It’s important to be pro-active about children’s vaccines

NIAGARA, Wis. — I can remember as a kid and member of the baby-boom generation that when it came time to get vaccinated, we took home parental approval forms from school. With parental permission attained, we lined up in the gymnasium or auditorium grade by grade and, with arms extended, got whatever shots we needed, free of charge.

Back then, it was primarily the polio vaccine that was distributed in this manner. I remember willing myself not to shed a tear because crying over a shot in front of all of my classmates was more painful than the shot itself. It was the easiest, and most comprehensive, way for children to get those very necessary immunizations.

Times have definitely changed. Parents are now responsible for getting their children to the doctor’s office for immunizations, and many are choosing to forego them completely. Obviously, this puts all of us at greater risk. And, as we age, we become more susceptible to illnesses that, thanks to medical research and development, can now be effectively prevented. Now that autumn is definitely here, it is a good time to get up-to-date on any immunizations that can keep us healthier as we make our way through the upcoming months of harsher weather. Thanks to September’s AARP Bulletin for this list of vaccines we need as seniors as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

An annual flu vaccine is needed by everyone every year because the strains of this disease change annually, and we do not maintain our immunity from one year to the next. This is not the stomach flu, but a respiratory flu that can prove deadly for seniors. The vaccine does not give you the flu. If you experience mild symptoms of fever, sore muscles, or a headache after receiving your immunization, the CDC explains it is simply a sign your immune system is working. The vaccine is now readily available at your physician’s office, at senior living facilities, or any of several pharmacies in the area.

Anyone 50 years old or older should be vaccinated against shingles, a nasty cousin to the chicken pox. One of the most effective medical commercials on television was for this vaccine. After seeing those awful, blistering rashes on people obviously suffering, I made sure to ask my family physician about it. The former vaccine, Zostavax, loses its effectiveness after five years. Ask your physician about Shingrix, a newer generation of shingles vaccine that is more effective, but does require two doses given two to six months apart. Additionally, the potential side effects of fever, achy muscles and chills can be more pronounced. Finally, the newer vaccine may be difficult to obtain in some areas due to shortages.

Anyone age 65 or older should obtain a pneumonia vaccine. This vaccine is also recommended for younger individuals who suffer certain chronic medical conditions and is received in two doses, one year apart. Given your personal medical history your physician will recommend which of the two types of pneumonia vaccine you should have.

The MMR vaccine is the one that protects us against measles, mumps and rubella. Those of us born before 1957 most likely do not need it because we acquired immunity in childhood by actually contracting these diseases. Also, most people born in 1957 or later who have had one dose of MMR also are protected. It has also been determined that about 1 million people who received an MMR vaccine from 1963 through 1967 received an ineffective version of the vaccine. If you are not sure you are protected, it does not hurt to get another MMR vaccine. Or you can ask your physician for a blood test that will determine your immunity.

Everyone needs a tetanus shot every 10 years. Thanks to childhood immunizations that most of us have received, tetanus is pretty uncommon nowadays. There is still a risk for those of us who forego our 10-year booster shot. The Tdap vaccine has been developed to protect against tetanus, pertussis or whooping cough and diphtheria. In 2006, the CDC updated its recommendations to suggest adults get the Tdap and then a regular Td booster every 10 years. While it may sound strange to vaccinate at this age against the whooping cough, that disease once again is on the rise. Talk to your physician particularly if you are around a lot of young children; the vaccine will protect you and them from getting sick.

There is now a chicken pox vaccine for anyone of any age who has not had this disease. It is only necessary to vaccinate once. If you happen to have never had chicken pox as a child, it is possible to catch this disease from someone who has shingles … and getting chicken pox as an adult is not fun! Talk to your physician if you believe you are at risk. If you are not sure, there is a blood test available to determine your immunity.

Finally, have a discussion with your physician regarding hepatitis. Hepatitis A is a highly contagious viral liver infection that causes abdominal pain and jaundice. More than 20 states have seen outbreaks of this disease since 2016, which is spread through contaminated food, drug use and unsanitary conditions. Hepatitis B is spread through sexual contact. Hepatitis C attacks the liver, and people born between 1945 and 1965 are at a higher risk for it. This form of hepatitis can live in the body for years, going undetected until significant damage has been done.

None of us is getting any younger. With advancing age comes the greater risk of health issues. Be pro-active. Discuss these vaccinations and your health risks with your physician so you can take advantage of all that modern medicine has to offer. Be responsible — protect yourself and others.






