A warm welcome to all Senior Citizens in the Northshire.

I know that many of you are not online, may not own a computer, are reluctant to take advantage of the learning opportunities offered by the Manchester Community Library and have no intention of ever learning how to use one. How often have you been told, in answer to your question, "Oh, you can find that online?"

So, this column is for you! It's a place for news that is especially important to seniors.

As many of you may know, there is a Southwestern Vermont Council on Aging with a primary office in Rutland and a satellite office in Bennington.

Those of us (yes, I am a senior citizen also!) who live here in the Northshire do not have easy access to the services provided by the Council on Aging. Hopefully, we can use this space to share information pertinent to seniors.

Experts in the field of aging frequently remind us that successful aging requires 1) nutritious food and 2) contact with other people, Did you know, for instance, that there is a midday meal served at the Manchester town office building every Tuesday and Thursday?

The menu varies from day to day but, generally, follows the Meals on Wheels menu (you can usually find that in the News-Guide). Lunch served one day earlier this month included Irish beef stew, braised red cabbage with currants, Irish soda biscuits, and Mandarin oranges.

If you decide that you would like to join some other senior citizens for lunch on a Tuesday or Thursday, you need to sign up in advance. The phone number is 802-362-3714; speak with Darlene. Guaranteed, you will find her pleasant, welcoming and interested in serving the senior population.

Then, when you do go, a minimum donation of $3.50 is encouraged if you are over 60. If you are a youngster (below 60), there is a charge of $4.50.

No shopping to do, no meal preparation, no waste, no dishes to wash. And there is the possible bonus of meeting someone new or learning something that you didn't know before. By the way, if you want to go but have no transportation, you might want to consider a phone call to Neighbor To Neighbor to see if someone would be available to drive you there and back (Phone: 802-362-7787).

If you go as a newbie, you will be asked to complete some basic paperwork while you are there.

So ... that's a sample of the kind of information I will be bringing to you, week by week.

If there is something that you would like to know about, please let me know so I can track down the details for you and then share those details with everyone.

I would end each column with announcements/reminders about upcoming events. Next week: Seniors' lunch at Chauncey's (Monday), senior lunches at Manchester town offices (Tuesday and Thursday), seniors lunch at Bailey Hall, E. Arlington (Tuesday and Thursday), AARP tax assistance, N2N program, and MCL Encore.

Who am I? I am Marian Haines, I have a graduate degree in social work, was once the executive director of the Northshire Senior Center (long before the Meadows/Fields development behind Shaw's).

I am actively involved in organizations in the area and have now lived in Manchester for almost half my life. My "thing" is to recognize the value of communication in all of its many forms and to acknowledge how difficult it is for us seniors to tap our memory for accurate information that we somehow misplaced in the recesses of our aging brains.


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