ARC will be closed December 22nd - December 25th for Christmas
ARC is one of the largest senior services centers in the state of Illinois, offering daily exercise programs and over 50 free activities per month, including art classes, lectures, music enrichment, cards and games, Peace Meal and so much more. ARC is dedicated to providing programs that promote healthy aging. Read on to learn more about a few highlighted programs or check out our monthly newsletter below for full activity and exercise calendars and descriptions of programs and classes on schedule this month!
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Mondays, 7:00 - 11:00 AM & 4:00 - 7:00 PM
Tuesdays, 7:00 AM - 9:00 AM (Beginners)
& 3:30 - 7:00 PM (Experienced)
Wednesdays, 7:00 AM - 12:00 PM, 4:00 - 7:00 PM (Experienced)
Wednesdays, 12:00 PM - 4:00 PM (Beginners)
Thursdays, 7:00 AM - 9:00 AM & 3:00 - 7:00 PM
Fridays, 8:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Saturdays, 8:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Internet TV: TH, December 12th,
1:00 - 2:45 PM
Tired of paying that high Cable TV bill? The Tech Tutor, will show you step by-step how many of us are saving $50 - $100/month by gradually moving from watching Cable TV channels to Internet Streaming TV channels. Using your same internet connection, you can still watch your favorite shows, movies, sports, local news, Netflix, & more! Nancy will compare costs of local Internet Service Providers and streaming subscription services; plus she’ll show you how to set-up aninexpensive device to a TV so you can
save $$$! Registration required. Cost: $30
Register at ARC or on the GymMaster Member Portal.
Android Basics: T, December 5th, 1:00 - 2:30 PM
iPhone Basics: T, December 5th, 3:00 - 4:30 PM
Join us to learn how to: organize your "Home Screen", increase your font size, set-up "Speed Dialing," or “Favorites”, send a text message and add a photo, and
more! With step-by-step handouts and instructions, you’ll make your phone adjustments and get plenty of hands-on
practice! Registration required. Cost: $20 Register at ARC or on the GymMaster Member Portal.
Android Apps: T, December 12th, 1:00 - 2:30 PM
iPhone Apps: T, December 12th, 3:00 - 4:30 PM
If you have questions about downloading and installing a "safe" App on your Smartphone, this class is for you! We'll go over step-by-step handouts and instructions on how to install & uninstall an App, how to use QR codes, plus Nancy will share with you some Apps to help make your life easier, safer, and fun! Registration required. Cost: $20
Hearing Screenings: T, December 5th, 8:30 AM - 11:30 AM Reconnect with Family and Friends!! The Activity and Recreation Center has partnered with Illinois State University’s Speech and Hearing Clinic once again to ofer Free Adult Hearing Screenings December 5th from 8:30-11:30 AM ISU Speech and Hearing clinic is open to the public and ofers: Comprehensive Hearing Evaluations, Hearing Aid Services, Speech and Language Evaluations and Treatment. Please ask your Audiologist for more information!
CALL 309-888-9099 TO SCHEDULE YOUR FREE HEARING SCREENING AT THE ARC TODAY!
OSF SmartMeals Demo: TH, December 28th, 1 PM Learn about the OSF SmartMeals Program and take home a meal kit after this taste- testing class takes place. These shelf-stable, healthier recipes can be a pantry staple for easy cooking. December SmartMeals menu item will be a fun surprise! Registration required. Register at ARC, by calling 309-888-9099 or on the GymMaster Member Portal.
Caregiver Support: CCSI & The Alzheimer's Association - December 6th, 2 - 3 PM Are you a current or past family caregiver? Are you feeling stressed, tired, alone, overwhelmed, and/or burnt out? Caregiver support group meetings may be able to help! Caregiver support groups offer not only peer support, but resources in our communities, referrals to additional support, possible funding opportunities, and problem solving. If you feel you need a listening ear to validate what you’re going through as a caregiver, this support group may be for you! Caregiving is not easy and we’re here to help!
Caregiver Support: Sugar Creek Alzheimer's Special Care Center - December 5th, 9:30 AM Sugar Creek in Normal, IL offers a free support group for caregivers that assist in the care of Alzheimer's & Dementia individuals on the first Tuesday of every month at 9:30 AM at the ARC in Normal. Talking points covered include conflict/resolution, self-care for the caregiver, recreation activities, the different stages of disease.
