Submitted by Bruce Peck The Bigfork Beagle Community Fair will be held 10 to 4, Saturday, May 20 at the new VFW Hall across from Harvest Foods. Local businesses, non-profits, performers, concessionaires, churches and clubs have been invited to participate.

MAY 11 - Monthly potluck at the Bigfork Community Center at noon. We encourage all members to attend and invite all members of our community to attend – always plenty of great food.

CAREGIVERS SUPPORT GROUP From 1 p.m. to 2 p.m., Wednesdays at The Bigfork Community Center/Senior Citizen Center dining room. 638 Commerce St. (across from Bigfork Elementary School) For current caregivers and/or for those who want to be prepared for the future. No charge. Call Center phone 837-4157 or JoLynn Yenne 756-8992 for details.

Surviving the Caregiver’s Experience Two women will start us on this journey, sharing their personal experiences. 1. Wendy Gibson, a retired nurse, has had several years of experience with elder care, dealing with a number of illnesses, dementia and strokes, and general decline of both physical and mental abilities. 2. Judy Jensen, a daughter who moved from Wyoming with her husband to live with her widowed mother, north of Bigfork. Her mother suffered from a stroke and dementia, remained in her home until the last few days of her life. This support group will evolve with a schedule that works best for all concerned. This will be a social and educational opportunity for current and future caregivers to gain knowledge and support while navigating a difficult path….as well as finding the potential for joy in their lives and in the lives of their loved ones. We will explore resources available in our community and identify how we as families can survive the high cost of care, both financial cost and emotional cost. We will learn how we as a community can help each other. We will continue on our regular schedule of congregate meals – Monday, Wednesday, and Friday every week. See our schedule of future events later in this newsletter. The menu appears later in this newsletter. We urge anyone with ideas or interest in future activities or improvements to please contact any of the board members or the center coordinator.

BIGFORK AREA ASSOCIATION OF SENIOR CITIZENS Board of Directors (2017-18) Rick Baird, Secretary, 300-2355; Phil Bolstad, Past president, 837-6009; cell 750-7449; Chuck Hanson, VP, 212-3297; Chuck Hubbard, President, 837-1344; Bruce Peck, Treas., 837-0884; JoLynn Yenne, VP, 756-8992;

REGULAR ACTIVITIES 1. Hot lunch 3 – days per week at Noon – all seniors age 60 and over donations are requested to defray the cost of meals $4 ($6 - non seniors). 2. Meals on Wheels program with deliveries to home available to seniors who are homebound. Call for information 837-4157. 3. Monthly potluck lunches at Noon the second Thursday of each month followed by a general meeting of members for discussion with question and answer session to provide information regarding the future of your Community Center and promote interest in future activities.

REDUCED ELECTRIC FEES Energy news from community action partnership of NW Montana (CAPNM) IF you are struggling financially and your home heating costs are a burden, please look into this program.

Reminder LIEAP (Low Income Energy Assistance Program) may be able to help with high energy costs. Sponsored by CAPNM – may be contacted at 406-758-5433 OR 800-344-5979. LIEAP applications will be accepted through May 1, 2017 for the 2016-17 heating season. Most benefits are RETROACTIVE to Oct. 2016 charges even if you have already made payments to our account. Also regarding energy costs – Flathead Electric COOP and Northwestern Energy will allow averaging of energy bills to provide ease of budgeting. Contact your utility for information.

SCRABBLE PLAYERS!! Attention, to those who enjoy playing Scrabble. We had a call to schedule a time to play Scrabble at the Bigfork Community Center. Time is flexible at the Center. Check with Rocky 837-4157 for scheduling of the building. Contact Scrabble Player, Beverly Bweley 471-4969 or 420-2753 or JoLynn 756-8992 if you are interested in regular Scrabble playing. Card playing and table games are one of the best ways to exercise our brains…an important activity to maintain cognitive functions. Looking forward to some responses. Interested in a Scrabble Tournament or a team tournament – great fun and social event for next fall or winter. Call JoLynn at 756-8992.


