Meals on Wheels program expands services

Archuleta County Senior Services is proud to announce the expansion of the Meals on Wheels Program.

Beginning some time in November, frozen meals may be ordered for once-a-week delivery. Our goal is to reach those residents who are more rurally isolated and unable to participate in our regular Meals on Wheels program route.

The suggested donation for these meals is $3 each.

To find out if you qualify for this program, or for more information, call 264-2167.

Hats off to kitchen crew

The Archuleta County Kitchen Crew continues to out do themselves; the fabulous salad bar can’t be beat and the staff’s creativity is such a delight.

The taco salad the crew served up had a special touch, with a tortilla prepared as a bowl to hold all the yummy fixings, and the Halloween meal was to die for! Spaghetti squash was turned into hairy little monsters, the chili resembled scarecrows with slice of cheese as a hat, the mummy cupcakes were outlined in frosting with lil’ eyes in the middle, and the corn bread was spotted with black beans resembling pill bugs. Last but not least, the apples were dyed green to give them that special “bewitched” look. Hats off to our kitchen crew for the fun and love they provide. If you haven’t checked out the tasty treats they prepare, you don’t know what you’re missing. We invite you to join us.

Family Caregivers Month

In honor of National Family Caregiver Month, the Silver Foxes Den will host a panel of experts in the field of caregiving options and needs.

The panel will consist of Barbara Scoville, ombudsmen for Southwest Colorado San Juan Area Agencies on Aging; Elaine Stumpo, director of Southwest Alzheimer’s Association; and Crystal Coughlin, owner of Safer Living, Pagosa Springs.

As an ombudsmen, Barbara is available to provide information and direction with loved ones in care facilities; Elaine has been the director of the Southwest Alzheimer’s Association for over 10 years and has a wealth of information and guidance for any family member caring for someone with Alzheimer’s; and Crystal established Safer Living in 2004 to provide in-home care and support to seniors and others with limitations, or to persons recovering from surgery or illness.

If you, or someone you know, is providing caregiver services to a family member or friend, you will want to attend this very informative panel presentation on Friday, Nov. 14, at 10 a.m. in the Den.

For a reservation, call 264-2167 or stop by the Silver Foxes Den in the north end of the community center to reserve your place.

ASI annual meeting

Archuleta Seniors, Inc. cordially invites you to participate in the annual board meeting at 1 p.m. Friday, Nov. 14. Come meet the new board members.

This board not only makes decisions in providing assistance to qualifying individuals, they also serve as the Local Council on Aging.

Your participation is key to providing input concerning the needs of seniors in our community. Find out what you can do to help by attending the meeting. Monthly board meetings are held the second Friday of every month at 1 p.m.

ASI memberships

This is one of the best deals in Pagosa. Help out seniors and save money at local businesses with our discount card. Seniors, Inc. is selling annual memberships for folks 55 and older at The Den for $5 on Mondays and Fridays from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Also, the ASI board would like folks to know that the computers at the Silver Foxes Den are now up and available for your use.

Nails by JoLynn

Cost ranges from $10 for a nail clip and file to $20 for a full manicure. ASI provides three $10 nail care scholarships for members. This service is available Monday, Nov. 17, from 10 a.m.—3 p.m. For an appointment call 264-2167.

Help with heating bills

Everyone is predicting that the cost to heat our homes this winter will rise. What help is available? Two federal programs help qualified people with their home heating and cooling bills, whether that’s oil, electricity, gas, or something else. They are the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) and the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP).

If you don’t qualify for these programs, you can save money — and get a tax credit — if you replace appliances and even light bulbs with the Energy Star® label. Plus, you can do an energy audit to find the places you can stop energy waste.

If you’re on a limited income and much of your money goes to paying to stay warm in the winter or to keep cool in the summer, you may be eligible for LIHEAP. LIHEAP pays a portion of heating and cooling costs for low income renters and homeowners. To find out about what help is available in our community, please attend the LIHEAP presentation at The Den at 12:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 17, provided by Archuleta County Human Services. It’s up to the program in our community to determine who is eligible and how much help with energy costs can be given. The funds frequently run out so remember to apply early. One problem is that there never is enough money to go around. You may also call the National Energy Assistance Referral (NEAR) at (866) 674-6327 or send an e-mail to energyassistance@ncat.org.

Memory Day screening

The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America initiated National Memory Screening Day as part of its mission to provide “optimal care and services to individuals confronting dementia, and to their caregivers and families” … and as part of its focus on “Together for Care … in addition to Cure.”

National Memory Screening Day is one of the highlights of AFA’s ongoing national effort to promote early detection of Alzheimer’s disease and related illnesses, and to encourage appropriate intervention, including medical treatments, social services and other resources. AFA believes that memory screenings are a significant first step toward early diagnosis.

Who should be screened? Memory screenings make sense for anyone concerned about memory loss or experiencing warning signs of dementia; whose family and friends have noticed changes in them; or who believe they are at risk due to a family history of Alzheimer’s disease or a related illness. Screenings also are appropriate for anyone who does not have a concern right now, but who wants to establish a base line score for comparison in the future.

These questions might help you decide. If you answer “yes” to any of them, you might benefit from a memory screening. 1) Am I becoming more forgetful? 2) Do I have trouble concentrating? 3) Do I have difficulty performing familiar tasks? 4) Do I have trouble recalling words or names in conversation? 5) Do I sometimes forget where I am? 6) Have family or friends told me that I am repeating questions or saying the same thing over and over again? 7) Am I misplacing things more often? 8) Have I become lost when walking or driving in a familiar neighborhood? 9) Have my family or friends noticed changes in my mood, behavior, personality, or desire to do things?