Scenes and sounds, 11:30 a.m. Sunday through Saturday.

Sunday: Toss across, 1 p.m.; dunking donuts, 2 p.m.; church, 2:15 p.m.

Monday: Room visits, 10 a.m.; Catholic Mass, 11 a.m.; library cart, 1:30 p.m.; bingo, 2 p.m.; ice cream social, 3 p.m.

Tuesday: Crafts, 10:30 a.m.; reminisce, 1:15 p.m.; Kentucky Derby, 2 p.m.

Wednesday: Room visits, 10 a.m.; rosary, 10:30 a.m.; room visits, 1 p.m.; Golden Throats, 2 p.m.; movie and popcorn, 3 p.m.

Thursday: Reading buddy, 11 a.m.; Bible study, 1:15 p.m.; bingo with Carol, 2 p.m.; “Lawrence Welk,” 4:30 p.m.

Friday: What’s cooking? 11 a.m.; parlor games, 1:15 p.m.; sing along, 2:30 p.m.; happy hour, 3 p.m.

Saturday: Meet and greet, 10:30 a.m.; daily newspaper, 11 a.m.; oldies but goodies, 1 p.m.; bingo, 2 p.m.; evening news, 6 p.m.

Iron County 

Medical Facility

Crystal Falls

Sunday: One-to-one church visitors, 8:30 to 11 a.m.; room visits, 9 to 11 a.m.; reminisce, 10 a.m.; bingorama, 2 p.m.; Church of Christ, 3 p.m.

Monday: Crafts, 9 to 10:30 a.m.; resident council, 10:30 a.m.; exercise, 11 a.m.; room visits, 1 p.m.; VFW bingo, 2 p.m.; Sunshine Club, 2:30 p.m.

Tuesday: CF library, 9:30 a.m.; book club, 10 a.m.; prayer, 10 a.m.; mystery ride, 1 p.m.; wildlife film, 1:30 p.m.; current events, 2 p.m.; crime movie, 6 p.m.

Wednesday: Community breakfast, 9 a.m.; trivia teasers, 10:30 a.m.; exercise, 11 a.m.; pass the prize, 2 p.m.; night bingo, 6 p.m.

Thursday: Puzzler, 9:30 a.m.; bowling, 10 a.m.; Bible study, 1 p.m.; travel film, 1:30 p.m.; United Lutheran Church, 2 p.m.; happy hour, 2:30 p.m.

Friday: Crafts, 9 to 10:30 a.m.; exercise, 11 a.m.; room visits, 1 p.m.; scavenger hunt, 2 p.m.; romance movie, 6 p.m.

Saturday: Puzzler/how do you feel? 10 a.m.; geri-gym, 11 p.m.; intergenerational social hour, 2 p.m.

Manor Care


Wet your whistle: 9:30 a.m. Sunday through Saturday.

Exercise: 10 a.m. Sunday through Saturday.

Movie: 10:45 a.m. Sunday through Tuesday and Thursday through Saturday and 3:15 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

Popcorn Day: Every Friday.

Sunday: Just jokes, 10:15 a.m.; company’s coming room visits, 1:30 p.m.; Protestant church, 3 p.m.

Monday: Did you know? 10:15 a.m.; Bob Larson music, 2 p.m.; pokeno, 5:45 p.m.

Tuesday: Trivia, 10:15 a.m.; resident council/food committee, 2 p.m.; movie and manicure, 5:45 p.m.

Wednesday: Remembering when, 10:15 a.m.; monthly birthday party with Jim Edberg entertainment, 2 p.m.; flip five, 5:45 p.m.

Thursday: Crosswords, 10:15 a.m.; bingo, 2 p.m.; magic moments music, 5:45 p.m.

Friday: Finish lines, 10:15 a.m.; Catholic Mass, 2 p.m.; chips and chatter, 2:30 p.m.

Saturday: Current events, 10:15 a.m.; bingo, 2 p.m.

Maryhill Manor

Niagara, Wis.

Rosary, 8:30 a.m. Sunday through Friday.

Sunday: “Family Feud,” 10:15 a.m.; music bingo, 1:30 p.m.; Protestant service, 2:30 p.m., Christian fellowship, 5:30 p.m.

Monday: Bob Larson entertainment, 10:15 a.m.; tailgate party — Packers vs. Lions, 2 p.m. Tuesday: Current events, 10:15 a.m.; prayer shawl, 1 p.m.; bingo, 2 p.m.; Yahtzee, 6:15 p.m.

