SHIRLEY -- As we all know, Councils on Aging provide services including health and wellness, socialization, nutrition, safety, arts and crafts and financial protection to seniors.

In November, the Shirley COA, in conjunction with other area COAs, will be providing a program that helps make all seniors more aware of the medical offerings available to them.

A Medical Fair, held on Saturday, Nov. 2, will provide you with information so you can make informed medical decisions in the future. It will also be "Medicare Open Enrollment" time and we will have SHINE counselors available to help you understand all the new options available next year.

This is the time (once a year) where you can make changes to your Medicare plan. This information is critical, maybe even life-altering, so come and listen, ask questions, learn what your options are to save money or get better coverage.

As part of the overall event, we have a "trade show" with over 35 vendors and informational speakers. Session topics include Medicare, Alzheimer's, legal and health wellness, Diabetes management, caregiver support services and "elder care" options such as in-home care, adult day care and assisted living. We will provide information and services which will help all seniors and their caregivers have a higher quality of life and a healthier one. We also have the local Lions organization bringing their famous Eye-mobile and a Diabetes bingo program.

The event will be held at the Ayer-Shirley Regional Middle school on Hospital Road in Shirley. We will provide a free continental breakfast and a light lunch for the attendees so you can stop by, have a quick bite to eat and visit the booths or the speaker sessions.

For Shirley seniors, we will be providing a free shuttle bus between Shaker Meadows housing, Wayside Trailer Park and the school all through the event. We will also have the van available to take you to the event and bring you home if you need a ride. Call the Shirley Senior Center, 978-425-1390, to book a ride for this important and informative event.

The number one objective of the Medical Fair is to create a place that provides a wide array of vital medical information to our seniors. The fair is open to all, including seniors from Ayer, Ashby, Devens, Harvard, Lancaster, Lunenburg, Townsend, Pepperell and Groton.

This is a no cost event. Please stop by, enjoy the fair and get information that can help you have a better quality of life in the future.