Grief Support Groups Led by Lisa Flanagan, Carle Hospice Bereavement Coordinator. These programs will meet in person at ARC for the month of December.
Women's Grief Support: W, December 6th, 12 - 1:30 PM This group is closed to new members.
Men's Grief Support: W, December 13th & 27th, 1 - 2:30 PM Open to members/non-members of ARC, men who are grieving the death of a spouse or other significant person/other.
Parkinson's Support Group: T, December 19th, 1 PM
The Parkinson’s Support Group meets on the third Tuesday of each month. This month's topic of discussion will be Apokyn for Parkinson’s Disease Off Episodes
Sachin Kapur, MD Neurologist
Lucky Dice Gift Exchange: M, December 4th, 1:00 PM In order to participate, you will need to bring a NEW, $10.00 WRAPPED gift. THIS IS HOW IT WORKS: Gifts are displayed and everyone chooses a gift. The gifts are opened for everyone to see. The gift exchange starts by rolling three dice, similar to BUNCO. The object of the game is to roll three of a kind. If you roll three of a kind, you can steal someone else’s gift. Each player can roll twice. If you do not roll three of a kind, you pass the dice. The game will continue for 30 minutes. The gift you have at the end of the time limit is yours to take home! We will enjoy cookies and cocoa while we play! Register at ARC, by calling 309-888-9099 or on the Member Portal.
Ornaments of Compassion: W, December 6th, 5 PM Come join our hosts from the Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated local chapter Beta Iota Zeta in decorating paper ornaments for this holiday season. The ornaments created will be given to the residents of an Assisted Living Facility in our community. No registration required.
Holiday Piano Concert: M, December 18th, 10 AM Join us at ARC for a mix of Holiday and Sacred Music. A time to step out of the holiday bustle and enjoy yourself! Registration is required. Register at ARC, by calling 309-888-9099 or on the Member Portal.
Winter Solstice Tradtions with Rita Meland: TH, December 21st, 4 PM Join presenter Rita Meland in a simple celebration of Winter Solstice. Sip hot cider and share the warmth of the season in what has become an annual ARC tribute to the longest night of the year. Listen to stories of lore and learn how ancient rituals evolved to become modern Christmas traditions. Bring a fragrant candle to light if you wish or a battery-operated candle to hold. Readings and quiet piano music will provide an atmosphere for peaceful refection. Registration required. Register at ARC, by calling 309-888-9099 or on the Member Portal.
Scraping Textures & Designs in Watercolor: Instructor: Carol Boerckel T, December 5th, 12:30 - 4:00 PM We will take a cut up gift card or a credit card and scrape wet watercolor paint to make our designs. Cityscape or nature such as butterfies or birds. Also a Christmas theme is possible. All supplies provided. Join the fun and learn something new! Cost: $20 Call Carol with any questions at 309-230-8743. Registration required. Register at ARC or on the GymMaster Member Portal.
Fused Glass Sweater Ornaments: F, December 1st OR 8th, 9 OR 11 AM Test out your holiday creativity and create your own festive, holiday sweater ornament. Cost: $20. Register at ARC or on the GymMaster Member Portal.
Burlap Craft Class: TH, December 7th, 10 AM Join Marsha Meiss for a fun burap craft class with a surprise craft planned for you! All supplies will be provided. Cost: $5. Registration required. Register at ARC or on the GymMaster Member Portal.
Rock Painting: TH, December 14th, 10 AM Join local rock painting artist Lana Kinser to paint a few rocks, learning from her a variety of painting techniques and taking inspiration from Christmas and snowman designs she will share with you! Your painted rocks will be a fun, personalized way to incorporate art into your gardens, fower pots, and homes. Registration required. Cost: $5.00 Register at ARC or on the GymMaster Member Portal.
Holiday Social Dance: F, December 8th, 6 - 8 PM ARC invites you to join us for a holiday social dance with music by DJ Brad Olson. You're encouraged to dress in your holiday best or even in silly holiday attire. Meal option available (frst-come, frst-served) for $5 - sandwich with chips, cookie and water. Registration preferred; walk-ins welcome. Cost: $5/person; members may bring one non-member guest.
