STANDARD — September is National Senior Center Month, and the Putnam County Community Center (PCCC) is well prepared to support the month's theme of "The Key to Aging Well."
The theme for 2019 is designed to highlight how centers share their knowledge through programming and resources that make a positive difference in the lives of older adults.
"The PCCC regularly provides information and assistance with a variety of available services, outreach, congregate meals, transportation and our Medical Equipment Lending Closet," PCCC Director Michelle Halm said.
In addition to those resources, the PCCC also offers a number of other services and programs on a monthly basis, including music therapy; exercise classes twice a week; enrollment events for programs providing financial assistance with Medicare for those who qualify; free glucose and blood pressure screening; bingo, bunco, cards, crafts and monthly birthday lunches; outreach visits to Putnam County libraries; and more.
"We also do group outings, present special interest programs, and bring in talented musicians. This coming grant year, beginning in October, it will be the first time we've been funded to provide programming and entertainment for our participants, and we couldn't be more thrilled to have a budget to work with," Halm said.
PCCC staff are also trained through the Senior Health Insurance Program (SHIP) to give help with Medicare questions. Medicare beneficiaries are encouraged to schedule a time each year to visit the center and review their plans to ensure they're on the plan best suited to their needs. This year's Medicare Part D Open Enrollment period is approaching and will last from Oct. 15 through Dec. 7.
Halm said the term "senior center" turns a lot of people off, but added it's all about perspective and how people choose to view it.
"We're here to help older adults in our area live their best possible lives and provide a place where they can come and feel welcomed and be part of something," she said.
Working with many other organizations in the state, Halm also said she frequently sees how seniors in other areas of Illinois are underserved because of a lack of funding.
"As the smallest county in the state, Putnam County is very fortunate to have a resource like this, and we deeply appreciate the support we receive from our community," she said.
For more information, to volunteer, or to donate to help support the PCCC, call 815-339-2711 or visit www.pcaservices.org.
Upcoming events and programs
• Sept. 6 — Donor and Volunteer Appreciation Event.
• Sept. 10 — "Stroke Awareness" program by St. Margaret's Hospital at 12:30 p.m.
• Sept. 12 — "Hearing Health" presentation by Theos Audiology Solutions at 12:30 p.m.
• Sept. 20 — Cubs vs. Cardinals bus trip.
• Sept. 23 — Falls Prevention Awareness Day.
• Oct. 10 — "Fire Safety in the Home" program at 12:30 p.m.
• Oct. 10 — "Medicare Part D" program at 5:30 p.m.
• Oct. 22 — "Every Step Counts" wellness presentation by the U of I Extension's Susan Glassman at 10:15 a.m.
• Oct. 24 — Outreach at the Lake Thunderbird Clubhouse from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.
• Oct. 28-29 — AARP Smart Driver course from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
• November (date TBA) — Dementia/Alzheimer's Caregiver program.
• Nov. 2 — Fall Fling Vendor Fair from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
• Nov. 12 — "Consumer Fraud and Identity Theft" program by the Office of the Attorney General at 12:30 p.m.
• There will also be senior nutritional programs offered through the U of I Extension through the fall and winter, and the dates will be announced when available.