A knitting group is continuing to meet Monday mornings at 10 a.m. continuing through 2 p.m. Anyone interested is invited to join in the group. Knitting lessons are available and beginners, experienced, and anyone interested in learning to knit are welcome. Anyone interested in other fiber crafts are also encouraged to attend. For information or questions please contact Robin Sticka at 837-2294 or email or simply show up, introduce yourself – all are welcome – you need not be a “senior” to participate. MIND & BODY EXERCISE Qi Gong and Tai Chi – Tuesdays, 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.Bigfork Community Center - 639 Commerce St. (across from BF Elementary School) All levels – beginners and experienced All ages – sitting positions accepted Wear loose comfortable clothing, including indoor footwear. Instuctor: Adele Zimmerman Information: call center 837-4157 or Adele 755-4905 Email: From Harvard Health Letter: TAI CHI – A gentle exercise that may help heal your heart. The slow, flowing movements are never forced, and your muscles remain relaxed rather than tensed. You don’t have to get on the floor. The sequence of movements can be done standing or while seated in a chair.

Memory Support Group for Caregivers starts May 17.

Information from: Alzheimer’s Association, MT Dept. of Commerce and AARP 2015 survey.

• 19,000 older Montanans with Alzheimer’s

• $150 million in annual cost of care to Medicaid

• Sixth leading cause of death (viable treatment or cure not available at this time) Montana caregivers

• 118,000 family caregivers of adults, 48,000 of whom care for someone with Alzheimer’s or some other dementia

• Average age of care recipient is 80 years old

• Providing 10 million hours of care at a value of $1.4 billion; many while also working. See message from board at end of newsletter.

‘Celebrating History’

Wednesday, April 26 was the last of the four sessions. The overall enthusiasm was heart- warming; watching neighbors and friends come together, after many years, sharing their memories. It showed how important it is for community members to keep connections. Creston, Montana exemplifies real community spirit. There was an average of 70 participants attending each of the four sessions. A big thanks to the First Baptist Church of Bigfork for welcoming the series. Their fellowship hall and parking lot allowed easy access for all participants.



May 1 - Cheese burger on whole, Grain bun, potato salad Baked beans, fruit yogurt

May 8 - Chicken cutlet, mashed Potatoes /gravy Vegetables, roll

May 15 - Beef meatballs, brown Gravy whipped potatoes Sliced carrots, Wheat roll

May 22 - Grilled chicken sandwich On whole grain bun Augratin potatoes Buttered corn

May 29 - Memorial Day


May 3 - Chicken fried steak, Hashbrowns /country gravy, vegetable Garlic cheese biscuit May 10 - Beef taco on flour tortilla beef, lettuce, tomato, onions sour cream, salsa Refried beans

May 17 - Roast turkey, sage dressing Home-made gravy Vegetables, dinner roll

May 24 - Cheeseburger on whole grain bun, baked beans potato salad

May 31 - Salisbury steak, mashed potatoes/gravy, vegetables Dinner roll


May 5 - Chicken fajita on tortilla, grilled peppers onions, shredded cheese salsa / sour cream May 12 - BBQ chicken, rice pilaf green beans buttermilk biscuit

May 19 - Spaghetti with meatsauce vegetables, garlic toast

May 26 - Baked cod, mac & cheese, Mixed vegetables, Dinner roll corn muffin.

All meals served with a choice of beverages, roll, and dessert.


We will never make progress without participation and interest!If you would like to have a series of programs to learn about the resources available for seniors in and around Bigfork, and Kalispell that you might need in the future, contact Jolynn Yenne at 756-8992 or

The statistics on family caregivers provided earlier have obvious implications for all of us seniors and families. We want our loved ones and ourselves to age at home, in familiar surroundings with assistance if required. Our caregivers are physically and emotionally stressed by their caregiving responsibilities. They want and need help with information, respite, transportation, meals, household tasks, and possibly interaction with others for emotional support on a difficult journey. It is the intent of our announced Support Group to help provide that support. Please contact 837-4157 or 756-8992 – we can, as seniors with a better understanding of these needs, be of value to our community.

Reminder – there is an upcoming special election to replace our congressman on May 25. Find a way to get interested and vote – it is our only voice!We will have voter registration forms and applications for absentee ballots available at the community/senior center.

The Newsletter is published monthly. We attempt to provide items and activities of interest to seniors and all members of the Bigfork community. We encourage all community members and especially seniors to take advantage of the many programs we provide. We encourage and solicit input from the community at large with ideas to improve our center and support programs to enhance our value to the community of Bigfork.

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