Health Services

Enrolling for Medicare

Medicare is our country’s federal health insurance program for people age 65 or older. People younger than age 65 with certain disabilities, permanent kidney failure, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s disease), can also qualify for Medicare. The program helps with the cost of health care, but it doesn’t cover all medical expenses or the cost of most long-term care. You have choices for how you get Medicare coverage. If you choose to have Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) coverage, you can buy a Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap) policy from a private insurance company. Medigap covers some of the costs that Medicare does not, such as copayments, coinsurance, and deductibles. If you choose Medicare Advantage, you can buy a Medicare-approved plan from a private company that bundles your Part A, Part B, and usually drug coverage (Part D) into one plan. Although the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is the agency in charge of the Medicare program, Social Security processes your application for Original Medicare (Part A and Part B), and CMS can give you general information about the Medicare program. For more information about Medicare, visit the official US Government site for people with Medicare

For basic information about Medicare for anyone who is covered and some of the options available when choosing Medicare coverage, please visit:

Prescription Advantage

Do you need help with prescription drug costs? Prescription Advantage is a state-run program which helps many seniors pay for their prescription drugs. Eligibility is based on income only and there is no asset limit.

If you are a Massachusetts resident, eligible for Medicare and are
  • 65 years of age or older with an annual income at or less than $59,400 for a single person or $80,100 for a married couple 
  • OR
  • Under 65 years of age and disabled with an annual income at or less than $22,334, for a single person or $30,118 for a married couple.
There is NO CHARGE for joining Prescription Advantage if you have an annual income at or less than $35,640 for a single person and $48,060 for a married couple. There is a $200 per person annual enrollment fee for those with higher incomes. 

Call Prescription Advantage to enroll or ask for an application form at 1-800-243-4636, then press or say 2.
You may apply online at:

Health Insurance

  • Seniors looking for information about health insurance options can meet with health insurance representatives at the Gardner Senior Center.
  • Open enrollment sessions are held at the center each year. 


SHINE Program (Serving the Health Insurance Needs of Everyone) is a state health insurance assistance program that provides free health insurance information, counseling and assistance to Massachusetts residents with Medicare and their caregivers. The SHINE Program is administered by the Massachusetts Executive Office of Elder Affairs in partnership with elder service agencies, social service and community based agencies and Councils on Aging. The program is partially funded by the federal agency Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. 

What is a SHINE Counselor? 

A committed volunteer who is trained and certified by the Executive Office of Elder Affairs in many areas of health insurance, including Medicare Part A, Part B, and Part D; Medigap insurance, Medicare HMOs, retiree insurance plans, prescription drug programs, Medicaid, Medicare assistance programs (QMB, SLMB and QI), and other programs for people with limited resources.

Hearing Aid Cleaning

Hearing Aid Cleaning is not being conducted during the limited opening of the Senior Center. Once fully re-opened, Miracle Ear will be at the Senior Center the first Wednesday of every month from 10-11 for hearing aid cleaning

Exercise Programs

The senior center provides a variety of health classes including line dancing, yoga, and ez-movements.  Check out the monthly newsletter for more information.

TOPS Club, Inc

This the original, nonprofit, weight-loss support and wellness education organization.  Established in 1948 to champion weight-loss and success, we've managed to help mission of people live healthier lives.  Annual membership is $32 a year.  In the Gardner Chapter members have voted to have a $3 weekly dues to cover expenses.  The first meeting is free  TOPS will be meeting at the Gardner Senior Center at 9 am to 10:30 am.  More information and inspiration can be found on the TOPS website.

Memory Cafe

The Memory Cafe is on hold right now. The Memory Cafe is a monthly gathering of individuals with memory loss and their caregivers, family and/or friends. The Cafe is for individuals at any stage of the disease process. It is a safe and supportive environment for all guests to socialize and enjoy each other's company. The goal is to make every guest as comfortable as possible. 

Meetings are every 4th Wednesday of the month, from the 2:00-3:30 PM

RSVP not required but appreciated.

Contact:      Nicole Kanis, Aging Services of North Central Mass.
EMAIL: or phone at 978-466-1507

Memory Cafe is not a support group or drop off respite option. ANy guest requiring a personal care attendant must have a caregiver present.

Ask a Pharmacist

Blood Pressure with Bonnie