ARC Enthusiastic Gardeners Club: Bows & Birdseed: TH, December 21st, 11 AM Join the enthusiastic gardeners and learn to make bows. Dian will demonstrate how to make a bow. And then attendees will be able to make their own with WIRED ribbon that they bring and help from the instructor. All other supplies will be provided. Nancy Komlanc will then share what types of feed/seeds attract the winter birds we have in our area. Registration required. Register at ARC, by calling 309-888-9099 or on the Member Portal.
March 14 — March 21, 2024 • 8 Days • 9 Meals
Highlights: Dublin, Christ Church Cathedral, Blarney Castle, Dingle Peninsula, Farm Visit, Cliffs of Moher, Whiskey Distillery, Castle Stay
Click HERE to learn more.
April 10 — April 19, 2024 • 10 Days • 12 Meals
Highlights: Rome, Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel, St. Peter’s Basilica, Assisi, Perugia, Cortona, Florence, Michelangelo’s David, Chianti Winery & Cooking Class, Venice, Murano Island, Milan, Choice on Tour
Click HERE to learn more.
October 4 — October 11, 2024 • 8 Days • 10 Meals
Highlights: Providence, Choice on Tour: Providence Walking Tour or Panoramic City Tour by Coach, Newport, Lobster Trap Pull Demonstration & Cruise, Plymouth Rock, Cape Cod, Hyannis, Nantucket, Chatham, Choice on Tour: Chatham Day Trip or Free Day, Martha's Vineyard, Lobster Dinner
Click HERE to learn more.
Feb 20 — March 1, 2025 • 10 Days • 13 Meals
Highlights: Embrace the spirit of “Aloha” on a leisurely three-island tour of Hawaii featuring 3-night stays each in Oahu, Big Island and Maui. Enjoy your luxurious beachfront hotel in Waikiki. “Remember Pearl Harbor” and visit the USS Arizona Memorial. Embark on a wonderful journey along Oahu’s famous North Shore. Admire the hula dance, an ancient Polynesian art form. See the beauty of Hawaii’s Volcanoes National Park. In Maui, visit the old royal capital of Lahaina, once home of the world’s largest whaling fleets, where you can stroll through historic streets. Experience a traditional Polynesian luau – just one of your stops in paradise.
Click HERE to learn more.
August 09 — August 17, 2024 • 9 Days • 12 Meals
Highlights: From the old-world style of Quebec City to the power of Niagara Falls, say bienvenue to Eastern Canada. Board a boat and experience Niagara Falls up close. Discover Niagara-on-the-Lake’s 300-year-old history of winemaking with a winery tour and tasting. Have a brunch of regional specialties at a local sugar shack and learn about maple syrup-making. You choose how you explore Old Quebec – on foot with a local guide or on a panoramic coach tour. Walk the cobblestone streets of Old Montreal. An unforgettable experience awaits as you venture along picturesque countryside and glistening skyscrapers.
Click HERE to learn more.
March 31 — April 8, 2025 • 9 Days • 11 Meals
Highlights: Málaga, Choice on Tour: Málaga Alcazaba or Picasso Museum, Marbella, Sentenil de las Bodegas, Ronda, Home-Hosted Lunch, The Alhambra, Madrid, Segovia.
Click HERE to learn more.
Noontime meals are served Monday-Friday and are available to persons 60+. There is a suggested donation of $3.50 for each meal. Participants are served a well-balanced meal containing at least 1/3 of the daily adult nutritional requirements. To make your reservation, call ARC at 888-9099, press 1 and leave a message with your name and reservation date at least one day in advance of the reservation date by Noon. Note: ARC will be closed December 22nd through 25th. Peace Meal will not be served on the 22nd, 25th, or 26th as Peace Meal is also closed on December 26th.
SHIP counselors are trained, certified, and experienced in offering one-on-one information for all aspects of Medicare, health insurance and drug plans. A program of ARC, SHIP provides assistance, explanations, and plan comparisons. There is never a cost, sales, or any insurance affiliations. SHIP is especially helpful for those new to Medicare who are trying to navigate the system and meet deadlines or to anyone wanting to lower current costs and understand options. Help is available by individual appointment at various times each month. Call ARC at 309-888-9099, and a counselor will return your call to set an appointment. Walk-in hours are available on the 2nd Thursday and 4th Monday of each month ONLY. Walk-ins start at 1 PM with no appointment needed and operate on a first come, first served basis. Help is available by individual appointment various times each month as well. Call ARC at 309-888-9099 and press 3 to leave a message for the SHIP team. A counselor will return your call to set an appointment. SHIP is a program of the Illinois Department on Aging.
