 30, 2016 @12:00 p.m. We met Sharad at the Senior Expo in October and he called Suzanne the next day to schedule a visit to our Center to host a game of Jeopardy! He will be visiting our Center each month to bring relevant information to the community. Here’s some information about Sharad and Home Helpers Home Care: Our mission is to be the extended family when the family can’t be there – providing top quality in-home care and home health care services that improve quality of life and create peace of mind. We work with you to help your family make the best care decisions with customized, affordable options that keep your loved ones where they belong: at home, living safe, independent, and engaged lives. Sharad will be joining us at the Senior Center on December 30th during lunch for a fun game of Jeopardy!

Ten Tech Topics with Tom Piezzo – December 14, 2016 @ 11:00 a.m. Join Brainerd Library Director Tom Piezzo for a descriptive introduction to ten of today’s top tech topics. No experience required! Tom Piezzo is the director of the Brainerd Memorial Library in Haddam, CT. Before that he was a reference librarian and the adult programming coordinator at the E.C. Scranton Memorial Library in Madison, CT. He also formed and led the Scranton Library ENavigators, an outreach team specializing in promoting and instructing digital resources available as part of the library’s offerings. Tom holds a B.A. in English from S.U.N.Y Stony Brook, and a Master’s in Library and Information Science from Long Island University. He has 23 years’ experience as a public librarian. Learn about:

  • Facebook & Twitter
  • Gmail & Google accounts
  • Texting -Word processing
  • YouTube
  • Ebooks
  • Digital AudioBooks
  • Free Research Databases
  • Free online learning
  • eBay & Craigslist

Water’s Edge with Laura Falt – December 21, 2016 @ noon Come meet Laura and learn about an important resource in our community – Water’s Edge! Whether you join us for a brief stay or call us your home, we want you to feel as comfortable as you would among family, while receiving care such as physical therapy, occupational therapy, or speech therapy. Water’s Edge Center for Health & Rehabilitation also provides a myriad of medical services including pulmonary rehabilitation, heart failure services for CHF, cardiac recovery, amputee rehabilitation, stroke rehabilitation and wound care management to name a few.

The Gratitude Corner Please take a moment to be thankful each day this month! We have two trees that adorn our “Gratitude Corner” that are awaiting your visit. Thank you to Beth Hartke and member of “Glory Be” for making the beautiful autumnthemed and holiday ornaments! I see many leaves that read beautiful words of thanks and I’m looking forward to seeing them multiply in the month of December. We do have so much to be thankful for….jot it down and hang it up!

Link to our calendar: december-senior-center-calendar

Link to our menu: Menu-calendar-december-2016