Wednesday: Yoga, 10 a.m.; jokereno, 2 p.m.; Chaplet of Divine Mercy, 3 p.m.; movie and popcorn, 6:15 p.m.

Thursday: Catholic Mass, 9 a.m.; Scattegories, 10:15 a.m.; Halloween craft, 2 p.m.; whammo, 6:15 p.m.

Friday: Ball toss, 10:15 a.m.; trivia — October in history, 10:30 a.m.; happy hour sing along, 2 p.m.

Saturday: Crafts, 10:15 a.m.; pamper and polish, 2 p.m.; bingo, 5:45 p.m.

Victorian Pines

Iron Mountain

Juice time, 10 a.m. Sunday through Saturday.

Exercise, 11 a.m. Monday through Friday.

Shopping days: 10 a.m. Tuesdays and Fridays, must sign up.

Sunday: Bible study, 1:30 p.m.; refreshments, 3 p.m.

Monday: Bingo, 2 p.m.; refreshments, 3 p.m.; Packers vs. Lions, 7:15 p.m.

Tuesday: Music with Pastor Jim, 2 p.m.; refreshments, 3 p.m.

Wednesday: Birthday party, 2 p.m.

Thursday: Bingo, 2 p.m.; rosary, 3 p.m.

Friday: Sack supper, 4 p.m.; Halloween party, 6 p.m.

Saturday: Movie and popcorn, 2 p.m.

Florence Health Services

Florence, Wis.

Morning news, 6 a.m. daily.

Beauty shop open Tuesday and Thursday .

Snack cart, 7 p.m. Sunday through Tuesday and Thursday through Saturday.

Sunday: Bingo/family and friends social time, 10 a.m.; Pastor Miller, 3:30 p.m.

Monday: Bingo, 10 a.m.; coffee and chat, 11 a.m.; room visits, 3 p.m.

Tuesday: Coffee and chat, 11 a.m.; resident council, 2 p.m.; social hour, 3 p.m.

Wednesday: Craft, 10 a.m.; coffee and chat, 11 a.m.; music with Tom Palmer, 2 p.m.; music with Grace and Dave, 6:30 p.m.

Thursday: Pastor Jason, 10 a.m.; coffee and chat, 11 a.m.; manicures, 2 p.m.

Friday: Catholic church service, 10 a.m.; coffee and chat, 11 a.m.; pow wow, 2 p.m.; happy half hour, 3 p.m.

Saturday: Bingo/family and friends social time, 10 a.m.

Pinecrest Medical Care Facility


Sunday: Grace church, 10:15 a.m.; ball toss, 10:30 a.m.; Lutheran service, 2 p.m.; life stories, 3:30 p.m.

Monday: Life connections, 9:45 a.m.; busy bee, 12:45 p.m.; rosary (second), 2:30 p.m.; bean bag toss, 3:30 p.m.; checkers, 6 p.m.

Tuesday: Bus ride, 10 a.m.; busy bee, 12:15 p.m.; bingo, 1:45 p.m.; “Family Feud,” 3:30 p.m.; one-to-one visits, 6 p.m.

Wednesday: Bingo, 10 a.m.; busy bee, 12:45 p.m.; birthday party, 2 p.m.; one-to-one visits, 6 p.m.

Thursday: Exercise, 10:30 a.m.; busy bee, 12:45 p.m.; February Sky in MPR, 2 p.m.; cards, 3:30 p.m.; Trouble board game, 6 p.m.

Friday: Catholic Mass, 10:30 a.m.; busy bee, 12:45 a.m.; Bunco, 2 p.m.; fish fry outing, 3:30 p.m.; one-to-one visits, 6 p.m.

Saturday: Karaoke, 10:15 a.m.; cards, 10:30 a.m.; ice cream social, 2 p.m.; reminisce, 3:30 p.m.


Note: All centers ask for 24-hour advanced reservations for lunch. Those who have meals delivered who will not be home should notify the center.

Alpha-Mastodon Center


Meal at noon every Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.

Amasa Center


Open Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

Lunch at noon.

Bingo on Tuesdays.

Free meal drawing on Thursdays.

Menu for the week:

Tuesday: Pepper steak, rice, cauliflower, and salad.

Wednesday: Smoked sausage, mashed potatoes, corn and tomatoes.

Thursday: Lasagna, green beans, salad and garlic bread.

Breen Center


Meals Monday through Friday.