Note: A memory screening is not used to diagnose any particular illness and does not replace consultation with a qualified physician or other healthcare professional.

The Silver Foxes Den will host free memory screens on Tuesday, Nov. 18, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Reservations should be made by Friday, Nov. 17. Call 264-2167.

Sky Ute Casino trip

After a hearty lunch at the Silver Foxes Den, head down to Ignacio Tuesday, Nov. 18, at 1 p.m., with a bus load of your friends for an exciting afternoon of fun and games. Free transportation (with limited seating) provided. The Sky Ute bus leaves The Den at 1 p.m. and returns at approximately 5:45 p.m. This is a popular trip, so be sure to call and sign up today.

Pagosa pottery

Enjoy painting a fun or beautiful holiday ornament for gift giving (for friend, family, or even yourself) at 12:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 19. The cost for this event is $5. Reserve your space by Friday, Nov. 14.

Geezers

Are you a geezer? For stimulating conversation and an opportunity to meet and greet members of the Silver Foxes Den, drop by for coffee on Friday mornings at 9 a.m.

American Diabetes Month

Diabetes is a disease in which the body does not produce or properly use insulin. Insulin is a hormone that is needed to convert sugar, starches and other food into energy needed for daily life.

The cause of diabetes continues to be a mystery, although both genetics and environmental factors such as obesity and lack of exercise appear to play roles. There are 23.6 million children and adults in the United States, or 7.8 percent of the population, who have diabetes. While an estimated 17.9 million have been diagnosed with diabetes, unfortunately, 5.7 million people (or nearly one quarter) are unaware that they have the disease.

In order to determine whether or not a patient has pre-diabetes or diabetes, health care providers conduct a Fasting Plasma Glucose Test (FPG) or an Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (OGTT). Either test can be used to diagnose pre-diabetes or diabetes. The American Diabetes Association recommends the FPG because it is easier, faster, and less expensive to perform. With the FPG test, a fasting blood glucose level between 100 and 125 mg/dl signals pre-diabetes. A person with a fasting blood glucose level of 126 mg/dl or higher has diabetes. In the OGTT test, a person’s blood glucose level is measured after a fast and two hours after drinking a glucose-rich beverage. If the two-hour blood glucose level is between 140 and 199 mg/dl, the person tested has pre-diabetes. If the two-hour blood glucose level is at 200 mg/dl or higher, the person tested has diabetes.

Researchers, led by Dr. Jennifer A. Nettleton of the University of Texas Health Sciences Center in Houston, based their findings on 5,011 U.S. adults taking part in a long-term heart-health study. The study included white, Hispanic, black and Chinese-American men and women between the ages of 45 and 84. Overall, the researchers found that people whose diets were highest in whole grains, fruits, nuts, low-fat dairy and vegetables — particularly leafy greens — were 15 percent less likely to develop type 2 diabetes over 5 years than those who ate the lowest amounts of these foods. In contrast, adults whose diets were high in red meat, high-fat dairy, refined grains like white bread, plus beans and tomatoes, saw their diabetes risk go up by 18 percent as a group.

Dr. Bricca will speak about diabetes at the Silver Foxes Den at 12:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 21.

Activities

Friday, Nov. 14 — Geezers, 9 a.m.; Caregiver panel, 10 a.m.; Gym Walk, 11:15 a.m.; last day to sign up for Pagosa pottery; Archuleta Seniors, Inc. annual board meeting, 1 p.m.

Monday, Nov. 17 — Nails by JoLynne, by appointment, 10 a.m.; Gym Walk, 11:15 a.m.; LIHEAP presentation, 12:30 p.m.; Canasta, 1 p.m.; last day to sign up for memory screening.

Tuesday, Nov. 18 — National Memory Screening Day, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., by appointment; blood pressure checks, 11 a.m.; Gym walk, 11:15 a.m.; Meditation for Healing, 1 p.m.; Sky Ute Casino trip, 1 p.m.

Wednesday, Nov. 19 — Dance for Health, 10 a.m.; Pagosa pottery, 12:30 p.m.

Thursday, Nov. 20 — Administrative services only.

Friday, Nov. 21 — Geezers, 9 a.m.; Gym Walk, 11:15 a.m.; diabetes presentation by Dr. Bricca, 12:30 p.m.

Menu

Suggested donation $3 for ages 60-plus, and kids 12 and under, all others $5. Our meal program is partially funded through the Older Americans Act, United Way, Archuleta County, Town of Pagosa Springs and other contributions and grants. These funds help support the cost of the meal which is approximately $6. Menu subject to change. The salad bar opens at 11:30 a.m. with lunch served at noon.

Friday, Nov. 14 — Lasagna, broccoli-cauliflower-carrots, banana, garlic bread.

Monday, Nov. 17 — Chicken fried steak, garlic mashed potatoes, mixed veggies, apple, drop biscuit.

Tuesday, Nov. 18 — Chili relleno casserole, parslied carrots, orange slices, wheat roll.

Wednesday, Nov. 19 — Turkey pot pie, broccoli, applesauce, wheat bread.

Thursday, Nov. 20 — No meal served, administrative services only.

Friday, Nov. 21 — Spaghetti and meat sauce, green beans, orange, garlic bread.