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Northfield symposium to help recent, soon-to-be retirees plan for future

NORTHFIELD — If you’re about to retire, or just have, you may be wondering what you’re going to do with yourself.

The Second Stage Symposium at the Northfield Senior Center can help you plan for your future — from sports and social activities to estate planning and health care — in six weekly programs starting March 6.

All symposium events will be held from 6:30 to 8 p.m., Thursday nights in the Northfield Senior Center, beginning Thursday .

“We’re gearing this program toward the ‘young’ old — the folks who are nearing retirement or have just retired,” said Northfield Senior Center Director Heather Tower. “We’re looking at the next wave of seniors, who will have different needs than older seniors.”

Some of those younger seniors may be caring for elderly parents, said Tower, and some of the forums will help them plan for mom and pop’s future, too.

The first program will focus on estate planning. Kate Downs, an attorney specializing in elder law for 23 years, will help people explore their planning options.

Caregiving options will be discussed March 13 with Laurie Deskavich of Franklin County Home Care. Deskavich has more than 25 years of experience working with caregivers, the elderly and the disabled.

On March 20, Professor Claire Halverson will discuss the aging brain. She will go over what is normal and what to watch for, and debunk some of the myths about what happens to our minds as we get older.

Retirement can be relaxing, but many find they miss the activity and interaction that comes with working with others. The March 27 forum will focus on getting back to work. Roberta Meehan, of the Franklin County Career Center, will talk about options for part-time employment, and Pat Sicard, volunteer coordinator for RSVP of Franklin and Hampshire Counties, will tell you how you can get involved in volunteering.

The April 3 forum is all about fun and friendly competition. Larry Libow, director of Massachusetts Senior Games, will discuss how you can stay active as you age.

The symposium wraps up April 10, with Lorraine York addressing health insurance options for seniors. York has extensive experience in health insurance, prescription drug options and public benefits programs, and frequently speaks on insurance options.

Tower said the senior center is always open to suggestions for programming and other services, and new folks are always encouraged to stop by the center.

Open to anyone

The symposium is free and open to anyone — not just Northfielders — who would like to attend one or all of the programs. To arrange for seating and handout materials, registration is preferred ahead of time. To sign up, call the Northfield Senior Center at 413-498-2186.

In the event of inclement weather, call the center the day of the program to make sure it is still being held. Snow (or rain) dates are April 17 and 24.

You can reach David Rainville at: drainville@recorder.com or 413-772-0261, ext. 279

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