Pasty sale every third Saturday of the month, except on holidays.  

Cards and games available 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 2 p.m. 

Hostess on duty Monday through Friday.   

Treats and coffee, 8:30 to 11:30 a.m.

Center retail store is open 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday; volunteers and donations are welcome.

Birthdays acknowledged every day.

Evening meals are on the first and third Thursday of the month. Salad bar opens at 4 p.m., with dinner at 5 p.m. Donations are $4 for those 60 and older and $5 for 60 and younger.

Menu for the week:

Monday: Baked salmon, fried potatoes, and asparagus.

Tuesday: Beef stew, and cornbread.

Wednesday: Salisbury steak, mashed potatoes, gravy, corn, and biscuit.

Thursday: Night Meal — Lasagna, mixed vegetables, and garlic bread.

Friday: Baked fish or smoked sausage, twice-baked potato, and wax beans.

Soup, salad and dessert are offered with every meal. Reservations for meals are encouraged. Walk-ins are welcomed.

Crystal Falls Center

Head cook: Lucy Korhonen


The center is not just for seniors — bring a friend.

Suggested meal donations: $5 if older than 60; $6 if younger than 60; $1 extra for take-out.

To reserve meals, call the center by 1 p.m. with name and number of people.

All dinners include the soup and salad bar, homemade dessert, tea, coffee and milk.

Open: Monday through Wednesday, 4:30 p.m., soup and salad bar; 5 p.m., dinner.

Mondays: Basket weaving after dinner — all are welcome for dinner and/or the class. Beginners can make their first basket with materials provided.

Menu for the week was unavailable.

Crystal Lake Center

Christine McMahon

906-774-2256, ext. 235

The center is closed on weekends.

Monday: Woodcarvers, 10 a.m.; mahjong in dining hall, noon; Les Artistes Art Club, noon; Bridge Club, 12:15 p.m.

Tuesday and Thursday: Pinochle, 12:30 p.m.

Tuesday, Thursday and Friday: Billiards, 9:30 a.m.

Wednesday: Spinning Spools Quilters Guild, 1 p.m.; crafters, scrapbookers and others also welcome; knitting and crocheting class, 1 to 3 p.m.

Thursday: Happy Quilters, 1 p.m.; two-person team cribbage, 12:30 to 3:30 p.m.

Friday: Smear, noon.

The kitchen once again is open and serving meals. A new lunch program is offered every Wednesday from 11:45 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. Meals cost $5 for those younger than 60 years old and a $4 donation for those older than 60.

Home-delivered meal menu for week:

Monday: Salisbury steak, mashed potatoes and corn.

Tuesday: Turkey and stuffing, gravy, green beans.

Wednesday: Smothered pork chop, rice, peas and carrots.

Thursday: Chicken Alfredo, egg noodles and broccoli.

Friday: American sub sandwich, cole slaw, chips and chocolate cupcake.

Center-based meal menu for week:

Wednesday lunch: Minestrone soup with deluxe salad bar.

Transportation is available from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Call Buzzin’ Around Town at 906-282-0492. Rides are $3 for age 60 and older, and $3.50 for younger than 60. 

Felch Center


Meals served at 11:30 a.m. Monday through Wednesday.

Bingo after lunch on the first and third Wednesday of each month.

A congregate jigsaw puzzle is done daily.

Menu for the week:

Monday: Beef stroganoff, noodles, mixed vegetables and peaches.

Tuesday: Chicken strips, fries, yogurt, mixed fruit and dinner roll.

Wednesday: Night meal –Turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, broccoli and grapes.

Aging and Disability Resource Center of Florence County, Wis.


Director: Tiffany White

Suggested donation for seniors older than 60 is $4 per meal. Residents younger than 60 must pay $7. Reservations and cancellations are needed 48 hours in advance.

The ADRC can assist area seniors and those with disabilities with transportation Monday through Friday. Transportation reservation should be made with meal reservation.

Menu for the week:

Monday: Chicken vegetable soup, turkey croissant with lettuce and tomato, and peaches.

Tuesday: Chef’s salad, whole wheat rolls, string cheese, and peaches.

Wednesday: Pasties with gravy, cole slaw, fruit salad, and “cow pie” cookies.

Thursday: Pork loin, mashed potatoes, squash, apple sauce and birthday cake.

Friday: Kielbasa skillet stew, dark green salad, bread sticks, and fruited Jell-O.

Other assistance includes information on aging, benefits specialist and caregiver support.

