Health Calendar published March 8, 2023

Mar. 8—WILLMAR — CentraCare is offering colon and rectal cancer screening through May 31 for people who are age 45 or older. To receive a free immunochemical fecal occult blood test take-home colon screening kit, print and complete a

consent form available on

, and bring it to a participating location. In the West Central Tribune coverage area they are the Willmar Cancer Center, the Benson Hospital registration desk and the Paynesville Laboratory.

Colon and rectal cancer are a leading cause of cancer death for men and women despite being one of the most preventable forms of cancer if treated early. Regular screening should start at age 45 or sooner if there's a family history of cancer or other risk factors. Approximately 70 percent of people with colorectal cancer have no family history. The screening does not replace a colonoscopy, which is the best method to detect colorectal cancer. To schedule a colonoscopy, please contact your doctor.

WILLMAR — The Lutheran Social Service caregiver support group meets from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Thursday, March 9, at the Willmar Community Center. Call facilitator Debi Retzlaff at


to register or email


WILLMAR — Bethesda has resumed its dementia support group. The March meetings are:

* New London: March 9, 2:30 to 4 p.m., Bethesda North Pointe

* Olivia: March 23, 10 to 11:30 a.m., Park View Village Assisted Living

WILLMAR — Bethesda has resumed its community support groups for caregivers and individuals living with Parkinson's disease and/or Alzheimer's disease or other related dementias. The March caregivers support group will meet:

* New London: March 14, 2:30 to 4 p.m. Bethesda North Pointe

* Olivia: March 28, 5 to 6:30 p.m., Park View Village Assisted Living

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, March 14, at Eagle Lake Lutheran Church, north of Willmar. 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



WILLMAR — Bethesda has resumed its Parkinson's support group. The March meetings are:

* New London: March 16, 10 to 11:30 a.m., Bethesda North Pointe

* Willmar: March 21, 10 to 11:30 a.m., Bethesda

* Olivia: March 28, 2 to 3:30 p.m., Park View Village Assisted Living

MONTEVIDEO — A dementia care partner support and education group meets at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, March 16, at the CCM Wellness Center conference room in Montevideo or attendees may join virtually. Open to care partners of people living with dementia. For more information or to get the virtual link, call Gretchen Reeves at



WILLMAR — The West Central Minnesota Chapter of The Compassionate Friends will meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 21, at the Kandiyohi County Historical Society Museum in Willmar. The Compassionate Friends is a self-help group offering friendship and understanding to families who have experienced the death of a child at any age. Call Lois at


if you have questions about the meeting. Please leave a message. More information is available at



GROVE CITY — The Grove City CARE program will host its annual health expo from 9 to 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, March 22, at Trinity Lutheran Church in Grove City. Health information along with door prizes and a light breakfast. Everyone is welcome.

WILLMAR — NAMI Minnesota (National Alliance on Mental Illness) offers a variety of free online mental health classes. They include classes such as Hope for Recovery, Family to Family, In Our Own Voice, Creating Caring Communities, Ending the Silence, Understanding Early Episode Psychosis for Families, a suicide prevention class called QPR — Question, Persuade and Refer, a special QPR class for Agricultural Communities, and more. The classes are designed for family members and caregivers, persons living with a mental illness, service providers, and also the general public. Find a complete listing of these classes and how to join in by going to

and clicking on "Classes" under Education and Public Awareness.

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 MNRAAA has to offer, visit

Live chat with a specialist also can be accessed online at


Senior LinkAge Line: Your link to an expert on Medicare, prescription drug expense assistance, forms assistance, community-based resources, finding resources in your community, caregiver planning and support and more. It is a service of the Minnesota Board on Aging in partnership with Minnesota's local area agencies on aging. It is the state's federally designated State Health Insurance Assistance Program and Senior Medicare Patrol. Call the Senior LinkAge Line at 800-333-2433 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. weekdays or visit

to chat with a specialist during business hours. Be sure to have a complete list of prescription drugs and dosages.

* Online presentation: March 15, 9 to 10 a.m., online. Learn about the Senior LinkAge Line and how it supports older adults and their families with decision-making.

New to Medicare: March 23, 8:30 to 10:30 a.m., online; for people who will be new to Medicare and would like to learn about Medicare Parts A, B, C and D. Topics will include a comprehensive introduction to Medicare including what Medicare covers, supplemental insurance and Part D prescription coverage. During the class you will learn the Medicare enrollment details, how to get the most from your benefits and how to research your Medicare plan options using the

site. Sign up at

. For more information, call 1-800-333-2433, space is limited.

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.

55+ Driver courses: This class offered through the Minnesota Highway Safety & Research Center will save you up to 10 percent on your auto insurance. Completion of an eight-hour course qualifies you for the discount. To maintain the discount, you must complete a four-hour refresher every three years. The course covers defensive-driving tips, changes in laws, vehicle technology, and traffic safety. It is also available online at

. Advance registration required, online at

or call


. Classes set in the West Central Tribune area include:

* Refresher courses, 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. April 17, $24, Jefferson Learning Center, Willmar.

* Refresher courses, 5 to 9 p.m., April 13, $24, Jefferson Learning Center, Willmar.

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


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.

LSS 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, two special diet meals are available. The cost is $8.75 and includes milk. Those 60 and over may contact LSS to see if they qualify for a reduced price. Order by noon the weekday before the delivery day by calling 320-737-0985. The menu is available on the website


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

under Community Center.

Lutheran Social Service: Frozen, shipped meals are available for older adults statewide through the LSS Meals to Go service. Each shipment includes 14 frozen meals and the cost is about $9 per meal, which includes the shipping cost. The cost is covered for Minnesotans who use one of five waiver programs. Meals are also available to anyone in Minnesota who could benefit from healthy meals shipped directly to their homes. Order meals on the website

or call 800-488-4146.

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

. 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:

March 1, Benson: 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Benson High School

March 3, Montevideo: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., CCM Health

March 6, New London: Noon to 6 p.m., Open Door Christian Church

March 7, Glenwood: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Minnewaska Area High School

March 7, Olivia: Noon to 6 p.m., St. Aloysius Catholic Church

March 10, Spicer: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Cross Roads Community Church

March 13, Willmar: 12:30 to 5:30 p.m., Assembly of God Church

March 17, Willmar: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Living Hope Church

March 22, Willmar: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Veterans of Foreign Wars post