May is Arthritis Awareness Month. If you suffer with arthritis, here are some ways you can learn to manage the pain. We developed these tips with the help of the Arthritis Foundation.

Osteoarthritis is a chronic disease that is not a normal part of aging. Inflammation in the joint tissues causes pain when you bend or move. Arthritis pain can rob people of their quality of life, causing them to lose muscle strength, sleep poorly and even sink into depression.

Managing the pain is possible. The best way to beat pain is to stop it before it starts. Here are several ways to get started:

* Pace yourself. Switch between heavier and lighter tasks. Balance activity with planned rest breaks, and don't overdo it.

* Protect your joints. Avoid activities that stress your joints. Use splints, braces and assistive devices if needed, and practice good posture.

* Control your weight. Losing just one pound of body weight will take four pounds of pressure off your knees. Shedding extra weight reduces pain and improves function. The best way to lose weight is physical activity combined with a healthy diet.

* Increase physical activity. Being physically active is the best thing you can do for pain. But it's important to move safely and wisely. Talk to your doctor about types and amounts of activity that can help you build strength, increase endurance and maintain flexibility.

* Get a good night's sleep. Better sleep equals less pain. To improve your sleep, get regular physical activity, avoid alcohol and caffeine in the evening, go to bed and get up at the same time every day and avoid stress before bedtime.

* When you need relief now, a combination of prevention and pain relief strategies works best for most people. When you need relief right away, try heat and cold treatments, relaxation techniques and massage. Pain relievers, anti-inflammatories and topical treatments also can help. Remember to tell your doctor how much pain you have and share your goals for pain control.

Mother's Day Tea

Join us at 2 p.m. Thursday for Mother's Day Picture Bingo and Tea. Patti Thummel has planned a fun game with prizes and refreshments. Bring your mom, daughter or friend for a fun afternoon.

Be sure to drop by and pick up your ticket for the free lunch on Thursday, May 24. On the menu is turkey and gravy, sweet potatoes, green beans, wheat roll and fruit gelatin. Tickets are required. Space is limited so don't delay.

Thanks for help

This year, 2012, is the 40th anniversary of Meals on Wheels in Garden City. Many thanks to the Black Hills Energy volunteers and Duane Riley who delivered Meals on Wheels last week.

Are you interested in helping with Meals on Wheels? Substitute drivers are always needed. If you would like to help, call Patti at 272-3620 or 260-6282.

Poker run

Join us Saturday, June 2, for the Beef Empire Days Meals on Wheels Poker Run. We are looking for sponsors for the event. For more information, call 272-3620.

Scheduled activities

Thursday begins with TOPS at 9 a.m., followed by art class at 10 a.m. Gentle exercise begins at 11 a.m. The Ambassador Singers practice at 1 p.m. The Mother's Day Tea begins at 2 p.m. Yoga begins at 6:30 p.m.

Friday has line dancing at 8:30 a.m. Craft Shop check-in/out is from 10 a.m. to noon. A nurse from St. Catherine Hospital will be here from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Bridge starts at 12:45 p.m.

Saturday, the pool room is open from 1 to 4 p.m.

Sunday is Mother's Day. Be sure to honor Mom on her special day. Duplicate bridge begins at 2 p.m.

Monday, the Walking Club meets at 8:30 a.m. The Humdinger Band practices at 12:30 p.m. Double pinochle begins at 12:30 p.m. The FIT Committee meets at 2 p.m. The Upbeats Band practices at 3 p.m. Duplicate bridge begins at 7 p.m.

Tuesday has USDA commodities and Farmer's Market vouchers distributed at 10 a.m. Gentle exercise begins at 11 a.m. Pitch starts at 12:30 p.m. Bridge begins at 1:15 p.m.

May 16 begins with line dancing at 8:30 a.m. The Meals on Wheels Committee meets at 9 a.m. Pinochle begins at 12:30 p.m. Life Writing is at 1 p.m. The dance at 7:30 p.m. will feature the Moonshiners. The recommended donation is $5 per person. Bring finger food for the break.

Lunch menus

Lunch is served at noon.

Thursday: Beef tips on noodles, sliced tomato, green beans, wheat bread, citrus fruit.

Friday: Chicken strips, parsley potatoes, five-way vegetables, wheat roll, strawberries and peaches.

Monday: Salisbury steak with gravy, creamed peas, spinach salad, wheat bread, peaches.

Tuesday: Oven-fried chicken, scalloped potatoes, Harvard beets, wheat roll, creamy fruit salad.

May 16: Swiss steak and tomatoes, baked potato, carrots, wheat bread, strawberries.

Check out our website at www.seniorcenterfc.com.