Click HERE to visit the official Medicare site.
Click HERE to learn more about SHIP & the Illinois Department on Aging.
Can You Switch to a Less Costly Medicare Drug Plan for 2024?
Senior Health Insurance Program (SHIP) Consultations for Part D Drug Plans Are Available During Medicare’s Annual Enrollment
· Oct. 15th – Dec 7th is the Annual Enrollment Period to switch Part D drug plans for 2024.· If you would like assistance, call ARC at 309-888-9099. At the Medicare prompt, leave a detailed message for SHIP to return your call. Please call after September 24th.
· Appointments will be set between Oct 15-Dec 7th
· You do not have to be an ARC member to contact SHIP.
SHIP will provide a Review and Compare (R&C) looking at your current plan compared to other plans that are available for 2024. Medicare experts strongly recommend an “annual checkup” of everyone’s drug plans. Based on SHIP’s history with clients over the last several years, approximately ½ of the R&C’s result in a plan switch to a less expensive plan.A SHIP counselor will return your call to make the appropriate scheduling arrangements. Consultations will primarily be in person at ARC and held in private office space provided for SHIP use.
Note: Medicare Advantage Drug Plans- comparison appointments will be available only until November 21. Any decisions with this type of insurance involve considerable evaluation of the medical aspects, networks, and co-pays along with the drug options.SHIP counseling on Medicare A and B and secondary insurance remains available during this time period for those with enrollment deadlines.
Coming in 2024!
Are you wondering about the parts of Medicare? How and when to enroll? Who can help navigate? One conclusion is unanimous - Medicare can be confusing!
The ARC SHIP counselors will offer New to Medicare presentations in February, April, June, and August of 2024. These sessions are an overview of Medicare intended for those who will be enrolling in the near future (or anyone just wanting a Medicare refresher). They are not intended to replace one-to-one counseling sessions, as those can be scheduled separately with SHIP counselors.
Details on the time and place for the bi-monthly presentations will be provided in the February ARC newsletter. ARC membership is not required.
More about Medicare’s Part D prescription drug plans
Question: I currently have a Part D drug plan and would like to know when I can change to another plan. Do I have that option at any time?
Answer: In general, someone who has Part D plan can only choose another plan during Medicare’s Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) October 15-December 7. Selections made during the AEP go into effect January 1 the following year. Appointments are available each fall with ARC SHIP counselors to help those with Part D select the best plan for the following year. This annual option to change is also available to anyone who has a Medicare Advantage plan that includes Pt D. However, there are a number of special circumstances when someone could qualify for a Special Enrollment Period (SEP) and could switch plans outside the outside the annual period. A few examples included moving outside a plan’s service area, qualifying for Social Security “Extra Help”, or residing in a long-term care facility. A SEP may also be available for someone who believes they were provided incorrect or misleading information when they enrolled in their current plan. Please contact SHIP if you would like to change plans and feel a special circumstance may apply.
Disclaimer: The questions and answers in this column are intended to provide additional understanding on relevant Medicare topics. For additional explanations specific to your situation, please call ARC and request that a SHIP counselor contact you. You may also utilize SHIP walk-in hours on the 2nd Thursday and 4th Monday at 1:00.
$0 Cost Vaccines
Beginning January 1, 2023, beneficiaries enrolled in Medicare Part D drug plans (and Medicare Advantage plans with drug coverage) are eligible to receive vaccines free of charge – meaning no deductible and no cost sharing to the insured! This provision of the Inflation Reduction Act was signed into law August 2022, and applies to adult vaccines recommended by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. Of special note is Shingrix, the vaccine for shingles, as a case of shingles can be very painful with potentially lingering symptoms. Previously depending on your plan and deductible status, the two-shot immunization for shingles could cost a Medicare beneficiary several hundred dollars. SHIP recommends still checking in advance with your insurance regarding vaccine coverages.