Fence Center/Town Hall

715-336-2980 — RSVP for meal at 855-528-2372

Meal at noon Wednesdays only — Same menu listed under ADRC of Florence County. Reservations are requested. Cribbage and cards are available.

Florence Community Center/Town Hall

RSVP for meal at 715-528-4261

Home-delivered meals are available. Meal is served at 11:30 a.m. at this center Monday through Thursday, with the same menu as listed under ADRC of Florence County.

Tipler Town Hall

715-674-2320 – RSVP for meals.

Serving lunch at noon on the second Thursday of the month only, with the same menu as listed under ADRC of Florence County.

Hillcrest Senior Dining Center, Aurora

715-589-4491 – RSVP for meals

Meal is served at 11:30 a.m. Monday through Friday, with the same menu as listed under ADRC of Florence County. Transportation arrangements can be made to and from the meal site.

Hermansville Center

Coordinator: Pam Haluska


Meal is at noon Monday through Friday. Suggested donation is $3 for age 60 and older and $7 for those younger than 60. Morning coffee is available daily.

Fifteen games of “fun bingo” are played each Tuesday and Friday, along with a 50-50 drawing.

Tuesday: Bingo, 12:45 p.m.

Wednesday: Cards played in the afternoon. Call ahead to see if a game will be going on.

Friday: Bingo, 12:45 p.m.

Monday through Friday: Walking in the gym, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. A treadmill also is available.

Enjoy friendly interaction with other crafters.

Iron River Center


Meals served 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Monday through Wednesday; a $4 donation is encouraged from those 60 and older, and a $5 payment is required from those younger than 60. Thursday meal, 3:30 p.m. soup, 4 p.m. salad bar, with dinner 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. Home-delivered meals are available — call 906-774-2256, ext. 235 or ext. 230.

Menu for the week:

Monday: Mexican cod, macaroni and cheese, Mexi-corn, fruit, and milk.

Tuesday: Chop suey, rice, Oriental vegetables, roll, fruit, and milk.

Wednesday: Shepherd’s pie, roll, dried cranberries, fruit, and milk.

Thursday: Barbecue chicken, baked potato, broccoli, dessert, and milk.

Saturday: Pancake breakfast from 8 to 11 a.m. Cost is $5.

Niagara Northwoods Senior Cafe and Center

Meal site manager: Corrie Maule, 715-251-1603

Senior center director: Jill Anderson, 715-251- 4154

Noon meals served Monday through Thursday. Transportation is available to the meal site for those living in the Niagara, Wis., area. Any senior groups that would like to use the meal site as a meeting place are welcome — come in for lunch, then stay for a meeting or social time. Wii games, cards, puzzles and board games are available to play. 

Other activities are in the works — suggestions are always welcome. 

Norway Center

Director: Susie Slining


Monday through Thursday: Meals served at noon, with salad bar. Soup also is available at 11 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Milk, juice, bread, fruit, tea and coffee served daily. Meal donation is $5. Reservation for the meal should be made in advance.

Two special-themed meals take place each month on Tuesday, with bingo, prizes and a 50-50 drawing.

Two evening meals offered at 5 p.m. on the first Monday and third Wednesday of the month, with bingo, prizes and a 50-50 drawing.

Menu for the week:

Monday: Chicken Divan over egg noodles, broccoli, salad bar, fruit, juice, and dessert.

Tuesday: Ham, scalloped potatoes, Brussel sprouts, soup and salad bar, fruit, juice, and dessert .

Wednesday: Noon meal — pizza burger, tater tots, peas and carrots, salad, bar, fruit, juice, and dessert; dinner 5 p.m. — barbecue ribs, mashed potatoes and gravy, vegetables, soup and salad bar, and dessert.

Thursday: Birthday Club — bacon-wrapped pork chop, mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans, soup and salad bar, fruit, juice, and birthday cake.

Cards are played daily after the noon meal.

Craft and exercise classes: Mondays and Thursdays.

Ceramic and art classes: Wednesdays.

Note: File of Life packets available at the center.

Sagola Center


Meals: Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, 11:45 a.m. Cards: Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Commodities every other month and quarterly commodities are every three months. Volunteers are always welcome. 

Menu for the week:

Tuesday: Chicken Cordon Bleu, rice, gravy, peas, and tropical fruit.

Wednesday: Beef stroganoff, noodles, gravy, broccoli, and pears.

Thursday: Stuffed shells, green beans, garlic bread, and apricots.


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