WILLMAR — Join a free virtual presentation and question-and-answer session on radon from 12:15 to 12:45 p.m. Dec. 2 presented by Chris Wenisch, Kandiyohi County environmental health specialist, and Dr. Tod Speer, Carris Health radiation oncologist. Advance registration is required at CarrisHealth.com/classes-events. Learn about the impact it has on your health, how to test for it, and how to reduce your risk in your home. You can't see, smell or taste radon, but you could still be exposed to harmful levels in your home. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States, and it is estimated that 1 in 3 homes in Minnesota have radon concentrations above the Environmental Protection Agency recommended level. The first 25 to register will receive a free radon test kit.
WILLMAR — Aging Wisely: Finding New Confidence and Purpose will meet at 1:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 2, at the Willmar Community Center. The program is part of a series to help support the educational, social and nutritional needs of older adults. This month will be a holiday music performance and a cookie exchange. Come enjoy festive tunes and holiday treats. For more information, call Britta at 320-262-5288.
WILLMAR — The breast cancer peer support group will meet from 6 to 7:30 p.m. the first Monday of the month, Dec. 6. The group is for women of any age who have been diagnosed with breast cancer. It is facilitated by one of Carris Health Cancer Center's care coordinators. 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.
WILLMAR — Heartbeat, a support group for those who have lost a loved one through suicide, will meet from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 14, at New Directions/Knutson Counseling, 1809 19th Ave. S.W. in Willmar (across from Roosevelt school). If you are in need of someone to speak to or meet with due to a suicide loss, please feel free to call Diane at 320-894-0182, Kay at 320-262-6162 or Ray and Kim at 320-235-0030 or 320-295-6000 or email email@example.com or Heartbeatwillmar@gmail.com.
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.
Medicare 101: Dec. 7, 2 to 3:30 p.m., online. Medicare can be confusing. If you know little to nothing about Medicare and want a brief overview before digging deeper, this class is for you. Learn the basics of Medicare Part A, B, C and Part D. This class will also give you information about when and how to enroll. Sign up at bit.ly/3H6pcyF. More classes and events can be found at mnraaa.org/calendar.
Medicare coverage checkup for 2022: If you get your Medicare benefits through a Medicare Advantage or Cost Plan, it's important that you re-evaluate your plan annually. The Medicare open enrollment period is Oct. 15 through Dec. 7, a time-limited opportunity to review plan options for the upcoming year. To review and compare plans, grab your Medicare card, your medications and get help by doing one of the following:
* Visit the Medicare Plan Finder at www.medicare.gov.
* Call 800-Medicare.
* Call the Senior LinkAge Line at 800-333-2433.
Don't forget to make sure your doctor, hospital and other medical providers are in your plan's network. This can change each year. If your plan has drug coverage, check to make sure your medications are covered and cost-effective. Plans can and do change the medications they cover. Finally, check to make sure your pharmacy is a network provider.
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: This 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.
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. African-American, GLBTQ and BIPOC community-focused groups are also offered. 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: 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.
Self-care training for senior workers: The training helps caregivers develop personal strategies for managing stress and practicing self-care as they continue to provide care for others. Designed for caregivers to older adults living in care centers, assisted living homes, their own home or adult foster care settings. The training is about 20 minutes long and can be viewed on a smartphone, tablet or desktop computer. Access the training at namimn.org and see "Self-Care Training for Senior Workers." 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:
Dec. 1, Willmar: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Willmar Public Library
Dec. 2, Morris: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Hosanna Worship Center
Dec. 3, Holloway: Noon to 6 p.m., Holloway Community Center
Dec. 6, Brooten: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa Elementary School
Dec. 6, Olivia: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Renville County Government Services Center
Dec. 6, Milan: 1 to 7 p.m., Kviteseid Lutheran Church
Dec. 7, Willmar: Noon to 6 p.m., Willmar Veterans of Foreign Wars
Dec. 7, Maynard: Noon to 6 p.m., Maynard Events Center
Dec. 8, Clara City: 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., MACCRAY High School
Dec. 9, Olivia: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., BOLD High School
Dec. 10, Olivia: 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., Olivia Hospital and Clinic
Dec. 10, Willmar: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., United Methodist Church
Dec. 10, New London: Noon to 6 p.m., Peace Lutheran Church
Dec. 13, Willmar: 12:30 to 5:30 p.m., Assembly of God Church
Dec. 15, Dawson: Noon to 6 p.m., Dawson-Boyd High School
Dec. 16, Madison: Noon to 6 p.m., Calvary Baptist Church
Dec. 16, Litchfield: 1 to 7 p.m., Christian Church of Litchfield
Dec. 17, Starbuck: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Community Center
Dec. 21, Madison: 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Lac qui Parle Valley High School
Dec. 27, New London: Noon to 6 p.m., Open Door Christian Church
Dec. 30, Willmar: 1 to 7 p.m., First Presbyterian Church